Musicians Without Arrogance – Do They Exist?

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david on stageYes…..they do exist. I have indeed crossed paths with brilliant musicians who are LISTENERS, HELPERS and HUMBLE! Granted, they are few and far between, but they are out there. I admit that performing music for an audience can provide approval and praise that often can led to an heightened sense of ego, but pride and confidence should not be confused with arrogance.

One of my passions and missions of David’s Music House is that I stress to our Teachers/Music Mentors to do more than instruct students how to just play an instrument. There is so much more involved in the teaching of how to be a true musician that is often neglected in music education. These days, with so much promotion of learning music and performance through technology, this personal and inspirational mentoring is being lost. Music in its best form, can only be fully learned with face-to-face, personal human interaction.

Our mission at David’s Music House is to Teach, Mentor and Inspire. The first thing you have to do to insure growth in learning is inspire the student to continue learning, beyond the beginning curiosity. They need to come back and WANT to learn. That’s where the FACE-TO-FACE INSPIRATION comes in. Without that, you’re only selling shoes.

The next aspect of learning music is that during the earliest stages of lessons, music students need to learn how to perform in front of others. Unless someone is purely planning to play an instrument in a closet, by themselves, they need to be taught to realize that there are people listening. That’s why DMH teachers have access to our coffee house stage, to bring the student out of the lesson room and play what they just learned.

The next and extremely important part of being a musician is learning HOW TO LISTEN! I can not tell you how many musicians I have known who find it impossible to LISTEN to the other musicians they are performing with. This disability has grown progressively worse as more and more young musicians are migrating to performing in their bedrooms and basements to the YouTube world. The Internet is leading youth to become more siloed and disconnected from inter-personal connection with others. While YouTube and open mic nights are great tools for learning and getting feedback on your performance, they also tend to create a path that is disconnected from playing with other musicians.

David’s Music House Music Mentors teach our students that by listening to what another person is playing along with you, you will be able to do such things as play softer to allow the soloist to be heard above the rest, insure that you are keeping your timing equal to the other performers and most importantly, understanding how BEAUTIFUL the complete collection of performers sounds as each part compliments the whole sound that is heard by everyone! This is a concept that is taught in orchestras and bands because each person’s single part only sounds good when performed with the other parts.

These are the reasons we say “The Lesson Room Is Only The FIRST Step”. It has always been a personal passion of mine to insure that anyone learning music at David’s Music House, is not only instructed, but INSPIRED by their teachers, to be not only great musicians, but HUMBLE LISTENERS.

I personally will insure that all of our teachers work hard to follow these passions and principles and your feedback is very important to me, to insure that our students are the highest priority of everyone at DMH. Send me your comments or any questions you may have to david@davidsmusichouse.com

You can also post your comments directly to this article.

Thank you again for your continued support of David’s Music House.

David

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Stay Positive…Stay On Course…No Matter What Comes…

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david on stageAs we go through life, it is only natural and human to allow disappointment or failures or just things that impact us in negative way, to become the focus of all of our thoughts. The mind will always bombard our thoughts with “why did this have to happen to me?”, “Why can’t I ever seem to do anything right?”, “Why do I always fail at everything I try?” Believe me, I have had my share of these thoughts throughout my life. It seems to take such effort to focus our minds on positive thoughts, but it is really a matter of retraining ourselves to stay positive. This may be due to generations being taught to be humble and not self centered. There is also evidence that our brains are actually hard-wired to focus on negative thoughts as a defense mechanism. The data shows that areas of the brain will expend most of it’s energy on the negative thoughts to the degree that other areas lessen or stop completely to give the primary focus on the negative or possible threat, for survival purposes. What I have learned in the last 5 years or so is that thinking negative always gives the exact same in result – negativity.

We need to reprogram our brains to say “STOP”, when we start thinking anything negative and find any thought, as quickly as we can, about something good or that makes us smile. Even if you can’t think of something, physically make yourself smile! This is something that will take a good deal of time to be able to do. Many of us have been allowing ourselves to think negatively for many, many years, so to think this habit is going to change over a few weeks or months, is quite unreasonable! The key is to START NOW! Start snapping yourself out of being angry in traffic, or saying negative things about people, even when you are alone. Make a list of positive thoughts or goals you want to achieve and say them aloud to yourself every morning and night. There are studies that show that verbally speaking out loud has longer lasting effects on your brain than merely thinking good thoughts.

