But Quaver creates comfort, consistency
By Kristin Clark Taylor
Teacher Gloria Wallman poses with her popular “Quaver Music Mobile“
Beethoven and Vivaldi are there.
They stand at full attention, ready to help Gloria Wallman teach music to her 3-6th grade students at Lakeland Intermediate in LaGrange, Indiana. Debussy was scheduled to attend as well, but he’s on back order, so his absence is understandable. “Beethoven and Vivaldi are doing a great job!” Wallman says with a smile in her voice.
They’re the two classical musical figurines that Wallman has prominently placed on her “Quaver Music Mobile” – her innovative teaching cart.
She says Quaver was her creative inspiration – not just for the musical figurines (they use similar busts of the famous composers in their curriculum) but for how she designed her entire cart.
“I ‘Quaver-ized’ my Cart!”
“School obviously feels different for everyone this year,” Wallman says. “And since I’ve been asked to teach on a cart this year to avoid having too many kids in the hallway at the same time, I decided to get creative! Why not make the best of it?”
Wallman says she wanted to make learning as fun as possible this year, so she pulled out all the stops: She spray-painted her cart purple (“the color of Quaver, of course!”), and she even recreated some of the Quaver characters and glued them to the cart: “I have the Quaver character Gwenda on my cart, and Austin Otto, and Quaver himself, of course!”
Wallman says that simply seeing the faces of the Quaver characters lends a sense of comfort and familiarity to her students, especially important during these sometimes uncomfortable and unfamiliar times.
Wallman should also consider adding “Webster” to her last name, because she’s even come up with a new verb that could be added to the dictionary: “I Quaver-ized my cart!” she says with excitement. The innovative teacher also adhered Quaver’s Five Rules to her popular purple cart – rules by which we could all abide a little more carefully these days:
Wallman says the kids get a big kick out of hearing Quaver recite these rules, “in a really high falsetto voice. It just cracks them up!”
But Wallman’s students aren’t just laughing … they’re learning. Using Quaver’s popular song “You-Nique,” she’s helping her students identify and express their emotions as they navigate the choppy waves of these uncharted waters. Again, she relies on her Quaver tools to help keep her students afloat. And “You-Nique” is the perfect flotation device:
“I’ve been playing it a lot since we’ve been back,” she reports. “It’s just what the students want – and need – to hear.”
She says she tells her students to think about how the lyrics apply to them in their own lives. “I remind them that each one of them is unique, but we can all work together, even during these times. It’s a great way to celebrate our differences and our similarities at the same time.”
It seems Quaver and Wallman share the same motto: To make learning “seriously fun.” And Wallman has created the tools to do just that … with the help of folks like Beethoven, Vivaldi, Quaver, Austin Otto, and Gwenda.
Oh, and eventually Debussy, too … if that order ever comes in.
Kristin Clark Taylor is an author and a journalist.