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Teacher Spotlight: Derek Currier

By Music3 min read

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 and play,” he said. “It’s really motivating to see them do it.” 



Teacher: Derek Currier
Students: Fifth-grade students at Discovery Academy of Science in Dunedin, FL
Teacher loved: The music notation included with the video tutorials and Sammy’s attitude. “You can tell he enjoys what he’s doing and as a music educator you know that’s really important,” Mr. Currier said.
Student’s loved: How visual the lessons are, with multiple angles of the drum, as well as the jingle.
Teacher Tip: Mr. Currier said he used carwash towels over the buckets to dampen noise levels with a large group.

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