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Why, hello there October! October is a fun time in the music room, because this is when things get spooky. Even though I don’t typically do “Halloween” lessons, this time of year, I tend to pull out some pieces in minor keys, and just more spooky ones. Here are some of my favorite Halloween listening pieces for the elementary music room!
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Fairies and Giants
First off, a non-spooky Halloween listening lessons option, Fairies and Giants. I use this one in kindergarten and first grade music lessons to learn about high and low.
Note: I cheat and call it fairies and monsters, because it fits the lesson better. (I want them to imagine the high and low.)
We listen to the piece, and stand on our tip toes and fly like a a fairy (or bird or dragon…) on the high parts. On the lower parters, we scrunch down low and stomp around making mean monster faces. On the medium parts, we conduct the orchestra.
This is such a fun activity that I’ve had kids request it in the spring.
Plus, the mean monster faces is hilarious to watch.
In the Hall of the Mountain King
The OG of Halloween listening lessons is In the Hall of the Mountain King. There’s a ton of things that I do with this piece (I use it in every grade, every year), but here’s a few options:
- Walk to the beat
- Use an egg shaker to keep the beat
- Play the rhythm with rhythm sticks
- Learn about tempo
- Conducting activiy
And you can get the in the Hall of the Mountain King lesson pack, which includes rhythm play alongs for half note and more activities in my TPT shop!
To be honest, I don’t have anything super cool to add to Erlkonig. It’s just a cool piece. We typically listen and draw what it makes us think of.
Im herst by Robert Franz is a lesser known Halloween listening lesson, but I’ve loved it ever since I sang it in college. It’s spooky and vibey and has these really fun passages where it goes up and down.
We use this one to trace the melody with scarves, and do a writing activity (usually with third grade) focusing on how the music sounds.
And last but not least, Hedwig’s Theme by John Williams. I use this with the younger students (K-2) to talk about high and low, and we use scarves to trace the melody.
Can you tell I’m always working on high and low at this time of year?
What are your favorite Halloween listening lessons for the music room? My honorable mentions would include Aquarium from Carnival of the Animals (the kids always say it’s creepy!) and Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain.
Need more lessons? Check out In the Hall of the Mountain King here!
Need Halloween lessons? Find my favorite Halloween music lessons here.