On the Set with Quaver: A Producer’s Perspective Part I

by Abby @ Quaver on January 5, 2012

in At Quaver HQ,QuaverMusic.com

Hannah as "Gwenda" On Set!

Today we are joined on the blog by Hannah Alley, Associate Producer and wearer of a million hats at Quaver HQ!

She’s taking us behind-the-scenes of her job and on the set with Quaver as he films video shorts for QuaverMusic.com!

Take it away, Hannah!



I’ve asked my boss to kiss a fish. Yes, a fish.

I’ve asked my boss if we could hit him with a whipped cream pie. On the face.

I’ve asked my boss to dress like a sunbather, firefighter, grandfather, Irish AND Appalachian farmer, chauffeur, movie director, pirate, Baroque gentleman, and even a clown – all during the workday.

I’ve even asked my boss to wear a tutu. Yes, a tutu.

At most jobs, I would have been admitted to an asylum or fired by now, but neither one of those things have happened . . . yet.  It’s coming on 3 years I’ve been a part of the Quaver crew working as an Associate Producer for the video content, and each one of these questions were asked, accepted, and did indeed happen. And the fun part is I have it all on tape.

The 30 DVD episodes for Quaver’s Marvelous World of Music are already in the can, and hopefully a part of your classroom, but the land of video has been exceptionally busy creating new content for the web.

And let me tell you, it’s not as simple as setting up a camera and pressing record.  There are several people who put in countless hours to create quality video for you and your students to watch.

It all begins with a script.

Quaver’s approach to teaching music is hardly ordinary, so when video projects are brought to the table, we strive to make the scripts fun and wacky, while still as educational as ever. Graham (a.k.a. Quaver) and I are also charged with thinking of ways for kids to remember key points about each of the lessons we present.

Our most recent project is a great example. We’ve been shooting video for a new section of QuaverMusic.com all about World Music. When writing the script about Dununs, a Percussive instrument featured on the site, we found there are two ways of playing these drums: Traditional and Ballet style. I could not let the obvious be ignored, so I jokingly suggested to Graham,

“Why don’t we dress Quaver up as a ballerina?”

I was shocked when his answer was yes! There’s nothing Quaver won’t do to help kids remember what they learn about music! Students will certainly remember Quaver in a ballerina costume, because it’s silly, but they’ll also remember WHY he was in the costume, and that Dununs can be played in the Ballet Style!

It takes days of bouncing crazy ideas like these around with Quaver and our scriptwriters to settle on a script before a shoot. All that work and we haven’t even started filming yet!

Come back next week to hear what happens when we finally get Quaver in front of the camera!


What questions to do you have for Hannah and her video team? She would love to answer them next week in Part II.


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