About Stave House

Ruth conducting a Stave House lesson

Stave House is an early childhood music teaching programme created by Ruth Travers[1].

Ruth believes that a 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 to their 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 to any chosen instrument.

For more details on the Stave House method, please click here.

The Stave House Method

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 Amos 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 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.

The Stave House method is accredited and endorsed by the London College of Music, or LCM. 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[2]. The latter is found to be essential for growth.

The foundation built by the Stave House method lasts a lifetime. Testimonials from students exposed to it provide the attestation.

Parents interested in Stave House may enquire at your regular music school, or alternatively contact LUI for details of accredited institutions. Please click here.

Children who have learnt 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. For further details on music education in the adolescent years, please click here.


[1]Ruth Travers has been teaching and composing music for over thirty years. She is a Fellow of the London College of Music, where she is also an examiner. Ruth is British and lives in the UK.
[2]Such assessments are offered by the London College of Music Examinations, the examination board of LCM. The board is a department of LCM, and LCM is a school within the University of West London.

Introduction to Stave House

It was abundantly clear they are acquiring excellent musicianship skills. They understand and enjoy what they are taught, and the outcome is musical accomplishment of high calibre.
Joshua Brown, LCM Examiner

First time we saw our daughter smile whilst playing the piano. The Stave House method is the perfect way to teach children to love and understand music.
Nick & Claire Orr, Parents

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