Fayette teacher’s song soars to #5 on iTunes chart
Cleveland Elementary School music teacher Dana Lamb is making her mark on the music industry. Her song “You Should Dream” is currently number 5 on the iTunes chart. Lamb was honored Monday night by the Fayette County Board of Education.
“Dana Lamb and her song ‘You Should Dream,’ recorded by the Texas Tenors and used as the title song of their latest album by the same name, was released on iTunes Dec. 10, debuting at number 5 on the album chart,” said school system spokesperson Melinda Berry-Dreisbach, who described Lamb as a teacher who dared to dream.
Ahead of the album’s release, the Texas Tenors performed the song “You Should Dream” during a pre-recorded concert that is airing across 225 PBS stations nationwide November through December. The concert aired here the first week of December, said Berry-Dreisbach. The song has received a lot of play on national television programs including the Today Show and Fox and Friends, Berry-Dreisbach said.
“Would I like Faith Hill or Carrie Underwood to call me up? Yes, I would. But more than that, I would rather be a rock star in my students’ eyes. All the other stuff is just fluff. I live my Grammy every day in the classroom,” said Lamb, who maintains that her biggest successes are in the classroom and that is where she plans to stay.
“You Should Dream” came about after one of Lamb’s former students told her that she should write a song. She said she didn’t think much about it at the time, but then later she heard a song in her head while taking a shower, said Berry-Dreisbach.
“I grabbed my son’s purple marker and wrote it down. I went on vacation and forgot about it until I saw the words scribbled on an envelope. I pulled out my cassette recorder and recorded the most horrendous demo,” said Lamb.
Berry-Dreisbach said the Texas Tenors discovered “You Should Dream” when Lamb submitted it to them after learning from her mother that the group had posted a message on their Facebook page that they were looking for new material. About seven minutes after sending it, Lamb received a phone call.
“They have a soft spot for educators because all of their parents were teachers. They thought the song was so inspirational because teachers encourage their students to dream. That is what teachers do,” Lamb said.
On May 13, Lamb was on set at the Grand Canyon University Arena for the filming of the Texas Tenors PBS special “You Should Dream.” It was the day after Mother’s Day and Lamb traveled there alone.
“I just wanted to experience it for myself. I didn’t want to miss anything,” said Lamb. “As I was watching all of this come together, I was in awe of the number of people and talent needed to produce the program. I kept thinking to myself that all of this is happening because of a song. If I had not taken the time to write it down or if I hadn’t found the courage to submit it, all of this might not be happening. It was a very humbling experience.”
Lamb had never written a song before she wrote “You Should Dream.” Since then she has been busy writing mainly for students at Cleveland Elementary. She has written all of the school’s character education songs, as well as songs for kindergarten plays and various academic subjects, said Berry-Dreisbach.
Lamb’s family came to the United States from Italy and Hungary in the in the 1930s-1960s. She was the first person in her family to go to college since her relatives immigrated here.
“Music levels the playing field. Kids succeed in a place where they feel they belong. Music doesn’t care about your test scores or how much money your family has. It helped me connect to the other subjects and made them relevant. If not for music and public school, I would have never made it to college,” said Lamb.
Berry-Dreisbach said that while passionate about music, Lamb did not pursue it in college. Instead, she went a more practical route and earned a degree in marketing. She enjoyed a successful and profitable corporate career for a while, but realized her true dream was being a music teacher.
“Being in a public school classroom, I can’t think of a better place to be. My dream everyday is to go to Cleveland Elementary and teach my students,” Lamb said.