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Teacher Spotlight: Kayla Juarez

By Music2 min read

The fourth-grade students at Metz Elementary School in Austin, Texas performed a creative version of’ 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: 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 the bucket drums were affordable, sturdy, and easily replaceable if broken


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