Julie Lacksonen, a music teacher for fifth- through eighth-graders at Dr. Daniel Bright School in the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District, has been awarded the AZEdNews Classroom Grant sponsored by Davidson/Belluso for her Bucket Band program.
“Our district has always been supportive of the arts. Our students have many opportunities in music. This is an example of the types of projects our administrators and board encourage,” said Lacksonen.
Dr. Daniel Bright School only recently switched from K-2 to K-8, said Lacksonen, emphasizing a need for new music programs to pique the interest of an older student demographic.
AZEdNews video: AZEdNews Classroom Grant Winner Julie Lacksonen and Rob Davidson of Davidson/Belluso
The AZEdNews Classroom Grant, sponsored by longtime AZEdNews and Arizona School Boards Association partner Davidson/Belluso, assists teachers like Lacksonen in initiating innovative programs for students.
“We’re excited to be a part of these grants and help build a better community at large,” said Rob Davidson, president of Davidson/Belluso.
Davidson/Belluso is a Phoenix-based advertising agency that has devoted itself to rewarding Arizona teachers for their dedication to their students and communities.
Lacksonen plans to use the grant to purchase the supplies necessary for her initiative. “My plan is to build up a bucket drum lesson, so I’m going to buy a bunch of buckets and things that I can use to make mallets with.”
“One of the state requirements for music education is improvisation. Bucket rhythms are a great way to encourage improvisation by allowing a solo while others keep a beat or a set rhythm,” she said.
“The proof of student achievement will be in their performances, whether during their music times or a public demonstration. I am open to recording and sharing such performances as allowed by parents,” said Lacksonen.
She added, “Students love to hit things with sticks. They will have so much fun that they won’t even know they’re learning.”
“Sounds great. I’m excited about that,” Davidson said. “Thank you for everything you do and we’re excited to be part of the program.”
“I”m excited. Thank you so much,” Lacksonen said.