Inspiring Creativity with Halloween Music

One mistake we sometimes make as piano teachers is waiting too long to teach certain concepts to students because they haven’t yet reached those concepts in their method books.

Students need opportunities to be challenged, to be inspired and to also use their own creativity to create music. As we do these things, their excitement and love for piano grows, they progress in leaps and bounds and they realize they are capable of so much.

I had a student recently who was not super consistent with piano practice and was not progressing very quickly. She was still a beginner, playing pre-staff notation pieces, and just hadn’t really caught that spark of enthusiasm for the piano. One week she forgot her books, so I used the opportunity to get out some completely different materials and teach her some sight reading skills on the staff. She caught right on, and – voila! – was able to sight read 4 or 5 simple pieces on the staff. She was so ecstatic and proud of herself, and that spark just came alive! Great things can happen when we take a step away from the method books, use our own intuition as teachers and teach that challenge piece, or allow our students to experiment with some harder concepts that we don’t realize they are capable of at that moment.

Read my list of 25 things to do when Students Forget Their Books!

Halloween pieces are a fun way to accomplish this – to get students out of the mundane routine of the method books and to really dip our toes into the world of fun articulations, super musical expression and fun in music. Halloween pieces are sneaky, they’re creepy and quirky and students have so much fun playing these sometimes challenging pieces where they get to learn new concepts such as accents, staccatos, very contrasting dynamics, playing one or two octaves higher, and more.

I have a new Halloween activity that I’ve added to the Shop that is a wonderful way to introduce a lot of these fun techniques and articulations to your elementary students and higher. It’s called the Spooky Halloween Piece Generator, and students get to change one of their simple five-finger position pieces into a spooky, musical Halloween masterpiece! This activity combines music theory, technique, composition, creativity and expression into one super fun activity that can be used with individual students or adapted for a group.



Jennifer Boster

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