Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Happy Falloween!

See the title? Yup, I was tossed- what to name this post? 

Seriously, so much fun, so many songs, so much wonderful symphonic music (Danse Macabre, Night on Bald Mountain, In the Hall of the Mountain King, etc.) and so little time!
Here are a few favorites:

1.  Pass the Pumpkin,

(Click on the title) I think I have emailed the pdf to at least 500 people.. so far. This song is in minor, and has the words, "spooky", and "boo", but other than that, it does not reference Halloween. Teachers love the iconic to actual rhythmic representation (little pumpkins that have stems like rhythmic quarter and eighth notes) and the students love the game and rotation activity with instruments.

2. Apple Tree 

A wonderful SLM song, with a super-exciting-giggles-galore game! 

3.  Creepy Crawly Spider

Perfect for those schools (or teachers) that don't want to use Halloween songs, this song and accompanying activity makes a spiders web you can dance with! My first graders, who study spiders and bats, LOVE this song and the activity!

4.  Black Snake

This is a HUGE hit with my students!  They would play this all year long if I let them! 


  •  Choose a "hider" and a "seeker".  The hider has a black rubber snake (thank you, Dollar Tree) which the kids love.  The seeker goes outside the door or covers eyes, the hider hides the snake somewhere in the room with a wee little bit of tail sticking out.  In my room, the hider goes to get the seeker, who then comes back in the room while the children begin to sing the song at a pianissimo level, when seeker gets close to where snake is, students sing louder and louder until the snake is found.  GREAT for reinforcing dynamics!  We play that the seeker (who found the snake) gives the snake to the next hider and the former hider chooses the new seeker and everyone gets ONE job to do (not both). 

  • Another way to play is to have one student hide in the room while all others close eyes.  This person is the "snake". When ready, all other students walk or march around the room past the “snake’s” hiding place until the snake runs out to tag someone who becomes the new snake.

5.  Leaf Man

This is a wonderful book by Lois Ehlert and I love the activity that goes with it.

6.  Pumpkins and Ghosts Game

You know those games and activities you create and then don't get to them for a year or two?  I just got this out last week and played it with my first graders and I forgot how much they loved this simple yet oh-so-effective game that helps them to decode eighth and quarter notes and also gets them writing notes in a teamwork configured game.


7.  Fall Rhythms

Another one I don't always get to but that my students really enjoy!

8.  Sing Me A Monster

I love this activity and it's perfect for creating a non-threatening solo singing experience.  Also great for working on adjectives!
Pair this with the book, "If You're a Monster and You Know It" to the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It" and the kids will be growling, snarling, and singing!  Get the book here from Amazon.com.
While you are at Amazon, also check out Glad Monster, Sad Monster by the same authors! I just ordered it and am wondering how I can work in experiences with mood, timbre, and major and minor tonality!


9.  Sixteenth Note Halloween Rhythmic Cards

SO much fun for your older students.  There are many sets of cards, click the link above for more.

10.  Skin and Bones

It wouldn't be Halloween if my fourth graders (oldest grade I teach) didn't perform this for each classroom teacher (and they still play along and get "scared" each time.  Students learn a simple orchestration and we add props and characters, even have someone hiding in another room (the closet) with a broom who jumps out at the end and scares the "old woman" who is always played by a very willing teacher!  The kids BEG to do it again!
Here is a sample of the pdf- email me at musicquilt@ Hotmail.com for any of these visuals. I am happy to share! :)  Have fun!


  1. You are so talented! These ideas look not only fun but so packed with great teaching. Thanks for sharing and providing for free.

    1. You are most welcome.. this is what we are all supposed to do- share! :)


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