How are you planning to spend your Halloween music classes? 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 (and to learn something too)! That requires a bit of planning and expectations for student learning and behavior. So here are some ideas on how to have a howling good time in music class.
MUSIC CLASS HOWLING IDEA #1: PERFORM HALLOWEEN SONGS
The holidays can be the most challenging times in the music classroom. Everyone is excited! However, I still need my students to be preparing for concerts, learning skills, and following classroom rules. So here are some ideas on how to have a howling good time in music class. At the beginning of October, I present the Halloween songs and chants from my curriculum. One thing that I like to do for Halloween music lessons is have my students learn a whole bunch of songs and chants. Then, during the week of Halloween, I have them perform them for each other on the little stage in my classroom.
IDEAS ON HOW TO SET UP PERFORMANCES
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.
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 scarves to express what they see and feel. This activity correlates with national standards that ask students to identify ideas and emotions that are expressed through music and other disciplines.
Mix Up Your Class Activities for Maximum Engagement
I will have the students sit for a while, then stand, and then sit to keep the wiggles out and keep them calm. Sometimes I 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.
How I Organize My Creative Movement Activities
- I make a video of the movement activity using my music collection. I use Windows Movie Maker, which is a free program for the PC.
- 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 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.
- I then add in transitions. I choose the same transition for the entire project. (This saves me time!)
- I set each slide to play for about 15-20 seconds.
- I then 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
- 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 are some great ideas on singing like a monster. Check it out here: HALLOWEEN SINGING ACTIVITY. Her 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.
Here’s My Halloween Playlist
Old Mother Witch Game Song
10 Little Monsters
Shake Dem Halloween Bones (Good activity song for Kinder)
Five Little Pumpkins
Cute and Funny Singing Pumpkins in a variety of musical styles
Scary songs by the Learning Station
MUSIC CLASS HOWLING IDEA #4: CHECK OUT THESE HALLOWEEN RESOURCES
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.
Another of my very favorites is this fun Rhythm Chant and Game.
Halloween Rhythm Activities 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.
Your students will definitely love this RAP! “The Black Cat.” I have it on my YouTube Channel too!
You might want to consider my Halloween Music Lesson Bundle. This lesson bundle gives you the resources to teach Halloween themed lessons for grades K-3, including “OLD MOTHER WITCH,” “PUMPKIN, PUMPKIN,” “THE BLACK CAT” and VOCAL EXPLORATIONS WITH MONSTERS.
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! Links to all of these types of activities are listed below. Just click on the graphics!
Most of these lessons are perfect for Kinder through 4th grade.
Finally, 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 PowerPoint to teach. Easy to print PDF files and K-6 Lesson adaptations are included.
You can use the YouTube video for free.
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 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 students’ learning experience with this innovative tech tool.
If you’re interested, I have a MUSIC CLASS HALLOWEEN MEGA BUNDLE of resources. With this bundle, you’ll be covered for all your grade levels with interactive activities for the month of October. No more searching for something to do!
Looking for more Halloween music class lessons? You might enjoy some of my other Halloween themed blog posts. Just click on the graphics below.
What are some of your favorite Halloween lessons?
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