Farewell, QuaverCon … Hello, New School Year!

Though Conference Ends, Quaver Continues Delivering Excellence

By Kristin Clark Taylor

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“I seriously didn’t want it to end.”

Those were the words of Anita Clay Moody, an elementary music specialist in Georgia who felt a little sad to see the conference come to an end but very, very happy to have learned so much from it. 

But the dedicated staff and seasoned professionals at Quaver have a message for Moody – and for the almost four thousand other music educators who attended the virtual conference: Though the ground-breaking, show-stopping event may be over, Quaver will continue to provide the tools and resources you need to face the new school year feeling confident, calm, and perfectly equipped to reach and teach your students wherever they are. 

In this final installment of a three-part series, let’s listen in as several more music educators reflect on the extraordinary impact the conference had – and is still having — on their teaching lives:

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Kelly Grattan

Music Educator, K-5

Holloway Elementary, Holland, Ohio

One Word to Describe QuaverCon: “Inspirational!”

“I thoroughly enjoyed every session, but I especially enjoyed the session on cultural competence. The information and the discussion from that session will not only help music teachers, but teachers – and people — in general. In fact, our staff has asked for permission to present it at one of our upcoming staff meetings or at a PD day! I just think the concepts and principles are important enough to share with everyone in our entire district.

The other thing I really appreciated was being able to ask questions as the session was happening. That was a luxury, and an exception. Even in traditional conferences, you’re usually required to hold your questions until the very end. Being able to share whatever was on my mind and receive feedback almost immediately from the Quaver staff made me feel like my voice was being heard, and it added a nice, interactive flow to the sessions. It felt like more of a conversation – and that I was a part of that conversation was really cool. I think every conference should do it this way moving forward!

Everything about the conference was inspiring and creative, including the “Found Sounds!” To make my “Found Sound” video, I just grabbed household items that were right in front of me … A pen. A few little storage drawers. I even used my face and my cheeks to make music! I’m really excited about the possibility of collaborating with other teachers and to maybe even collaborate with Otto and Graham!”

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Kristen Shephard

K-5 Music Specialist

Tom Hicks Elementary, Frisco, TX

One word: “All-encompassing!”

“I’m just starting to use Quaver, and this is a new school to me, so everything feels fresh! I’m excited to get started. Rather than feeling nervous or intimidated, I feel ready to start this new academic year, thanks to these Quaver tools. The first three weeks of school we’ll be on-line — we still don’t know exactly what will happen after that, though I’m sure we’ll find out soon. Whatever happens, I know I’ll be ready. Even though all of this is new, and we’re all dealing with so much that is unknown, I know I’m prepared … and that’s a very good feeling.

Each session I attended during QuaverCon offered something different; knowledge I can really use. I loved the session on Social and Emotional Learning, and the session that I think was called, “Music Center Maestro’s Tip, Tricks, and Tools from Quaver” was filled with useful information, too. For a new teacher, all of this makes a huge difference.

Yes, there’s a lot to see and learn in Quaver, but they make it so easy to navigate it doesn’t feel overwhelming. I also loved that the presenters were so enthusiastic; it made me feel excited, too! I definitely plan on using a lot of this information moving forward. I’m so glad we got Quaver!”

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Angela Mangum

Quaver Ambassador and QuaverCon presenter

Creedmoor, NC

One word: “QMunity!”

Working behind the scenes [at QuaverCon], I wanted to include a large variety of ideas in my Creatives and Digital Tools sessions as possible, knowing that for each teacher I reach, hundreds of children would be impacted.  The Quaver Team members were always helpful and positive, as it was very important to everyone that QuaverCon was a great experience–and it was!

As a presenter, I loved how the Whova app connected me with teachers, even before the event began. I attended a meet-up with several NC teachers who were new to Quaver, and was happy to be able to share my screen and have a mini training session to help familiarize them with the Quaver Resources. 

How would I describe the conference itself? WOW!  High speed, laughs, tears, inspiration, 1000+ people chatting at once, Q&A, Suggestions, Comments — positive and anxiety-filled.  Nerves, excitement, getting tech right. Yes, we are a Seriously Fun QMunity! 

And the biggest takeaways:  You Are Not Alone. We Will Succeed with Our Students!  Spread the Music Joy! Valerie and Otto shared their families in their presentations, and it was touching.  It was real.  Families are real!  Yes, you are a teacher.  Yes, you are a member of a family.  And yes, you can make it work when teaching in a Virtual World!”

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So the conference ends … but the roll-out of exciting new Quaver tools, tips, and lessons continues full speed ahead. And even though we’re facing much that is uncertain and unknown, this much we know with absolute certainty: Teachers can continue to rely on Quaver for innovation, inspiration, and excellence.


Kristin Clark Taylor is an author and a journalist.