But the Quality of the Curriculum Keeps a Sure and Steady Beat
By Kristin Clark Taylor
It started as a single flame, then it spread like wildfire.
Since its launch as a platform for digital teaching resources in 2013, QuaverMusic has blazed a path into millions of classrooms throughout the USA and across the globe.
Today, teachers can’t do without it … literally.
“I Don’t Want to Teach Without Quaver.”
Ally Scott, a general music teacher at Rummel Creek Elementary in Houston, Texas, says she discovered QuaverMusic in the middle of her first year of teaching, when the “road was a bit rough.”
Ally says QuaverMusic saved her.
“I was the only music teacher in a school of over 1,000 students,” she says. “Lots of the students had behavioral problems and for many of them, English wasn’t their first language. I was overwhelmed and under-resourced. My confidence level was at about a zero.”
“During that first year, my biggest issue – other than classroom management – was curriculum. We didn’t really have one. I’d sit on my carpet and just cry on my lunchbreak. I knew something had to change.”
It changed, alright.
Ally’s pain pivoted when she was introduced to QuaverMusic. This was when her pain transformed to joy.
“I went to post-graduate school after my first year of teaching,” she says. “I call that first year my ‘survival’ year, because I knew that if I was going to survive as a teacher, I needed to make some different moves. I knew that I was I born to teach; I just needed a resource to help me. Turns out that ‘resource’ was Quaver.”
In grad school at Houston Baptist University, one of Ally’s professors steered her towards Quaver. “The school was partnering with Quaver and the professor said he thought it would be the perfect resource for me. Needless to say,” she adds, “he was right. And the rest is history.”
Over the years, Ally (and the rest of the teaching world) has watched the QuaverMusic flame spread — and spread it has.
Since 2013, they’ve added more than 2,500 new resources to the QuaverMusic resource library and made significant functionality additions through free quarterly updates. This includes more than 1,000 interactive screens, hundreds of new ClassPlay songs and complete lessons, and a constant commitment to ongoing enhancements and growth.
“I am so very thankful to that professor,” Ally says with gratitude in her voice. “But most of all, I am thankful to Quaver for changing my teaching life. I’ll never, ever teach without Quaver. I don’t want to teach without Quaver!”
QuaverMusic Creates a Professional Development Ecosystem
During the years she’s been using Quaver in her classroom, Ally says she’s definitely grown as a teacher … but her students have grown as well – a “win-win” combination, as she describes it.
“Because Quaver has expanded enormously, it allows my teaching skills to expand and, as a result, this allows my students to expand and to learn and to explore new depths of creativity. It’s all connected.”
What Ally describes could also be described as a healthy ecosystem: Different organisms existing within the same environment that depend upon each other for growth and sustenance — except this professional development ecosystem has one more ingredient that helps make it unique, as far as ecosystems go: Happiness!
“In my classroom, the students are happy to learn,” Ally says, “and Quaver is largely responsible for that happiness. I see it with my own eyes,” she says.
“I see my students actually composing. I see them engaging in contests and learning about life through music. They’re rating each other’s songs. They’re exploring. They’re completely involved in the creation and evaluation of music, often without my instruction … And I’m talking about PreK-5th graders here.”
“Quaver allows me to be a teacher rather than a planner.”
When I ask Ally if she has a parting message she’d like to leave with teachers and school districts that don’t yet have Quaver, her response was rapid and super-simple: “If you don’t have it yet, get it. Period.”
She gains momentum as her message continues:
“For any music teacher who really wants to teach, bring Quaver into your life. Even if you have to start with just a free trial, start with that. You’ll see Quaver provides all the audio and video adaptations; you can constantly customize and change your lesson plans.”
Again, she brings it down to the bottom line:
“Quaver allows you to be a teacher rather than a planner. The curriculum gives you everything you need: I am not a content editor. I am not a sound technician or design engineer. I’m not any of those things — but I certainly benefit from the people at Quaver who are. I just want to teach. And Quaver lets me do that beautifully.”
What Ally has described in an ecosystem, indeed.
A professional development ecosystem where learning, growth, and happiness all thrive together, as one.
Kristin Clark Taylor is an author and a journalist.