Welcome to the Spooky Collection of Fun Halloween Music Worksheets for Kids
Here you’ll find free printable worksheets plus games and activities that are perfect for private or group lessons. Scroll down for the fun way to teach music theory in October.
How to get started:
1. Click play to see an introduction to the activities on this page.
2. Scroll down to find the worksheets. To print any of the worksheets for free, just click on an image.
3. Play Halloween music games with your students. Double the effectiveness of each printable by utilizing the fun companion activities described below.
Spider Web Music Intervals
Reading music is so much easier when kids can quickly recognize music intervals. Use this worksheet to help students master fourths and fifths. The more practice they get, the faster they will be at recognizing intervals within their music.
To complete the worksheet, kids look at each pair of notes surrounding the spider. If the interval shown matches the interval named in the middle, students draw a line from the notes to the interval name. When they’re finished drawing lines they will have an interval spider web!
Frankenstems–A Stem Rules Worksheet for Halloween
A Frankenstem is a stem that is on the wrong side of the note or going in the wrong direction. Students can learn the stem rules to make sure that they never draw Frankenstems in their music theory assignments.
Review the stem rules and then give your student a copy of this worksheet. Ask him to correctly add stems to all the notes, and then check his answers and give feedback as needed. Now you’ll have a fun way to correct him if he forgets the stem rules in the future–just tell him that you found some Frankenstems in his theory assignment!
Candy Corn Note Name Challenge
Students will always and forever need lots of practice to learn note names. Teachers are wise to start early and regularly practice note identification. Use a variety of activities, like the worksheets on this website and the activity idea below to keep kids excited and engaged.
The worksheet is pretty straightforward. You just print and hand a copy to your student, along with a pencil and ask them to write the name of the treble clef note on the line beneath the staff.
While the worksheet above focuses on the treble clef notes, this worksheet isolates the bass clef. Some students seem to have more difficultly with the bass clef, so you may want to use this worksheet several times. You could time the student every week and celebrate with the student as their time improves.
Trick or Treat Rhythms
I love to use these worksheets with my youngest students. They get so excited to see all the trick or treaters and to talk about what costume they wore last year and what they want to be for Halloween this year.
This worksheet was actually inspired by a four year old student who was just being introduced to quarter notes and half notes. He was so excited when he saw the activity and it has continued to be a hit with other kids. I have used it with children as young as three years old.
Students hunt through the page to find all the quarter notes and then use their pencil to circle each one. Teacher then checks their answers and gives feedback or additional teaching as needed. It’s a simple yet effective way to help students practice and to check if they really are understanding the difference between the appearance of the two notes.
There are two versions of the worksheet so that if you like you can do the activity and search for quarter notes and then give your students the second version and have kids look for half notes.
Halloween Mystery Thief–a Musical Terms Worksheet and Game
Here’s a super fun way to review musical terms. To use the worksheet, kids read the definition and then search for the Halloween character who has that vocabulary word. Kids then draw a line from the definition to the character.
This printable is definitely the most fun when used as a game (especially in group piano lessons), so be sure to read the game instructions below. My students LOVE this game!
Oh no! The witch cast a spell that made all the notes from this song disappear. Students can help reverse the spell by looking at the letter names beneath the staff and drawing in the missing notes.
If you’re wanting to focus solely on note names, have your students draw whole notes. If you’d like them to also practice the stem rules, you can ask your students to draw quarter notes
There are two versions of this worksheet so that you can help students with their trouble areas. I find that if a student is struggling with a particular clef, it helps to spend at least a couple of minutes every lesson isolating that clef to work on note names.
The Count of Musicland–A Rhythm Worksheet
This worksheet helps kids review note values. Students write the number of beats each note receives below the note. Then kids need to figure out which one note has the same number of beats to equal the sum of the first two. Kids then draw in that note (great practice for correctly drawing notes) and write the number of beats it receives.
Black Cat Intervals
Black Cat Intervals gives kids practice with identifying music intervals. Tell children that while there is a superstition of it being bad luck to let a black cat cross your path, a surefire way to have good luck when sightreading at the piano is to be able to quickly identify intervals. To use the worksheet, kids identify the interval and then draw a line to the interval name.
Newly Added Halloween Music Theory Worksheets
Knock, Knock, Trick or Treat
Fun new ear training worksheet for practicing rhythmic dictation. Kids listen and then fill in the missing measures.
This is a music theory worksheet that focuses on helping kids learn to correctly draw music symbols. Kids practice tracing and then “copycatting” the treble clef, bass clef, brace and double bar line.
Whoo Whoo Halloween Song
Another new ear training worksheet. This time kids listen for the melody the owl hoots and circle the notes that match.
