Exploring Careers in Music with Quaver’s Hall of Fame

by Abby @ Quaver on November 9, 2015

in At Quaver HQ

Today, we are pleased to welcome Quaver Trainer Valerie Diaz Leroy to the blog!

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Valerie joined QuaverMusic.com as a lead trainer in 2015. Before putting on the green Q, she served as a dedicated music educator for 13 years at Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg, Florida; received her B.A. in Vocal Performance from Boston College; holds Orff Level I & II Certifications; and has a new-found love for playing the banjo. Valerie currently lives a very music-filled life in Maryville, TN with her husband Mark who builds custom mountain dulcimers.

Take it away, Val!

This is a 6th grade activity, if you’re not a 6th grade curriculum user we recommend you check out the activity “Careers in Music and the Arts,” which is in 5th Grade!


How can I encourage my students to think broadly about careers in music?

I love getting questions like this one in a training session or conference presentations. It’s a great opportunity to dive deep with teachers into one of my favorite Quaver resources, a simple Interactive Whiteboard Activity called Careers in Music – Hall of Fame! It’s amazing how much inspiration can come from one Quaver resource.

How to access this Interactive Whiteboard Activity:

  • Log in to QuaverMusic.com with a Teacher Account
  • Click the TEACHER TAB
  • Choose RESOURCE MANAGER, located on the Teacher Dashboard
  • Search “Hall of Fame” in the library search box
  • Select Careers in Music–Hall of Fame, click LAUNCH

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This IWB activity features 12 professionals in various music careers including: Piano Player, Audio Engineer, Musical Theatre Actress, Luthier & Innovator, Opera Singer, Radio DJ, Conductor, Session Artist and Video Producer/Director. With a simple click on any Hall of Fame Inductee, teachers can bring up details on their life, quotes from the professional, and even hear samples of their songs or compositions. The activity is located in our 6th Grade Curriculum in the Busking Project!

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Let’s take a look at how I would use this activity in my classroom!

How to use the Quaver IWB Activity/Careers in Music – Hall of Fame:

1) Create a writing prompt

Have students answer professional development questions, and adapt the requirements for different age groups.

Younger (K-3)
What musical career path would you want to pursue. Why?
Mid (4-6)
How did (pick a person) overcome difficulties in life to reach their level of success?
Older (7-12)
Choose a profession/professional and read about their career. Taking into consideration your interests, how could you work toward this same career path?

2) Host cross-curricular discussions

Choose a person from the Hall of Fame and connect them to another area of study. For example, connect a study of Producer Barry Gordy to a social studies unit on the Civil Rights movement in the United States. You can emphasize how Gordy used music to help bring people together. Dig a little deeper into the lesson, and lead the class in a cross curricular discussion.

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Discussion question: How did this time in American history help/hurt what Berry Gordy was doing in the music industry?

3) Use Quaver Creatives for student assignments

Select a member from the Hall of Fame, and create an assignment with the TEACHER ADMINISTRATION PANEL. Take a look at this assignment I’ve created about Quaver’s very own Audio Engineer, Bert.

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Assignment Name: You are the Sound Engineer
Activity: Creatives (any!)
Grade Level(s): 3rd-8th
Instructions: Manipulate the volume of each track so they blend well for the given song. Take into consideration the style of music and the timbre of each instrument.

4) STEM Projects

Create a hands-on project that connects science, math, engineering and technology to music. You can take one idea, and adjust it to fit different grade levels.  Let’s take a look at a project focused on Luthier and Innovator, Les Paul.

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Elementary – Gather shoe boxes, paper towel rolls, dowels, fishing line, etc. and guide students in building a stringed instrument.
Middle/High – Using small boxes and pieces of wood, guide students in building a 1, 2, or 3 string instrument. Include frets to stress the importance of math. Reinforce the science of sound waves when considering bridges, nuts and how the instrument will produce sound.
SUPER CHALLENGE for Middle/High – Build an electric instrument complete with a pick up.


Great ideas Val! We hope you’ll try one of these – or a version of your own creation – and let us know how it goes in your classroom!

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