Get “Creative” for Parents’ Night!

Sean Smith, former music teacher and current Quaver Director of Sales Northeast, is sharing a few parent night ideas that will help showcase your students’ creativity!

Take it away, Sean!

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Creativity. Webster’s dictionary defines it as the ability to make new things or think new ideas. It’s important to find time to invest in ones creative processes, especially at a young age. Quaver’s Creatives are a great way to get your students creative juices flowing and incorporate music literacy.

Whether it’s composing piano pieces with QComposer, creating drum loops on QBackBeat, arranging chord patterns with QStrum, or mixing tracks on QGrooves, your students will have a Seriously Fun! time with Quaver’s Creatives.

When it comes to Quaver’s Creatives, one of the things I love and find valuable for music literacy is their association to actual music notation. Quaver’s Creatives are specifically attached to the visual music notation used to create music. Also, Quaver’s Creatives are a great way to showcase your students’ work for Parents’ Night! I want to share a few grade specific ideas on how your students can use these Creatives to prepare compositions they can share with their parents.

“Creative” Parent Night Project Ideas:

PreK-1

Song Brush is a fun introduction to music literacy! It’s an easy way for young students to begin making sound associations with melodic and rhythm variation. Perform a short rhythmic/melodic phrase for them, and then have your students paint what they hear. You could even have them pair-up and paint each other’s ideas. Click the orange “note” button in the tool panel and see the painting come to life as a musical composition.

Grades 2-5

QBackBeat and QStrum are great tools for these ages. Both Creatives focus on rhythmic elements as their foundation.

QBackBeat is a great way to get students “making beats.” Write a few simple rhythms on the board and have your students recreate them in QBackBeat using different drums. See if they can write out their patterns in rhythmic notation, and have them check their work with the green “show notes” button.

QStrum is a fun way to compose a song based on chord movement and strumming that is tied to specific rhythms. Isolate rhythms students can use to create a 12-bar composition. If you’re working with ukuleles or guitars, students can create practice progressions to play along with at home.

Grades 6-8

The previous examples are more short-term projects. For Grades 6-8, I suggest a long-term (3-4 weeks) composition project using QComposer. Have students build a composition 4-8 measures at a time. Let them explore, but start with parameters on chords or rhythms. Being creative, within bounds, is a great way to build confidence.

Another fun collaboration project is to export MP3 files of your students’ compositions and then import them into QDancer so they can create a movement/dance performance to their music, complete with lights and staging. Imagine the parent’s faces when they see their child’s music composition being performed by animated dancers!

Tips for showcasing your students work:

  1. If you’d like to display the compositions your students’ created I recommend screencasting, recording a video of your computer screen. You can then create a video reel to play on the projector when the parents walk in, and store it on a private YouTube channel or in Google Drive so you can share the link with parents.
  2. You can also use an app like Seesaw that makes it easy to share your students’ work with their parents. You can even have your students explain their work and add it to their portfolio so you can track their growth throughout the school year. Click here to learn more about Seesaw.