(PUMPKIN) SPICE UP YOUR MUSIC LESSONS WITH THESE CREATIVE HALLOWEEN MUSIC ACTIVITIES
The winter holidays are known for their extensive song catalog, with iconic tunes like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Dreidel Song, and Auld Lang Syne. Other holidays though, like Halloween, are also a rich time for creativity and music, as shown with our teaching tips and creative Halloween music activities shared here.
Creativity, and helping music students discover and build it, is the keystone principal of the Meridee Winters Method. Our method and materials are purposefully playful; they’re fun and imaginative, yet build musical skills while engaging higher-level thinking and creativity. We invite you to check out the creative Halloween music activities below, download our free Halloween songs (with bonus duets!), and to explore our other Meridee Winters Music Method books and activities to make music lessons creative, successful and special all year round. Here are some ways to (pumpkin) spice up your Halloween music lessons:
Halloween Activity 1: Learn one of our free Halloween parodies, or create your own!
This creative Halloween music activity will create some great musical memories. We’ve always advocated for students of our method to put their own creative spins on the songs they learn. Creating your own Halloween parody is an excellent example of this. Take a simple existing song (“little kid” songs in C position are great for this), move it down three steps to its relative minor key and play! (For example, move a C position song down to A and play the same fingering as written.) For extra fun, re-write the lyrics to match – the sillier the better. We’ve created a few of these to share with you, so be sure to download our free Halloween songs, “Jingle Bats” and “Mary Had a Little Ghost.”
Halloween Activity 2: Minor Tunes are Dramatic and Fun
Songs don’t have to be specifically about Halloween to still capture the Halloween spirit. In fact, if you have a tune with a strong melody in a minor key, chances are it’ll feel perfectly spooky. Bach’s “Toccata in D Minor”, Grieg’s “In the Hall Of the Mountain King,” or modern tunes like John Williams’s “Hedwig’s Theme” are always crowd-pleasers. Make this a more creative Halloween music activity by creating your own spin on the tune. Add your own intro or outro, create lyrics, or try one of the other suggestions from Meridee Winters Imagination Theater to make it uniquely yours.
Halloween Activity 3: Create Your Own Halloween Music
Composing your own song is a creative Halloween music activity that allows you to play something unique and reinforces musical knowledge. Even better (and what many don’t realize) is that it doesn’t have to be a laborious process. Students using Meridee’s Chord Master Series or Chord Crash Course books can choose a minor or lydian chord progression from their book and pair it with an accompaniment pattern (arpeggios, fifths, etc.) also from the book. Repeat this process to add another section, or improvise some Halloween lyrics. (This can be as simple or as involved as you’d like.) Abracadabra – you have your own enchanted song in less than half a lesson.
We hope these creative Halloween music activities and songs have you excited for this whimsical holiday. Visit our blog for year-round tips on how to have creative, fulfilling music lessons.
Enjoy, and have a magical, musical Halloween!
About Meridee Winters:
Meridee Winters is a professional educator, musician, author and director/owner of a successful Philadelphia area music school.
Meridee began her journey as an educator teaching elementary students in a Florida public school, where she discovered the curriculum and school system left little room for divergence and creativity. She made the bold decision to leave and attend graduate school to study Music Composition, eventually starting her own private music school.
Today, that school has spent two decades introducing thousands of students to not just music, but to Meridee’s trailblazing method that encourages creativity, play and higher-level thinking with each lesson.
As a composer and professional musician, Meridee has instructed at all levels – from professional recording artists working on albums to computer music classes in the recording studio, and from young beginners taking their first steps on their musical path to intermediate students writing their first songs.
Meridee is a dedicated advocate of creative intelligence whose foremost passion is empowering creative and authentic self-expression in each individual. She now spends her time developing new materials and books to nurture these. She does her work as an author, as well as director of the school, from her home in Delaware County, PA.
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