The Holidays Are Coming…

… and this year, I have vowed that I WILL stay on top of sorting through, ordering, organizing, and getting music to my students in a timely manner, so that when the Halloween and Christmas recitals roll around, I won’t be asking myself why we didn’t start our music just a little bit sooner.

Each Halloween, one of the local associations I belong to sponsors recitals at a number of local nursing homes for K-6th grade students.   The kids get to dress up in their costumes and play all the creepy, spooky music we can find!   I absolutely love this event, because even students who have just started lessons are encouraged to perform.   The audience loves seeing the kids all dressed up, and the costumes provide an extra line of defense against stage-fright!

The challenge for me is finding enough elementary-level Halloween music to keep our whole studio busy!  Even my students who don’t perform on the recital get to pick a piece and perform it at our Halloween group classes (and I have yet to meet a child who doesn’t love spooky, minor music), so some years I’m looking for dozens of pieces.  This year, I decided to go back through rosters and programs from past years and put together a list of favorite pieces, organized by level, that I can add to and order from each year.  In case anyone else is in Halloween planning mode at the moment, I thought I’d share the list.   Since our studio Halloween event is K-6, it’s mostly elementary levels, but there are a few fun ones for older kids who still enjoy Halloween music.  If anyone has other favorites, please leave a comment!

Pre-Reading Solos

  • The Hungry Spider (Linn)
  • Witches on Broomsticks (Leaf)
  • Halloween is Coming Soon (Leaf)
  • It’s Halloween (Leaf – 2 short pieces included in this sheet)
  • Three Wishes (Olson)
  • Let’s Celebrate Halloween, Pre-Reading Level (McArthur – includes theory sheets!)

Early Elementary Solos

  • Zoom, Zoom, Witch’s Broom (Faber – Sheet OR Gold Star Performance Primer Book)
  • A Frightful Night (Leaf)
  • Shout Boo! (Faber)
  • Candy Corner (Greenleaf)
  • Let’s Celebrate Halloween, Book 1 (McArthur – includes theory sheets!)
  • Monster’s Midnight March (Faber – Gold Star Performance Book 1)

Elementary

  • Monster March (Linn)
  • Halloween Boo! (Bober)
  • Halloween Comes Once a Year (Greenleaf)
  • Pirates Bold! (Beard)
  • In the Hall of the Mountain King (Clark – solo version)
  • Monster Session (Noona)
  • Tarantula’s Twist (Pulju)
  • Scary Larry (Olson)
  • They’ll Be Back (Faber)
  • Accidental Wizard (Keveren)
  • The Mad Scientist (McLean – from “Miniatures, Book 1”)

Late Elementary

  • Cat Prowl (Faber)
  • Jumpin’ Pumpkins (Aaronsen)
  • Pumpkin Boogie (Alexander)
  • Jazzy Jack-O-Lanterns (Poe)
  • Merlin’s Dream (Otwell)
  • Twister (Stevens)
  • Harvest Dance (Linn)
  • The Barbarian (McLean – from “Miniatures, Book 1”)
  • Sneaky Business (Mier – from “Jazz, Rags and Blues, Book 1”)

Early Intermediate/Intermediate

  • Autumn Memories (Garcia)
  • Autumn Reflections (Tingley)
  • Hobobbin’ Hobgoblins (Pease)
  • Black Cat Scherzo (Bober)
  • Tales of Mystery (Linn – entire book is good for Halloween!)

Collections/Series

  • Faber Piano Adventures Gold Star Performance Books – each book has one or more pieces appropriate for Halloween
  • Famous & Fun Pop Series (Matz) – include selections from Star Wars, Harry Potter, Pink Panther, James Bond
  • Celebration Series Perspectives Books – each of the lower level books includes several unique Halloween pieces (the new editions of the books have even more than the old ones did!)

Halloween Duets

  • Midnight Horseman (Eben)
  • In the Hall of the Mountain King (Clark – duet sheet version)
  • The Addams Family & The Munsters Theme (Keveren – from “TV Theme Duets” book)
  • Phantom of the Opera (from Alfred Top Hits! Duets, Book 3)
  • Funeral March of a Marionette, In the Hall of the Mountain King, “Autumn” from Four Seasons (Keveren – from “Classical Theme Duets” book; has other good minor classics!)
  • The Phantom (Bober – intermediate)
  • Famous & Fun Pop Duets Series (Matz – the duet books have many of the pieces available in the solo books)


Free Online Solos

  • gmajormusictheory.org – several Halloween/minor pieces (page through each level)
  • susanparadis.com Susan has some wonderfully accessible pieces for pre-reading and beginning students
  • jenspianostudio.com – there are also a handful of pieces on my site, mostly elementary, including one for LH solo I wrote for a student who had a run-in with a car door shortly before our Halloween recital last year!
  • fpsresources.wordpress.com – Jennifer has several solos perfect for early elementary students



Monster Dance (LH Solo)
Monster Dance (LH Solo)
Monster Dance.pdf
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Comments

The Holidays Are Coming… — 6 Comments

  1. Such a good idea! I used to have kids prepare Halloween pieces and then when they stopped by my house to trick or treat, they could play them! But sharing them with retired communities is such a fun idea!

  2. Thanks for your list of Halloween-themed pieces! I’ve printed off the list and will definitely search them out. One thing that I’d like to do at my Halloween recital is to perform for my students. Do you have any ideas for advanced Halloween-type repertoire?

    • Hi Leanne,

      That’s a fantastic idea! I always have so many students on my recital that I don’t usually get to play (although I do sneak in some duets), so I’m jealous!

      Here’s what I could think of for advanced repertoire:
      Danse Macabre
      The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
      Knight Rupert (all of these are available for free download if you do a Google search)

      At a teacher’s meeting last week, someone mentioned a book by the Fabers called Piano Literature for a Dark and Stormy Night that has some good “spooky” sounding pieces. It’s on my list for the next trip to the music store!

      I also ran across a post from another blogger with links to some good advanced music: Halloween Piano Sheet Music 2010.

      Hope that helps! If anyone else has ideas for advanced repertoire, please share!

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