Music to Bead By


Silence is (not) golden

Silence is not really golden–at least for beaders. Seventy-four percent of nearly 1,000 beaders who voted in the latest poll bead while listening to music! Rock was the first choice (27%), followed by classical music (24%). Pop music came in third (17%).

Some reasons Beading Daily members like beading to music:

  • Makes a solitary activity feel less lonely
  • Helps pace your work
  • Drowns out the "inner critic"
  • Inspires you

Designs Inspired by Music

For some beaders, music played a major role in their creative process:

"I love all kinds of music. In fact, when I first started making jewelry, I put my pieces into categories by music type—Ballroom/Classical was for my more high end elegant pieces, Dancehall was for my more Western/Southwest pieces, Pop was for my Trendy pieces, Rock was the Edgy stuff, and my all time favorite is Jazz for my mixed media eclectic pieces."

"Beading and music have a lot in common for me. Just looking at or feeling different beads can spark and idea for a new project. Music does that for me too. It also depends what kind of mood I'm in to determine what kind of beading I wand to do and what music I feel like listening to. They just go together, like ice cream and chocolate sauce!"

"Mystified" by Melanie Brooks Lukacs, inspired by the song "Mystified Heavy" by Sam Roberts. Melanie writes, "It is a song rich with imagery of the old sea, and sirens, and reminds me of pirates and such dangerous oceanic things. There are so many great lines in the song, and I wanted to incorporate them in a necklace, and use the colors that paint the song's imagery in my head."  More


"The End" by The Lone Beader, inspired by the song "The End" by The Doors. There is a line in the song "Meet me in the back of the blue bus". My blue bus is all about drugs and rock'n'roll, and the freedoms in the 1960's. It also represents the 'vehicle' on which Jim Morrison abruptly ended his life. More

"Shout Sister" by Moyra Riley. Moyra was inspired by her Georgette choir. Moyra writes, "For many of the members, this has given them their first opportunity to experience the joy of singing with a group." The choir's signature song is "When I Sing."

 Your Favorite Musicians

Favorite musicians were all over the map—Clay Aiken, Mozart, Garth Brooks, Hannah Montana, Placido Domingo, Pedro Aznar . . . In case you're looking to try something new, here is a short list of the performers that were mentioned repeatedly: 

• Aerosmith
• Andrea Bocelli
• Beatles
• Bruce Springsteen
• Celine Dion
• Chris Daughtry
• Dave Matthews Band

• Ella Fitzgerald
• Elton John
• Enya
• Handel
• Johann Sebastian Bach
• Led Zepplin
• Loreena McKennitt

• Luther Vandross
• Madonna
• Miles Davis
• Prince
• Rod Stewart
• Sade
• Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

And in Other News . . .

I also heard from a number of beaders who work while listening to audio books or the TV. Most fascinating–of the ones who did mention TV, almost all mentioned crime/law shows, particularly CSI and Law and Order. What's up with that? Maybe this says something about beader personalities–placing tiny beads in order gives us the same satisfaction that others get in solving crimes or bringing justice to a victim's family. We like order in the universe, even if our world is mostly composed of size 15 seed beads!

New Poll: Do You Sketch? 

After sharing a jewelry sketch last Friday (Free Project: Chain Maille Necklace), I heard from several readers who also sketch their jewelry designs. Do you sketch? Take this quick poll by May 9–I'll share the results in a future Beading Daily

Michelle Mach shares beading news, contests, reader galleries, and other beady stuff every Monday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Michelle, please post them on the website. 


Related Posts:


Beading Daily Blog

About Editor

I am the editor of Beading Daily.  My designs have appeared in a variety of publications, including Stringing, Step by Step Beads, Beadwork, and other publications.  If you have a great suggestion for Beading Daily, or just want to show off your latest project, send me an email!

3 thoughts on “Music to Bead By

    Maybe so many polled beaders bead to crime shows because there are so very many ON tv, it is hard not to turn it on and get one on at least one of the channels! 🙂

    Comment by: | April 14, 2008

    We bead to CSI (and I didn’t respond earlier) because that is the time of evening we can finaly get around to sitting down and getting some beading done. You have to have no think junk on the tube.

