Visual Inspiration: Use your own image or the images below as your inspiration for a song.

How to Respond

Use your own image or one of the images above as the inspiration for an original song or musical idea. Post your work below using SoundCloud or video. If you have chosen your own image, make sure to include the image with your work in the comments below. Don’t worry if your song is short, this is just an exercise!

Tips

  • To start, write down the qualities that you notice in the image.
    • Who are the characters in the image? What is their relationship with each other? Is there a story in this image that you can describe?
    • Which colors inspire you? How can you represent those colors through music?
  • Incorporate some of your written observations into your song lyrics.

Examples

"Mona Lisa" by Nat "King" Cole

Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa 

"What the Water Gave Me" by Florence and the Machine

Inspired by Frida Kahlo's What the Water Gave Me

Collaborate

  • Describe the image to a friend. Have them use these descriptors as inspiration for a song.

 Click here for more Songwriting Exchange activities.

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Comment by Janet Noh on June 4, 2014 at 9:37pm

Hermann Herzog's Raging River... I wrote:

Something Worth Fighting For

https://soundcloud.com/janet-noh/something-worth-fighting-for

Comment by Anna Pearl Roseberry Belinda on June 4, 2014 at 8:51pm

Sorry I am posting so late I just never got the chance to upload this

https://soundcloud.com/anna-pearl-belinda/shattered-glass

the picture was taken from a friend of the "love bridge" in Paris 

Comment by Megan Doyle on June 3, 2014 at 11:32pm

Hey there! My soundcloud isn't allowing me to post so I have written in the chords. Sorry for any inconvenience!

A Place That's Mine

C

A place that's mine

                                                     Em

Where everyone would have a world one their own

          Am7

When clouds are grey

               C

We would never say let's get away

C

A place that's mine

                      Em

Where flowers trim a forest green

                   Am7

And dreams weave their silver beams

               C

I wear my heart on my sleeve for all to see

         C                   Em

When troubles come back to me

    Am   G   F

I'll close my eyes

      C         Em    Am G F

And wait to find a smile

C

A place that's mine 

             Em 

Can't be found above the ground

          Am                          C

No it's not the streets I walk alone

C

A place that's mine

                          Em

It's where dreams live deep

        Am 

Deep beyond our brick wall

F

Beyond our brick wall

*rest*             C

A place that's mine 

Comment by Megan Doyle on June 3, 2014 at 10:43pm

Madeleine Ertel I think this is a great song. I also love the lyrics! I think if you start the chorus higher in pitch, it will contrast the verses more. Otherwise, great job and I really like the meaning and feel of the song. 

Comment by Kaloni Baylor on June 3, 2014 at 7:19pm
Comment by Zandi Holup on June 3, 2014 at 6:10pm

Kaitlyn Mann here is the link, I tried using sound cloud instead of youtube this time!

https://soundcloud.com/zandi-holup/tattoo

Comment by Kaitlyn Mann on June 3, 2014 at 5:37pm

Zandi Holup  Is there a link?

Comment by Zandi Holup on June 3, 2014 at 5:30pm

The image I used was a young girl looking at an old mans saggy tattoo that has his wife's name on it. The concept is about an age gap/adultery. The tattoo is supposed to symbolize the marriage. When writing this I just closed my eyes and pictured a young naive girl catching a glimpse at this older mans tattoo and realizing he is with someone else while he is in bed with her.

Tattoo- By Zandi Holup

 

AM C

You make me laugh as hard as I fell for you

AM C

You took the time, the time to see me through

G D

But Jesus told me its too good to be true

I didn't hit the breaks

AM C

I drew the curtain, thought I could see the light

AM C

Devil and angel, started to pick a fight

G D

You drew me closer and pulled me in so tight

E

I couldn't slip away

G AM

After all you put me through

G AM

I saw your faded (sagged) tattoo

G

All the lies beneath the kisses

D

You had been just so dismissive

G D AM C

I should've known not to trust a guy like you

G

With an age too old

G D AM

And an old faded (faded old) tattoo

AM C

I got it bad, this bug bit me way to hard

AM C

I played the hand, but baby you fixed the card

G D

Who knew leaving was quite this hard

E

Not this little baby girl

G AM

After all you put me through

G AM

I saw your faded (sagged) tattoo

G

All the lies beneath the kisses

D

You had been just so dismissive

G D AM C

I should've known not to trust a guy like you

G

With an age too old

G D AM

And an old faded (faded old) tattoo

E

A wife and 3 kids

G

I don't think nobody did

D AM

All the stuff that I do

G AM

After all that we've been through

G AM

I saw her name on your tattoo

Oh after all that we've been through

I saw her name was your tattoo

G

All the lies beneath the kisses

D

You had been just so dismissive

G D AM C

I should've known not to trust a guy like you

G

With an age too old

G D AM

And an old faded (faded old) tattoo

 

 

Comment by Naomi Vescio on June 3, 2014 at 12:01pm

@Joseph Makoviecki The harmonies are so fantastic! They highlight your voice beautifully. The whistling was the perfect addition, and the harmony at the end made a great ending. I love the moonbow idea. :) 

Comment by Naomi Vescio on June 3, 2014 at 10:05am

I completely forgot this activity--I wrote this song last minute yesterday after school, haha!

I've been to Tennessee a lot of times, and it's definitely the most beautiful place I've ever been. If you go on a roadtrip in the United States and Tennessee is part of it, you're in for a treat. You will never see a greener state.

I was inspired by Karen Margulis's beautiful painting:

https://soundcloud.com/naomi-vescio/green-of-tennessee

Green of Tennessee

Colorado has some pretty mountains,

Majestic and beautiful as the West coast,

But in my eyes there's one perfect view,

One perfect place I can call home.

CHORUS

Red like the roads of Alabama,

Blue like the skies of California,

The best sight you could ever see,

Open like the fields of Indiana,

Oh, there ain't anything,

Like the green of Tennessee.

Whatever road I take, I know I'm there,

When I can see the endless green stretchin' along the road,

And wherever I find myself, I'll find my way home,

'Cause home is where the heart is, and it knows where to go.

REPEAT CHORUS

It's where I can breathe,

And when I leave,

God's mighty art is calling me home.

To red like the roads of Alabama,

To blue like the skies of California,

Oh, I can't just leave,

Open like the fields of Indiana,

Oh, there can't be anything,

Like the green,

And I always find the Lord when I'm standing,

In the green of Tennessee.

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