Halloween At Its Best!

There is a wealth of fun, well-written Halloween music for piano students, but some of my favorite Halloween pieces come from the series titled Halloween at Its Best, published by FJH. I use pieces from this series every year, and my students always love them. 

Here’s my student, Logan, playing Pumpkin Dance by Timothy Brown from Book 2.

If you’re a teacher who enjoys using background accompaniments with your students, you might appreciate the three accompaniment files created by Lori Frazer for pieces from Books 1 and 2. She makes them freely available at the Keys to Imagination website. You can listen to the accompaniments below, but you’ll need to visit Keys to Imagination to download them.

Halloween Boo!

by Melody Bober (Clavinova accompaniment by Lori Frazer.)

Look at the Witches

by Elizabeth W. Greenleaf (Clavinova accompaniment by Lori Frazer.)

Things that Go Bump in the Night

by Melody Bober (Clavinova accompaniment by Lori Frazer.)

“Mashed Potato Clouds” by Diane Hidy

Music I Love to Teach

 

“My dream has

finally come true!

I get to play Mashed Potato Clouds.”

–Logan, 2nd grader

 

Logan had heard her older brother play Mashed Potato Clouds, and she loved it! More than a year later, I suggested that she might like to learn it, too.

“Will I be able to play it for recital?” she asked excitedly.

“That was my exact plan,” I responded.

Students love Mashed Potato Clouds! It has a catchy tune with a pop kind of vibe. It sounds harder than it is, and the repeated melodic and rhythmic patterns make it easy to learn.

Every time I have a student play it on a recital, another student asks to learn it.

Find it in Diane Hidy’s Attention Grabbers, Book 2, published by Kjos. All four of the books in this set are fantastic, but the biggest hit from them in my studio (so far) has been Mashed Potato Clouds.

“Incognito” by Jason Sifford

Music I Love to Teach

Incognito, a jazz nocturne, is a piece I’ve discovered only recently, but I loved it from the first time I played it. With its haunting G minor melody and flashy 16th note riffs, it’s just fun to play. It’s been an easy sell for several of my early advanced students, and has quickly  become a studio recital favorite.

Find it in the FJH Music Company’s In Recital for the Advancing Pianist: Original Solos, Book 2.