The Scarecrow Shuffle–Worksheet for Identifying Half Steps and Whole Steps
I created this worksheet with a couple of my younger students in mind. They’re needing extra practice identifying half steps and whole steps. In this activity, kids just look at the highlighted keys and then circle “half step” or “whole step”.
Can’t Ask Your Mummy–Music Note Name Worksheet
Seems like we can always give kids more practice with note identification! This worksheet helps kids name both treble and bass clef notes.
Spooky Piano Keys
This activity is especially for young beginners who are just learning the names of the piano keys. Kids just identify the highlighted key and then write the letter name beneath each keyboard.
New! Flat Key Signatures Drive Me Batty
This new Halloween music theory worksheet will help your students practice identifying flat key signatures. There’s an easy trick for figuring out the name of flat key signatures. Just look at the second to last flat. The only exception is the key of F (which only has one flat). Students will just have to memorize this one. But if they memorize F and then learn the trick, identifying flat key signatures will be a piece of cake!
Key Signatures Drive Me Batty
Learning how to quickly identify key signatures just takes time. But with the extra practice provided by worksheets like this one, key signatures will no longer drive your students batty! This one is pretty straightforward. Students just write the name of the key signature below each example.
Spooky Notes for Bass Clef
This is a note name worksheet for beginners who need practice with bass clef notes. For whatever reason, a lot of students seem to have more trouble with the bass clef, so it’s a good idea to start early and give them lots of practice. You can print out this worksheet and have your students write the letter name beneath each note. This worksheet has 6 notes, which I’ve found to be a good number for beginner kids who tire of longer worksheets.
How are You Feeling, Mr. Monster?
Here’s a fun way to do some ear training with your students who are ready to work on identifying major and minor chords. Give them a copy of this worksheet and then discuss with them how major chords are bright and happy while minor chords sound sad. Ask them to listen to a chord that you play and draw either a smile or frown on Mr. Monster’s face to match what they hear. If they hear a major chord, they will give Mr. Monster a smile. If they hear a minor chord, they will give him a frown.
Drawing Monster Rests
I’ve noticed students can have a hard time drawing rests correctly, so I created this fun Drawing Monster Rests worksheet. Students often mix up the half and whole rests, and when they draw them it helps kids to better be able to distinguish the two when they are reading their sheet music.
The biggest monster for most students, however, is the quarter rest. Drawing that little squiggly line correctly can cause a lot of frustration for kids. I like to have my students practice tracing it, and then when they freehand I tell them that it looks kind of like a “Z” with a tail. These instructions seem to help and it’s fun to see kids improve as they continue to practice drawing music symbols.
Spooky Notes for Treble Clef
This printable helps kids learn to identify the treble clef notes. It is designed for young beginners. I like that it focuses on the treble clef but also shows the bass clef. A lot of students have trouble understanding that a note on the top line of the treble clef has a different name for the top line note of the bass clef. So I think it helps if beginners they can often see the treble and bass clef together and recognize that they are not the same. To complete the worksheet, kids just identify the note and then write the letter name beneath each example.
More Holiday Music Theory Worksheets
If you liked these Halloween music theory worksheets, you might want to check out the free printable music theory worksheets for other holidays. Just click a link or an image below to visit the pages for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Saint Patrick’s Day and Easter.
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A large group can make a “real” spider web with this fun interval identification game.
Materials Needed: Ball of yarn and a copy of the worksheet.
How to Play: Divide the students into two teams and have the groups sit across from each other. Teacher tosses the ball of yarn to the first group, and whoever catches it gets to identify an interval. Teacher hands the student the worksheet and points to an interval. If the student answers correctly, she then holds on to the end of the yarn and tosses the yarn ball to the other team. If the student answers incorrectly, she can ask a teammate for help, and then toss the yarn ball.
When the student on the other team catches the yarn ball, he then gets to identify an interval. When he answers correctly, he holds onto the yarn strand and then tosses the ball to the opposite team. As play continues, an intricate web is woven between the two teams. Kids will love creating the web, and it gives kids great practice with music interval identification.
After completing the worksheet, students can practice watching out for Frankenstems with this fun game
Materials Needed: Pencils and blank staff paper for each student
How to Play: Divide students into pairs. Give everyone blank staff paper and ask them to draw 8 notes–4 with correct stems and 4 with Frankenstems. Then have students swap papers, search for the Frankenstems, and write an X on the notes with incorrect stems.
After finishing, students can show each other their answers and give each other feedback. Remind students to watch out for Frankenstems and always follow the stem rules.
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Students love practicing note identification with this game because they get to eat Halloween candy!
Materials Needed: Bag of candy corn, a copy of the worksheet, timer, and a pencil.
