How To Create Spooky Music Using GarageBand for iPad

How To Create Spooky Music Using GarageBand for iPad

8 ways to create spooky music sounds for soundscapes and storytelling

I’ve been working hard on my upcoming ebook iPad Projects for the Music Classroom and wanted to share a little taster project with you. This is a simple project involving the GarageBand app and it’s suitable for the music classroom and also for the general classroom. You can download a PDF copy of this sample iPad music project here.

Using the spooky music creation techniques suggested in the video below, students can make their own programmatic music for storytelling activities or for movie soundtracks.

In this video you’ll learn how to make these spooky sounds:

1. The Suspenseful Drone

2. The Dissonant Drone

3. Creepy Pizzicato Footsteps

4. Terrified Heartbeat

5. The Erie Piano

6. Crunchy Chords

7. Dramatic Diminished 9th

8. The Monster Roar

Using your spooky sounds: an example

I put together a short example project using the spooky sounds in a storytelling activity which you can take a look at in the video below. I recorded the narration on the top track using the Audio option in GarageBand’s instrument screen. The spooky sounds were recorded on the remaining tracks.

iPads in Music Education Sample Project

Download this project – sample chapter

Download a PDF copy of this sample iPad music project

More iPad Music Project Ideas For Your Students!

iPad Projects for the Music Classroom includes 22 step-by-step projects you can use straight away with your music students. Take the guesswork out of choosing apps and discover how you can use iPads in an engaging and meaningful way.

Click on the image below for more information.

iPad Music Education Ebook

By |2018-09-07T01:42:13+00:00October 1st, 2013|Elementary Ideas, iPads, Middle and High School Ideas|21 Comments

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About the Author:

I love to simplify technology for music teachers. I help teachers from all around the world through the Midnight Music Community - an online professional development community where teachers can take online courses, ask questions and receive personalised help for the music tech goals.


  1. Jim October 1, 2013 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    Excellent suggestions! How did you record the video of your iPad screen?

    • Katie October 2, 2013 at 7:20 am - Reply

      Thanks Jim! I used Reflection to mirror my iPad screen to my MacBook Pro and then I recorded the MacBook Pro screen with Screenflow. When you do that, the audio is a little behind what goes on visually, but I just move the audio track back in Screenflow so that the two match up. It’s the best system I’ve found so far. – Katie

      • Helen Metcalfe April 2, 2014 at 3:37 pm - Reply

        what is Reflection? Is it an app?

  2. Ray October 10, 2013 at 10:59 am - Reply

    Hi Katie, The Scary Story concept is a fantastic idea. Loved it!

    • Katie October 10, 2013 at 11:01 am - Reply

      Thanks Ray!

  3. Christopher Sutton October 18, 2013 at 3:13 am - Reply

    I absolutely love this! What a fun way to incorporate the Halloween theme to tech-assisted music learning. Nice work Katie!

    • Katie October 18, 2013 at 8:39 am - Reply

      Thanks Christopher 🙂 – Katie

  4. Janine November 5, 2013 at 8:00 am - Reply

    My students and I enjoyed the spooky music activity very much! We are excited to try out more!

    • Katie November 5, 2013 at 9:11 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much Janine – I’m happy you enjoyed it! – Katie

  5. How To Make Music Garageband Ipad August 28, 2014 at 12:07 pm - Reply

    […] How To Create Spooky Music Using GarageBand for iPad … – How To Create Spooky Music Using GarageBand for iPad Posted on October 1st, 2013 in iPads, Music Tech Tips. 8 ways to create spooky music sounds for …… […]

  6. Diana Dawe October 22, 2014 at 8:05 am - Reply

    I’m a music teacher from Ontario, Canada and I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been using your video as inspiration for a Halloween Unit. My grade 8’s love your ideas, especially the spooky steps and the monster cough (of course). They’re going to use them to create recordings of themselves reading scary Halloween poems.

    So thank you very much for the resource!

    • Katie October 24, 2014 at 7:34 pm - Reply

      Hi Diana,
      Thanks so much for taking the time to write. I’m thrilled to hear that your Year 8’s are enjoying the project – that age group is usually the true test!
      All the best

  7. […] Using a program like Apple’s Garage Band, download some scary Halloween music and record a few evil laughs, cackles and maybe the occasional “Boo” overtop. Save the track as a song on your smartphone and play it using a BlueTooth speaker you hide somewhere outside. […]

  8. […] PDF File Name: How to create spooky music using garageband for ipad Source: » DOWNLOAD « […]

  9. Heather Nanney October 1, 2015 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    I love this idea! I can’t wait to start using it with my students!

    • Katie October 9, 2015 at 8:31 pm - Reply

      Thanks Heather!

  10. […] Katie from Midnight Music shares some really creative tips and tricks to create spooky music with GarageBand.  Students will love the exciting sounds they can make with these ideas that are easy for students to create. […]

  11. […] Back to Basics – How to plug a MIDI keyboard into your computer | Midnight Music. How to plug a microphone into your computer | Midnight Music. GarageBand Shortcuts Free Download | Midnight Music. How To Create Spooky Music Using GarageBand for iPad | Midnight Music. […]

  12. Claudia November 4, 2016 at 4:57 pm - Reply

    This is so awesome! Glad I found this blog. By any chance do you have another post on creating Christmas music? Thanks!

    • Katie November 8, 2016 at 1:21 pm - Reply

      Thanks Claudia – glad you like it! I don’t have one on Christmas music, but it’s a great idea. Not sure I’ll have one done in time for this holiday season, but I’ll keep it in mind.

  13. Craig October 12, 2017 at 4:46 am - Reply

    #8 doesn’t seem possible with the latest version of Garage Band. I don’t see a way to lower the audio more than 1 octave. Am I missing something?

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