How can you have a howling good time in music class? I've got some fun ideas for you to use that won't require tons of preparation. Just be prepared for some Howling Good Times! Not that I want my students howling, but I do want them to have a good time in music class. That requires a bit of vision on my part.
MUSIC CLASS HOWLING IDEA #1 PERFORM HALLOWEEN SONGS
At the beginning of October I will present the Halloween songs and chants from my curriculum. One thing that I like to do for Halloween music lessons is to have my students learn a whole bunch of songs and chants and then during the week of October and then I have them perform them for each other on the little stage in my classroom. You could have them perform in a circle or just in the front of the room. You can read about my curriculum in this post: “Halloween Music Class Tricks or Treats?” Students love to perform their creations. It’s a nice activity for the week of Halloween when spirits are high and teachers are sick of candy corn and chocolate- maybe?
MUSIC CLASS HOWLING IDEA #2 CREATIVE MOVEMENT
Creative movement activities are perfect for Halloween lessons. I use a variety of activities paired with thematic lessons. Scarves are wonderful to use this time of year. I ask my students to show me how the music sounds to them by using their scarf to express what they see and feel. This activity correlates with national standards that ask to Identify ideas and emotions that are expressed through music and other disciplines. I will have the students sit for a while, then stand and then sit to keep the wiggles out and keep them calm too. Sometimes I will have them work in small groups and create a story with their scarves that matches the music, then they get up and move. These can be wonderful lessons for expression and showing how music and mood work together.
I make a video of the movement activity using my music collection. I just use Windows Movie Maker which is a free program for PC.
Here are the basic steps to making a movie.
I put all of the slides into the movie file. I then create a beginning title and a "Rest" or "Freeze" title (if it's not already made as part of the activity.)
I then sequence the slides so that there is a nice flow to the activity and give the students different movements. For example; I'll have them "jump" and then do clapping, or stretching so that they don't get too tired.
Then add in transitions. I choose the same transition for the entire project. (This saves me time!)
Next I set each slide to play for about 15-20 seconds.
Then I add in each song. If the song is really long, I will shorten it and fade out.
Some music, song and piece selections I've used are:
Hector Berlioz- Symphonie Fantastique- Movements 4 and 5 (March to the Scaffold and Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath)
John Carpenter- "Halloween"
Frederic Chopin- Funeral March
Michael Jackson- "Thriller"
Camille Saint-Saens- "Danse Macabre"
Franz Schubert- "Der Erlkonig"Stephen Sondheim- "Sweeney Todd"
Lindsey Stirling- "Moon Trance"
Andrew Lloyd Webber- "Phantom of the Opera"
John Williams- "Jaws and Harry Potter"
Edvard Grieg "Peer Gynt Suite: In the Hall of the Mountain King"
Bach: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
MUSIC CLASS HOWLING IDEA #3 HALLOWEEN SONG SING-A-LONG
Students love to sing a long to YouTube videos. You can make a playlist and have them sit and sing for part of the class. Over at “O For Tuna Orff”, there’s some great ideas on Singing like a monster. "I love Halloween songs and music, but I'm always looking for ways to encourage solo singing. " Check it out here: HALLOWEEN SINGING ACTIVITY Sing Like a Monster is a blog post all about encouraging students to sing a solo. This activity really helps keep their energy focused and gives them a chance to shine. I do Music movement activities in between the little performances.
Old Mother Witch Game Song
10 Little Monsters
Shake Dem Halloween Bones-Good activity song for Kinder
5 Little Pumpkins
Cute and Funny Singing Pumpkins in a variety of musical styles
Scary songs by the Learning Station
Five Little Pumpkins Sitting on a Gate
If you’re interested, these are the HALLOWEEN RESOURCES at Sing Play Create.
What's especially nice about my resources is that you can project them and teach from the pages easily. They are sequenced and ready to use. For most of October we'll begin class with some "Howling" vocal warm ups using Monster Vocal Explorations.
One of my very favorites is this fun Rhythm Chant and Game.
For part of the class we'll play our rhythm instruments using this collection of activities.
This is a big hit in my classroom. I love it because the students have to look at the pictures, pay attention to the rhythms and play an instrument. They are totally "Howling"! You can find many of my Halloween resources bundled up for greater savings.
If it doesn't work out to do the performances, then I use my Halloween Brain Breaks activity cards with my Halloween playlist. Sometimes I have students two times in one week, and so I might pull out some listening activities-especially if students seem to be howling a bit too much!
Most of these lessons are perfect for Kinder-4th grade. BUT! I have included sheet music and orff arrangements in them so that you can have your upper elementary students play Halloween songs.
And Halloween Music class would not be totally Howling good fun if we didn't sing and play a familiar
favorite, “Skin and Bones”. Whether using the Orff arrangement, learning the
solfege or teaching Em on the guitar, you'll be able to use the cool video or the power
point to teach. Easy to print PDF files included. K-6 Lesson adaptations
You’ll find this 50+ page resource chock full of easy to use and easily adaptable materials-including a VIDEO-to be a welcome addition to your Halloween music lessons.
