If you take a stroll by my class you might see us swinging our partners in a folk dance, exploring new rhythms with rhythm sticks, sitting down to listen to a story with puppets, playing Orff instruments, or maybe even playing a CHASE game (shhh, don't tell their teachers). My students love to move, dance, sing, and play, and we get to do all of that in music every single day! YES!
They are huggers: "Ms. Haverly, can I give you three hugs today?!" amazing musicians: "Ms. Haverly, I already figured out how to play this song!" and dreamers: "Ms. Haverly, maybe someday we could go to Austria where Beethoven lived..." and I love making their dreams come to life in music.
I have seen firsthand how "unconventional" instruments can impact the music classroom. Buckets are accessible to all; it just takes some drumsticks and a pair of hands who want to use them. Children may have seen the use of pots, pans, buckets, etc. as musical instruments in videos or movies and I have had many students ask me if we could use buckets. A child who is not enticed by the xylophone or barred instruments which require some musical training may latch on to buckets. You get to hit them! What's not to love? Students are more easily able to internalize rhythm when they feel it and bucket drumming is an awesome way to get students excited about rhythm and playing instruments. Additionally, the 5 gallon buckets double as seats! Fun AND practical! With these new buckets and drumsticks, my students and I can jam to their favorite songs, they can further their understanding of rhythmic concepts, and start a never-before-done (at my elementary school) bucket drumming group.
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