Music Matters: On Humor & Learning

by Abby @ Quaver on October 27, 2011

in In the Quaver Classroom!,Music Matters,

Dave Mastran,  Co-creator & Executive Producer of Quaver’s Marvelous World of Music &, is back again with another edition of Music Matters!

Today you’ll hear a bit of Dave’s take on the humor injected in every bit of Quaver’s on and offline resources. From silly songs to funny voices to crazy animated characters, Quaver takes making music fun, very seriously.

Take it away, Dave . . .


Quaver is a funny guy - and for good reason!

Does humor detract from learning or add to it?   Some would hold that humor has no place in serious learning.  If it’s funny, how can it be instructive?  These teachers believe that drill and repetition are the heart of learning, and so do not appreciate interruptions.

At Quaver, on the other hand, we believe humor is essential.

The process of learning need not always be direct – it can also be indirect by embedding the lesson objectives in humor.  We try to provide activities that teach students indirectly and in a funny and engaging manner.

Or as one teacher said, we “cleverly mask lessons in fun activities.”

The one thing humor does is capture attention.  Kids love to laugh and have fun.  If the lesson is fun-filled, they will pay attention – and that’s half the battle.   Since most teachers are not comedians, we provide Quaver to lighten up the lesson.  Quaver is a partner to the teacher and helps provide the humor.  Researchers have consistently shown that humor significantly increases recall on test items based on humorous examples.  Consider hearing a joke versus a poem, for example.    Most people can repeat a funny joke almost verbatim but not a poem.  The humor focuses attention and therefore enables greater retention.

Quaver also provides a website which is largely animated and designed for kids. The website adds to the fun of learning since there are interesting games and activities the students can engage in.  This is the world they live in and one in which they are comfortable, and we try to meet them in their world.

Some of the reactions we have had from teachers include eager participation in question and answer periods following showing of the videos.

“The hands went up like popping corn,” one teacher told us.

Humor is short term happiness.  Take, for example, the video below. This peek into the history and importance of The Grand Staff never fails to get a laugh from students and teachers alike! See what you think! 

At Quaver, we help make learning “Seriously Fun.” and humor is a HUGE part of that!

What do you think? What has humor done for your classroom?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Cindy Austin October 27, 2011 at 4:16 pm



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