Kathy Armstrong is a percussionist and educator combining her training in classical music and education with her many years of studies in Ghanaian music and dance to offer an integrated and community-based approach in her work. Her research interests include participatory music-making, music and wellbeing, social justice in music education and applied ethnomusicology. Kathy received her Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Percussion and Music Education from the University of Toronto, and recently completed a second MA in Music and Culture at Carleton University, where she received a Senate Medal for her thesis researching the links between drumming and health and wellbeing for adolescents.
At Carleton, Kathy has taught for many years in the School for Studies in Art and Culture: Music as well as the Institute for African Studies. She has developed innovative courses in Applied Rhythm using western and non-western techniques. Kathy also teaches courses in African Music, Popular Musics of the World, Music of the World’s Peoples, and Global Music and Wellbeing. Through the IAS Kathy took students to Ghana to study Urban and Rural Music. She is also the founding director of Carleton University’s West African Rhythm Ensemble (WARE).
Outside of her work at Carleton, Kathy has presented papers and been guest artist and clinician in a wide variety of academic and community settings throughout the world. In 1995 Kathy founded Baobab Tree Drum Dance Community, bringing Ghanaian music and artists to students of all ages. She regularly travels and hosts programs in Ghana where she has a nearly thirty-year association with the village of Dagbamete, and her teacher Kwasi Dunyo. For her contributions, Kathy received a Community Appreciation Award from the Ghanaian Association of Ottawa.