Category Archives: Halloween

Updated Primer Halloween Music

Halloween Music

Finally! I’m running a little late, but I’ve remade all the primer level Halloween music into portrait orientation so it will fit in my student’s binders! Yeah! Now it is so much easier for them to open their binders and play. And hopefully, while they have their binders opened, they will actually look at what else I’ve assigned and practice it!

These are easy enough to be used by students who have just learned to read some notes on the staff.

Two of these pieces have an autumn theme with no mention of Halloween. Those two are See the Scarecrow and Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater. So if you have students who don’t play Halloween music, you can use these.

The music isn’t new, and if you’ve been using my site for years, I’m sure you have seen these before. What is new is the portrait orientation and I’ve updated the art in 3 of them. Some of these have duets and some don’t. It depends on how much room I had on the page.

This music is very short, except for Five Little Pumpkins. If you are having a Halloween recital, they can either play the piece twice, the second time in a different octave, or they can learn 2 or 3 of them and play them as a set. For those of you who are new teachers, the easiest ones have no skips, and I’m listing those first.

Some of you have been having trouble downloading my bigger files, so I am posting these separately. I hope your students enjoy the new portrait format of these pieces!

  1. Halloween Halloween Portrait
  2. See the Scarecrow Portrait
  3. Halloween is almost Here Portrait
  4. Once Year On Halloween Portrait
  5. Peter Pumpkin Eater
  6. Hey Mr Mummy Portrait
  7. Five Little Pumpkins Revised

By downloading this free music you agree to the following terms of use:

  • This music is for your private use with piano students or family and may be performed in recitals.
  • This files may not be shared outside of your home or studio either electronically or any other method.
  • The music may not be posted on another internet site and it may not be sold.
  • The art is also protected by copyright and may not be used on other material.

Thank you!  


Filed under Halloween, Holiday Music

Winner of Just Because It’s Halloween!


Just Because It's Halloween published by Alfred Music

Just Because It’s Halloween published by Alfred Music

We have a winner of  my newly released piano music, Just Because It’s Halloween!

It’s Patricia, of Tucson. She buys her music at Instrumental Music in Tucson. Patricia, please email me your mailing address as soon as possible so I can mail your music to you.

For those of you who do not have a local music store, this sheet music is now available from Amazon and it is on sale. Just click  here or the link above. [Ed. The sale is over, but there is free shipping on Amazon Prime.]

Both hands in this piece sit in the D minor 5-finger position. If you have a student who is “stuck in middle C,” I have found that one way to help them branch out is to work for a long time in a different position, memorizing the piece. Learning to play in several positions the first year of piano will help students be more successful when they transition to more difficult music the second year.

One of the reasons so many students who start in a C position method drop out the second year is because they are introduced to so many new things. They play more hands together, they have more accidentals, the rhythm is more challenging, and on top of that they have never played with their hands out of C position and they get very frustrated. It’s just too much! I think it is better to introduce different positions when the music is really easy. That is why I mix up the hand positions in the easy original music I write, like Sunny Solos.

Thanks to everyone who entered the contest. I enjoyed reading about all the fantastic music stores around the country. It has been lots of fun for me, and I plan to do it again!

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Filed under Halloween, Teaching Business

Giveaway: ‘Just Because It’s Halloween’ by Susan Paradis


You’re probably wondering why I’m posting about a Halloween piece in June. Well, I just got a package in my mail box and it is my new piece, published by Alfred Publishing! This was the first time I had seen the cover,  so you can imagine how exciting it was to open the package! Thank you, Alfred, for the cute cover! I can’t wait to show it to my students!

When I wrote this piece I was thinking about the first Halloween I can remember. I  was three years old,  just about a month before my 4th birthday. It was the first time I had a costume and was going “trick or treating.” My older cousin came walking in the room with his mask on, and it scared me to death! Then my very sweet aunt told me not to be scared, he had on the mask because it’s Halloween! So thankfully, I was not scarred for life and went on to have many fun Halloween nights. These days I get to re-live my childhood when I write Halloween music!

