Mountain Spirit Institute teams up with Master Teaching Artist Bob Bloom
By Cindy Heath
Bob Bloom, of Storrs, CT will lead our Drumming Jamaica workshop February 7-11, 2011 at the Calabash House in Treasure Beach, Jamaica.
I first met Bob Bloom in the late 90′s, when I was searching for musicians to fill the program for a children’s entertainment series in Lebanon, NH. Bob was on stage at a performing artists showcase, and I was immediately drawn to his energy and of course, his skillful drumming. I hired Bob on the spot, and he returned to our stage every summer thereafter, bringing drums for all to play.
Bob has been a busy guy, building a highly popular and successful interactive drumming and education program. Here’s a snapshot of his accomplishments:
*Bob’s certification as a ‘Master Teaching Artist’ was awarded by the Connecticut Commission on the Arts in 1997.
*For over a decade, Bob served as a faculty assistant to Dr. Babatunde Olatunji for his “Language of the Drums” courses, and he performed as a member of Drums of Passion, Dr. Olatunji’s internationally acclaimed drumming and dance company.
*Bob served from 2007 to 2010 as chair of the Interactive Drumming Committee of The Percussive Arts Society, the largest percussion organization in the world.
I bought my first conga drum right around the time I met Bob, and started taking lessons at Dartmouth College – what a thrill! There’s nothing like playing the rhythms with a group – I learned to play conga, bongo, clave and eventually steel drums – all without knowing how to read music. Turns out we feel rhythms at a cellular level, and drumming has all kinds of health benefits, including a positive effect on our immune system.
A highlight of my relationship with Bob was when he gave me one of his drums – a beautiful djembe. This is the one I’ll bring to Treasure Beach,
Jamaica for the Drumming Jamaica workshop Bob is teaching – perhaps I’ll learn some new rhythms, and come back from Jamaica a bit healthier and wiser.
As African music educator Olatunji said, “Rhythm is the soul of life. The whole universe revolves in rhythm. Everything and every human action revolves in rhythm.”
If you would like to join MSI in Jamaica, please check out the MSI website or call 603-763-2668