New Quaver song honors the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. February is Black History Month. This month-long celebration is a great opportunity to educate students using the power of music. Your Quaver resources now include a brand new song ...


Quaver Music Blog: Celebrate the Work of Dr. Martin Luther King!

Celebrate the Work of Dr. Martin Luther King!

New Quaver song honors the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

February is Black History Month. This month-long celebration is a great opportunity to educate students using the power of music.

Your Quaver resources now include a brand new song honoring the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Found in Resource Manager by searching “He Had a Dream,” this song highlights Dr. King’s character, beliefs, and contributions to the social justice movement.

This very special song was a collaborative effort with some very special visitors to Quaver HQ. David Gordon and Dwayne Bass, elementary music co-teachers at Albany Community Charter School in New York, dropped by HQ a few months ago to lend their talents and musical expertise! Featuring the musical talents of this dynamic duo and Quaver staff such as Otto Gross, Sharon Cho, Dan Monaco, and Sean Smith, “He Had a Dream” was born!

David Gordon and Dwayne Bass are interviewed by Graham Hepburn in the Quaver HQ studio

Here are just a few of the ways to use this song in your classroom: 

Black History

While this song is a great way to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., it’s also a great launching point for students to learn about other influential African-American figures.

Using the BLACK HISTORY activity, introduce students to famous African-American musicians like Scott Joplin (Pianist), Marian Anderson (Singer), and Louis Armstrong (Trumpeter).

Search “This Little Light of Mine (History)” in Resource Manager to find this activity!

Pull in outside resources to learn more about Dr. King’s ideas and about the important lives and work of other historical African-American figures such as Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman. Use Quaver’s Multimedia Screen to build your own lesson screen with pictures and information to add to any custom lesson.

Encourage Social and Emotional Learning

The lyrics of “He Had A Dream” are a great way to emphasize SEL in the classroom.

Encourage students to sing along.  Engage in a lively discussion about the lyrics. What are some ways that your students can continue the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?


How will you use this song in your classroom?

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Don’t Be Left Baroque-N-Hearted This Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is February 14th!

It’s a day to celebrate love, friendship, and the very special people in your life. Some may even decide to give a gift or a Valentine’s Day card to someone they care about.

But, have you ever wished there was a Valentine especially for music teachers and music students?

Look no further! This year, we’re introducing some Seriously Fun printable Valentine’s Day cards that are perfect for music students, music teachers, or another important person in your life.

We promise they won’t leave you… Baroque-n-hearted… this February 14th. 

For Students

Distribute these printable cards to your students. Students can cut them out, color them, and address them to their friends and family.

Download this worksheet of printable cards!

For Teachers

Share these cards on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or wherever you connect with friends and family. Tag a fellow music teacher who might appreciate a good composer pun or print one out to give to a loved one.


Follow us @QuaverMusic on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for exclusive access to these cards. And don’t forget to tag us when you share and post!


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Funding Quaver with Fitness!

We understand that finding funds for your music program is one of the greatest challenges that music educators face.

And while advocating for curriculum funding can be a daunting task, sometimes the answer can be found in the most unlikely of places!

That’s what Quaver Teacher Katie Presser found when funding her five-year Quaver license. Katie, a K-4 Teacher at Cabool Elementary in Cabool, MO, and a Quaver Teacher Ambassador, was able to fund much of her Quaver license with a simple conversation and a whole lot of passion.

Take it away, Katie!

Hello Quaverites! Quaverizers? Quaverists? No? I’ll work on it…

You are among some of my favorite people on this planet! The world needs more teachers who are crazy passionate about bringing fun and engaging music education to their students.  

However, some of you may be struggling to get your district to pay for a five-year license or maybe even a one-year license.

Let’s talk about this.

Five years ago at a music conference, I met a super sweet, starry eyed first year teacher (and fellow Quaver Music Blog Contributor!) who introduced me to Quaver. She had student taught with Quaver in her school system and talked a lot about this amazing program that she loved so much! I went by the booth and thought, “Oooooh that’s cool”, but figured I would not be able to convince my district administrators to let me have an entirely new program.

However, I got the free trial from the coolest Quaver Sales Rep around, Lonnie Castle—and I utilized it to the fullest extent.

The next year, I was determined to show this amazing new curriculum and all of its benefits to our school and community!

I did a Bulldog Spotlight for our school board, invited parents to experience at Open House and on a Title Family Night, and talked about Quaver to anyone who would listen to me. My high school director even gave me a hard time about being so overly passionate about it. Your passion is what sells anything. 

Katie using Quaver’s “Note & Rest Grab” (Level 2) with her students

Moving forward, I knew if I could get my district on board with a five-year license, it would save them so much money (and what school board isn’t for that?)

However, I found half of my funding in the most unexpected way! It was a PD day and I was riding over to lunch with the coordinator for our fitness grant. I mentioned to her all the movement that Quaver had brought into my classroom. I talked about how much the teacher tutorials helped me because seriously… reading the old folk dance books was like reading Greek to me. I offhandedly joked that I was meeting my fitness goals on my Apple Watch many days by 9:30 in the morning!

