3Qs with Quaver: Worlds Apart

by Abby @ Quaver on June 5, 2012

in 3Qs with Quaver

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.

This week is all about:

Being Worlds Apart!





Q1: Normally, we’re on the road together, but recently you traveled home to England and, sadly, I wasn’t invited on that trip!  I am glad that you got to see your mum and the Queen and everyone.  What’s your favorite part of going home?

Quaver: Of course seeing my family is really great, I miss them a lot when I’m in the States. The English culture is VERY different. My kids are always amazed by how much people walk to places, partly because everything is so much closer. Can you believe that the house I am living in at the moment in the US is the first house I have ever lived in that is not within walking distance of a grocery store. It’s also lovely to be near by good friends Will and Kate again :)


Q2:  You taught music in England, before moving to the United States.  What was your school like?

Quaver: My school was in a converted mansion a lot like you’d picture Hogwarts School. It had 350 pupils from age 4 to age 18. It was a lot like any other school except we played rugby, not soccer, and of course cricket.

With the help of another brilliant elementary music teacher and a physics teacher, we pulled together:

  • 20 rock bands
  • an orchestra
  • 3 choirs
  • a close harmony group
  • a fiddle band made of 40 violinists
  • ‘Rock the Hut’ concerts once a week in an old mobile hut
  • a production of the musical Oliver in a local theater
  • a show every 6 weeks
  • over 90 students taking individual music lessons

We also made 2 CD’s and did loads of other crazy musical exploits! It was a music education adventure every day!


Q3: How different is music education in England versus the United States (and is it fair to ask an Englishman if our program is ‘revolutionary’?)

Quaver: Music is very different in the UK! For starters, there are no specialist elementary music teachers in the UK. PERIOD. The music teacher in an elementary school will also teach another full-time class, as well as other responsibilities. All music teaching is done from a mobile cart full of percussion instruments and other tools. There are VERY FEW music rooms with instruments in elementary schools. Come to think of it, I’ve never even seen one!

However music-making can be a little more varied as sports are not such a big deal in UK schools. There are no marching bands, so therefore the music teacher is not necessarily duty bound to provide that ‘service’ to the sporting department. Also music outside of school is a lot bigger, with local jazz bands and concerts and student participation and private instrumental lessons.

I believe QUAVER would work brilliantly over here!! I am working with an amazing district supervisor to pilot Quaver in the UK starting in September!!. In fact, he has received an award from the Queen for his services to music (thought I don’t know if he’s invited to the Diamond Jubilee!)


Happy summer break! We hope you all have a chance to rest and do some traveling like Quaver!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Simon Rushton June 5, 2012 at 9:27 am

Mr Quaver. Hope to see you sometime. We can share a bag of cheesy wotsits. Quaver in the uk would be brilliant. Say hi to Kate and Billy if you see them.


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