Profile: Robert Damm
MSU music professor Robert Damm grew up surrounded by music, with his pianist mother and guitarist father. So, it was only natural when he began studying drums in elementary school. As a youth, he played with various groups in and out of school, and being mentored by a university professor instilled in him the desire to be an educator.
It was at a music camp, however, that he met the man, an African drummer, who would change the focus of his musical interests. Seduced by the syncopated rhythms and naturalness of native African music, Damm began to experience music in a new way through the integration of singing, dancing and the spontaneity of improvisational music.
Now as a professor at MSU, Damm works with public schools to share the experience and culture of traditional African music.
"It's important for young people to understand how the music is shared in a cultural context," Damm said. "I enjoy helping them learn not only the music, but where it comes from and how African music is in the roots and heritage of American music: rock, jazz and blues. A big part of working with children is nurturing knowledge and self esteem and fostering ability to express themselves through art forms."
Next week … Patrick Swartz !