The fourth-grade students at Metz Elementary School in Austin, Texas performed a creative version of bucketdrumming.net’ s La Bamba for their 2019 Cinco De Mayo performance, throwing in a little tambourine and air guitar to spice things up. Music teacher Kayla Juarez, who teaches at Metz Elementary and Menchaca Elementary in Austin, said she loved the practicality of bucket drums: students didn’t have to share and the buckets were easy to replace if damaged or broken. “I thought [bucket drumming] would be really cool and affordable,” she said. “My students are having a lot of fun with it.” The biggest challenge was getting 20 fourth-graders to hit a bucket at the same time, Ms. Juarez said. To prepare for the performance, she split the students into groups so she could give more personalized attention to students requiring extra support, she said. “The first time they tried to practice you can imagine how that went with different skill levels and abilities,” she said. “But the lightbulb finally clicked.” Ms. Juarez said she knew she wanted to be a music teacher ever since she joined her school band in sixth grade. She said that, as a student, music and band were a place for creative expression and having fun as well as an outlet if she was having a bad day. “I use that mentality I had as a student to do the same thing for my students now,” she said. “At the end of the day it’s really important to me they enjoy what they’re doing and it’s not a chore to come to music.” TEACHER SPOTLIGHT FAST FACTS Teacher: Kayla Juarez Students: Fourth grade students at Metz Elementary school in Austin, Texas Students loved: The ability to play along to Top 40 songs and modern pop music Teacher loved: That…

Led by music teacher Derek Currier, the 5th grade class at Discovery Academy of Science in Dunedin, Florida played not one, not two, but three bucket drum pieces for their school Music Fest on May 7.  The group had been practicing their bucket drumming skills since January and performed Can’t Stop the Feeling, Come Together and Rolling in the Deep for their classmates and families.  “[A highlight was] the excitement from the students and the parents at the end of the show,” Mr. Currier said. “And they had fun. That’s what it’s all about.” Mr. Currier has been teaching music since he was 19-years-old and started the music program at Discovery Academy three years ago. He said bucket drums were the perfect way to teach hands-on lessons about percussion and rhythm.  “I was starting a program so I needed something cheap and fun. And [with bucket drumming] all I needed was buckets and sticks,” he said. “My goal in music classes is getting instruments in the kids’ hands. We aren’t going to just talk [about theory], we are going to play; we are going to do something.”  The bucket drums were not only inexpensive (Mr. Currier purchased them for $1 each at a local bait and tackle shop), but worked well as performance instruments because of their accessibility, versatility and portability, Mr. Currier said.  In addition to teaching bucket drumming, Mr. Currier also teaches saxophone, flute, clarinet, drum set and other instruments. He said one of his biggest passions as a music teacher is giving students hands-on experience with instruments. After learning on bucket drums, some students were even motivated to invest in drum sets to continue practicing, Mr. Currier said.  “I’m really about getting instruments into these hands to … give these kids a chance to make some noise…

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