Halloween games/activities for group lessons

Deanna said: Oct 26, 2009
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
90 posts

I’m teaching group lessons this Saturday (Halloween!) and I’m looking for some games or activities that have a halloweeny theme. I have three groups: Pretwinkle, Book 1, Book 2/3

Any ideas?

Barb said: Oct 26, 2009
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

Make some scary sounds with those strings!

Tremelo, playing on the afterlength, col legno bounces (might want to try unsharpened pencils), howling wind, etc. Maybe read a story and have them play sound effects at certain places?

Another scary thing could be to have them all place their hands in different places on the fingerboards and play the usual fingerings (only open strings are guaranteed -?—to be together).

Have fun!

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

Jennifer Visick said: Oct 27, 2009
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
998 posts

conveniently, it’s Paganini’s birthday on October 27th… in our group classes yesterday we had a little background on Paganini and taught everyone “the dance” (John Kendall’s, I believe) that goes along with the Theme to Paganini’s ‘Witches’ Dance’..

Laurel said: Oct 27, 2009
Laurel MacCullochViolin
Langley, BC
120 posts

I agree with the tremolos! I also do “creaky doors”—shifting 1 finger up a string while dragging the bow across it.

Barb, what’s the afterlength?

Laurel

Barb said: Oct 28, 2009
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

Afterlength: the part of the string between the bridge and tailpiece. I guess there might not be a lot of room on tiny violins!

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

Deanna said: Oct 28, 2009
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
90 posts

Thanks for the ideas! I like the idea of reading a story and doing sound effects. I usually pick a theme for each group class and then all the activities are related to that theme (dynamics, ear training, memory, focus, etc). Maybe this week the theme could be special effects on the violin. I like the idea of tremolos, pizzicato, col legno, maybe we’ll do sul ponticello, and sul tasto too!

I also thought of playing an entire piece will only one finger (shifting around). I tried it with Chorus from Judas Maccabaeus. Do you think that would be too hard for a book 2/3 class? About half the kids have done shifting and half haven’t. It might be good ear training—even if there’s lots of smears!

I was also thinking of talking about major and minor modes and switching back and forth during a piece from book 1.

Any other thoughts?

Leanne Maitland said: Oct 29, 2012
Leanne Maitland
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
Edmonton, AB
1 posts

I like the scary story idea with sound effects. A colleague of mine shared a story with me a few years ago, entitled “Mister Misterioso”. There is no author credit listed on the sheet. It’s good for little ones because it’s not too spooky. Here are the words:

It is a wild and windy night. (improvise)
High in the sky the moon is shining, (improvise)
stars are twinkling in the frosty air. (improvise)
Horses’ hooves sound nearby, then move away. (improvise)
Rain begins to fall. (improvise)
Something taps on the window, (improvise)
something squeaks against the glass. (improvise)
Is it a ghost? Aarrgh! (improvise)
No, just a thorny branch. (all say “PHEW!”)
Gradually, the rain stops, (improvise)
the wind slows down. (improvise)
Suddenly, the sky is full of light, (improvise)
sparklers, bangers, and rockets… a brilliant firework display! (improvise)

Sue Hunt said: Oct 30, 2012
Sue Hunt
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
389 posts

What fun! I’m certainly going to try “Mister Misterioso.” What a perfect excuse for exploring what sounds you can get from an instrument.

I think it is never too early to shift. It is great for keeping the left arm nice and mobile. “Song of the Mouse” (SOW with octave harmonics instead of circles) is fun for book 1. The pre twinklers can make squeaks either above the bridge or with their left hand touching the E string as high as comfortable.

I think I remember a piece in The Really Easy Cello Book by Lowri Blake, something like “Strange Things in the Back of the Cupboard,” which is also a monologue with creepy sound effects.

What about sending them home from the group lesson with Halloween Practice Games.

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