What started as a “Shout-Out” grew into a Symphony
By Kristin Clark Taylor
There’s something about QuaverMusic that helps us find harmony, a sense of community among ourselves.
Listen closely and you’ll hear it for yourself. Shhh.
What you’re hearing is the sound of musical harmony being beautifully woven into each and every song in the Quaver curriculum, kind of like a golden thread. But listen a bit more closely, with a little more intention, and you’ll hear something else stirring within these notes. Hear it?
It’s the sound of human harmony; the kind of harmony that’s created among people when they come together to spread happiness and make each other smile – the most beautiful form of harmony there is.
Quaver promotes harmony of the musical kind and the human kind.
Just ask eight-year-old Madilynn Burgess, a third-grader at Hahira Elementary in Hahira, Georgia. Madilynn is a melody-maker for sure; a spreader of harmony.
Madilynn loves music. She loves her music teacher, Julie Padgett. She loves the Quaver songs and lessons that Ms. Padgett uses to bring learning to life in her classroom. Madilynn knows how to spread human harmony.
When she discovered that her grandmother actually knew someone who worked at Quaver, she sent her grandma (“My ‘BeBe,’ as Madilynn lovingly describes her) a text message asking for a small favor: Would she please ask her friend at Quaver to “send a shout-out” to Ms. Padgett and the entire school?
Madilynn’s beloved BeBe, Rhea Tantlinger, of Sharps Chapel, Tennessee, gladly adds her voice to the harmony.
“Madilynn loves to spread love and happiness. She’s the sweetest little girl in the world. She wanted the shout-out to recognize her teacher and her school,” Tantlinger says. “And I liked what she wrote at the end the message best: ‘If he can’t, it’s okay!’ That’s how sweet this little girl is.” (The “he” refers to the friend at Quaver.)
When Julie Padgett, who’s been teaching at Hahira Elementary for 16 years, heard the news from her little harmony-making student that a shout-out might be coming, her response was swift: “I was completely floored!”
Ms. Padgett is a melody-maker of the very best kind, and she’s been using Quaver resources in her classroom for some time.
Says the veteran music teacher: “We love Quaver in our classroom because the entire curriculum is geared towards the way kids think and talk. I love the cross-curricular learning that happens with Quaver, too. When my students learn about a famous composer, it becomes a history lesson, too. They take all that they’ve learned from the lessons and apply it to other classes. It makes learning more complete.”
Ms. Padgett says the entire Lowndes County Public School system uses Quaver – and she knows why: “Because it makes learning fun and the kids simply love it. Right now,” she says, “we’re learning about lines and spaces of the treble and bass cleft. Quaver brings all of this to life.”
“When Madilynn told me that she’d ask for a shout-out from Quaver, I was surprised, but I wasn’t that surprised, because that’s just the kind of child she is. Caring. Loving. Giving. She did it for the entire school, to make us all happy,” says the proud Padgett. “All this attention has us over the moon. We’re a family! And this fills all of us with pride.”
Madilynn herself is thrilled to have Quaver in her classroom. “I like dressing up the characters and watching the videos!” she says with enthusiasm. “It helps me learn!”
Tara Burgess, Madilynn’s mom, says her daughter really enjoys the Quaver avatars, and that Madilynn’s avatar, “has a cat face. We have two cats that we love.”
You can feel the pride in Tara’s voice as she talks about her daughter:
“Madilynn is always thinking of other people; always wanting to make others happy. It makes me so happy that she’s so kind.”
So what started as a super-duper shout-out from the single voice of an eight-year-old girl quickly swelled into a beautiful crescendo that included many, many voices.
Shhh. Listen closely and you’ll hear it again.
It’s the sound of a shout-out to a little girl named Madilynn and to her teacher, Ms. Padgett, and to everyone at Hahira Elementary!
From all of us at Quaver, a super-loud shout-out to all of you!
Kristin Clark Taylor is an author and a journalist.