Wednesday, June 2, 2021
May 20th was Drum Circle Day at the Partnership Middle School on the campus of Mississippi State University. Dr. Bob (Professor of Music at MSU) and Amy Lee (General Music Teacher at the Partnership School) collaborated by facilitating 45-minute drum circle sessions for the 6th and 7th grade general music class students. The Partnership School gives middles school students exposure to higher education at an important stage of development and encourages MSU professors to share their expertise and fields of study with students. The drum circle is a social experience in which participants depend on each other for the ensemble to succeed. Drum circle activities ideally celebrate diversity, promote awareness of self, acknowledgement of peers, self-esteem, listening, communication, teamwork, and the principle of synergy. Damm’s involvement in drum circles informs his teaching and scholarship. Results include articles about African drumming in drum circles, the positive effects of drumming on children with autism, the musical and extra-musical outcomes of drum circles, the benefits of drum circles for university students, exploring meter in drum circles, and foundational rhythms for drum circles.