My favorite costume back then was my cowgirl costume, which probably really dates me! Anyone else remember Annie Oakley?

Just Because It’s Halloween is an elementary piece that is very easy to learn if students have some experience with skipping notes. Both hands are in the D minor 5-finger scale position and there are just enough finger numbers to help out if they are not used to that position.  This is a great piece to help a student who is having trouble playing out of middle C position. It a good piece to give a transfer student who needs something fun to work on while you get to know their skills.  There are words for singing along and a teacher duet that is easy enough for an intermediate sibling.

The first and last section feature staccato notes while the middle section is legato. There are plenty of opportunities for your students to add expression and imagination by using forte and piano and “stretching” the beat at the end of the B section.

This is hot off the press, so it’s not widely available yet. If you’re in the Dallas area, Nadine’s Music Manor is stocking it. In Houston, you can get it at Valentine’s House of Music and they also take online orders. I like to support local music stores if you are lucky enough to have one nearby. On the Alfred site, you can see a preview of the music and here is where it is listed on Amazon. Just Because It’s Halloween

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment below by Monday, July 7, 2014, at midnight CST telling me your favorite music store to buy Halloween music, either local or online! I’d love to hear from you!

The winner must have a U. S. address and will be randomly selected and announced  after the deadline.  The lucky winner will receive a copy of the sheet music in the mail!

(Comments are moderated, so your comment might not show up immediately.)

[The contest is over and the winner is Patricia in Tucson! Thank you to everyone who entered. I enjoyed reading about where everyone lives and where you buy your music. Thanks for all the congratulations, as I really appreciate all your kind words. This is the first give-away I've had on my site and it's been a lot of fun for me!]



Filed under Halloween, Music Reviews

Pumpkin Patch File Folder Game

Pumpkin Patch Games

Pumpkin Patch Matching Game

I love pumpkins and so do students. Today’s activity has a pumpkin theme so you can use it now and all the way up to Thanksgiving.

This activity is a file folder note matching game. The hardest part is cutting out the pumpkin cards. If  you have trouble cutting small items, I also added some cutting lines so that you can cut out squares instead of  cutting around the tiny pumpkin stem. If you decide to cut out the individual pumpkins like I did, and you plan to laminate them,  cut the pumpkins first, and then laminate them. When you cut them out again, leave  as much  laminated margin around the pumpkins as you can.

There are 5 pages, including a page for the bass clef notes, a page for the treble clef notes, 2 pages of pumpkin flash cards, and a page of keyboard cards.

There are no hard and fast rules for this game. I tried it out with students, and I changed it around for each ability level.

I made this game so my students would have another seasonal way to practice identifying the treble and bass clef, as well as learning the names of notes. I like to keep my elementary  students  enthused about piano lessons by having different activities. And they often learn something new. In this set, there is a high treble G and the bass clef D, something that was new to some of my early level students. However, you can pull the cards you don’t want to use.


  • To quickly recognize the treble and bass clef
  • To reinforce names of notes on the treble and bass staves
  • To play a seasonal activity


  • Print out the treble and bass game boards.
  • Print the pumpkin flash cards and the optional keyboard cards, and cut out either around each pumpkin or on the dotted lines.
  • Glue or tape each game board to the inside of a file folder. Tape an envelope on the front of the file folder to hold the pumpkin cards.
  • Students match the cards with the names of the notes on the game board, paying special attention to identify the clef first

Other ways to play

  • Use a timer to see how long it takes to complete each clef
  • With two students, have a race to see who can match the notes first
  • If students don’t know their notes very well, use guided practice and help them figure out the notes
  • Play with certain notes only, such as ACE
  • At a group lesson, put students on two teams and let them play against each other. Be sure to laminate the cards if you do this because they will get excited. 

Leave a comment here if you can think of another way to play!



Filed under Group lesson ideas, Halloween, Note Identification, Teaching Business, Thanksgiving