Ten Tricks and Treats for Halloween in the Music Room

Ten tricks and treats for Halloween in the music room: ten fun activities to try in your elementary music lessons!
Today, I'm blogging about ten tricks or treats for the music room…ten ways to integrate Halloween into your music lessons while engaging your students and improving their musicianship!

#1: Skin and Bones

This is truly one of my favorite folk songs for Halloween! Here is the notation:

This is a call/response song, with the first part being the call, and the “ooo” part being the response. Here are the additional verses:

  • She lived down by the old graveyard, ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo!
  • One night she thought she'd take a walk, ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo!
  • She walked down by the old graveyard, ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo!
  • She saw some bones a layin' around, ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo!
  • She went to the closet to get a broom, ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo!
  • She opened the door and BOO!

I learned a great game from my former colleague Jenna that my students love:  students lay on the ground with their eyes closed. As you sing, tap two students, who then go and hide! The rest of the students have to figure out who is missing.

A really wonderful way to extend understanding of the song is to use this set from David Row at Make Moments Matter:

I love all of David's favorite folk song sets…they are such a great way to bring a song to life!

#2: Halloween rhythm writing

If you love the dollar section at Target as much as I do, you'll appreciate this post by Amy Abbott about rhythm writing in the music room (click on the picture to read):

Ten tricks and treats for Halloween in the music room: ten fun activities to try in your elementary music lessons!

Amy also has these fun beat strips to practice rhythm during Halloween!

#3: Miss White

One of my favorite chants to use during Halloween is “Miss White”:

Check out this freebie by Emily F to practice ta and ti-ti (please note that her version starts with “Missus” instead of “Miss,” so there is a ti-ti at the beginning.

#4: Ghostie Dance

If you've ever bought any of Linda McPherson's games, you know how fun they are…and how much kids love them! This ghostie dance game is such a great way to practice and assess re!

#5: Brain breaks

A great way to integrate Halloween into your music lessons is to play freeze dance to some ghoulish music, like “Monster Mash,” “Thriller,” or “In the Hall of the Mountain King”! This file by I Heart Teaching Music is such a fun way to play freeze dance with your favorite piece of Halloween music!

#6: Listening lessons

…Which brings me to my next point: There are SO many great pieces of music to listen to this time of year! Check out this blog post about Halloween listening lessons in the music room. Here are some great sets to bring classical music into your Halloween music lessons:

#7: Bulletin boards

If you're looking for a cute way to bring Halloween into your music room decor, Tracy King's bulletin boards are always a hit! Check out her Halloween lines and spaces bulletin board:

#8: Vocal exploration

Halloween is such a great time for vocal exploration! At a book fair a few years ago, I found this wonderful little book:
As I read the book, I have students make their voices go high and low with their voices, like the ghosts, and also have them yell “Boo” in their head voices.
Check out this blog post for more ideas for vocal exploration during Halloween.

#9: Melodic and rhythmic practice

If you're looking to practice melodic and rhythmic concepts during Halloween, using songs students are singing this time of year (like “Naughty Kitty Cat” and “Pumpkin, Pumpkin, Round and Fat,”) check out this fun worksheet set by Lindsay Jervis:

#10: Halloween lesson plans

Many years, I've created an entire lesson plan for each grade level revolving around Halloween. For example, with 1st grade, we can do “Miss White,” explore our voices like ghosts, read “Ghosts in the House,” keep the beat to “In the hall of the mountain king,” and more! If you're looking for lesson plans that are already created, check out this set, which could work for any music teacher or for a sub!
What are your favorite songs and activities for Halloween? Feel free to comment below, and happy teaching!

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