Today we are thrilled to welcome Dara Case to the blog! Dara is a fabulous music educator at Mount Rainier Elementary in Capitol Heights, MD. We’ve heard some wonderful things about her after-school Quaver Club, so we invited her to share some encouraging tips for starting your own!
Take it away, Dara!
Hello fellow Quaverites! I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that some of you may be able to relate to my situation. My school has a great computer lab which we are encouraged to use, but my students NEVER have the opportunity to go with me – their music teacher – due to scheduling constraints and time restrictions.
I’ve been using the Quaver Curriculum in my classroom for two years, and before that was a loyal user of the free resources at QuaverMusic.com. In all those years, I found myself disappointed that I couldn’t introduce my students fully to QuaverMusic.com or give them adequate time to really explore the music creation and games waiting for them there. Three years ago, I decided to do something about it.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Quaver World, I proudly present . . . The Quaver Club!
What our Quaver Club looks like:
Every Tuesday and Friday afternoon, 45 students in grades 4-6 wait anxiously for ten magical words to be read over the announcements,“Quaver Club, please meet Mrs. Case at the Computer Lab.”
When they arrive, students log into their Quaver accounts, then click on their STUDENT TAB to find the week’s assignment. I have all my Quaver Club students enrolled in a single class in my GradeBook, and I set up their assignments for the day there.
Tip: Designate captains who will assist others with logging in. This minimizes log in time and maximizes time exploring Quaver’s Marvelous World of Music!
Depending on the day, and the focus in my class, I might have a few activities or quests outlined for students to tackle.
- Read a book on the Metro and take the Venue Book Quiz.
- Compose a QGroove that matches their chosen Metro stop genre.
- Challenge each other to a QArcade mini-game and try to outscore each other, including Mrs. Case!
- Build a collaborative QBackBeat that can be used for different class activities.
In the course of our Quaver Club, my students have collaborated on compositions, entered Quaver contests and even WON a county-wide technology contest!
Sounds pretty great, right? Students creating music, self-motivated learning, making time for music outside of school. I can feel your excitement through the computer screen!
If you’re thinking about starting something similar at your school, I’d love to encourage you to give it a try!
How to set up a Quaver Club at your school:
- Talk to your administration about the idea, and make sure you understand the rules for after-school clubs.
- Obtain permission to use a lab – either mobile or desktop would work fine!
- Make a schedule that seems doable. You might try once a month to start, and gauge the interest/demand from there! Our club meets for 60 minutes each session, but your schedule may vary.
- Get permission from parents. A simple letter home to students inviting them to attend the first club meeting should do the trick. You might need to limit the Quaver Club to the number of computers in your lab and the number of students you can reasonably oversee at a time!
- And most importantly, announce the club to your students!
In the three years since I started this club, it has grown from 20 students meeting once a week to 84 students meeting twice a week, and we even have a waiting list!
The Quaver Club has been a fabulous way for me to continue the conversations and relationships started in my classroom and encourage students to take their love of learning and music beyond the school day and into their everyday lives!