    Comment by: Sandy K | April 14, 2008

    In club & class, we’ve noticed that many beaders are also in technical professions. Order, yes, but also the logic puzzle – how does this work? How do I get it done? Who dun it? Seems to fit.

    Comment by: Mary H | April 14, 2008

    the two shows i mostly watch when i bead…csi and law & order. that was very surprising to read!!! deanna bishop, pittsburg, ks

    Comment by: DEANNA B | April 14, 2008

    I’m a HUGE beading and Law & Order fan too. I do watch the original shows on NBC and then on the weekends I’m always looking for reruns. I think that 1) the tempo is even 2) We’ve already seen it once, so we don’t miss much and we can concentrate on beading!

    Comment by: Tammy Jo V | April 14, 2008

    Music to bead by??? and no one mentioned Yanni?

    Comment by: Lynette J | April 14, 2008

    I generallly have TV on when I bead as I live alone and like some noise around me. I do a lot of beading while watching shows on HGTV… some inspiration comes from colors on the shows, but mostly it’s the creation of beautiful gardens, rooms, etc. But I have to admit, I love the crime shows, and do a lot of beading watching them too!

    Comment by: Patricia M | April 14, 2008

    I usually bead later in the evening when things are quieter; that’s also when the good dramas come on. I’d add LOST and ER, but I totally agree with the crime shows.

    Comment by: mary d | April 14, 2008

    I always bead to music. I love jazz and blues and listen to my favorite station, KPLU, where I listen to Cab Callaway, BB King, Milt Jackson, Jimmy Witherspoon, Coletrane, etc. Sitting in my kitchen beading to jazz gives me peace, I forget about all my troubles and think only of the music and my beads. I’m in my own little wonderful bead world.

    Comment by: karen v | April 14, 2008

    Aerosmith and Daughtry, YES! And add Elliot Yamin, 38 Special, and the Beach Boys! Wish I had a TV in the studio. Since I live in Japan, all the good prime time TV shows come on in the morning due to the time difference!

    Comment by: Robin E | April 14, 2008

    Please add Diana Krall to your list of music to listen to!

    Comment by: toni k | April 14, 2008

    I generally have a movie from one of the premium channels on my TV, but will switch during prime time to favorite shows to watch with my husband (Smallville, Dexter, etc.). My husband is a big video gamer, so beading is a great way to keep busy when he’s shooting ’em up in Halo 3!

    Comment by: Carolyn W | April 14, 2008

    I can find nearly every beading mood in my Mary Chapin Carpenter CD collection — moody and romantic to “Down at the Twist and Shout” are all available!

    Comment by: Linda B | April 14, 2008

    Thank you so much for mentioning me! 😀

    Comment by: The Lone Beader | April 14, 2008

    Hi, I am too, one of those beaders who “listens”to TV shows while beading. My favourite is “Prison Break”…For obvious reasons I guess…Beading does have this effect on me :o)) Paola

    Comment by: paola f | April 14, 2008

    I had a chuckle when I read about beading during CSI and Law & Order. I do that too, but not because I love or even like crime shows — it’s my sis watching them in our “beading room” while I’m there beading in the middle of the night. So I’ve seen most of the episodes of the Law & Order show with detective Goren and CSI Miami (just for Horatio’s oneliners and “sunglasses of justice”). The only crime I enjoy is Midsomer Murders because it’s so humourous and special, but I’ve never beaded while watching it I think…

    Most of the time the TV or radio is one while I bead. Just a few hours ago I beaded while watching/listening to a documentary. I often listen to TV or radio when doing things.

    Comment by: Kristina J | April 14, 2008

    I agree with the Law and Order…any one of them is fine with me. I prefer SVU but I’ll listen and bead to anything. I also like Grey’s Anatomy, and NCIS, and some CSI’s etc….who beads while in the car? I do that as well. Nancy Curles Quintilone Norfolk, VA

    Comment by: nancy c | April 14, 2008

    I like listening to old Punk bands when i create.

