Using Halloween songs with your music classes is fun for both you and your students. This year celebrate the spooky season in music class with these five fun ways to use Halloween songs! Here are five fun music lesson ideas to get you started.
Halloween Songs Lesson Ideas
Halloween Songs – Spooky Solfege Scales
Have students sing traditional major and minor scales, but with a twist! For each scale degree, assign a different spooky sound effect (hissing for the tonic, creaking for the submediant, etc.). Students can solfege their way up and down the scales while making spooky noises.
The first time you try this lesson idea with your students, as a class decide on what sound you will use for each note of the scale. Practice them using a variety of melodic patterns. Then, once your students are confident. Have them break into small groups and create their own set of spooky sounds for the scale. They could even try singing their favorite Halloween song using the spooky sounds instead of the lyrics!
Try using the famous Halloween song composed by Camille Saint-Saens’ “Danse Macabre” as the basis for a dance routine. For this music lesson idea encourage your students to try using haunting moves and gestures. Students could work in groups and then perform the routine for the class or film it and share it online.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Another great way to use a variety of Halloween songs is to have students adapt Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” into a short play or skit. For this Halloween lesson activity, have students research and incorporate Halloween songs into the performance as background music or have students create their own compositions to go along with the action.
A Haunting Canvas with Halloween Songs
Create a spooky masterpiece. Using black construction paper and white paint, have students paint ghostly images. While your students are being creative, have some Halloween songs playing in the background as they work. When they’re finished, hang all the paintings up around the classroom or school for everyone to enjoy.
Halloween Song Analysis
For your older music students, try using a Halloween song to listen to and analyze using the Elements of Music. One way to do this would be to have students work in small groups, and each group works on a different Element of Music.
To complete the analysis, try using the Elements of Music Mind Maps, and get students to write information on the mind maps as they listen to the music. Make sure to play the Halloween song a few times to help students really focus and listen to the music.
Once they have completed their analysis, you could ask students to discuss their analysis with the class OR have each group rotate and read each of the completed Mind Maps while you play the song again.
As an extension of this Halloween music lesson activity, ask your students to choose one of the Elements of Music and write a paragraph.
Halloween Songs to Use in Class
Some Halloween songs to use with your classes with these lesson ideas are listed below.
- “I’m a Little Pumpkin” – This adorable song is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. It’s super easy to learn and sing, and it’s just the right amount of silly. Plus, who doesn’t love puppets?
- “The Skeleton Dance” – This classic Halloween song is a great way to get your students up and moving. The simple lyrics and catchy tune make it easy to learn, and the creepy skeletal illustrations are sure to get your students in the Halloween spirit!
- “Five Little Pumpkins” – This cumulative tale is a great way to introduce or review numbers with your students. The trick-or-treat theme makes it perfect for October, and the repetitive nature of the song makes it easy to learn and sing along to.
- “Mr. Bones” – This song is perfect for older elementary students who are looking for something a little more challenging. With multiple parts to sing and a variety of instruments to play, this song will keep your students engaged and entertained. Plus, they’ll love showing off their spooky dance moves!
- “Halloween Is Coming” – This original Halloweentown anthem is sure to get stuck in your students’ heads! The simple melody and repetitive lyrics make it easy to learn, and the kids will love belting out the catchy chorus.
- “This Is Halloween” – What would a Halloween music playlist be without this classic? This haunting tune from Danny Elfman’s Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack is perfect for setting the mood in your classroom (just be careful not to scare your youngest students!).
- “Ghost Busters Theme Song” – Who ya gonna call? Ghost Busters! This timeless tune is perfect for getting your students’ toes tapping (and maybe even inspiring a few costume ideas!).
- “Monster Mash” – No Halloween playlist would be complete without this iconic party song! The vintage feel is perfect for setting the mood, and the kids will love singing along (and doing the Monster Mash!)
- “Werewolves of London” – This quirky tune is perfect for older elementary students who are looking for something a little different. With its fast tempo and tongue-twister lyrics, this song will keep your students challenged and engaged throughout the whole lesson.
- “A witch went riding on her broomstick one day…” – You can’t have a Halloween music playlist without at least one witchy tune! This fun (and slightly silly) song is perfect for helping young children practice following directions, as they clap along, stomp their feet, and wave their arms about!
Halloween is such a fun time of year, and there are so many great ways to incorporate Halloween songs into music classes! These are just a few ideas to get you started. How do you use Halloween songs in your music classes? Share your ideas with us in the comments below!
Until next time
Julia from Jooya