It’s group week in my studio this week, which meant it was a perfect week to work on some Halloween-themed activities. I always use group lessons as an opportunity for students to perform for each other, then spend extensive time on rhythm, listening and theory for the rest of the hour. Here’s what we’re doing this week:
I found some fantastic re-written lyrics to the 12 Days of Christmas – now the 12 Days of Halloween, and made a rhythm card to go with each “day”. I then hung the cards all around my studio. I would chant a line to students and they had to go look for the rhythm that matched. Once we had a match, we sticky-tacked the lyrics onto the rhythm card and hung it on the clothesline.
In elementary-level groups, we sang through the song several times: First, we simply clapped the rhythm and chanted the words. Next, we assigned a different action for each value of notes (i.e. clap quarters, slap thighs for eighths, stomp for half notes), and finally picked out rhythm instruments to perform a clanging, banging version of the song as I added harmony on the piano.
Intermediate level students used the rhythms to complete a composing challenge worksheet. Working with a partner, they composed and notated new melodies for each “day” of Halloween, and added a simple I, IV or V7 chord harmony in the key of F Major.