Learning new things can be a challenge but also very rewarding, such as learning to play an instrument or to sing, at any age. Music is one way to steer your mind and behavior to positive thinking. This is why we are brining Music Therapy as part of our Music Plus Program throughout the year at DMH. Music continues to improve our lives in so many ways and David’s Music House exists for the single purpose of making the world a better place, though Music, one lesson at a time.

Thanks to all the community for your continued support and love that you show all of us and for becoming part of the DMH Family.

Here is a video to show all the LOVE we all share with all of you.

David

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Why Do We Play Music?

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david on stageWhy do we play music? We love when we can learn to play or sing and be good at this power of music we are all drawn to. Even people who don’t seem to be particularly into music, don’t buy music or go to see performances, are still drawn to its power in movies, television or even just shopping. Many people want so badly to make music and then when they discover the attention they receive when they are known as music makers, they love becoming aware of their own value.

Often musicians develop an ego of accomplishment if they are especially good at their craft. Many want to be the center of the attention and in the limelight, even when they perform with a group of musicians. This is usually due to immaturity and youth. Even the very talented performer will hear and thus feel the power of the group performance when it comes together. However, many take a long time, if ever, to realize that they are only part of this power.

We play music for what is does to the listener. The listener can be unknown to the music maker. The listener can be any life form, anywhere. Music, in many forms, from rhythm to frequencies and melodic tones has been a form of communication and known as such for a long time, but we know now that it possesses a power to the emotional and physical state of living things. Music can heighten the emotions of anger or sadness or provide great relief of stress and even healing. Music can enhance the well being of life.

The point of all of this is that when we learn to play music, LISTENING is the reason for the playing. Listening is what draws us to music in the first place. It’s why we want to play it. Whatever end result we may want to achieve, whether it be to be the best player or singer, LISTENING becomes the end requirement.

This is WHY we must learn to keep our focus on how we play music. It’s for that life form who the notes and frequencies eventually reach, that the performer may never be aware of. We all want to be accepted and acknowledged for something while we exist as part of the “stuff of the universe”. We are all connected by many things and music is one force that connects us.

This is why I have always brought the message that David’s Music House was created to help everyone find the WHY they are learning about music. It is important that we learn early in the process, and we keep our eyes and ears on WHY we are actually doing this wonderful thing! All of us at David’s Music House are here to insure that DMH students stay on a path of “Inspiration and Exploration of The Power of Music”

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2014….Really?

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2014….WOW…. I can remember when I was in my 20′s, thinking, “I’ll be 48 years old in the year 2000″. It seemed like everything would be Jetsonian. We’d all be driving cars that hover! These are amazing times. True, we’re not getting around in flying cars, but we can own a car that can parallel park itself and we carry instant connectivity to everyone on the planet in the palm of our hands! Ah…pretty amazing, I must say.

So, what’s in store for DMH? There are some new ideas and concepts for 2014 for ‘da House. Some of them we have already introduced, such as Music Therapy and Life Benefit Through Music Sessions, our MUSIC PLUS PROGRAM which will get into full swing sometime in the first quarter of 2014. The first part of MUSIC PLUS is our Music Therapy Program which is currently underway. We will also be making some physical improvements in things such as making our lesson rooms more soundproof and adding an additional lesson room.

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We continue to see increasing student growth and we continue adding more resources and exceptional DMH APPROVED MUSIC MENTORS to keep up with the growth demands. We will soon be a staff of 10 teachers! Our new SPRING GROUP CLASSES offer some affordable NEW learning experiences such as Mandolin, Songwriting and Music Theory.

Look for some exciting concert events in 2014 on our website Calendar as I continue driving my mission of bringing Professional Touring Performances and DMH Students together. I continue to stress how important it is for learning students to see, hear and meet musicians who are out there, doing this thing called MUSIC and making a living doing what they love and bring #THEPOWEROFMUSIC to everyone in the world. (A pretty awesome thing to do as a living!)

That is WHAT WE DO like no other place of music education. We make sure students learn WHY they are taking lessons, WHY they are practicing, choosing the instrument they love best, play best and we make sure they WANT TO CONTINUE LEARNING. It’s not all just about taking lessons. It’s about listening, playing with other musicians, thinking about ALL the other musicians and parts of the music, being inspired and inspiring others. You can feel this Love of Music when you walk into David’s Music House.

