Marylhurst alumni and faculty in the music therapy program took an active role in the planning and presentation of the 2014 Western Regional American Music Therapy Association conference in Portland.
From a press release issued by Gruv Gear, February 1, 2012.
Marylhurst music faculty member Damian Erskine designed an ergonomic "duostrap" to evenly distribute the weight of a guitar or bass across the player's shoulders and back.
According to the manufacturer, Gruv Gear, the Damian Erskine Signature DuoStrap is worn by legendary guitarists and bassists such as Mike McKinney, who has played in several tours and recordings with Michael Jackson and wrote the famous bass line for "Billie Jean."
"I initially built my first double shoulder strap around six or seven years ago after getting home from a long tour," said Erskine, a touring and session bassist. "We played four to six nights a week, and most shows were about four hours long. I was also using a new six-string bass that was heavier than I was accustomed to, and I noticed that my fingers were going numb because of the pressure my old strap was putting on my neck (in addition to my back and shoulders getting sore each night).
"After a few weeks of buying straps, strips of leather, foam and rivets and trying every possible configuration I could think of, I came upon a double shoulder strap concept that not only distributed the weight evenly across both shoulders, but it actually made my instrument more maneuverable and more comfortable to play."