I somehow think of Halloween as the ultimate kid holiday. Imagination, parties, candy for free. If you are in a school where you can celebrate Halloween in the classroom, these are some fabulous songs to still teach concepts, but celebrate the spooky season.

Little Jack Pumpkin Face

This is a great song for loud and quiet as well as rhythm. I’ve seen this one in both 6/8 with a melody and well as have taught it making up a little minor melody for it myself. For the purposes of loud and quiet I like the chant version as it can really help students drive home the big/loud part.

Folk Song Analysis
4/4: ta, ti-ti, ta rest

Snag this folk song file from TpT

Miss White Had a Fright

Another fun chant, I like this one for making up your own patterns. The natural sentence fragments make for some natural alterations, and the rhythm patterns are different in each phrase so it is a great song for reading, arranging, and dictation.

Folk Song Analysis
4/4: ta, ti-ti

Snag this folk song file on TpT

Old Mother Witch

This is another one that has multiple variations: See the Old Witch, variations in other meters, etc. It also has a fun little chase game.

The class stands in a circle.  The old mother witch or old father witch walks around the circle singing “Are you my child?” (SMMSM). You select a “child” (I usually send the witch out and call on a child, or have them turn their head and point to the child.) When they get to the “child” the child says yes than runs around the circle to get away and back to their spot. If the witch catches them they repeat their turn.  (You can skip this part). They become the new witch.

Folk Song Analysis
4/4: ta, ti-ti, ta rest
Tone Set: ms

Snag this folk song file on TpT

Pumpkin Man

I learned this one from Joy Nelson during my Kodaly levels and it’s a hoot with a fun little trap the goblin game with a circle. It’s really nice for tim-ka because they appear on the strong beat in contrast with the ti-ti and ta pattern. For fa, it’s wonderful because you have a nice descending pattern of sfmrd.

Eight students hold hands to create windows in a circle.  Remaining children space themselves around the circle. One child holds a woodblock.  As the song is sung, the children walk in and out of the circle.  When the woodblock sounds, the windows come down.  All the players who are trapped the circle join the circle, and the game begins again.

Folk Song Analysis
4/4: ta, ti-ti, tim-ka
Tone Set: drmfsl

Snag the folk song file on TpT

Pumpkin Pumpkin

A favorite, this is a circle/partner game that is a great pre-teaching tool for grand right and grand left as well.
There is a nice mrd ending and it’s a favorite for teaching tika tika.


Students stand in a circle. An even number is needed so you may need to join in. Within the circle, students turn to face a parter.
Pumpkin pumpkin round and fat: pat legs clap – pat clap – pat clap – partners hands
Turn into a jack-o-lantern: Take partners hands and trade places
Just like that: Clap clap – jump to turn around and face new partner 

For an extra bit of fun, have the students make a ‘jack-o-lantern’ face to their new partner. 
Note: Students will always go in the same direction and never see people who are facing the same way as them.

Folk Song Analysis
4/4: ta, ti-ti, tika-tika
Tone Set: drm sl

Snag this folk song file on TpT

Skin and Bones

There was an old woman all skin and bones

She lived down by the old graveyard…
One night she thought she’d take a walk…
She walked down to the old graveyard…
She saw some bones a-lyin’ around…
She went to the closet to get a broom…
She opened the door and…

This is a student favorite, perfect for lessons about minor, and low la.

Folk Song Analysis
6/8: ti, ta, tam
Tone Set: l, drm

Snag the folk song file on TpT

I hope that this has given you some great ideas for some spooky songs to use in the music classroom for the season!

Melissa Stouffer-1

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