How to Play: Give the worksheet to your student and tell him that he will race against the clock to see how many notes he can correctly identify. If he completes the first line before the timer goes off, he’ll get one piece of candy corn. If he makes it to the end of the second line, he’ll get two pieces. If he makes it all the way to the end, he gets three pieces of candy corn.
You might start with a one or two minute time limit, depending on the age of the student. For extra practice, repeat the activity every week this month and watch how excited your student gets as he improves!
This activity works well in either a private or group setting and helps kids have fun while working on rhythm notes.
Materials Needed: Copy of the worksheet for each student, small candies (M&Ms work well).
How to Play: Hand out the worksheets to each student, along with a small handful of candies. Be sure to tell them that they will get to eat their candy soon, but that they can’t eat it quite yet.
When teacher says go, students hunt for all the quarter notes on their sheet and place a piece of candy on top of each one. When the student has finished, she raises her hand and the teacher checks her answers. When she’s got all correct answers, she gets to eat her candy!
This activity can be used in either a group setting or a private lesson. It is an especially fun game for a piano party.
Materials Needed: Large Halloween characters printed on cardstock–tape them to the wall and be sure to get them all over the room. Also need a copy of the worksheet for each student.
How to Play: Hold up a blank piece of paper and tell students that some sneaky Halloween characters have taken all the note and music symbols from your sheet music. Tell them they you need their help to track down the thiefs and get back all the parts to your music.
Hand each child a copy of the worksheet. Tell them that the musical elements you need are scattered around the room. They hunt for the vocab word and then draw a line from the definition to the picture of the character who “took” it. Your students will have a blast with this activity!
Take note identification one step further by having your student play the notes on their instrument and identify the tonic.
Materials Needed: Worksheet, a piano (activity also works for kids studying other instruments).
How to Play: After your student has written in the notes, ask him to take the sheet over to the piano and play the notes while saying the note name out loud. Vocalizing the name while playing helps with retention.
Next, help your student identify the tonic. Point out that there are no sharps or flats, so this song is in the key of C. Have your student circle the first and last note of the song. Does the song start and end on the tonic? Ask the student if the song sounds complete or if it sounds too random. Point out that starting and ending on the tonic is a good way to give pieces a strong start and a clear finish.
Give students a brief history of “The Count” and then tap the rhythms on this page.
Materials Needed: Completed worksheets
How to Play: Tell students that a count is a nobleman from European countries. Way back in 1897, an author named Bram Stoker wrote a book about a vampire named Count Dracula. Count Dracula used his nobleman status and his magical powers to try to take over the world. The book was so famous that vampires have become a popular Halloween character.
Our count isn’t Count Dracula, and he isn’t trying to take over the world. He is the Count of Musicland–a nobleman with an extra special sense of rhythm. Students can become excellent counters, too! Practice rhythm right now with this worksheet. Clap and count out loud each of the rhythm examples. Ignore all the math symbols.
Help kids get faster at identifying music intervals with this fun, fast-paced activity.
Materials Needed: Black Cat Intervals Worksheet (uncompleted) and token for each student
How to Play: Invite one student to the front of the room to be the “Black Cat”. The Black Cat calls out an interval and the other students race to be the first to place a token on the correct set of notes. Whoever is the first to place their token and raise their hand becomes the Black Cat and goes to the front of the room.
Poetry in Writing Courses
This handout discusses some terms and techniques that are useful to the beginning and intermediate poet, and to instructors who are teaching poetry in writing courses at these levels. The distinction between beginning and intermediate writing is provided for both students and instructors, and numerous sources are listed for more information about poetry tools and how to use them. A sample assignment sheet is also provided for instructors.
Last Edited: 2010-04-21 08:10:24
One of the most important keys to understanding poetry language is music, and often the role of music in poetry is not shown to students in an introductory course, because emphasis tends to be placed on workshop and reading, with the idea that one learns how to write by reading and receiving critiques.
However, without an understanding of music in poetry (rhythm, lineation, meter), students are inclined to not absorb the most important qualities of poetry while reading, and to critique and receive critiques without a basic understanding of the language with which they are working. For this reason, we’ll begin with a brief description of one aspect of music in poetry, lineation, before going into the meaning of metaphor, simile, personification, apostrophe and imagery.
Of course there are more tools involved and accessible to the poet, but scholars/poets generally believe these are the most important to get things started. We'll close with a short note on the problem of “ambiguity” in poetry by beginners.
Lineation dictates when a line of poetry stops and a new lines begins. Often, beginning poets write down impressions, randomly break them into lines, and turn them in as poems. Asking even beginning students to write several drafts of a poem that are lineated in different ways will help them understand how rhythm is created through lineation
For example, the Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai uses a fairly iambic beat (an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable). He consistently breaks the lines where the pause naturally occurs, in order to mimic the pattern of ordinary speech because he wants to capture the heightened meaning within the ordinary:
A man in his life has no time.
