It’s the time of year once again when the season begins to change its tune from the hot, dry Summer to the cool, crisp feeling of Fall! It’s the time when the spirit of Halloween takes hold, and with it comes the scary movies, candy and spooky activities we all know and love. As everyone else gets ready for the tricks and treats of the season, why not bring some of the fun to your music school?
Planning Halloween-themed activities for your music students adds an exciting element of fun to your lessons but also offers opportunities to explore new music in a creative and engaging way! If you want to plan some spooky activities for your students, you’re in the right place. Read on for our top Halloween-inspired music school activity ideas that are a real scream!
Spooky Activity Ideas:
1. Spooky Listening and Analysis
The easiest way to “get spooky” within your lessons is to incorporate some traditionally haunting tunes and have students apply what they’ve been learning to them. Introduce them to classics like Saint-Saens’ “Danse Macabre” or Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” and have students analyze them. Have them listen for certain compositional techniques and instrumentation or even assign some performance excerpts of the pieces depending on your students’ sight-reading and skill level.
2. Haunted Musical History
Another spooky activity you can incorporate is digging deeper into the history of famous composers. Even if they aren’t known for their scary-sounding compositions, the tragic lives and deaths of many composers make for a great spooky lesson. Do a little research to determine which composer’s history best fits your theme and lesson plans!
3. Halloween-Themed Performances and Recitals
In the same vein as our first suggestion, incorporating spooky-sounding compositions into the blood of your school is an easy yet effective way to celebrate the season. If you have performances coming up, consider choosing some performance pieces that have the sound of the season to them. If you or your students aren’t feeling up to performing the classics don’t be afraid to rule out more contemporary pieces like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” or parts of soundtracks like Danny Elfman’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” or “Beetlejuice”!
4. Creepy Compositions
If your students are at a level where they can write their own music, challenge them to come up with something original! Play them a few examples for inspiration or have them base their compositions on a short story like something by Edgar Allen Poe. The outcome might just be scary good and result in the student having a piece they can expand on later as part of their lessons or in their own time.
5. Ghastly Guests
Who’s that slowly knocking on the door? It’s no ghost! Seek out local musicians who specialize in spooky music or instruments to come in for a guest spot or workshop at your music school. Maybe there’s a Cellist who knows all about chamber music or even a thereminist who can take your students to an ethereal plane with their haunting sounds and melodies. If you’re looking to expose your students to new styles of music, especially when it comes to the sounds of Halloween, bringing in the right guest speaker is the perfect way to go.
6. Scary Decor
If you really want to go all out with your theming, adding some Halloween decor to classrooms is a great way to get your students in the spirit of the season. Take it a step further and add a candy bowl full of treats that students can pick from upon completing a challenge or doing well on a performance.
Incorporating spooky activities into your lesson plan this October is a fantastic way to add some fun for students and celebrate the season with them as they continue to learn. As with any activity in your music school, make sure that your students are of the appropriate age to engage in the fun! You don’t want to cause frustration by assigning a project outside of their skill level and especially when it comes to spooky activities, you wouldn’t want anyone leaving too scared!
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