    Comment by: n j | April 14, 2008

    My daughter and I both bead while watching TV crime shows (we live in separate houses). I believe that beading is similar to solving a mystery. You have the clues (materials), and they must all work together to solve the mystery (finished piece). The two of us thought if we were to open a crime investigative business we would call it “Ma and Me, CSI’s”. Think we’d better stick to beading, as combined we have sixty-eight years of experience (29 for her, 39 for me) and we love it! Deon DeLange, Bead Artist, Designer, Author Deon’s Designs Originale

    Comment by: Deon D | April 14, 2008

    I am really into dulcimer music. It is very soothing and can do away with the stress after a work day. It’s great to bead too Mary R Wilmingto Ohio

    Comment by: Mary R | April 14, 2008

    Music to bead by: The music I listen to while beading is Praise/Worship music. It’s from God that I received my talents and gifts, and to bead while listening to worshipful music is my way of praising Him and thanking Him for those gifts. My favorite artist to bead by is Third Day, upbeat Christian rock! Deon DeLange Deon’s Designs Originale

    Comment by: Deon D | April 14, 2008

    People choose Law and Order shows to bead by, because: 1) They’re always on 2) They have a predictable and known pattern (start, middle, end) 3) Because of 1), we’ve likely seen them before so we know what happens and don’t have to play close attention to it 4) It wraps up each hour…don’t have to “tune in next week” but can leave it 5) They’re brain candy for methodical types, like those who do beads!

    Comment by: Michelle H | April 14, 2008

    I too listen to books on tape and old movies, can’t watch them, but have seen them so often I know when the good parts come up so watch those scenes. It is good for eye exercises. I like to listen to Kitaro and Native American flute music as well as most of the others listed.

    Comment by: Pam P | April 14, 2008

    I bead whenever i can listening to music or watching TV often i have the Crime & Investigation channel on but i think that beaders like crime shows 1) because they are detail driven and so are we special is all in the details and 2) we don’t miss much as we’ve usually seen them before and if we haven’t then we’ve seen so many we can fill in any blanks we miss while our head was down :O)

    Comment by: Claire B | April 14, 2008

    Count me in as a CSI & Law and Order beader. But what I really prefer is to be with another beader while beading. We can talk about a zillion things and still do a lot of beading. My favorite beader to bead with is Deon DeLange. She is the person who inspired me to begin beading, and she still inspires me. … Jocille Daniel (Capricorn Adorned)

    Comment by: Jocille D | April 14, 2008

    Heh, heh, I bead/metalwork to Law & Order, too! SVU is the best (it’s on USA here) because I’ve seen most of the old Law & Orders on TNT. Don’t listen to much music, but when I do, Josh Groban and Charlotte Church are easy for me to bead to.

    Comment by: Chris U | April 14, 2008

    Two passions in my life: Beads and music. This was one of my most favorite Beading Dailys written. Thank you for the inspiration! Oh – and…Hannah Montana? I might have to try that one. You must have young beaders that read this post. How very fascinating! Oh – and CSI: Las Vegas is my favorite show ever.

    Comment by: Nicole J | April 14, 2008

    The only artist I bead to, or do anything to for that matter, is JOSH GROBAN. I can’t believe he isn’t on your list, or heading it! He has the most glorious voice I’ve ever heard.

    Comment by: Caroline B | April 14, 2008

    We mainly watch Law & Order because it is about the only adult program on in the afternoon. Also, since they are all repeats, you don’t really have to pay close attention as you already know the ending – – it just keeps you company and adds a a distraction when you have to pull out stitches and rethread your needle for the 1,000,000th time.

    Comment by: Prudence F | April 14, 2008

    When I am alone & beading I love to crank up my music & bead away–but my favorite singer to get inspired to create some great bead work is is Clay Aiken & Maroon 5.


    Comment by: Angela C | April 14, 2008

    I love to listen to music while I bead. While my music tastes are rather eclectic, I find that the emotions the music brings forward usually bleeds over into my creations giving them added dimension. Long live good music and beading!

    Comment by: Angela S | April 14, 2008

    I am one of those who “watches” crime TV while I bead. The reason for me is that they are shows that I do not actually have to see in order to know what’s going on. Simply listening to it like an old radio play is all I need. Also, I sometimes have to look up to see what the evidence looks like or see something to help me understand what going on in the story, and this helps me by keeping my eyes focusing on something farther away than 3 inches from my face. No eye strain for me!

