Halloween Music Class: Tricks or Treats?

Halloween Music Class: Tricks or Treats?
  Teach? Learn? Seriously? In October? Is that a trick or a treat? Halloween Music Class Lessons can be the “trickiest” ones to pull off.  It’s hard to “teach” anything in music class with all the sugar in the air, but I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve that I hope will help keep Halloween music class full of treats and on track throughout the month of October. Since I only see students once a week for music class, it’s super important to me to continue teaching even though everyone might think we’re just having fun in the music room. And of course, the students think we are having fun! That’s the “trick” part in the Halloween music class lesson planning. The treat is that my students will still be learning music concepts throughout the month of October and during those “tricky” music classes.

TRICK #1 STREAMLINE LESSON PLANNING

Every year I tweak my lesson plans, but here’s a simple outline of some of the Halloween Music Activities I’ll be teaching this year.

GRADE CONCEPT LESSON MATERIALS
KINDERGARTEN Steady Beat Pumpkin, Pumpkin

Halloween Worksheets

Freeze Dance

FIRST GRADE so mi

quarter and eighth notes

“Old Mother Witch”

“The Black Cat”

Halloween Rhythm and Instrument Activities

Halloween Worksheets

Freeze Dance

SECOND GRADE so mi la

quarter, eighth, half notes

quarter rest

“The Black Cat”

“Old Mother Witch”

Review “Old Mother Witch” with an emphasis on the half notes and quarter notes.

Halloween Rhythm and Instrument Activities

 

Halloween Worksheets

Freeze Dance

THIRD GRADE Reading tiri-tiri or tika-tika

 

 

Pumpkin, Pumpkin”

“Skin and Bones” on xylophones

Halloween Rhythm and Instrument Activities

 

Halloween Worksheets

Freeze Dance

FOURTH GRADE : RECORDERS

B-A-G

BAG “Spooky Ghouls”, “GGGGHOST” “AH A

Spooky Chants

Halloween Worksheets

Freeze Dance

FIFTH GRADE UKULELE- EM CHORD “Skin and Bones” Em Chord
SIXTH GRADE: GUITAR-EM CHORD “Hey Ho, Nobody Home”

“Skin and Bones” Em Chord

 I’ve got a special set of activities that I’ll be using in my Halloween music class lessons in October. Since my school holds it’s October Break during that month and also parent-teacher conferences, I’ve found that it’s better for students and teachers to keep lessons simplified and easy to manage. So I created a set of songs that I can use in multiple grades on different instruments and lessons.

I specifically made it to help students learn to play G-A-B on the Recorder, color note instruments, and in my guitar and ukulele courses. They’ll learn Dm and Em chords during the month of October. The songs are each 8 bars long and meant to be short songs for student’s to easily achieve success and build confidence to play more advanced materials. Use this resource to practice G-A-B on color note tubes, xylophones, keyboards, recorders, ukulele and guitar. Try using the different options in Centers or Stations. Color note pages are placed at the beginning of the file for easy printing.

RESOURCE INCLUDES:

1- Practice pages for G-A-B in color and black and white.

2- 5 Songs to practice G-A-B in color and black and white. Each with notes labeled and unlabeled. (2 for G, 1 with all three notes G-A-B)

3- Each song with Ukulele Chord picture and strumming idea.

4- Each song with Guitar Chord picture and strumming idea.

5- TEACHING TIPS and NOTE VALUE, COLOR NOTES ON THE STAFF TEACHING PAGE

CONCEPTS:

Recorder notes B-A-G

Notes on the Staff B-A-G

Ukulele Chords: Dm and Em

Guitar Chords: Dm and Em

RHYTHMS:

Quarter, Eighth, Sixteenth, Dotted Quarter, Half, Dotted Half, Whole Notes

Quarter Rest

I’m super excited about this set of songs for Halloween music class lessons, because it will be an easy way to streamline some of my lessons by using the same songs and materials across several grade levels. And, it provides opportunities to diversify lessons to enable all students to learn to identify and play G-A-B.

If you’d like a copy of the complete resource, you can can get a free copy by subscribing to my RESOURCE LIBRARY. Each month I add in more resources to help you with your day to day task of planning and executing music class lessons. Or you can find it in my store for sale!

