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In_spire Galerie
56 Lower Gardiner Street
Dublin 1

Music, Art and Synaesthesia

Aesynth Education

Suggested  activities and further exploration for primary schools

When Jane Mackay listens to music she sees vivid colours, images and shapes. Jane has synaesthesia, a neurological condition in which the stimulation of one sense leads involuntarily to the triggering of another sense. In other words, Jane ‘sees’ music. Over the past year, Jane has been listening to string quartet music  composed by Britten and Mendelssohn and has created paintings based on her experience of hearing/seeing the music.

From 12–28 February, teachers can take their classes along to the free exhibition in In-Spire Galerie which is conveniently located near Connolly Station.

This is an opportunity for pupils to see Jane’s exhibition of paintings, learn about string quartets and composers, respond to art and music and discover the fascinating world of synaesthesia.  

Pupils could learn about the music in advance and respond by creating paintings of their own. They could then bring them to the exhibition and compare their responses with Jane’s. Alternatively, children could come along to view the paintings with no prior information and respond to the art itself, saving the musical experience for the classroom later.

12–28 February

Opening hours 11am–5pm, Tuesday–Saturday

Free entry, advance booking is advisable

Email: info@aesynth.ie

Below you will find some useful links for supporting teachers in this work.



What is synaesthesia?


 What is a string quartet?

Here are great videos of a quartet of superb very young players, certain to appeal to children

click here and here.


Felix Mendelssohn

Benjamin Britten

Excerpts from the string quartets which inspired the exhibition:

Britten’s string quartet no. 3, (Burlesque)

This exciting movement is just over 2 minutes long.

Mendelssohn String Quartet in D  major  3rd movement This  beautiful slow movement  is about 6 minutes long.

Art and music appreciation

Responding to Art

Responding to music

Download this information as PDF

aesynth education doc final.pdf