Holiday-Themed Musical Activities

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As I sit down to write this post, the leaves are turning and the air is colder. Fall is here!

With so many upcoming seasons and holidays, I love to incorporate fun activities into my home studio and my own children’s musical learning. A few years ago, two of my 3rd grade students played a duet of “In the Hall of the Mountain King” by Grieg and dressed as witches. I’ve never seen them so excited to play for a recital! Students also love the chance to learn holiday music that is familiar to them, and there’s so many opportunities to attend musical performances with your little one.

This season brings with it the ability to incorporate lots of fun holiday-themed musical activities into your practicing routine at home.

Here is a list of eight holiday-themed musical activities to get you started….

Have a Halloween Recital

Your student can wear his Halloween costume and play “in character”. (Learn to play “Hedwig’s Theme” in this free piano lesson tutorial!)

Attend a performance of The Nutcracker.

Some of my earliest memories include getting dressed up in my Christmas Best to go see The Nutcracker ballet downtown with my mom. Read the story of The Nutcracker to your children before attending so they’re able to follow along, and enjoy the incredibly beautiful variety of dances from Tchaikovsky’s musical masterpiece.

Learn holiday music

If you celebrate Hanukkah, try picking up sheet music for “Dreidel Song” (included in Level 4A for Busy Kids students). Check out my free lesson tutorial for Hedwig’s Theme from the Harry Potter film for a Halloween-feeling tune or Jingle Bells at Christmas-time. Christmas books abound for those wishing to learn favorites such as “Joy to the World” or “Silent Night”. (Plus, kids LOVE learning this music!)

Listen to Handel’s Messiah

CLICK HERE to watch a beautiful performance of the Hallelujah Chorus and learn all about George Frederick Handel (the composer) with these fun activities from Classics for Kids.

Give Christmas Gifts that Encourage Musical Play 

CLICK HERE for a list of musical gift ideas.

Use instruments to accompany your favorite holiday music and do some music making with your child

Try playing bells along to “Jingle Bells” (Christmas) or add drums to “In The Hall of The Mountain King” (Halloween). Blow on a kazoo to “Dreidel Song” (Hanukkah).

Listen to Debussy’s “Reverie” while reading Dream Snow by Eric Carle.

Ask your child to draw a picture of winter inspired by the music to accompany the story.

Watch a holiday musical!

My personal favorites are Babes in Toyland and White Christmas.



Do you have any holiday-themed music activities that you look forward to?

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