This is really important, because that one comment about my fitness goals paid for half of my five-year license! Our fitness grant coordinator asked some questions, explained that her grant was supposed to support wellness of the whole student, and that it was supposed to help students even after the grant ended. And before I knew it, half of my five-year license was paid for!

So my advice to my fellow Quaverologists (I like that one!)  is this: Keep your eyes open for opportunities in the oddest of places, build relationships everywhere you turn, be passionate, and remember, “Be Like Bach, Be Determined.”


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Celebrate Chinese New Year in Your Classroom!

Are you preparing to celebrate Chinese New Year with your students on February 5th?

If you’re searching for engaging and meaningful lesson ideas for this special day, they’re already waiting for you—right at your fingertips!—in your Quaver Music resources!

The Chinese New Year begins on the new moon that appears between January 21st and February 20th every year. This year, when the new moon appears on February 5th, one-sixth of the world will be celebrating, with things like fireworks, firecrackers, and colorful lanterns.

This year, we ring in the Year of the Pig. The pig is the last animal in the Chinese zodiac animal cycle. It’s been said that the Jade Emperor decided the order based on when each animal arrived at his palace. Some say that the pig arrived last because he overslept! Those born in the Year of the Pig are considered to be optimistic, generous, and loyal friends.

Let’s explore how you can use Quaver’s resources to make cross-curricular connections, explore Chinese culture, and celebrate the Year of the Pig!

All Grades

  • Introduce the ClassPlay song “Zhao Peng You.” Sing along with the lyrics to this popular Chinese children’s song. The song is about two children who meet each other for the first time and become good and loyal friends

  • Bring Active Listening into your classroom with the Nutcracker’s Chinese Dance! Our Active Listening Elements are a fun, interactive way for students to listen to, understand, and respond to orchestral music pieces. This activity allows students to discuss form, instrumentation, and it even quizzes them on music theory and the arrangement! Learn more about how to use this activity in your classroom here.
  • Learn more about the beautiful land of China! Make an exciting cross-curricular connection with the “Social Studies-China” screen, found in the Song Hub of “Zhao Peng You.” See what students may already know about China, then challenge them to discover one or two new interesting facts!

For Younger Students

  • Ring in the Chinese New Year with two fun coloring sheets! Students can color their own adorable pig or any of the rest of the zodiac animals! See if you can spot a sneaky Perry the Sheep sleepwalking his way across the page…

Download the zodiac animals coloring sheet here or the Year of the Pig coloring sheet here!

  • Get moving by teaching students choreography for “Zhao Peng You!” Use the Movement Videos in the Song Hub to learn the suggested choreography and the student rehearsal video to practice in class.

For Older Students

  • Use this worksheet to introduce the Chinese New Year Zodiac to students. Using their birth year, they can discover their zodiac animal and what personality traits are often associated with those born that year. They can even discover their lucky numbers! Download the worksheet here!


  • Teach students how to write in Chinese! Found in the Song Hub of “Zhao Peng You,” this activity teaches students how to write “I am” in Chinese with a simple video tutorial. Challenge students to apply what they learned and write other things such as their name or favorite song!


How will you use these activities to celebrate Chinese New Year in your classroom?

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New Folk Songs Join the ClassPlay Library!

Enjoy four fun additions to the ClassPlay Library!

When teachers ask for more folk songs, we listen. That’s why four new songs are now available in ClassPlay—including two folk songs!

ClassPlay is now home to these four fun, new songs:

  • “Boots of Shining Leather”
  • “Chicken On a Fencepost”
  • “Back Home Again in Indiana”
  • “Maryland, My Maryland”

Here are just a few ways to use these engaging songs with your students:

Introduce Folk Music

Before you introduce these two new folk songs to your students, learn more about Folk music by reading a brief excerpt from the Folk QuaverBook. You can find the excerpt in the HUB of “Chicken on a Fencepost” in ClassPlay. In it, students will learn about oral traditions and how some stories are preserved and passed down by word-of-mouth. Take a look:

Major or Minor?

Use the Major or Minor screen to have students determine major and minor pitches. You can find this activity in the HUB of “Boots of Shining Leather,” in ClassPlay. Before beginning the game, play a major triad and have students echo-sing the pitches using solfège. Do the same with a parallel minor triad. Play a few practice rounds of the game before introducing students to “Boots of Shining Leather.” Your students will love it—and so will you!

Song Styles

Students may recognize the melody of “Maryland, My Maryland.” Can they say why it sounds so familiar? Take a look at the Lyrics screen for “O, Tannenbaum” in the HUB for this song. Have students compare the two styles. Which do they like better? What differences can they observe?

Fretted Instruments

Use this screen to hear examples of and review instruments with frets. You can find the Fretted Instruments screen in the HUB of “Back Home Again in Indiana,” in ClassPlay. Can your students name the different fretted instruments that they hear?


How will you use these new ClassPlay songs in your classroom? 

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