There are parts for sop & bass xylophone, wood block, triangle, and guitar. Each part is on a separate sheet with and without note names so that you can print and give to students for small group practice. All sheets are in color and part of the presentation and also in black and white for easy printing. The guitar teaching pages have the chord and how to strum.
The printable is an adaptable activity for filling in “spooky rhythms”-you can use it with any Halloween Lesson! The complete video is on YouTube for you to use.
Using a video to teach is a great way to keep students engaged. If you have a smartboard, you can control the video from the board. If not, you can use your computer and put a small group of students at it to practice their part while you work with the rest of the class. The video is divided into sections-singing, Note reading, Orff parts, Solfege and Guitar. Maximize your student’s learning experience with this innovative tech tool. If you're interested, I have a MONTHLY MUSIC CLASS HALLOWEEN BUNDLE of Resources.
Looking for more Halloween Music Class Lessons? You might enjoy: Halloween Music Class Tricks or Treats?
What are your favorite Halloween Lessons? Like this post? Please Share!
Wow! Did September go by quickly or what? I'm so glad we're having cooler temperatures, aren't you? Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the changing colors and all the fun things you can do outside--biking, hiking, and just walking without the summer sun beating down. Hopefully you're enjoying some cooler temperatures too. I'm sure the students are happy to be able to run around during recess without breaking into a sweat. So, that's why I begin integrating more creative movement activities in my music class lessons. Fall themed songs are perfect for students to "fall", "drift", "blow", "slide", sing and play instruments in fall music lessons.
There are many songs about fall and leaves falling, but I thought I'd put one together with a twist. Children love stories, action and instrument playing, so I combined these three elements into a music class lesson with an original song. "Leaves are Falling All Around". Not only can the children tap the beat, sing the solfa, the lyrics and play instruments, but they can do the activity and also improvise some rhythm patterns.
I love to watch the children pretend to be falling leaves as they sing the song and at the end of the song, improvise a rhythm pattern that's supposed to mimic the sound of "falling leaves".
How do we get there? I feel like it's important for students to feel, hear, and see visual representations of long and short.
LONG AND SHORT SOUNDS & MOVEMENT ACTIVITIES
LONG: “ah….” and “shhhhhhhh,”, “whoooooosh”
SHORT: clicking, “bbbb”, “kkkk”, “st, st, st, st,”, “sh, sh, sh, sh” pop, stop, drop, plop, pit, pat,
LONG: sway, glide, arcs above and around the body, whole body down and up
SHORT: flicking, rolling, skip, tip-toe, marching, clapping, snapping, patting
LONG: xylophone, glockenspiel, chimes, slide whistle, triangle, cymbals
SHORT: drum, wood block, rhythm sticks
With Kindergartner’s and First Graders we gather in a circle. I will stand in the middle of the circle and begin to move my branches. I ask the students to copy me. Then I ask for some students to be my leaves. I will ask a few to come inside the circle and I will ask them to make sounds and movements of leaves falling on the ground. (I ask everyone to make the sounds). What if the wind is whipping fast? How would the leaves sound and move? What if it’s a gentle breeze? A storm?
I encourage them to make long and short sounds with sounds and their bodies. (You may need more pre-practice with this activity) (And- no ghostly sounds).
Then I ask students to take my place as the "tree" and switch out the "leaves". After singing the song and experiencing long and short sounds we add instruments and connect to patterns.
Finally, I will have the play an Ostinato and a Steady Beat part while they sing. Then during the improvisation part of the song, they get to choose what and how to play.
EASY TO ADAPT K-2
I also think this is a nice lesson to teach across several grades. I think Pre-Kinders will love playing as leaves falling from the tree, patting the beat and experiencing LONG and SHORT sounds. Kinders will love to sing and do the activities too, First graders will sing and work on "la", second graders can work on the rhythms, and third graders will enjoy the improvisation. Of course, this depends all on your students and your classroom situation. What's nice about this resource is that it's so adaptable for K-3. That way you can use it the way you need to for your curriculum needs.
And, if you still need some steady beat practice. You may want to check out this blog post that has 5 ways to teach the steady beat. It's full of free lesson examples, graphics and links to teach a whole unit on the steady beat.
CONNECT WITH LITERACY
I love connecting literacy with music and this book would be a nice addition to singing fall songs.
"Leaves" by David Ezra Stein
Here is a nice reading of the book if you don't have it---
After singing the song and reading the book, I would have the students experiment with some creative movement. I'd ask them to show me how a leaf falls to the ground. If anyone falls with a thud (which I know they will do).... I'd ask the class "what kinds of sounds do leaves make when they fall to the ground?) This would be a gentle reminder that leaves do not "thud".
CONNECT WITH FALL SONGS
I love this gentle song and the video graphics. It shows falling leaves-which is important for the students to see, especially if they have not experienced the fall season.
CREATE THE MOOD
I think that "Leaves are Falling All Around" is a nice addition to some of my tried and true fall classics. It will work nicely with Rain, Rain Go Away, Doggie, Doggie Where's Your Bone, and I Had a Dog. If you're interested, you can find these resources in my store. The links are below.
If you like these lesson ideas you can share this post here:
INSTAGRAM AND FACEBOOK