Island students make music using plastic buckets
'You can bang the buckets together, you can use sticks, you can use your hands'
Some Island students learned Monday that you don't need expensive instruments to make music.
Grade 6 students from St. Jean and Stratford Elementary teamed up to do some bucket drumming. Which is just what it sounds like: drumming on a recycled ice cream bucket.
You can bang the buckets together, you can use sticks, you can use your hands.— Liam Johnstone , St. Jean Elementary student
"Anything you can hit with a stick and make noise with is an exciting possibility," joked St. Jean music teacher Daniel Tieman.
Tieman is new to the Island, and was paired up with Stratford Elementary music teacher Ellen Davis as a mentor.
The Department of Education offered them a day to bring their students together. After some brainstorming, the two landed on the idea of bucket drumming.
"Buckets have the appeal that they're not expensive," explained Davis. "That's something even-steven across the board that everyone can participate in."
The buckets were donated by COWS and the teachers had a few rhythm sticks and drum sticks already in their classrooms.
The workshop started with a crash course in bucket drumming, as students played along with hit songs. Then they were divided into groups of four, combining students from the two schools.
'We all put our ideas together'
"I find it pretty cool because I met new friends and we're working together," said St. Jean student Liam Johnstone.
"Bucket drumming is really creative because we all put our ideas together ... Buckets can be used with any rhythm. You can bang the buckets together, you can use sticks, you can use your hands."
Stratford Elementary student Jordan Young agreed.
"You can use anything to make music."
Music teachers Davis and Tieman say the bucket drumming workshop was about music, but also much more.
"There was no right or wrong answer when approaching this," explained Tieman. "The music room, we're here to create. We're here to experiment. We're here to enjoy ourselves. And that's what I wanted them to experience here."
Tieman said the two schools are from very different socio-economic backgrounds but in this case, "music is the great equalizer".
"It doesn't matter if you make $300,000, millions of dollars a year or come from nothing — you can hit a drum."
'I'd love to do this again.'
"They were engaged, they were smiling, they were laughing," said Davis. "A few were, I think, a little bit not sure what to expect."
The music teachers say the hope is to get the students together again soon — for an encore.
"The friendships that they were creating amongst the two schools just made my heart sing," said Tieman.
"I'd love to do this again."