Bang Your Drum (How to Create Your Own Stick Stations)

Summertime is a great time to tackle a fun project. This project involves very few supplies and requires very little skill. Just a little time to assemble. Want to discover how to create some awesome looking drumming stations (StickStations) for your classroom. Read on!

What are Stick Stations and what do I use them with?

Last year I purchased the book KidStix by Artie Almedia. I even wrote a blog post about it. I (and my students) absolutely love the activities in there. It has drumming routines written to a variety of songs ranging from folk tunes to classical to pop. Each routine features several timbres (tap stick, play on a “beat board,” tap a tambourine). I have made due with random percussion, but I finally resolved to create StickStations, so that students could have all the timbres available to them. Of course, you can use this idea even without the book, but I highly recommend buying it. It even comes with a CD of the songs.

Making Your Stick Stations

  • #10-size tin cans (I asked my cafeteria lady for mine, but I had to wait a month for her to accumulate a class set). I know someone else who used coffee cans.
  • foam sheets
  • duct tape (you can buy this is SO MANY different colors and patterns)
  • scissors
  • marker
  • hot glue gun

And now, a step-by-step guide to assembling your Stick Stations.

Take the labels off the cans.

BEFORE

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AFTER

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Pick your favorite variety of duct tape, and start wrapping. I recommend starting from the bottom and working your way up, but really it doesn’t matter.

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Make sure the duct tape wraps over the edge, covering any leftover metal from the lid being taken off. This will protect students from being cut by the metal, so it’s very important!

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Lay down a piece of foam sheet and use your marker to trace a circle.

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Cut out the circle. Then use a hot glue gun to glue it on to the bottom OUTSIDE of the can to create a drum head.

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Finally, you can add the sticks and other timbre sounds to the inside of the Stick Station, so that each kit is ready to grab and use quickly. To match with the sounds of the book, you will need rhythm sticks, a BeatBoard (I believe Dr. Almeida uses a small cutting board. I used little circles that were already at my school), and a small tambourine (small enough to fit easily in the can with the other supplies). As you can see, I used mini-jingle bells since I didn’t have any small tambourines. Also, I was luck enough to have actual drum sticks at my school, which ups the cool factor.

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Final Product: TA-DA! Here it is. All ready for some Jam Time!

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Note: I actually did not store mine like this. I haven’t yet cleared out enough storage to accommodate 30+ cans that don’t stack. So I took the sticks out and have them sitting next to all my cans. Maybe eventually I will find them more space so that the sticks can be inside, but for now, this solution works for me.

I hope you get to try this project, as well as Dr. Almeida’s book. Creating these was so fun and I can only imagine the using them is going to be even more fun. Best of luck!

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