Here is a simple Halloween card you can give to your students next week. All you have to do is print it on card stock and cut out. Then, using a ruler as a guide, cut the 2 light-colored lines on the cards with a craft knife. These slits will be where you will insert a pencil. I found these easy to cut out because there are no little tiny bits to cut around!
I’ve found I can buy very inexpensive holiday pencils at nearby dollar stores. The ones I’m using are 12 pencils for a dollar.
Alternately, you can insert a lollipop or a glow stick which can also be found in packs at dollar stores. You can also tape on a piece of candy.
If you use the free pre-reading and on-the-staff Halloween and Fall music I’ve posted over the years for beginners, you will recognize the art. Your young students will enjoy figuring out which songs the art goes with.
If you or your students prefer Autumn related activities, below is a link to some fall-themed bookmarks I posted previously. If you’ve been following my blog for a long time, you will recognize them. In the past, I have written a short message and taped some candy on the back. There are four bookmarks on the page and with all straight lines, they are easy to cut out with a paper-cutter.
Leaves Are Blowing and What Will I Be on Halloween are (free) beginning pre-reading pieces for young piano beginners. Years ago I published the companions to these pieces which you can find at this link: Free Halloween Music for Beginners
The originals were for the left hand and I never got around to making matching pieces for the right hand. Thanks to a reminder from a reader, that has been fixed now!
This set of pre-reading pieces not only help beginners learn the groups of two and three black keys, which of course, is essential if students are going to learn the names of piano keys, but they are also beginning composing pieces. In order to compose, students need to use their imagination and have a vision. I think it is safe to say composers get their start improvising and doodling around.
What I would like to see is students get carried away playing what they “will be” or how blowing leaves might be expressed on the piano. Sometimes teachers and parents get frustrated with students playing around on the piano and not practicing their assigned pieces. But as long as there is a balance, who knows what budding Beethoven we might be cultivating!
Don’t forget you can save ink by printing only one copy and saving it in a sheet protector. You can also download these into your iPad to save on printing.
You have posted on Facebook and emailed me such precious videos of your students improvising and having fun! I hope your students have fun with these!
Click on each one for the link or find all Autumn and Halloween material including future updates here.
Learn Piano Keys
Fun Fall Game
Halloween Note Game
Halloween Rhythm Game
Fall Composing Activity
Construct Key Signatures
Halloween Board Game – 7 page file includes staff flash cards, keyboard flash cards, and back for cards
One of the reasons I started making my own games years ago is because I couldn’t find any affordable games for piano students that could be played in 5 minutes. I need games that don’t take longer than going through flash cards.
After I made the LadyBug game and discovered how much students like it yet how well it helps students learn notes, I started making variations of it for different times of the year. [If you would prefer some Fall games without the Halloween theme, you will find them on the Halloween/Autumn page here. I’ve also made a lot of Thanksgiving games.]
But I added a twist to this version: The Card of Doom!
I originally posted this several years ago without the keyboard flash cards which are posted above in a separate file. You can use the other cards along with it. When I plan to use this game I post a sign on my door that says, “Beware the Card of Doom.” Of course my students know it’s just a joke.
The original file contains 7 pages:
- The board game
- The keyboard flash cards
- Three pages of flash cards
- Fun directional cards, including the Card of Doom
- The optional colorful back
How to Print
- Download and save the file.
- For a fabulous looking game board, use photo paper and laminate.
- Insert photo paper to print the game board. When the print box opens up, under “Pages to Print” select “Pages.” In the dialog box, type “1” because you are only printing the first page. Set it aside to dry.
- Insert card stock to print the cards. Under “Pages to Print” select “Pages” again and type “2-6.” If you can only print one page of card stock at a time, type a different number for each page.
- To print the optional back of the flash cards, re-insert the printed card pages so that you will be printing on the back. Under “Pages to Print” select “Pages” and type “7” because it is the 7th page that has the colorful back. [To keep from wasting ink, be sure you know how to do this. See my FAQ. ]
This game can be played with students only, or teacher and student. The players take turns drawing cards and moving to the correct alphabet name. Mix up the note cards with the instruction cards. The game is over when a player draws any note card after the last D. I try to make sure the students win more than they lose, so sometimes I have to get creative!
- To reinforce or learn note names on the staff
- To learn the word “octave.”