21 Songs for Autumn and Halloween
by Mandy Lining | Oct 21, 2018
Looking for some festive fall songs to play in your music classroom? What about some spooky classical music pieces to play during Halloween? From pumpkins and leaves to spiders and squirrels, we’ve compiled a whole list of songs to add a little fall to the air! The first set of songs includes some fun autumn and non-scary Halloween songs, so it’s perfect for all ages!
1. Five Little Pumpkins
Pumpkins, pumpkins, everywhere! One of the happiest things about fall is all the pumpkins scattered everywhere in the pumpkin patch! But, these five little pumpkins have escaped their patch and ended up on this gate. Listen to find out what spooky thing they encounter!
We made this into a Prodigies Episode in Primary Prodigies! Check it out here to play and hand-sign along!
2. Autumn Leaves are Falling Down
This song reminds me of one of my favorite fall activities…watching all the leaves change color and twirl to the ground!
3. Jump Up, Jump in
Jump up and jump in! Children can get their wiggles out by pretending to jump in a big pile of leaves!
4. Grey Squirrel Song
Swoosh your bushy tail! Students can take turns being the Mommy, Daddy, Grandpa, Grandma, and baby squirrel while swooshing their tails around!
5. Five Apples in the Apple Tree
It’s apple pickin’ time! Students can pretend to shake their apple tree and catch the apples as they fall! Throw a small red ball or plastic apple to students so they can “catch” their falling apple.
6. Three Scary Spiders
Watch out for the creepy, crawly spiders! To add a little extra fun, put together this paper plate spider. During the song, have the spider land on different children! Your room will be filled with laughter and squeals!
7. Scarecrow Song
This scarecrow has some moves! Children can dance along with him as he goes faster and faster and faster! Can your class keep up with him?!
8. There’s a Spider on the Floor
This spider gets a little too close for comfort! He’s on your leg, your stomach, and your head! This song would be another great opportunity to use the paper plate spider craft!
9. The Colours of Autumn
This is such a sweet, melodic song that tells all about the beauty of the autumn season. This would be the perfect song for a children’s choir to sing!
10. “Remember Me” from Coco
Coco is set in the Mexican traditions of Día de Muertos, or the “Day of the Dead” celebrations. Remember Me is a heartwarming song sung by Miguel to his great-grandmother. We have adopted this song in Prodigies style for your kiddo to play along on their bells!
11. Down by the Spooky Bay
A ghost eating toast?! A spider flying in a glider?! This is a such a silly Halloween song that it’s not even scary at all! See what other silly things you can find!
12. Monster Stomp Around the House (viewer discretion advised as some elements may be too scary for younger children)
Do you hear that sound? What could it be?! Nothing more than a house full of monsters! Watch out because they are jumping and stomping everywhere!
13. Skeleton Frolic (viewer discretion advised as some elements may be too scary for younger children)
Here’s some super old-school spooky animation from the 1930s! In this grand adventure, the undead skeletons come to life and have a graveyard symphony! With “dry-bones” humor, these morbid skeletons are sure to make you squirm as they play musical instruments.
14. October by Eric Whitacre
Eric Whitacre is a beloved choral composer known for his use of tight harmonies and tone clusters, as well as soaring melodic and harmonic lines. October is a wind band transcription of his hauntingly beautiful composition entitled “Alleluia.” Your little ones will be taken captive by the enchanting harmonies and climactic tensions and resolutions in this piece. Have them tell an imaginary story or create artwork while listening to this piece.
These next songs are classical pieces which will pair perfectly with Halloween. They all are spooky in some way and can be used as a great way to introduce classical and orchestra songs in the context of “scary” music and Halloween.
15. The Montagues and the Capulets
The Montagues and the Capulets is from the ballet Romeo and Juliet by Prokokiev. In the Shakespearean play, Romeo and Juliet are from two families which are at war with each other. Romeo and Juliet fall in love despite the tensions between their families. This song accompanies a dance of the knights and musically builds the tension throughout the piece.
We made a Prodigies lesson out of this song! We simplified it with a simple bells accompaniment. Check it out here!
16. O Fortuna from Carmina Burmana
This piece of dramatic choir and orchestra music is instantly recognizable. It describes the inescapable power of fate and is sure to send shivers up your spine. Play this on a good sound system! This famous song has made its way into commercials and popular culture.
17. Night on Bald Mountain
Night on Bald Mountain is an extended work for orchestra which describes some very spooky activities involving witches and ghosts on a mountain. It is a very famous piece of music with some recognizable themes. Don’t worry, playing this music will not wake the dead!
18. The Rite of Spring
The Rite of Spring is a long piece of music which describes a riverside gathering in which many spooky activities take place. The piece has been highly controversial since its premiere, due to its dark nature and intense amounts of dissonance. When the piece was first premiered, a riot broke out! See if you can invent your own monster story while you listen.
19. Funeral March from Symphony No. 1 by Mahler
This movement from Mahler’s 1st symphony describes a procession in which animals are transporting a fallen huntsman. Listen for some common themes such as “Frere Jacques” in a minor key.
20. Blue Bolero by Karl Jenkins
This is a very unique piece of music by a modern composer which uses a ladies’ chorus as part of an orchestra. The ladies sing in an invented language, and the style of this piece is similiar to Ravel’s Bolero which starts very quietly and builds in dramatic intensity throughout the entire piece until a climax at the end. Listen for the ostinato, which is a repeated rhythm that’s woven through the entire song.
21. Dies Irae from Verdi’s Requiem (The Day of Wrath)
Dies Irae is from a famous requiem by Verdi. A requiem is a mass for the souls of the dead. Dies Irae describes the end of the world when the trump of God sounds and divine judgment is unleashed. While this work is religious in nature, Verdi powerfully showcases this dramatic event with an intense choir, orchestra with a flaring brass antiphonal fanfare that can be appreciated by everyone.