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27 October 2012

Halloween Party: Children's Music Theory Edition

Before you laugh me to scorn about hosting a children's music theory Halloween party, let me explain myself:

I've been teaching violin and viola lessons for quite a few years now and I like to host a "master class" at the end of each month where each of my students performs a piece they've been working on that month in front of their peers and then we play music theory "games"--the children love them, but I do too because they're actually learning really great things. And since it's Halloween season, I thought it'd be super fun to through a Halloween party for the kids. They came in their costumes and everything. And I may or may not have had a giraffe on my head...Anyways, that's the background story...

I set up a fun Halloween banner for the kids to perform in front of. (My sister Briana made this a few years back). Funny story about this--I overheard this cute little conversation between two students:
Student One: What does "All Hallow's Eve" mean?
Student Two: I think it's kind of like Christmas Eve, but for Halloween...
after the children performed their pieces, I had them gather around in a circle as I taught them about "In the Hall of the Mountain King". I had them listen to the piece, first tapping the steady beat, and then the rhythm. Then I had volunteers come up and write in the missing rhythms in each measure. They LOVED that! 

(here's what it looked like when it was all filled out. Pretty cute, right??)

Then I had them pick their favorite "halloween costume" picture on the floor and we had a "cookie walk" as we listened to the piece again. I decided on a cookie walk rather than a cake walk so that everyone would end up a winner. They were all singing along to the piece by the end, so I think this exercise was successful!

After our cake walk I separated them into two groups and one group went to the "dynamics matching game" center while the other made up "Halloween rhythms".

I cut up circles into 2, 4, and 8 parts so that they could invent a super cool rhythmic pumpkin.

 After all was said and done, I sent them away with a tootsie pop I covered in muslin to look like ghosties. Growing up, one of my favorite parts of Halloween was when my mom would hand me one of these little guys. Not even kidding.

such a fun day! I love my little students.

Have a lovelee WEEKEND! wahoo!

-Lee

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