“The Rhythm is Gonna Get Ya – Bucket Drumming Clinic”
Noblesville High School Band
Our bucket drumming clinic is a multi-faceted initiative that engages elementary and middle school students in our community and raises funds for our band program. Students are invited to a one day rhythm and percussion clinic. They receive drum sticks, a t-shirt, dinner, and world class instruction, engage with our high school percussion section and perform at half-time of a home basketball game.
Our younger students to join band during their 5th grade year. This is also a fundraiser for our band program and helps offset costs for our winter percussion program. The performance by the group at half-time of the basketball game is a huge part of this initiative. Our gymnasium is filled to capacity and over 3000 audience members see this performance. The positive public relations created by this initiative are immeasurable for our band program.
The target audience is our elementary students. These are students that will get to choose to join band, with the hope that their experience will encourage more students to participate in our secondary band program. We added an “advanced track” for our middle school students who are already involved in music in middle school to enrich their music instruction.
The timeline is based off of the home basketball schedule. Registration for the event and advertising happen about one month prior to the performance at the basketball game. After registration email communication is sent to participants. Our staff, band boosters and winter percussion students arrive 90 minutes early to prepare and set-up for the clinic. The clinic runs approximately 4 hours.
Overview of Planning and Execution
Our high school band director leads the initiative with help from the percussion director, associate director of bands, and our booster board of directors including president, treasurer and food coordinator.
Tools and Resources
We utilize donated buckets from Lowes. Drum sticks are purchased from Amazon or our local music store. T-shirts are purchased through our local T-shirt shop and food is from a local restaurant. We utilize YouTube to show bucket drumming videos as students register and Finale music writing software to create the piece for the students to perform.
Marketing and Promotion
We contact the elementary and middle school music teachers and ask them to help us spread the word. We send the registration link out via each Noblesville School’s Newsletter and we blast all over social media: facebook, instagram, twitter (X), and of course our registration is on our band’s website.
Drumsticks run $2.00 a pair. We get t-shirts for $7.00 a shirt. We feed the students for about $7.00 per student. We pay for staff to teach students – $100 per staff member. Our buckets are donated.
The biggest challenge is spreading the word and creating awareness. Parents don’t always read the school newsletters. Social media has helped and also the positive feedback, word of mouth.
The attendance at our clinic was as strong as pre-covid attendance. We had over 80 students participate. Our overall band program numbers have increased beyond the growth of our school system. There are many factors contributing to the growth of our band program and this initiative certainly plays a part in that growth.
Our basketball audience loves the bucket drumming clinic! The pride that is seen in the parents of the participants and the participants themselves speaks volumes. The number of videos and social media posts in response to the performance is also huge. The clinic brings joy to all who participate and see the performance. This is the most positive impact we can have!
Advice for others?
Just Do It! The first time will be small and you will learn so much. It will grow each time you do it. Involve as much of the community as possible. Local businesses like Lowes love to invest in your students and community.