Dana C. Lamb is a two-time Grammy nominated music educator, having been a quarterfinalist in 2013, and nominated again for 2016. In addition, Dana is a 2012 Teacher of the Year.
Though she enjoyed a longstanding corporate career in marketing and advertising, she returned to school in her thirties to become the music teacher that she had always dreamed of being. She holds an Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Education from Western Governors University and a Master of Music Education from Boston University. She is currently employed in Fayette County, Georgia, as an elementary music teacher. In her career, she has taught general music, orchestra, band, choral, music theater, and non-traditional percussion.
Dana’s commitment to music education and children’s charities has been a mainstay in her career. Inspired by great string teachers, such as Roberta Guaspari and Mark Wood, she has created mentor partnerships with outstanding organizations in order to connect children to the greater community of musicians. For example, musicians from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra often made trips to her classroom to hold master classes in strings for the 80+ string students in the K-8 private school that she served in 2006. In addition, her students were the only students that were privileged to attend Mr. Itzhak Perlman’s rehearsal with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. These children also enjoyed an hour with Mr. Perlman in a rare meet-and-greet conversation about his career and string education/performance. In addition, she is currently working with Armando Luna, Principal Director of the Atlanta Ballet. Mr. Luna has spent countless hours in her classroom volunteering his time to choreograph elementary students and to conduct classes about dance as both a study and a career. Currently, she is working with Dave Holland, world renowned world percussionist, and his band Ritmo Blu to present a multicultural Fine Arts program in May 2015. In addition, she is adding “Shrek Jr.” to her long list of music theater direction that she undertakes in the public schools. Her music theater program for children is unprecedented because she provides opportunities for children as young as ten years old to run sound boards, to be stage managers, to make and procure props, and to work with master teachers as junior level choreographers. While Dana believes that all children deserve to learn music, music education should connect students to the larger community of musicians and provide insight to arts-based career opportunities. This past summer, Dana had an opportunity to work with the Georgia Department of Education to create the Student Learning Objectives exams for elementary music that will be implemented statewide.
When she is not in her classroom, Dana is also a professional songwriter. Most recently, her song “You Should Dream” has been recorded by The Texas Tenors, the #1 vocal group to come from America’s Got Talent, and produced by Nigel Wright, music producer for American Idol/X Factor/America’s Got Talent. In December 2013, The Texas Tenors released their new album “You Should Dream” as well as launched their PBS special “The Texas Tenors: You Should Dream” to coincide with the release. The CD has been sold out nationwide in major chains such as Best Buy, Walmart, and Sam’s Club, and has been on backorder several times through Amazon.com. “You Should Dream” has remained on the Billboard Top Ten in the Classical Crossover genre for over 40 weeks. Her song “Teach Me How To Dream” is a permanent tradition at the Teacher of the Year ceremony. In addition to writing both commercial and educational music, she is also an Inner Circle Songwriter for the Sing Me A Story Foundation which creates music for impoverished, sick, and dying children based on their artwork. She has also written music for various breast cancer charities and Habitat for Humanity. Her current project, “The Talitha Cumi Project” is a music project to empower and encourage women who face personal adversity. In addition, she has been asked to write for an up and coming musical that will launch in 2016.
Being involved in MuzArt is a dream come true for Dana. Music education is so vital to our nation’s children, and not simply because it’s a worthwhile discipline. She has seen first-hand how the continual erosion and elimination of music education in public school classrooms is affecting the quality of this generation’s education. She enjoys writing the MuzArt blog to inform and inspire parents why reinstating and preserving arts education corrects the growing imbalance between the logical (science/math) and aesthetic disciplines (music/art). But what she enjoys most is helping Muzart to keep the pulse on national public education. She considers it a privilege to work on a national level with the dedicated and focused MuzArt team as they work to redefine and shape what public education could and should be.
“Not every child is destined to be a scientist or an engineer. Not that there is anything wrong with those career paths. But I think about my own history and what my life would have been like had I not had music education in schools. I don’t know what career path I would have chosen, but thankfully that was never not an option. I had incredible teachers and mentors and I knew that I was destined to be just like them. I hope to inspire at least one of my 550+ students that I see every week to pursue their dreams, whatever they may be, just like I did. Forsaking music education eliminates potential in American classrooms and I consider it a tremendous honor to be among the Muzart team to work to ensure that this level of instruction is no longer jeopardized or discarded.”