When he loses he seeks
When he finds he forgets
When he forgets he loves
When he loves he begins forgetting.
Amichai also uses repetition to convey a sense of truth and the inevitability of loss and forgetting. Amichai is creating a kind of poetry logic by beginning each line with “When...” to show the connection between seeking and forgetting and loving. If the poem were lineated in a different way, it would lose its force:
A man in his life has no time. When he
loses, he seeks, when he finds
he forgets, when he forgets
he loves, when he loves he begins forgetting.
In this version, the connections are broken, and the cohesive, accruing force of the rhythm is lost. Also, because the last line is longer than the rest, it is given more importance, and the emphasis is placed on forgetting. This is fine, except that Amichai is trying to get rid of the hierarchies to show how everything is connected and equally important.
Metaphor, Simile, Personification, Apostrophe
A metaphor is a direct comparison between one thing or person to another, as in Pablo Neruda’s line from Twenty Love Poems: “You were a gray beret and the whole being at peace.” Because Neruda is saying that the “You” in the poem is a gray beret, the comparison in metaphor is more immediate than it is in simile.
Simile is a comparison using the word “like” to connect one thing to another, as in Derek Walcott’s “Crusoe’s Island” – “The chapel’s cowbell / Like God’s anvil.” The chapel’s cowbell is compared to God’s anvil. Good metaphors and similes bring in larger parts of the world into the miniature of the poem. Neruda hints at something more than human and the condition of “peace,” to make the poem expand beyond a simple address to a beloved. Walcott begins with the simple image of a cowbell and, through comparison, brings in the idea of God’s will shaping and creating things. Walcott doesn’t say “The chapel’s cowbell is a heavy force that shapes the world.” He wants to charge his comparison with the widest possible range of meaning and resonance.
Personification is when an object or thing is given human attributes, as in Odysseus Elytis’ poem “Aegean Melancholy” — “And the sea playing on its concertina.” The sea in this line is personified as a musician, playing an accordion-like instrument. The sea playing on its piano would be far less interesting, because the piano, and the sea are already very familiar images to the reader. The contrast between the already familiar image of the sea, with the idiosyncratic image of the concertina, is more surprising. Also, a concertina is played by squeezing it from both sides, and pulling it outward, letting it expand, much like the motion of waves. There are similarities and striking differences all within this one comparison.
Apostrophe is a direct address to a person or thing, as in Gu Cheng’s poem, Forever Parted: Graveyard, which is written to the dead Red Guards who are buried near the Cemetery of the Revolutionary Martyrs in China: “Your hands were / soft, your nails clean, / the hands of those who’d opened schoolbooks / and storybooks, books about heroes.” Apostrophe allows Gu Cheng to write about the dead with immediacy by addressing them directly, and imagining what their lives were like.
Imagery. Ordinarily, imagery is stressed more than anything in beginning creative writing workshops. Concrete language anchors the poem, engages the five senses, and keeps the poem from becoming too vague. While simply plugging in imagery to fulfill an image quota does not make music or poetry language happen, it is important for the beginning writer to learn to incorporate as many concrete images as possible. Here are a few lines from Shu Ting’s “The Singing Flower” that make the abstract experience of exile a concrete, palpable experience for the reader:
I walk to the square through the zig-zag streets, back
To the pumpkin shack I guarded, the work in the barley fields,
deep in the desert (of exile).
Shu Ting doesn’t say “When I was in high-school during the Cultural Revolution I was taken away to the countryside because my father was considered a political nonconformist.” Rather, she makes that experience in the countryside come alive with specific images like the pumpkin shack and the barley fields, the zig-zag streets. Also, images provide larger possibilities for making rhythm, and establishing stronger metaphors and similes.
For more on imagery, please visit the Image in Poetry OWL resource. This source explains where images come from, how they are made, and what their function is in poetry.
The problem of Ambiguity in the beginner’s writing: beginners often mistake vagueness or lack of meaning or music in poetry as “ambiguity,” or “open-endedness” that allows the reader to imagine the rest, to fill in the blanks. In most cases, the poem is simply unclear, uncertain, or poorly written. Of course, ambiguity is important to poetry, since poetry excludes almost everything to say what it says. But at this stage, the beginning writer should focus on music, metaphor, simile, imagery, etc. and wait until she has reached a Mid-to-Advanced course in creative writing to explore how ambiguity works in poetry. Understanding how to read and write ambiguity is one of the most difficult, and necessary, features of poetry.
For more information on how to avoid some mistakes of beginning poetry writing, visit the Tutoring Creative Writing Students OWL resource.