The Story of a Long and Wonderful Journey with Quaver

A Florida Educator says He Feels Lucky to Have seen it Come “Full-Circle”

By Kristin Clark Taylor

The Journey Begins

When Dr. Christopher Burns reflects on his journey with Quaver, he takes us back to the very first step — and the very first step is where all journeys begin.

Almost a decade ago, as an elementary music teacher in Orlando, Florida, his path towards Quaver began. 

Burns remembers the precise moment.

“From the time I first saw Quaver and really began to understand what it could do for my students, I was all-in,” he says. “I remember thinking to myself, ‘Hmmm … here’s something completely different.”

The Momentum Spreads

So Burns jumped right in by testing the pilot. 

As his familiarity with the curriculum increased, so did his enthusiasm – and he began to spread the good word about Quaver to other teachers. 

The collective momentum began to build. 

“In those early days,” Burns says, “I worked really hard, along with several other teachers, to get Quaver adopted by the district,” he says.  “All of us knew it would have a positive impact – and all of us knew we wanted the resource in our classrooms.” 

What was it, exactly, that created such a strong attraction?

“We were drawn to Quaver’s easy accessibility, the diverse characters, and its ability to engage our students in new ways,” he ticks off quickly. 

“It was this fresh, new combination of things that allowed us to teach music differently than we ever had before,” he says appreciatively. “But it was more than the music – it was the messages that were being taught, too.”

The Journey Deepens

Dr. Burns reflects on another moment that catapulted his journey with Quaver into a bigger new space and deepened his understanding of what Quaver is all about.

“When the song ‘You-Nique’ came out, the kids just ate it up,” Burns says.

“That song seemed to cause a shift inside of everybody,” he says.

“It helped me see how Quaver uses music to convey a message, and how a message can help create a mindset, in a way that kids can absorb and understand.”

From First Step to Full Circle

Burns’s own journey as an educator has seen exciting movement and growth, too.

Today, he is a Fine and Performing Arts Resource Specialist in Florida’s Osceola County (Orlando).  

Moving from the classroom to the district level has only deepened his appreciation of Quaver.

As a district-level leader, he is able to more fully appreciate how closely the Quaver curriculum aligns with the district’s overall approach to education — and with arts education specifically. 

“I’m fortunate to work in a district that deeply, genuinely appreciates the role of the arts and also understands the important role that Quaver plays in arts education,” he says. 

“Quaver uses music as the medium to reach and teach the whole child,” he reflects. “Their constant emphasis on character education totally aligns with our own educational priorities at the district level.” 

Burns, who’s been working as a Fine and Performing Arts Resource Specialist for the last five years, says he visits all of the elementary schools in his district regularly … and what he sees during these visits warms his heart.

“Whenever I visit a school and I see our students so deeply engaged with a Quaver lesson or song, it just feels very gratifying,” he says.

Why does he choose the word “gratifying”? 

“Because I feel grateful to see that the fruits of my early labor – of our early labor — made such a lasting difference. Seeing students use Quaver today creates kind of a full-circle moment for me,” he says.

So what began as a single step has now evolved into a full circle — and Dr. Burns is excited about all of the new steps yet to be taken on his continued journey with Quaver.

That’s the beautiful thing about circles:

They never end.

Kristin Clark Taylor is an author and a journalist.

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



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