Quaver Qmunity Teacher Profile: Jim Meske

by Abby @ Quaver on October 26, 2011

in In the Quaver Classroom!

Everything we do at Quaver HQ is done to equip and empower Music Educators to do what they do even better!

We’ll be profiling one of these wonderful teachers every month!

Today’s post is from Jim Meske – a general music teacher at Westdale Elementary School in Chicago, IL who has been using Quaver’s School Program in his classroom all year-long!

Quaver with the great sign Westdale Students made!

The Quaver team visited Westdale last month and had a blast with his energetic and talented students!

Now, take it away, Jim!

In Mr. Meske's Classroom with his Quaver Board!


I work in a school in Chicago, IL that is predominantly made up of Hispanic students. My first grade general music class is composed of a half English-speaking and half Spanish-speaking first grade.

The students are mixed together in special area class like Music so the Spanish speakers can be immersed in the English language. I do not speak any Spanish in my lessons.


At the beginning of the year the students in the Spanish-speaking class do not say much to me, but are all smiles as we do simple rhymes and folk songs with movements.

After a couple of months any adult that would come in to my room would never know that half of the class comes from a Spanish-speaking classroom that is starting to learn English. All the students are engaged and enjoying learning about music through listening, moving, creating, singing, and dancing. It always puts a smile on my face to hear a student from a Spanish-speaking class request to sing his favorite song in English.

I am very fortunate to witness the power of music as a universal language in my classroom.

How have you seen music cross barriers like language in your classroom?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cindy Austin October 26, 2011 at 8:06 pm

I think that’s a universal feeling for music teachers everywhere (or at least it should be!) I communicate to my new students who begin in August, that by winter break they will be singing proudly in English and we will sing a holiday song from their country – keeps me on my toes too! We routinely have students from all over Europe and Asia with the NASA space program and always enjoy learning music and traditions from other countries.

I watch my new LEP (limited English proficiency) students really come alive with the Quaver resources – it seems that zany, passionate Englishmen are quite engaging no matter what the language!


2 Abby @ Quaver October 26, 2011 at 8:08 pm

That’s wonderful that you bring songs from their culture into the classroom as well! Thanks, Cindy!


3 Jim Meske October 27, 2011 at 4:04 am

That is awesome Cindy!! I am glad to hear your students are enjoying Quaver as much as mine are!! I had a 4th grader dress up as Quaver for the Halloween Dance last Friday!


4 student from westdale school November 5, 2011 at 7:54 pm

I know that kid his name is bryan


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