Michelle Lewis is very passionate about music education, empowering students to create, and strengthening community through Community Drum Circles. She has recently accepted a teaching position with Bloom Elementary School where she teaches Music and the Performing Arts. In the fall of 2018, Michelle began her appointment on the Music Education Faculty at Indiana University Southeast teaching elementary music methods and percussion methods. In addition to these responsibilities, Michelle is the Founder and CEO of DrumSmart LLC where she maintains an active private percussion studio in which her students have achieved many honors, facilitates community drum circles, provides percussion workshops, and teaches percussion ensemble.
Michelle is excited to be starting her PhD at the University of Kentucky where she will be focusing her research on Project-Based Learning in Music. Michelle received her Bachelor of Music Education from Morehead State University, a Masters in Percussion Performance from Rutgers University, a Rank I in Orff-Schulwerk from the University of Kentucky, and an administration certificate from the University of Louisville. She has studied percussion extensively with Frank Oddis, She-E Wu, and Dennis DeLucia.
Ms. Lewis is a Freelance Percussionist and Teaching Artist who travels across the United States and Canada to further her mission that drumming heals the mind and the heart. She has performed with a variety of ensembles including, but not limited to the The Athena Brass Band, Fountain City Brass Band, CenterStage, Rutgers Wind Ensemble (Mark Custom Recordings), Rutgers Symphony Orchestra, Leigh Howard Stevens Marimba Seminar, Percussive Arts Society International Indoor Drumline Champions of Morehead State University, Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps, Victoria Symphony in Victoria, Texas and toured with a Texas Country-Rock Band in the Dallas and Houston area. In 1996, she place 2nd in the Percussive Arts Society International Marimba Competition. She currently performs with the Voices of Kentuckiana, The Brass Band of Louisville, After 5 Rock Band and is a snare drummer with the Louisville Pipe Band.
Ms. Lewis is published in the GIA Publication, “Orff Schulwerk-Reflections and Directions” for her implementation of Orff in Band. Michelle has written articles for the KMEA Bluegrass Music News and is a pioneer of creativity in the performing ensemble classroom using Orff inspired methods. She is currently creating elementary education materials that incorporate drumming and academics that will be published in 2019. In addition to these publications, Michelle loves to help others find their voice whether it be through facilitating drum circles, presenting at state music conferences, or teaching students to create original music.
She is a member of the Kentucky Music Educator's Association, National Association for Music Education, Kentucky Orff-Schulwerk Association, American Orff-Schulwerk Association, The Eastern United States Pipe Band Association, Percussive Arts Society, and the Drum Circle Facilitators Guild.
In addition to these memberships, Ms. Lewis serves on the Executive Advisory Board for Composers and Schools in Concert, is a volunteer outreach member for the Jazz Education Network, is an education endorser for Salyers Percussion in Sugarland, Texas, was awarded the 2017 Kentucky Music Educator's Citation for Service Award , Spring 2018 Spotlight Award from the American Center for Elemental Music and Movement and the Fall 2018 Music Educator Innovative Award from the Give A Note Foundation.
CHARLES AMEWUDAH originally from GHANA, is a professional certificate and first degree holder in education from the University of Education in Winneba, Kumasi-Ghana. He was a leader and instructor of Borborbor music of a student group between 2011-2012 at the University of Education in Winneba.
Charles was a member of a blessed cultural troupe in Accra Ghana and has also been part of a church choir playing drums and teaching songs since 1995. In addition to these teaching and performing experiences, he is a regular participant of the Louisville Community Drum Circle at DrumSmart.