TRICK #2 USING ACTIVITIES TO TEACH

I love this old favorite Halloween music class lesson, “Old Mother Witch”. I came up with a bit different way to teach the song that you might want to try.  I gather students in a circle. I’ve hidden a penny somewhere in the room already. So I pull on a witch’s hat and walk around the circle singing on ooo on so and mi-following the line of the melody. Then I sing the song again walking in and out of the circle and pointing at the children. I love to add a little drama– I let the children answer the question honestly. I want to see if they will sing naturally on so-mi. Next I might ask the children to tell me a way we could change our voices so that when the answer is “yes” is sounds one way and when it is “no” it sounds differently. Hopefully they will recognize that “no” will be more speaking than singing-if not, I’ll guide them by experimenting with both voices. Once we’ve figured that out, I’ll ask if one of them might want to be the witch? I’ll continue playing the game. I then use my visuals to show the notes and ask students to show the signs as they sing. Sometimes I’ll focus on the quarter rest because I want the students to learn that music concept. So I have a dramatic “move” I use on the rest. It might be me posing with my arms out wide-or pointing at a child-whatever I use, I then connect the pose back to the music. Such a fun way to learn music concepts!

CONCEPTS:

So mi

Half Notes

Quarter Note

Quarter Rest

Eighth Notes

GAME DIRECTIONS

I’ve twisted the game directions just a bit. You’ll need some pennies to play the game.  Students stand in a circle. The witch stands in the middle. As the students sing the song the witch pretends to fall and pick up a penny. Ask the witch to sing “Are you my children?” and the students to respond. After we learn the game, I let the students choose their answers. The witch will approach one student to answer. The goal is to have the students sing solo on so-mi. This gives me an opportunity to assess their ability to sing on pitch.

The student responds “yes, or no”. If the student responds “yes”, then they join the witch in the middle of the circle and become another witch. Each time the song is sung there are more and more witches in the middle who are asking more students to be a “child” of the witch. In some classes, no one wants to be the witch, so I let the witch have two turns of singing and asking, then I ask her to spin around with eyes closed during the last time of “are you my children” and point to someone who then becomes the next witch.

If you’d like a copy of this Halloween Music Class resource, you can can get a free copy by subscribing to my RESOURCE LIBRARY. Each month I add in more resources to help you with your day to day task of planning and executing music class lessons.

TRICK #3 HAVE FUN!

I think “having fun” during Halloween Music Class lessons can vary from teacher to teacher. For me, having fun is when the students are engaged and don’t want to leave music. I also think that when I’m having fun, the time flies by quicker. For me, having fun does begin with a plan and well executed lessons. If I’m confident in my plan, the students sense this confidence and it does flow better. Having fun to me though is NOT breaking the rules and letting everything get too crazy. But, I will jump in and dance, play the games, sing, wear costumes, talk like a wicked old witch, get out the props, set up the instruments and try to maintain a positive attitude. I’d love to hear some ways you have “fun” in your music room. If you’re looking for more Halloween Lesson Ideas, you may want to read: “How to Have a Howling Good Time in Music Class”, “Halloween Sing-A-Long”  and “How to Manage Monsters in the Music Room”. 

 

If you like to have students playing instruments in Music Class you may want to check out this Top Selling Resource:

Halloween Rhythm and Composition Activities with Instruments
These activities are perfect for Halloween and keep students learning music concepts. Although the rhythms are easy-playing the instruments is a bit more difficult-so even my 4th graders will get into this one. (I have plans to make an upper elementary version) My students are listening to the beat, playing rhythms and reading out loud. It’s a great literacy/music activity!
Depending on when Halloween comes during the week, I might have a class time where I want to do creative movement and a writing/coloring activity. I know that the students get really wired from all the Halloween activities-and so sometimes a SUPER SILENT ACTIVITY -SSA (not sheet music) is required. I’ll play some spooky musical selections as my students color. I choose from the selections I’ve included in the scarf or Brain Break activity above.  I like to talk about the pictures first and discuss what they are coloring. At the end of class I do what I call and “Art Walk”. The students stand in a circle and hold their pictures in front of me. I can’t do the art walk with any talking! I walk around the circle and compliment each student’s work. They love to show me their pictures! I also like my students to be able to go home and “tell” others what they learned in music class. So I have them echo me…”today I learned about…it was fun because….I listened to….” and other sentences to help them talk about their music class experiences. I am my only music education advocate-and so I enlist the help of my students to spread the good word!
Halloween and Fall Music Class Listening and Coloring Gly
No matter what I choose to use as my October lessons-I try to keep a balance between learning and fun!
It’s a good time to review the rules, maybe have a little competition between classes for the “best” Halloween class time, and bring out a little drama. What are your go to lessons? How do you deal with the “tricks?”
And don’t forget to subscribe to my monthly newsletter-I’ve got creative and useful music lessons coming your way.
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