Music Education Partnerships is supported by the Robert B. Holland Music For All Fund and the Lois C. Kaufman Endowment For Music Education.

The Holland Music For All Fund was established to utilize the strength of the university to empower public schools and especially schools that serve disadvantaged children.

"Robert Damm's work in that area—especially bringing music from different cultures to children who otherwise would not experience it—is a model for university-school partnerships. Robert Holland sought to democratize the arts and literature in his actions and words. I see that spirit alive in Robert Damm's work."--Melissa Holland

The Lois C. Kaufman Endowment For Music Education supports scholarships, programs, and activities associated with music of world cultures.

Upon his arrival at MSU in 1995, Damm began outreach to school and community groups, collaborating in programs which emphasized creativity, celebrated cultural diversity, and strengthened musical skills and knowledge. His first engagement was a tour of county Attendance Centers in Noxubee, Moor, and Alexander. His first festival collaboration was in 1995. In 1996, Damm collaborated with the Starkville Arts Festival, participating continuously as it evolved into the Cotton District Arts Festival. His public-school outreach began in 1996 with a workshop for band directors, a drumline clinic for high school students and interactive drumming with elementary school children. In 1997, Damm was invited to participate in the Bettersworth Leadership Lecture series. This program sent brochures statewide, offering “presentations from our most stimulating faculty members, discussing the subjects in which they have expertise.” After the series ended, schools continued to solicit collaboration from Damm; this outreach became Music Education Partnerships. Project collaborations have spanned the state; from Biloxi to Olive Branch and Clarksdale to Columbus.

The Music Education Partnerships program reflects institutional commitment to community engagement by fostering collaboration between MSU and partnering communities for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources. The program serves people of all ages and abilities, inspiring them to develop as individuals and to discover what they have in common with others. It is Damm’s mission to unite diverse populations of people who come together and experience the joy, peace, and understanding generated through the synergistic power of community drumming. Dr. Damm’s teaching reflects his commitment to community engagement, best practices in interdisciplinary collaboration, experiential learning, and the African philosophy of human interconnectedness known as Ubuntu: I am, because we are.