Assessment headaches got you down? This iPad setting may help you adapt assessments for early readers, ELLs, and students with vision impairments! Assessing individual students can be a logistical challenge in the music classroom. Teachers often have ...


Quaver Music Blog: Make Assessments Easy for Early Readers

Make Assessments Easy for Early Readers

Assessment headaches got you down?

This iPad setting may help you adapt assessments for early readers, ELLs, and students with vision impairments!

Assessing individual students can be a logistical challenge in the music classroom. Teachers often have too little time with too many students, and many with exceptionalities that make assessment difficult. If you have access to iPads in your classroom, you may want to take advantage of the VoiceOver feature to make assessments easier for early readers, ELL students, or students with vision impairments. With VoiceOver, students can have their iPhone or iPad’s screen read to them, including buttons, icons, links, and other interface elements, and use gestures to navigate and select their options.

Read on to learn more about the applications for your students!

How to turn on iPad VoiceOver capabilities:

We recommend adjusting these settings before your students arrive, so they can log in to their accounts and begin taking their assessment.

1) Head to General Settings

Click the gear icon on the iPad homepage to access your Settings. From the Settings options, scroll down till you find GENERAL. 

2) Adjust Accessibility

Once on the General page, choose ACCESSIBILITY. If you ever need to adjust zoom options, enlarge text or buttons, or turn on color filters for students that are color blind, then this tool will be your new best friend!

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3) Select VoiceOver

Since today we’re focusing on VoiceOver, choose that from the list of vision Accessibility options. Once you toggle VoiceOver on, your device will begin speaking items on the screen. Students will then have the ability to click on a section of words and have it read to them.* You can also adjust the speaking rate, pitch, volume, and intonation.

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Teacher Tip: When navigating your iPad while using VoiceOver, make sure students double-tap when selecting an item.

VoiceOver works with all content, not just on assessments! Also, in order to avoid confusion amongst your students, we recommend using headphones for each of the iPad.

For more help using VoiceOver for iPhone and iPads, check out this article from iMore.

Try using VoiceOver with Quaver Music assessments and content today, and let us know what you think!



Classroom Decor that Brings Music to Life

Charles Black is wrapping up his “Quaverizing Your Classroom” series! Have you added a Beat Jar to your room from part one? Or did you build your very own Red Telephone Box from part two? See how you can continue bringing Quaver’s Music Shop to life this summer!

Take it away, Charles!


It’s great to be back to share some more “Quaverization” ideas with you. I hope some of you have already made plans to have your own Bigfoot, Timeline Train, Beat Jar, Phone Box, Keyboard Pathway, or Keyboard Awning/Curtains in your classroom. Today, we will talk about how to include even more elements of Quaver’s Shop into your own musical world.

How to Bring Quaver’s World to Life:

Composer Busts

If your students are anything like mine, they are mesmerized by the “talking” Composer Busts in every Quaver episode. I searched high, low, and in-between for full-size busts of Debussy, Vivaldi and Beethoven. At this point, I still do not know of a supplier that has all three. So, I improvised. In our classroom, we have Beethoven, Chopin, and Mozart. I may add some others as time goes along. These busts are available online from plaster supply houses at very reasonable prices.

Composer Busts

Instrument Display

I’m sure you have noticed that Quaver’s Shop has various orchestral instruments hanging randomly throughout the shop. Since my school doesn’t allow us to hang things from the ceiling, I created four Instrument Displays on a focal wall, and categorized them according to the four families of the orchestra. This works great for teaching purposes, and still has the connection to the Quaver Shop theme. I was able to find majority of these instruments at antique shops and online. I do plan to add more instruments as they become available. The kids get so much more excited about seeing actual instruments, instead of just showing them pictures.

Instrument Display

Giant Harmonica

Another one of the unique, fun elements in Quaver’s Shop is the Giant Harmonica. This one was a little more of a challenge to obtain. The best source I found was through bidding on eBay. If you’re able to hang the harmonica up in your room, I recommend using a porch flagpole and attaching it to the wall.

Giant Harmonica

Drum Roll

Remember the Drum Roll that’s used in the Tempo Episode? Well, we now have one of those, too! I use it from time to time in class before announcing something of importance, or maybe when recognizing an outstanding achievement. Just find an inexpensive skateboard and attach a drum (any drum) to it with a plastic tie-wrap.

