For this Educator, Quaver is Hitting all the Right Notes

Cultural Inclusivity and Cross-Curricular Appeal Spell Success

By Kristin Clark Taylor

Patti Medley Lamb uses Quaver to bring learning to life. Literally.

The innovative educator uses Quaver to bring music history to life in a way that enthralls – and involves! – her students.

“In my last school, when we were staying the Baroque period, everyone got involved!”, Patti says enthusiastically. 

“I’d greet my students at the door in full costume, wearing a hoop skirt and a masquerade mask!”

“The Quaver lessons on Baroque music helped bring that part of music history to life. I would even greet my students in a six-bone hoop skirt! Quaver helped make it feel real.”

“Some of my students would greet me by bowing at the waist, like the gentlemen of that period used to do, and they’d say, ‘How do you do?’, and others would curtsy or even dance, and we’d just have a great time. It made learning fun.”

Quaver’s Warm, Welcoming Embrace

Patti, a general music teacher at Hubert Humphrey Elementary in Albuquerque, New Mexico, also expresses gratitude to Quaver for providing other forms of learning, exploration, and discovery. 

Among them: Cross-curricular learning.

“My students loved ‘Candy-Making Machine,’” she says happily. 

Not only is the song fun and face-paced, Patti says, but something else wonderful is unfolding as well: Reading skills are being reinforced!

“The lyrics of the song were highlighted when they appeared on screen, and as the kids sang along, the highlighting reinforced the words they already knew and it helped them learn new words.”

But the cross-curricular connections don’t stop there: Quaver helps bring mathematical concepts to life as well. 

“When I teach the whole note, or a quarter note, for instance, the kids are being introduced to fractions. The math-music connection is extremely strong. And they can understand these mathematical concepts in a way that is engaging and fun! You can almost see the light bulbs coming on.”

Patti paints the perfect portrait of cross-curricular learning in action:

“During the last school year, we’d often play instruments right along with ‘Candy-Making Machine,’” she explains. “I’d have them play the triangle on the whole note. Or maybe we’d use egg-shakers and shake them for two counts. Or maybe even play our tambourines on the quarter note, for example. The learning never stops.” 

Patti and Perry the Sheep bring learning to life at Hubert Humphrey Elementary in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Patti points to another powerful way Quaver helps make her students feel welcomed and valued. The cultural inclusivity of the curriculum itself.

“In my last school, our student body was extremely culturally diverse,” she says. “We had at least five tribes of Native Americans, and we had a high percentage of Hispanic students as well. Lots of our students are ESL. Quaver helped – and still helps – meet students wherever they are.”

Patti applauds the fact that the Quaver curriculum helps “create a level playing field” for students from different cultures, using music “as a way to ensure that everyone is on the same page.”

“Music is the medium that pulls it all together,” she says with gratitude, “and Quaver is the connector.”

A “connector,” indeed.

In many ways, Quaver also helps students connect to their own sense of self-esteem and self-confidence. Patti agrees.

“Some of my students have even entered their own work in the ‘Creatives’ contests! Rather than feeling vulnerable about putting themselves out there, they feel empowered! This is where self-confidence comes from.”

Patti, who continues to use Quaver in her new school, utters five simple words to describe her continued commitment to the innovative online resource:

“Quaver goes where I go!”

Kristin Clark Taylor is an author and a journalist.

For more information on QuaverEd, visit www.quavered.com.



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