Fall is here!
School is back in session, the leaves are changing, and there are pumpkins and Indian corn in the yard (and currently covered in snow, but that’s probably just a West Michigan problem).
If you’re getting into the spirit of the season and looking for ways to bring that spirit into your studio, then this post is for you!
Here is my top ten list of favorite fall activities to try in your studio this autumn.
10. Play a Leaf-Matching Game
Cut out some leaf shapes in various fall colors.
On half of the leaves, write some music terms that the students have been learning.
On the other half, write the corresponding definition or symbol.
See how fast the students can match the terms to the definitions or symbols.
This is a great way to add some review to your fall activities!
9. Decorate Your Studio for the Season
Transform your studio into a harvest-themed wonderland!
Add some colored leaves, pumpkins, turkey feathers, cider-scented candles, or whatever else catches your fancy.
Alternatively, just deck out your bulletin board or dry erase board with some fall spirit.
If you want to get your students in on this, kids do love tracing their hand shape to make a turkey. That one is always a crowd pleaser!
8. Study The Seasons
Put together a unit of study based on Antonio Vivaldi’s life and his composition of The Four Seasons.
Play a recording of the music for your students and point out the imagery Vivaldi uses in each movement, particularly the autumn movements. Have the students vote on which season is their favorite!
Alternatively, try studying the September, October, and November movements of Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel’s Das Jahr or Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s The Seasons.
7. Make an Autumn-Themed Garland
Set a goal for each of your students, such as memorizing one piece from their performance book or mastering two new rhythms.
Write each successful student’s name on a decorative leaf, pumpkin, piece of candy corn, or other fall cutout. String them on a garland to display in your studio.
6. Learn Some Fall Songs
Spice up your students’ repertoire a bit by adding some seasonal color!
Some great fall pieces are Maple Leaf Rag, We Gather Together, Autumn Leaves, and Autumn in New York.
Check out this post for some more autumn-inspired repertoire!
5. Hold a Fall Concert
Most teachers have formal recitals in the spring and maybe at Christmas, but why not host a more informal fall concert to keep your students motivated?
They can play pieces related to the season, or you can pick a different theme.
Maybe you could go to your local veteran’s home and play some patriotic music for the residents around Veteran’s Day, or serve some cider and apple pie to accompany a cozy concert of parlour music.
The sky is the limit!
4. Start an Autumn Challenge
If you want to shake things up a bit, have a seasonal challenge.
See which student can memorize the most pieces, try to have everyone master five new scales, or help each student write their own autumn-themed composition.
Present each challenge-taker with a special certificate once they’ve completed their quest.
Setting goals and making challenges is a great way to get your students excited about music!
3. Go On a “Turkey Hunt”
Not a real turkey hunt, obviously, but this is a great way to add some variety to your music lessons this fall.
At the beginning of the lesson, tell your student that there is a turkey on the loose! Tell them that you will be letting them know whenever there is a “turkey sighting” throughout their lesson.
Then, call out “Turkey!” every time they play a certain note, chord, or rhythm. They have until the end of the lesson to figure out what the turkey is.
If they can “hunt down” the turkey successfully, give them a special turkey sticker, coloring page, or other treat to reward their hunting efforts.
2. Hold a Pumpkin-Carving Contest
This one requires some parental involvement, but makes for a lot of fun memories.
Hold a contest to see who can carve the best music-related pumpkin. Some carving ideas are key signatures, time signatures, treble and bass clefs, composer faces, etc.
Once you (or another designated judge) has decided on a winner, present them with a ribbon and a prize!
1. Have a Thanksgiving Food Drive
If you’re looking for a way to serve others this fall season, see if you can rally your students around the idea of a Thanksgiving food drive.
You might donate your collected items to your local food pantry, a women’s shelter, or an inner-city mission. Just make sure you call ahead to see if they accept donations and what kind of grocery items they are most in need of.
What fall activities do you and your students enjoy? Leave a comment below!