    One other point, I LOVE Josh Groban. He’s great to listen to when I’m doing some tedious beading. Very relaxing.

    Comment by: Emily O | April 14, 2008

    I agree with you about the crime shows/puzzle correlation. I also think it’s because you can listen (and bead) to the crime shows and not miss a whole lot. I make 3-D lizards and one of them is named “Earl” after the angel in ‘Saving Grace’. I made it while watching several weeks worth of episodes I had saved on my DVR!

    Comment by: Susan J | April 14, 2008

    I listen to classical music while I am beading, because it is one time when I am not busy with other things and can really listen to the music and appreciate it. Among my favorites are Mozart and Dvorak. But they all speak to me better when my hands are busy making something beautiful. Ann Moore

    Comment by: Ann M | April 14, 2008

    you missed Carol King, Joan Baez & how couldyou forget Ozzi Ozborn

    Comment by: Joanne B | April 14, 2008

    my favorite thing to do while beading is play poker on line. there are no down times because I fill the gaps on line with beading and a few clicks really dont interfere with beading and I am doing 2 things I enjoy.

    Comment by: lorri n | April 14, 2008

    I, too, listen to crime shows while I bead. I’d bet you’ve got something there about order in beading and resolution in crime plots. I enjoy the writing but don’t want to see the grizzly details so listening while I work on something beautiful works perfectly for me.

    Comment by: Cherie J | April 14, 2008

    I tend to watch sci-fi shows while I bead. They just have such great special effects and allow my mind to open up to soooo many possibilities and go into directions that I don’t think I would have gone to in a “logical” world. Such creative makeup, costumes, story lines. It’s all there!

    Comment by: Jean L | April 14, 2008

    I bead to Tibetan prayers that are sung; my favorite is “Mantra of Avaloketeshvara,” which is incredibly beautiful. The songs are about 20 minutes each, which gives me a sense of how much time I’ve spent (as a tool or for determining cost). Most of all, it reminds me of how happy I was traveling in Tibet and Nepal: those memories help me balance the sad news of what is happening now (and for the last 50 years).

    Comment by: Karen B | April 14, 2008

    The list was missing a very important singer “Elvis”. I also like Nat King Cole. I think the crime shows fit because they are mysteries. Just like putting a quilt together, beading is a mystery until the last bead is put in place. I know that we have patterns, but the beads look so different in real beads that they are a mystery when they are done.

    Comment by: Linda C | April 14, 2008

    I didn’t get a chance to answer about what music is good to listen to, but I found something really soothing – Celtic Woman! Maybe the Irish side is coming out!

    Comment by: Karen P | April 14, 2008

    Wow, Loreena Mckennitt! Right on! What a variety! I was surprised to see Daughtry, maybe that was from the younger audience. CSI Miami used to be a good show until they started solving the same crimes over and over. And it’s always the same story, that the criminals never change clothes, and always have traces on them. Jeez! I bead while listening to iTunes (on a PC!) on my laptop. A nice variety is good: I shuffle about 1000 tunes.

    Comment by: Allegra C | April 15, 2008

    P.S. I forgot, what else could there be that says it all? “Don’t Worry, BEAD Happy!” (I’m listening to it right now.) Thanks, Bobby McFerrin.

    Comment by: Karen B | April 15, 2008

    Beading and music – this is very interesting pool. I can come into line – I don´t stand silent by beading – I listen musicals or audio-books, sometimes I watch TV… Alena/Czech Rep.

    Comment by: Alena H | April 15, 2008

    Hi – I am in England – we have a radio station called BBC7 and all the old comedy and thriller shows from the 60’s up to present day are on – we even listen during our classes on a Wednesday evening and laugh at the cheesy 60’s thrillers!

