Friday, October 12, 2012

Halloween Duets (for brand new beginners)


Halloween is in the air and I am preparing for my annual Halloween Party/Recital. My students are excited to play the creepy songs they've been hard at work practicing, but what about the very new beginning students who can't read music yet- or can barely count, for that matter? What can they perform at their first recital?

Composing music for my beginning students is just something I have not had time to sit down and do. But I have a dear friend and colleague who has been writing music for her students (of all levels) for years. 

A couple of years ago, she composed a collection of Halloween duets for brand new beginning students who could not yet master everything it took to perform at a recital. I tested the duets out on many of my students, and they were an instant hit!!

Now, its become an annual event during a lesson in October to hear the words..... "Miss Suzanne can we play the creepy Halloween duets??" It doesn't seem to matter how old they are or how advanced they are, they remember these pieces from year to year, and request them EVERY year--these are clearly a student favorite.

This year at my Halloween party I will be playing one of the duets with a brand new beginner. No doubt everyone else will recognize these pieces and want to play them all at the party!

These duets are energetic, fun to listen to, and most importantly, contain an easy ostinato for a new student to play without having to read the music. In fact, they don't even have to know how to count! You can let them know when to begin and end the ostinato simply by whispering it to them in recital. To see how proud the student is for being able to perform a creepy song with the teacher just like the big kids is priceless!
Duet Titles:
1. Footsteps at Midnight
2. Night on Monster Mountain
3. Skeleton Dance
4. Trick or Treat on Mars
5. Ghosts of the Haunted Swamp
6. Lullaby for a Sleepy Ghost
7. The Pirates Dance on Halloween

The entire collection is available for sale here-



With the composers' permission, here are 4 measures from 2 of my favorite duets:








Thank you, Ellen!



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