Students use watercolors to interpret the sound. A fast tempo can result in quick brush strokes; a joyful sound may represented with bright colors. They may paint a representational picture of people dancing or a funeral march, or they can work non-objectively.
Once everyone has made two different paintings from two different pieces of music, students pass their paintings to the neighbor to their right, who is the one to match the images to the first and second songs and explain how they drew that conclusion. They have to find adjectives other than just "happy" and "sad" to describe the paintings in support of their conclusion.
Koyaanisqatsi by Phillip Glass is a great soundtrack to create a dark, mysterious, suspenseful, gloomy, ancient sound. Pretty much everyone finishes by the first 9 minutes. This is an especially intriguing piece when it follows something as joyful as Beethoven's 9th, or Lady Smith Black Mambazo songs, which feel hopeful and playful.
Overall, it is a short but powerful interdisciplinary lesson that touches fine arts and language arts. It helps students think analytically and creatively. The experience is also therapeutic. Everyone works quietly and leaves the room feeling more chill than they did when they entered.