Bringing music to kids in the Heart of Detroit

January 22, 2021

Music educator and conductor Damien Crutcher started Crescendo Detroit to bring music to kids in the inner city. Back in 2015, we had the opportunity to sit down with Damien, and see the impact that music was having on kids in his organization. 

Mitch: You’ve grown quite a bit with Crescendo Detroit.

Damien: We really wanted to first take on a few more kids. And then we wanted to make sure our program was a lot deeper and broader. So we started a partnership with the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance. And this is our fourth year. And I wanted our students to be able to go to Ann Arbor to be at the School of Music to take lessons to take classes, to go to University Musical Society concerts. And we’ve started a lot of new initiatives also.

Mitch: But you have really expanded you got into a new building. I understand you even had a chemistry teacher come and work with your kids.

Damien: Life skills. We had a social worker reading music, a reading specialist. We hired a physical person to do basketball and fundamentals with the kids. We had expanded quite a bit.

Mitch: Tell me a little bit about the challenges that COVID-19 has posed.

Damien: We were running like on all cylinders, and then when COVID hit, um it all stopped. And then we started having virtual private lessons and group lessons and virtual get togethers. COVID made it difficult, but it didn’t stop us for sure.

Mitch: Congratulations on all the things you’ve been able to do with Crescendo Detroit. It’s a great program.

Damien: Yeah. Thank you so much, Mitch. Appreciate it.

Mitch: Good to see you again Damien.

Damien: You too.