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Musical Journeys: Exploring Emotions

Musical Journeys: Exploring Emotions

Have you ever seen Inside Out? It’s a movie that takes viewers inside the mind of an 11-year-old girl named Riley. Riley’s brain is home to five emotions who shape her responses to everyday interactions and events: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust. Chances are that you experience these same emotions, plus many more, every day.

A lot of people love music because it evokes strong emotions. As you’ll see when you listen to our new playlist, it can be a great tour guide if you’re looking to go on a journey exploring joy, sadness, surprise, and the other emotions that live inside your mind and body. Don’t forget that you can tailor the activity to fit your family’s ages and interests. Bon voyage!

Exploring Emotions

Go On An Emotional Journey 

A lot of people love music because it evokes strong emotions. As you’ll see when you listen to our new playlist, music can be a great tour guide if you’re looking to go on a journey exploring joy, sadness, surprise, and the other emotions that live inside your mind and body.

Download Emotion Words Handout >

What emotions do you hear in the music? Are the emotions pleasant or unpleasant? Do the emotions give you a high or low level of energy? What label would you give each emotion—joy, sadness, anger, fear, disgust, surprise, or something else? If you want help finding the right label, try looking at our list of emotion words. And remember that there isn’t anything wrong with feeling these different emotions. Each emotion serves an important role in our lives.

Create Art Inspired by the Emotions in the Music

Invite your family to express what the music makes you feel through visual art, poetry, stories, or movement. Explore your creations together once they’re finished.

Show the Minnesota Orchestra Your Art 

Send a photo of your artwork or a copy of your writing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Select entries will be shown in an online gallery coming soon!

Create Your Own Playlist to Boost Your Spirits

One approach might be to fill your playlist with music that makes you happy. Another strategy might be starting the playlist with music that matches the unpleasant emotions you feel when you’re down and gradually transitioning to happier music. Find what works for you, and share your playlist with a friend or family member who might like their own mood boost.

Minnesota Orchestra at Home

Find more educational activities, playlists, and at-home performances from the Minnesota Orchestra musicians on our new webpage!

WATCH. LISTEN. LEARN. >

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  • This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
    This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
  • Official Airline of the Minnesota Orchestra
    Official Airline of the Minnesota Orchestra