    Comment by: Carol H | April 15, 2008

    i never bead to music,so i felt out of place when i started reading your letter. sometimes my piece will be inspired by a song, so while i’m working on it, the song will be constantly be playing in my head. to bead i prefer the noise of a good crime show, and no matter how many times i’ve seen it, my attention will still be on it, so it challenges me to pay attention to the piece i’m working as well. they are both like a puzzle, developing slowly, clue by clue, or bead by bead into the final product. the pace of the show sets the pace of my work. it’s the most rewarding hour or two that i will have the day i’m working on something, and my brain comes out so refreshed.

    Comment by: LOIDA H | April 15, 2008

    Josh Groben and Celine Deon put my 2 dogs to sleep so I can have some quiet time to work and don’t have to throw their ball!

    Comment by: Linda L | April 15, 2008

    Perhaps it’s because we don’t have to watch every second to get the “thread” of the show–and it makes good background noise. make mine classical, though

    Comment by: Theresa D | April 15, 2008

    I have to say my favorite background to beading is Agatha Christie mysteries on audiobook. Beading can be an intense experience for me, as I have to be completely satisfied with a design before I can consider it done (and offer it for sale), so having my favorite mysteries on in the background helps me to relax and not take myself too seriously. I also do watch some crime shows, Csi or Criminal Minds, while beading. I think some of their appeal for me lies in my approach to beading, as I am always looking for the right solution to a problem, trying to fit elements together in the way they really work, and not just forming them to a preconcived idea that seems right at the start. Of course, sometimes these programs do delve into things that are too depressing and/or immoral for my taste and I have to remind myself to turn them off, or it colors my mind and work in ways I don’t need.

    Comment by: | April 15, 2008

    I watch CSI or comedy reruns, like Friends or Frazier, because they do not require my full consentration. I can zoom in & out and not miss too much of the episode, while really concentrating on the piece I am working on. Win, win situation.

    Comment by: Kathy F | April 15, 2008

    Whoops concentration not consentration. Oh, well, I am a beader not a proof reader

    Comment by: Kathy F | April 15, 2008

    I love listening to a mixture of smooth jazz, gospel and Earth Wind & Fire when I’m beading.

    Geri H

    Comment by: | April 15, 2008

    I”ve always thought I watch crime shows while beading because I like to solve the mystery. Just like the mystery of beads. What can I do with this bead? If I do this, what will it turn out like? I just love mysteries and seeing if I can solve them before the show does.


    Comment by: Wendee B | April 15, 2008

    It seems many readers share my thought, that the crime shows can be listened to and not watched closely so you can still follow the thread (hmmm) of the story. Also my husband enjoys watching them so I can appear to be watching with him while I’m actually concentrating on my beads. I also listen to music and NPR podcasts when I’m alone but not in company as I tend to sing (rather tonelessly) or make indistinct comments. As to beading in the car, I can macrame but lack the coordination to balance a bead board and tools. Cindy

    Comment by: | April 15, 2008

    I was surprised to read that beaders who bead to TV (as I do) prefer crime shows such as CSI and Law & Order. The reason I like those shows for beading to is because I can follow the story through the dialogue of the characters without having to watch everything. Occasionally I look up when the action gets busy, but so much of what they do to solve the crime is cerebral — thinking out loud to each other and arguing theories. One doesn’t necessarily have to watch their faces every minute to follow what’s going on.

    Comment by: Nalla L | April 15, 2008

    I think the various crime shows are easiest to “watch” while beading because you don’t have to actually watch every minute in order to follow what’s going on; just “glance up” every so often when there’s actual “action”. I suppose I should say I listen to them, rather than watch them. However, I have a complex lariat that, when people ask me how long it took me to make it, I answer “a whole season of Everybody Loves Raymond”! 🙂

    Comment by: | April 15, 2008

    I like beading and watching Star Trek or other shows on the Space Network! Funny!

    Comment by: tina c | April 15, 2008

    I bead while listening to t.v. also. I typically watch the Learning Channel or shows like What Not to Wear, 10 Years Younger, and DIY stuff. I like to listen to shows and those types of topics are good listening ones.

    Comment by: Heather S | April 15, 2008

    Our TV stays tuned to the Sci Fi channel. If there’s nothing on that channel, then it’s CSI and Law and Order episodes.

    If it’s music, it’s either folk music or the Golden Oldies of Rock & Roll.

