Halloween Minor Madness with Pumpkin Eyes, BOO, and More!

An image of the eyes, nose, and mouth of a backlit Halloween pumpkin.
Image by Andreas Lischka from Pixabay 

Find Halloween music activities that engage and delight with movement, Orff arrangements, minor scales, improvisation, and more!

Ghost of Tom

The Orff arrangement for this Halloween classic, Have You Seen the Ghost of Tom? (aka Ghost of John) is simple enough to be learned quickly to give plenty of time to learn movement to go with the round that can be sung in 2 or 4 parts.

Image of an Orff arrangement for the song The Ghost of Tom a round in a minor scale.

With its quarter, eighth, and half-note patterns pitched in delightful D minor, kids will love the spooky mood it sets.

The Halloween Canon

Rewriting lyrics can be so rewarding and engaging for our students.

I took The Fruit Canon, arranged by choir teacher Kole Butler (Instagram and TikTok), and changed the fruit to Halloween words. With the little sound effects, I think your kids will LOVE it. 

Group project-Have students get in groups of 6 and pick words that fit a NEW theme then perform their new song in canon. YES!

Fun, collaborative, assessable, and engaging!

Click on the notation image to make a copy.

An image of a song titled Fruit Canon that shows a three part canon for voices.

Miss White Had a Fright

Halloween music activities that use poems are perfect resources for exploring, creating, and improvising. First, experience the poem through beat and rhythm.

An image of a TPT Orff arrangement resource for Miss White Had a Fright.

Then, explore the poem by learning a melody on barred instruments, improvising on recorders, and/or creating a melody using Boomwhackers. Examine what you’ve learned by identifying the rhythms of the poem. In both PowerPoint and Google Slides versions.

On a Cold October Night-VOCAL Exploration Lesson

A lesson plan for a FABULOUS good time exploring the sounds “on a cold October night.”

Skin and Bones

This multi-lesson resource for the classic Halloween song, “There Was An Old Woman All Skin and Bones” will guide you as you take your younger students (PreK, K, 1, 2) from singing to movement to playing instruments. 

An image of an Orff arrangement resource for the Halloween song Skin and Bones for Prek, kindergarten, first, and second grades that teaches about melodic direction.


An image of a TPT Orff arrangement resource for Boo, a Halloween song.

In both PowerPoint and Google Slides versions, this 25-slide presentation includes mp3s of the song arrangement with a Kodaly process, Orff approach, and movement, game, and a melodic assessment.

Pumpkin Eyes

Take the classic canon, “Ah Poor Bird”, add new lyrics, and you have the perfect Halloween/October song!   

An image of notation and teaching instructions for Pumpkin Eyes (Ah, Poor Bird).

Teaching Process

An image of teaching instructions for Pumpkin Eyes (Ah, Poor Bird).


Add xylophone on a D minor bordun.

Add some color with percussion instruments on “eyes, “bright”, “creatures”, and “night.”

Prominent melodic elements include the opening la, ti, do and do, re, mi and then the ending do, ti, la.

Rhythmic elements-quarter note, half note, eighth notes.

Add ukulele. The D minor chord is fairly easy because it’s the fingering for F with an added third finger. Play D minor for the entire song.

An image of a Dm ukulele chord.

Let’s Get This Game Started HALLOWEEN

The fun ice-breaker activity!

Pass the Pumpkin

A great beat passing game and chance to play mi-re-do-ti-la on instruments! FUN! Halloween music activities with GAMES are a WIN-WIN!

The Monster Mash

Multi-day lesson plans that include dancing, instrument playing, stick routine, ukulele parts, and so much more!

Author: lbbartolomeo

I'm a mom, wife, teacher, reader, gardener, trekkie, sci-fi fanatic, musician, dog lover, and a Christian. I hope my contributions bring some joy and happiness to your life!

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