Drum Roll

Quaver Lab Door

If you have a blank closet door available in your classroom, why not transform it into something Quaver related? After bringing in my Red Phone Box, I had a blank closet door available. So I turned it into the famous Quaver Lab door! I was able to find the porthole window online for a reasonable price. I even enlarged a picture of Quaver from the website, cropped it, printed it on photo paper, and put his picture in the window so it looks like he is looking at at the students!

Quaver Lab Door

I hope some of these ideas helped stimulate your creativity. Always remember, it’s all about the kids. They will get very excited about anything you incorporate into your classroom that helps them imagine they are in Quaver’s World. Also, why not include your students in the creative process? I’m always amazed by how much they enjoy getting into the Quaverizing spirit and suggesting Quaver-themed items we should add to the classroom.

I would so much enjoy hearing about any of these ideas you are able to implement into your musical teaching world. I am sure you will agree with me when I say that music classrooms have definitely become a much more enchanting, enjoyable place since Quaver came along!


Do you have plans to Quaverize your classroom this summer? We’d love to see how you’ve implemented Charles’ ideas into your own classroom!



Improve Reading Literacy in Your Music Classroom

Introduce musical keywords through storytelling!

There are several similarities between literature and music. They both have the power to inspire stories, encourage creativity, and create emotional connections. Quaver Music makes it easy to connect music to other subjects, specifically English/Reading. Our Kindergarten Song-Based Lesson “Flight of the Bumblebee” stimulates reading skills by introducing dynamic keywords in our original story “The Never-Ending Story of Bob the Bee.”

How to access Song-Based Lesson “Flight of the Bumblebee:”

  1. Log in to with a Teacher Account
  2. Click the TEACHER TAB
  3. Choose SONG-BASED LESSONS, located on the left-hand side of the Teacher Dashboard
  4. Navigate to Kindergarten
  5. Select “Flight of the Bumblebee”

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Teaching Literacy with “Flight of the Bumblebee:”

Read “The Never-Ending Story of Bob the Bee”

Our original story “The Never-Ending Story of Bob the Bee” introduces keywords associated with musical comparatives, including high, low, soft, loud, fast, and slow. Students will learn to associate these words with not only storytelling, but also with music.

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Answer Story Questions

After reading the story, use the Story Questions to check your students understanding. The last question embodies the essential question of the day, how do musicians generate creative ideas? Have students come up with their own creative ideas on how to make a bee sound with their mouths and instruments found around the classroom.

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Review Story Keywords

Opposites are very common in both literature and music. Introduce opposites by having students come up with opposites they already know: hot/cold, happy/sad, good/bad, etc. Then use the Story Keywords screen to have students pair the keyword opposites from “The Never-Ending Story of Bob the Bee” into pairs.

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Invite students to use the words “buzzy buzzy” to make high/low, loud/soft, fast/slow sounds and movements, then have them use their instruments to make the sounds.

Introduce Six Special Words

Extend the students’ understanding of the keywords by associating them with specific pictures. Invite students to decide which picture will represent each of the Six Special Words. Then have them make patterns associated with each word. For example, have them create a high pattern and then play the pattern with their instruments or bodies. For more of a challenge, combine the different patterns.

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Once you’ve created patterns for each word, return to the “Never-Ending Story of Bob the Bee” screen and have students add instruments into the story.

Evaluate with Literacy Rubric

Assess your students comprehension with our Literacy Rubric. Emphasize the goals for the lesson by using the highlighters at the bottom of the screen to highlight specific cells. Click each of the cells for a more detailed outline of the requirements and expectations.

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Interactive rubrics can be downloaded to the students’ mobile devices by zapping the QR code, then explored during the course of the lesson or project.


Easily incorporate reading literacy into the music classroom with our “Flight of the Bumblebee” Song-Based Lesson today!



Keep Moving to the Music this Summer!

Quaver & his friends have a challenge for you!

During our Digital Field Trip, you were introduced to a new dance craze that is sweeping the nation, the Q-EE! Quaver, Gwenda, and Austin Otto want you to take the Q-EE with you on your summer adventures. Share with us you doing the Q-EE wherever you adventures take you this summer on social media for a chance to win a special prize from Quaver!

