Welcome to Stave House

Stave House Presentation

Ruth Travers presents Stave House to
LCM directors & teachers in Kuala Lumpur

What is Stave House?

Stories about the characters explain where the notes belong on the stave and games are used to reinforce learning.

Let me tell you a musical story, Here is a House with four rooms… “ and so, begins the wonderful imaginary journey into the world of Stave House where your children will be equipped with classical music skills for life, able to read write and play music. Stave House lays a musical foundation that is taught via a ‘see, hear, do ‘interactive approach to learning. The method encourages storytelling, role play, singing games and rhymes teaching creativity, inspiring curiosity and offering the child the freedom to explore academic musical concepts. Stave House is compatible with all other Montessori learning. The idea for the method was conceived in a Montessori school 25 years ago, by Fellow of the London College of Music, Ruth Travers (ALCM LNCM FLCM Director Stave House) who felt that if approached in a way that engaged them, very young children could learn to read music without gimmicks, finger numbers or letters being written above the music, thus helping them to become independent musicians. Stave House is an early childhood music teaching method created by Ruth Travers. Ruth believes that strong music literacy in early childhood is beneficial to music development in the later years. With this in mind she created Stave House, a programme that makes learning music for the young easy and fun. The Stave House method teaches children to read, play and write music. It uses a series of creative characters to engage children, through storytelling and nursey rhymes. The Stave House teaching is progressive, suitable for children with little or no music exposure.

The characters used represent the musical notes – like Ferdie the fox for F and father Crotchet for a single beat. The characters when combined make music. Children are also taught to arrange the notes in their own liking, and re-ordering them to hear the different aural effects. This gives them exposure to music composing. The Stave House method is designed for all musical instruments. There is no need to invest in a particular instrument at the outset. The teaching will equip children with the knowledge and tools that they can apply later on to any chosen instrument. The Stave House method is accredited and certified by the London College of Music. This not only affirms the quality of the Stave House teaching, it also means that along the way children will have the opportunity to mark progress and obtain recognition through structured assessments & certification. The latter is found to be essential for growth. The foundation built by the Stave House method lasts a lifetime. Reviews from students, teachers & parents exposed to it provide the attestation. Children who have learned the Stave House techniques will have a solid base to progress to music learning in the later years. The Stave House method is designed for the transition to be natural and seamless.

Ruth has been teaching and composing music for over thirty years. She is English and lives in Essex, U.K. with her husband Russell. Ruth became a Fellow of the London College of Music in 2015.

Meet our Characters

The Stave House method

How does it work?

The Stave House method uses a series of characters representing the musical notes – such as Elaine the elephant for E and Amos the ant for A – and how each character must reside in its respective “room” on the four-room stave. It goes on to explain that Ferdie will always sound low because he is in the bottom room, and Elaine high because she is in the top. Children are then taught that the first animal character must always start from the left – immediately after the treble clef – and the characters cannot reside directly above or below each other, but to the right. The order of the characters can be different, and children are encouraged to re-order them in different ways, thereby giving them their first exposure to music composing. The lesson then progresses to teach children to recognise how long a note is.

Further characters are introduced – father Crotchet who has a shaded body likes to “walk, walk, walk”, and mother Minim whose body is unshaded cannot catch-up and therefore shouts “waaait” in double time. Then you have uncle Semibreve who has a big round tummy and is always hungry. He needs four dinners because he’s so hungry – hence the four beats. The notes are taught with distinctive hand clapping for the children to clap along, making it fun to learn and easy to remember. The animal characters and the musical notes are then combined, taking the children’s understanding of music to the next level. Magnetic boards with stick-on animal characters are used to make learning visual and fun. Combining that with storylines and nursery rhymes created by Ruth, children are often mesmerised.

Meet the Founders

Russell & Ruth Travers (ALCM, LLCM, LNCM, ALCMmus.Th FLCM – Fellow of the London College of Music)
LCM examiner
Creators of Stave House