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Ms. Wilber from Prairie Farm WI is requesting Musical Instruments through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Molding Musicians by Banging Buckets

Help me give my students a pair of drum sticks and a 5-gallon bucket to gain experience in communal instrumental music making to become rhythmically more literate in preparation for middle school choir!

  • $239 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

Although the choice to quit music altogether isn't available until the end of 7th grade, my 5th grade children are already forming opinions about music which will become hard to change once they reach middle school. This is why I need to implement a new and exciting unit into my 5th grade curriculum---one which is loud, fun and communal. This unit is called "bucket drumming."

In a Title I school such as ours, many children cannot afford to choose instrumental music study going into middle school.

Expensive instruments must be purchased or rented; they must be maintained; and, supplies, such as reeds and valve oil must be ordered fairly regularly. This means that children in poverty will choose to join my choir for one of two reasons: (1) they love singing, or (2) they financially have no other choice, making the next two years of music unbearable. In the latter case, the joy of communal music making goes away, and the social/intellectual growth associated with future music study may never happen.

My Project

Regardless of personal preference, exceptionalities, or socio-economic status, children love to move and make noise. So, what better way to teach music literacy than by drumming?

The benefits of bucket drumming for 5th grade music students are abundant.

First of all, bearing in mind social constructivist learning theory, hands-on kinetic practice is the most effective way for adolescent students to learn any skill, especially in social groups. Secondly, the great music pedagogue, Carl Orff posited that music making should be community-based, allowing for freedom to imitate and improvise within the social group. Bucket drumming allows for exactly that freedom. Finally, even as Orff believed, the opportunity to make instrumental music as a community should be granted to every individual; indeed, it is a human right.

With this project, even the poorest of my 5th grade students will be able to build an impressive rhythmic vocabulary as well as a large bank of ideas for musical expression which they can bring with them into 6th grade choral education.

In conclusion, when instrumental education just isn't affordable for families, students will continue to reap the social and cognitive benefits of such education. The end results are a better choir and a happier student.

Read More
Ms. Wilber
Grades 3-5
More than a third of students from low‑income households

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1 donor1 donor has given to this project.

This project will reach 39 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Hickory Drum Sticks • Woodwind and Brasswind $29.99 3 $89.97
DICK''S Sporting Goods 5-gallon Bucket • DICK'S Sporting Goods $3.99 20 $79.80

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1 Donor


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Project Activity

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