Are you up for the Q-EE challenge? Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Record a video or take a picture of you doing the QEE
  2. *Post you picture and video to social media using the hashtag #DotheQEE and tag @QuaverMusic:
    • Facebook:
    • Twitter and Instagram: @QuaverMusic
  3. You may also submit your videos and pictures via email to*
  4. Submit your videos and photos by Labor Day, September 4th for a chance to win!

And don’t forget about Quarter-Sized Quaver!

Quarter-Sized Quaver is ready for another round of adventures, and this time his friends, Gwenda and Austin Otto, will be joining him! Choose from any of our summer themed, printable Quaver characters, and bring them to any of your summer activities. Then take a picture of them enjoying the famous sites, sitting at the beach, eating ice cream, etc. The most creative photo entry will win a school visit from the real, life-sized Quaver!


Print the PDF booklet now!

Contest Details:

  • Print out our booklet of summer themed Quarter-Sized Quaver, Gwenda, and Austin Otto!
  • Color your favorite Quaver character however you like
  • Pack them in your bag
  • Take a picture of them at a famous landmark, at the zoo, at the movies . . . wherever you go, Quaver and his friends want to be there, too!
  • *Share your picture online using the hashtag #QuarterSizedQuaver and be sure to tag Quaver so he can see the fun:
    • Facebook:
    • Twitter and Instagram: @QuaverMusic
  • You may also submit your pictures via email to*
  • Submit your photos by Labor Day, September 4th for a chance to win!

We highly recommend laminating Quaver to keep him safe!

All students and teachers are welcome to participate, but only FOUR will win a LIVE visit from Quaver to their school during the 2017-2018 school year!

*By participating in A Quest for Quarter-Sized Quaver, you give us permission to share your entry on our social media platforms and in future promotions.

Where will you be doing the Q-EE with Quarter-Sized Quaver this summer?



Save Time Loading Quaver Resources

We know every second is precious in your music classroom. You may only see your students for half an hour each week, and you can’t afford to waste any valuable class-time. As a creator of online curriculum resources, we are always looking for ways to help teachers make the most of their time with students. Today’s tip will help teachers save teaching time by caching content you plan to use that day!

Save loading time: pre-load your Quaver resources 

Before your class begins, you can pre-load each individual resource by clicking through the lesson content. Once loaded, the content will be cached, or stored, on your browser, and will load quickly when you get to it in class.

This is easy to do from any Quaver Lesson or from the Resource Manager.

From a Quaver Lesson:

From the Lesson Summary Screen of any Quaver Lesson, clicking the green LAUNCH button on the left side of the screen will automatically launch the lesson in a new tab, starting with the Welcome Screen. Here’s an example from our Kindergarten Song-Based Lesson, Flight of the Bumblebee:

Launch the whole lesson

Here you see the Welcome screen, opened in a second tab in this user’s browser of choice, Safari:

Welcome Screen

Now we’re off and running. To pre-load additional screens, just click the yellow NEXT arrow in your navigation bar.

Next button

From the Resource Manager:

In the same way, you can use the Resource Manager to create a custom lesson with content you plan to use each day. That will make it easy to pre-load each screen AND save you time searching for what’s next.

From your Teacher Dashboard click Resource Manager and follow the steps below to create a custom lesson!

1) Create a Lesson

  • On the right side of the Resource Manager you’ll see a set of folders and a MENU and HELP button. Select any Folder by clicking the folder icon to identify the location your new Lesson will live.
  • To create your very own lesson from scratch: click MENU and select NEW LESSON from the drop-down menu.

Create New Lesson

  • Give your lesson a name, like “1st Grade Week 2,” and hit OK.

New Lesson Name

Boom-Chicka-Boom! You’ll find your new lesson waiting for you in your custom folder.

2) Add Screens to your Lesson

Now that you’ve created a lesson, you can easily add the day’s screens to your custom lesson! Click on the lesson you want to customize. A Preview Window will appear at the bottom of the screen. Select EDIT and now ready you’re ready to drag-and-drop your favorite resources into your lesson.

Edit Lesson

To find content for your lesson, search using the SEARCH BAR or the icons in the center of the screen. Then drag-and-drop resources into your custom lesson.

3) Pre-load your Custom Lesson

From here you can click LAUNCH in the top right corner of Resource Manager to launch your Custom Lesson and click through each screen to pre-load your content, customized to the day!

Launch Custom Lesson

Don’t let slow internet hold up learning in your music classroom!

Try pre-loading your lesson content for a smoother lesson presentation. Let us know how it works for you!

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