Quaver Centers: World Music

by Abby @ Quaver on January 3, 2013

in In the Quaver Classroom!

A teacher-created, Quaver-approved lesson plan for
exploring World Music in your music classroom!

This lesson plan comes to us from Quaver Program-enthusiast Jean Pittman, who teaches in South Georgia. Thanks Jean!

Depending on the length of each class, teachers can choose to present the categories of World Percussion Instruments in a group setting OR have the videos on a loop from a projector or IWB screen for students to view as they go through the centers. Students can then travel to various centers to explore how to make chordaphones, lamellaphones, idiophones, aerophones and membranophones. Divide your class into groups of 4 to 5 students per center for K-5th grades.

Jean’s lesson plan uses Quaver’s World Music resources, located at QuaverMusic.com.

For each of the 10 percussion instruments now on the site, you will find:

  • Location of Origin: An animated map points the way to the first place each instrument was built and played.
  • Sound Example: While exploring each instrument, students will hear the instrument played – reinforcing the connections they make while learning!
  • Video Introduction: Quaver dons costumes, accents, and more to introduce each instrument in his own unique way. Each introduction covers the family, history and country or origin along with a description of the instrument, how it’s made, and how it produces sound!
  • 360-degree view: You may not have all 10 of these eclectic percussion instruments in your classroom – but that’s okay! With our 360-degree view, you can see what a real one looks like from every possible angle!
  • How to Play Videos: Quaver breaks down the techniques for playing each instrument. Where applicable, we’ve created a separate video for each technique, so that teachers can teach individual techniques at the pace that’s right for their class.
  • Challenges: For each instrument, we’ve created three levels of challenges for your students. Each challenge – Easy, Medium, and Hard – is performed via video by Quaver’s friend Vinay who “studies drum set and percussion at university!” After your students have tried to recreate the short rhythm, you can click to reveal a musical map for what they just played!

Packed with over 40 minutes of free video, Quaver’s World Music is a great peek into the Marvelous World of Music at QuaverMusic.com.

How to get there:

  • Sign into your QuaverMusic.com account.
  • Hop the School Bus to your Online Quaver Classroom Lobby.
  • Click on the Quaver’s World Music logo in the top right corner and away we go!
  • If you aren’t able to access the Online Quaver Classrooms via the Bus Stop at QuaverMusic.com:
    • Quaver’s World Music is FREE with any Online Quaver Classroom Access!
    • You can sign up for a free preview at QuaverMusic.com/Preview. The Access Code you receive will give you a Sneak Peek of Quaver’s World Music as well! Details in this post.
    • Or you can purchase any Online Quaver Classroom for just $8 a year and get Quaver’s World Music included!


This lesson plan meets National Standards for:

Content 6 D – Students will learn about instruments from various cultures.

Center 1 – Chordaphone Center

The students in this center will take a box and put rubber bands around it to discover how to make a chordaphone sound by plucking the rubber band. This center should take 3 to 5 minutes. It is age appropriate for all K-5th grades.

Center 2 – Lamellaphone Center

The students in this center will explore with a ruler and their hands how to make the sound of a lamellaphone. They will need a desk to twang the ruler from its edge. This center should only take about 3 minutes. It is age appropriate for all K-5th.

Center 3 – Idiophone Center

In this center, you will need empty water bottles, beads from a dollar store, string and a wooden spoon. Have the students fill the water bottles with a few beads. Then they can tie the water bottles together. Also, they can take the wooden spoon and explore how to scrape the empty water bottle for a sound source. This center should not take more than 15 minutes and is good for all K-5th. However, have your K para assist your K students.

Center 4 – Aerophone Center

In this center, you will need 3 bottles and a pitcher of water with a funnel. The students will pour 3 different levels of water into each bottle. Then they will blow across the bottle to hear the sound. This center should only take about 5 to 10 minutes. It is good for all K-5th. However, have your K para assist K.

Center 5 – Membranophone Center

In this center, you’ll need to supply plastic wrap, cups and rubber bands. Have the students place a small piece of plastic on top of their cup. Then place a rubber band around the top. Have them take their fingers to make a sound. This should only take about 5 minutes and is good for all ages K-5th. However, have your K para assist the K students if needed.

Teacher Tip: You can buy at the dollar store hula-hoops to mark your centers on the floor. Also, you might want to send a note home and ask your parents to send some of these center supplies from home. The students might like to decorate some items – like the chordaphone – and take them home.

Remember – there are loads of videos and instructions in Quaver’s World Music resources at QuaverMusic.com! Be sure to check them out and incorporate them into the centers as you like!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: