A Folk Song for Halloween: Skin and Bones

by Abby @ Quaver on October 27, 2015

in At Quaver HQ

Each Tuesday, we bring you a Tip of the Week to make using your Quaver resources easier than ever!

Click Play to listen to our Tip of the Week jingle! (Email readers, click-through to listen to the Tip of the Week Tune)

Today’s Tip is for users of ClassPlay – specifically our Seasonal Folk songs!

Have you discovered the Halloween folk songs in your ClassPlay library?

This Halloween week, you may want to introduce your students to the tale of the “old women all skin and bones” with our ClassPlay song, “Skin and Bones!” 

First things first, let’s find “Skin and Bones” in ClassPlay:

  • Log in to QuaverMusic.com with a Teacher Account
  • Click the TEACHER TAB
  • Choose CLASSPLAY, located on the Teacher Dashboard
  • Click SEARCH ALL SONGS, and start typing “Skin and Bones”
  • From the Song Hub, select LYRICS to introduce the song

Give this classic folk song a Quaver twist by using our animated LYRICS activity – students will love seeing the storyline played out, and even want to reenact it themselves!

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 9.21.20 AM

Teacher Tip: To give the song a more eerie feel, you might ask students to play the recorder for the Ooooooooo lines.

This ClassPlay song also offers a great interactive ARRANGEMENT activity that helps you to lead your students through an exploration of the accompaniment parts of the song on Alto Glockenspiel, Alto Metallophone and Bass Xylophone.

Click ARRANGEMENT on the Song Hub to explore the many activities available here:

1) Rhythm Exploration

“Skin and Bones” is a great way to integrate Orff instruments into your curriculum! From the main screen in this ARRANGEMENT activity, you can help students learn the notes and accompanying phrases for each instrument.

Using the toggle at the bottom of the screen to switch between NOTES and GRAPHICS. To focus on a specific instrument part, select SOLO.

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 10.10.26 AM

From this SOLO screen, you can even create a new rhythm with your students. Click NEW PART and simply drag and drop the symbols above, to create great your new rhythm pattern.

If you like the new part, click SAVE NEW PART. When finished creating new rhythms, select ALL PARTS to return to the three accompaniment phrases.

2) Body Percussion

Ready to transfer your rhythm to the body? Back on the main screen, click the yellow BODY PERC tab, located at the top of the screen, to explore body percussion movements. Select a movement, and an instructional cloud will appear with a movement idea. You can use this as a jumping off point to lead your students to create accompaniments with their bodies.

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 3.58.27 PM

3) Explore Theory Concepts

From the same page, you might use the EXPLORE tab to talk about the musical ideas present in the song. This is a great way encourage creativity and critical thinking skills. Each example gets students thinking and applying musical concepts to the song. Activities include: creating a B section, playing at different tempos, creating movements and many more!

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 4.21.35 PM

Teacher Tip: Get your students moving, and have them reenact the story by creating a graveyard scene with students as trees, tombstones, etc., an old man/woman and, of course, the “BOO” at the end. Students will have a blast moving, singing and getting into the Halloween spirit!


We’d love to see the festivities in your classroom this Halloween week! Share your boo-tiful lessons with us on Twitter or Facebook this week! 


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Corinne W October 29, 2015 at 11:15 am

This has been fun using in class. The kids get a smile on their face at the end! But multiple classes have all had the same comment…they knew something was coming since the lyrics say “Boo” already at the end. I wish there was a way to hide the lyrics while still watching the little video OR perhaps a way to edit the lyrics to just take the “Boo” out of the written lyrics so the kids don’t know something’s coming.


2 Abby @ Quaver October 29, 2015 at 11:21 am

Great suggestion Corinee! We will pass this along.


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