    Comment by: none Y | April 15, 2008

    Ditto on Law and Order (how funny!)… I know the characters so well that I don’t have to look up at the screen to see who’s talking or how they deliver a line. Some I have “seen” so many times that I can anticipate the next line! Helen R.

    Comment by: Helen R | April 15, 2008

    I love to listen to classical, particulary piano and strings. I also have really gotten into anything celtic – it calls to me. I am going to Ireland this fall and hope to add to my bead stash and get some inspiration from the beautiful countryside.

    Comment by: | April 15, 2008

    I was surprised that so few listen to gospel, Christian music…I live alone and enjoy our Christian radio station I don’t watch tv ever as I find it all so violent.the beautiful words in the songs give me a wonderful inner peace and quiet I am fairly new to beading and just started to enjoy wire working and metal clay so I can really concentrate as Iam totally self taught.. thank goodness for magazines…

    Comment by: Debbie J | April 15, 2008

    Beading is like solving a puzzle. I see the crime show more about solving the mystery of “Who did it?” The detective puts all the pieces together to make sense of it. When I finish a beading piece I celebrate because I have solved the puzzle of the design and form. The mystery is solved!

    Comment by: Christie K | April 15, 2008


    Comment by: Diane G | April 16, 2008

    I listen to Juanes!!, Pedro Aznar, Celtic Women, and lots of other types, the music depends on the mood.

    Comment by: Diana S | April 16, 2008

    How about Lucinda Williams and k.d. Lang? Definitely great ear candy for beading! K. Ihle

    Comment by: Kim I | April 16, 2008

    I love reading all the comments, its great fun finding out what other beaders do, I don’t know anyone who beads where I live there must be some one out there some where! Anyway, I like to bead to music too, usually the beatles, the proclaimers, or the radio. I do also bead while the tv is on, something comical is good. When my kids are in the bath, they are 6 and 7 years, I will sit and bead then too, in between singing bathtime songs!!! p.s what is dulcimer music?

    Comment by: samantha e | April 17, 2008

    I listen to audio books while I make jewelry or cook. It’s a great way to multi-task while you’re repeating the same bead pattern.

    Comment by: Amy F | April 17, 2008

    Since my real job is in the evenings, I tape shows that I like ( mostly mysteries) and that gives me the opportunity to do beading and catch up on tapes during the day. Beading and mystery shows both solve puzzles.

    Comment by: Wendy L | April 18, 2008

    My favorite thing is to listen to podcasts while beading, although I also like to “watch” TV while beading. Podcasts are great if I’m doing a project that’s a bit tedious–they keep my analytical part of my brain entertained while my creative part is delighting in the colors and patterns.

    Comment by: Ellen N | April 18, 2008

    As an avid beader, Van Morrison is my all time favorite to listen to. I never watch crime shows but do my work to rented movies or shows like Brothers and Sisters or Grey’s Anatomy

    Comment by: Christine S | April 26, 2008

    OMG!! i’m one of the those crazy people who yell at the TV during LAW&ORDER! i love football and normally ppl will yell at the TV while watching football but i yell at the TV during CSI and LAW&ORDER. and just in case you were wondering as much as i love the show they aren’t doing it right! tisktisk. i usally watch friends or scrubs while i bead! XD

    Comment by: roxie l | April 27, 2008

    If I’m listening to music when I bead, it’s my Sirius radio tuned to “Margaritaville” (Jimmy Buffett) and if my TV is on, it’s taped David Letterman Shows. Guess I just want to be on the beach or laughing when I bead. Kathy

    Comment by: Kathy C | April 28, 2008

  2. I love listening to dance music – Ministry of Sound or Gatecrasher compilations – so positive and upbeat! Beading is also a great time to catch up on TV dramas, the BBC news, comedy shows – anything that doesn’t take too much concentration. I do find it hard to follow things like Miss Marple mysteries though because you really do need to pay attention to the clues.

  3. I find the Moody Blues very good to bead or sculpt to. Also I agree with those who mentioned Yanni and Diane Krall. But I will also work to Chris Rea who does wonderful blues. Al Stewart also gets a lot of air time in my studio. I cant work with a TV on. But I also cant work without music of some kind.