Using Quaver’s Resources in Piano Lessons: Guest Post from Dana Rice

by Abby @ Quaver on July 10, 2012

in Around the Web,In the Quaver Classroom!

We’ve spent a lot of time here on the Quaver blog sharing stories from teachers using Quaver’s Program in their classrooms. But what about outside of the traditional school setting?

Here to help us think outside of the school day box is Dana Rice – piano instructor at her Atlanta-based FAME School!

Take it away, Dana!

How I use Quaver’s Resources To Teach Piano

Finding teaching materials which support my philosophy that piano lessons must be inspiring and engaging while maintaining a focus on developing a deep understanding of music theory concepts is a constant challenge. Thankfully though, I recently discovered Quaver’s Marvelous World of Music!

I have found the resources to be wonderful for private music instruction, music camp, and group lessons as well.

Struggles with Staff Notation

I like to use Quaver DVD episodes to introduce difficult concepts like music notation. Many students seem to get discouraged with piano lessons once staff notation enters the picture. I think there are several reasons for this – and the internet is one of them. Why struggle through learning to read music when you can just watch a YouTube video where someone shows you which notes to play? Quaver brilliantly answers this question in the episode on Middle C & The Grand Staff.

To me, the genius of this particular episode is that one of the scenes depicts a kid struggling with reading music notation and then discovering that if he sticks with it, it will become easy. My students love the humorous presentation of the Sir Winston Churchill quote, “Never Give Up.”

Tools for a Time Crunch

  • After viewing an episode I am able to immediately present the student with a SHORT worksheet/quiz from that episode’s Online Quaver Classroom that tests their understanding of the concepts that were just presented.
  • Then we are able to go to the piano for a few minutes and apply what we have just seen.
  • I have also used the DVD episodes to PREVIEW concepts that I will be introducing in the next week’s lesson. That way when I am ready to demonstrate, the concept it is not foreign to them.

The DVD episodes are just one component of Quaver’s Program. An equally impressive component is the Kid’s Website at I either assign certain games for them to play on the site as part of their weekly at home practice or set aside a portion of the lesson for them to do this so that I can get a feel for how well they are understanding the concepts.

It works great because they think they are playing games, but I know they are learning!

For more on how Dana uses Quaver in her studio – check out her posts at TheFameSchoolBlog!

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