3Qs with Quaver: I’m Still Learning!

by Abby @ Quaver on February 27, 2012

in 3Qs with Quaver,At Quaver HQ,In the Quaver Classroom!

Quaver’s always on the move and hard to catch standing still! Once a week, Program Producer Steve Gilreath runs along side Graham Hepburn (aka Quaver) to ask him 3 Quick Questions.

Today is all about:

I’m Still Learning!






Q1: I know you teach a great deal in the Quaver Program- but I imagine you’ve learned some things along the way as well. Tell us one thing you discovered about music education, as you’ve written the scripts for the episodes, that you may not have realized before?


Quaver: That I don’t know everything! *Pause to let that sink in a bit*

I’ve learned that there is more than one approach to teach almost every subject, and sometimes more than one name for the same thing. For example, when we were writing the script, we decided to go with the word presto for fast, whereas some teachers don’t use that term. The world of tempo words is a little gray!

The other thing I have learned is that music teachers in the United States are so committed and talented! I have met some super-motivated teachers for whom teaching music is really a calling rather than a job. Many of them are working in difficult circumstances but producing amazing work with their students. Bravo!


Q2: Music Teachers are a passionate bunch! We have heard from every corner of the country about one topic or another. What is the main theme you keep hearing over and over from teachers about the Quaver Program- the top three things that really make it work for them?


Quaver: Here is my “Teachers Say the Darndest Things” Top Three:

  1. We hear all the time that this series “hits kids where they live.” Teachers and kids love the actors we’ve chosen, the age range, variety of talents and backgrounds. I’m not sure I knew how important those factors were to a classroom- but I’m glad to hear we got it right!  (Note from Producer Steve:  “I knew how important it was!”)
  2. If I could sneak in a close second, it would be repetition within an episode and in the supporting materials. We use the bottom third of the screen to visually show the terms and ideas we’re teaching – to help students better retain the knowledge.
  3. Number three would have to be QuaverMusic.com! One teacher told us that her kids were coming into her class to ask her to listen to music that they had composed on QuaverMusic.com – this is really exciting and will push us on to greater online feats!


Q3: As not only Producer, but admirer of your talents, I secretly suspect you taught the concept of Sforzando mainly so you could create the character of the bench-sitting curmudgeon August Millimander. Am I correct- have I learned anything about you?


Quaver: Not far from the truth, Steve! Characters like August remind me of my Dad – and not because he’s a curmudgeon!

I love my Dad, and I can make him laugh any time I want – particularly by using accents. I really think there are loads more accents in the UK for some reason than in the United States, and I love to use them all! My Dad would always say to me,

“Why don’t you use all of your accents somehow?”

I have to admit Quaver has given me the opportunity to do that. August Millimander was just one such character along with Derek Sprockett and Major Ponsonby Smyth.

August Millimander teaches Sforzando - an indication to make a strong, sudden accent on a note or chord. Sforzando means subito forzando (fz), or as August says - "Suddenly LOUD!"


Coming up soon – watch out for the World Percussion area that will be released later this year in the Online Quaver Classrooms. I play lots of different characters that kids will not have seen, including Reginald Pancreas Cripps III, a bulb horn playing car driver, and a ballet dancer!

Back to work on those accents now!

Which of the Quaver characters is your students’ favorite?


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