Facilitates Creativity in the Classroom, Collaboration throughout the District
By Kristin Clark Taylor
Kelly Mayhugh, a K-5 music teacher at Park Avenue Elementary in Danville, Virginia, is no stranger to Quaver. She’s been using the innovative online music curriculum for eight years.
Even after eight years, though, she says the resources seem forever new. Sparklingly creative. Refreshingly, well, fresh.
“I love that the platform is constantly being enriched, improved, and updated,” she says. “Keeping an excellent resource excellent is no easy task. I can’t imagine teaching without it.”
“Maintaining my ‘Sense of Self’ as a teacher”
Mayhugh speaks eloquently of balance; of the delicate — and sometimes elusive — balance between technology, teaching, and creativity. She is grateful that Quaver’s technology is highly sophisticated, yet it’s also “extremely accessible” and easy to navigate.
“We don’t teach from a textbook for one very good reason: We don’t need one! Quaver is our textbook! It’s what we use entirely.”
“What I really appreciate is that Quaver isn’t trying to replace me as a teacher,” she remarks thoughtfully. “It’s not taking away anything from me; it’s giving something to me! Having Quaver in my classroom allows me to maintain my sense of self as a teacher. It lets me be me.”
Collaboration is the Key
Mayhugh wears many marvelous hats. In addition to being the music teacher at Park Avenue Elementary, she’s also the lead elementary and choral teacher for Danville Public Schools, a role that requires significant collaboration between and amongst schools throughout the district.
Tasked with ensuring that teachers from school to school are adhering to the same curriculum, Mayhugh is happy that Quaver helps her weave the threads of creativity and collaboration into a single, seamless tapestry.
“It’s important for teachers throughout the district to remain on the same page,” she says. “Quaver allows us — no, keeps us – on the same page. We don’t just use Quaver because it’s a great resource, although it definitely is that. We’re required to use it as our teaching tool, which makes it easier for us to share information, collaborate, and have a common standard. I want it to be easy for our teachers to meet our state standards. Quaver helps us make this happen.”
Pushing “Beyond our Comfort Zones”
Mayhugh strongly believes that pushing beyond our traditional comfort zones is the best way to facilitate growth. She practices what she preaches. She was so impressed with Quaver’s songs and lessons on the ukulele, for example, that she was able to learn the instrument herself – well enough to teach a master class on the ukulele to the other music teachers in the district.
“Quaver made it possible for us to incorporate the ukulele into every elementary music class in our district. In fact, I ordered the instruments for these schools based on the knowledge that Quaver will help us make it work.”
“I can also make a great lesson in Resource Manager and share it with the entire District, then we can all use it and customize it however we like,” she says.
“This is a resource that helps push teachers past their comfort zone. Many, if not most, of our teachers didn’t know how to play or teach ukulele before. Who knew they’d ever be able to play the ukulele with such confidence? And I’m not just talking about the students … I’m talking about the teachers learning it, too!
“The Learning Won’t Stop while I’m Away”
Mayhugh will be starting maternity leave soon, and she says that having Quaver will make it easier to plan for a substitute in her absence.
“Quaver is easy to learn, but it’s also each to teach,” she says. “This means the learning won’t stop while I’m away.”
“I believe in Quaver. I believe in the music teachers in this district, and I want it to be easy for each and every one of them to meet the state standards. Quaver helps make this possible. It’s a pretty great combination.”
Call it a match made in heaven.
Kristin Clark Taylor is an author and a journalist.
For more information about QuaverMusic go to www.quavered.com/music.