It’s no secret around here that we are a little obsessed with Halloween. Luckily we’re not the only music education site that is!
We’ve rounded up posts from some of our kindred “spirits” who love the festivities of Halloween as much as we do and have created plenty of eerie exercises for children to practice their ear training and rhythmic skills.
Halloween Ear Training Videos for Kids
Teaching Children Music has recently created some great videos to help teach your child ear training. In the video “Catch the Pumpkin”, have your child listen to the four-note phrases (the notes will be either stepping or skipping) and see if they can figure out on which note was the pumpkin:
Then see if they can find where the ghost was hiding in “Catch the Ghost”.
They also have a Halloween-themed rhythm game with witches and cauldrons, where witches equal quarter notes and cauldrons equal eighths notes. Your children can train their ears and make up some fun chants!
An Excuse to Go to Target
Do you love the dollar section at Target? Try these ten “tricks and treats” from Mrs Miracle’s Music Room and now you have an excuse to go! (As if you needed one…)
She’s rounded up some great ideas from around the web to help you creatively integrate Halloween into your music classroom. From Halloween folk songs to lessons plans, these ideas will engage your students and help them improve their musicianship at the same time.
An Excuse to Stay at Target
Wait! Before you leave the Target dollar section for that Halloween candy, have a look at these Halloween-inspired ideas from Lindsay Jervis of Kodály Inspired Classroom. If you grab some Halloween-themed erasers and cut-outs, you can create some monster manipulatives, which are hands-on objects that help your students to perceive mathematical concepts.
It’s okay, we’ll wait for you to check out…
Okay. ready? Let’s continue…
“Boo” Rhythm and Other Music Games for Halloween
Jennifer Foxx at Music Educator Resources just might love Halloween as much as we do! (Check out her Lucille Ball costume!)
As the weather cools down it’s a great time to kick off some fall festival performances, too! Jennifer shared some of her favorite activities that she likes to do with her students at Halloween, such as “Boo” rhythm and other musical and composition games, which are great for learning music in between performances.
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – to Teach Music
According to Maria at Music Teaching and Parenting, October is a great time to teach music in school because students have built up practice and skills. The festivities of Halloween also provide an opportunity to get creative and change the pacing of lessons by having lots of fun activities.
For those of you who teach in an orchestra classroom, have a look at some of the activities that Maria uses to pumpkin-spice up her classroom. From posture to “special effects” techniques, there is something here for students of all ages.
Everyone Likes Candy Corn!
Okay, not everyone likes candy corn, but it makes for a great Halloween game! The National Association for Music Education has this great roundup of Halloween musical activities, from candy corn rhythm and dynamics exercises to Halloween songs and poems. There are also links to Halloween-themed printed sheet music available. Use these – if you dare!
“Halloween Night When the Witches Run”
Let’s Play Music always has great music learning resources for children and Halloween time is not exception!
Kids love to make noise, right? Here’s a great opportunity for them to be noisy and creative at the same time. The sound poem “Halloween Night When the Witches Run” is a on old poem to which they have added verses. Let your children read along and make up scary sounds as they go.
Pass the Pumpkin, Please!
For many teachers, Halloween-related words and images are not allowed in the classroom, but it is possible to have fall-related activities that skirt around the issue.
The Orff Schulwerk music teachin’ blog “O For Tuna” (get it?) has a lot of great fall-inspired music activities. Here, they share their favorite fall-themed game, “Pass the Pumpkin” song/ activity. Check out the slides for instructions.
Any time of year is a great time to teach your children and students ear training and rhythm skills, but at Halloween they will be far enough along into the year to have practiced, but not yet worn out. Plus the fun, endless creativity associated with Halloween and fall in general is a great excuse to shake things up in the classroom and give your students a chance to be little monsters while learning music at the same time.
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