You will always find a NEW Total Music Experience at David’s Music House because it’s not about what we do…..it’s about WHY WE DO IT!

So get ready, get fired up and get TOTALLY EXPERIENCED!

Have a most wonderful, peaceful and prosperous 2014!!!

As always – Thank You for your support of David’s Music House.

David

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The End of 2013 – Time To Reflect & Refresh

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david on stageAGAIN?… Another year has passed and it is hard to believe how incredibly fast each one seems to fly by. This was our third year of David’s Music House and we made it through a HUGE milestone in the life of a start up business, especially in about the worst economic times since The Great Depression! It just proves what I call “The Power Of Music”! Even in the worst of times, music will carry us, support us and provide focus and direction and even serenity.

So, as I do at the end of every year, I pause to reflect on what I have learned and how to put the experience to good use. This year is no exception. I will spend the end of 2013 first, enjoying special time with family and friends, and then coming into 2014 with fresh new ideas and services from David’s Music House for the community of music lovers

One NEW idea has begun to form and that is what I am calling our “Music PLUS Program”. This is actually a spinoff of our Music Therapy service. Music has so much POWER to influence and affect our emotions and lives. There is a lot of scientific data now to illustrate how music can affect our well being, emotionally and physically. Our Music PLUS Program will provide LIFE BENEFITS such as STRESS RELIEF, IMPROVE INTELLIGENCE AND MEMORY. This program will be launched in the first quarter of 2014 in various phases. The first being Music Therapy. We will have several events over the next  few months to raise awareness and knowledge of what Music Therapy can do for anyone. Music Therapy is not just something clinical that uses music to help with a problem. It is rather a way to use music to improve social interaction and well being of anyone and there is no need to actually know how to play music. That’s the amazing thing abut music. You don’t have to know how to play music to enjoy the benefits.

I also have a story of great Inspiration that occurred this month. One of our adult students who decided to learn how to play the guitar is also a professional in the medical field. He asked if we could provide a method for him to sponsor a young gifted student to who perhaps can not afford to pay for music lessons. What an absolutely AWESOME heartfelt way to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. This also is inspiring me to find a way to offer such a Sponsorship Program through David’s Music House in 2014 so that other community members can sponsor other gifted young aspiring musicians to be able to realize their musical dream.

Stories like this and many others have been presented to me on my journey to make this world a better place….through The Power Of Music!

As always, I have to thank each and every one of you reading this article, for supporting David’s Music House and it’s mission to do everything we can to bring more music into this world….. and that’s always a good thing!

Please have a safe, happy and the most wonderful Christmas and New Year Holiday season.

Warm Regards,

David – President of David’s Music House, Inc.

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Guest Article – Kelly Johnston, Board Certified Music Therapist

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Kelly JohnstonI am very excited to be part of David’s Music House and introducing music therapy to the community.  Music therapy is an established and accredited profession that can have lasting effects on the clients it serves.  It is a fun, creative way to allow people to express themselves and work towards goals that enhance their well being.

There seems to be some negative stigma attached to the word “therapy.”  Therapy is something that makes life better.  There is nothing bad about seeking or going to therapy.  It’s there to give us motivation, guidance, and a little help.  No matter who you are, we all need a little help sometimes.  Broken leg?  Physical therapy helps it heal faster.  Going through a rough time?  A counselor can help you see the light.  Hurting back?  Massage therapy feels great.  Music therapy has many benefits as well.

Music therapy focuses on a variety of areas.  It helps address social and academic needs in school aged children.  It helps relieve stress for the busy mother, or help a grieving family member.  It helps a person recovering from surgery to relax and manage their pain.  It helps an elderly grandfather remember dancing with his wife, or someone with Alzheimer’s disease find their voice again…and so much more.

So, why music?  Music is a great motivator.  How many times has music helped you run that extra mile, or made a chore or that long commute a little easier?  Or when you hear your favorite song on the radio, you can’t help but dance and sing along.  Music is a universal language, spoken across the world and part of our every day lives.  In our bodies, music activates different parts of the brain at once, connecting our speech, movement, and emotions.  And finally, music is just a lot of FUN.

So how does music therapy help?  Music therapy is practiced by a Board-Certified Music Therapist, like me!  I have the training to know what kind of music to use, and how to use it.  For each client, I work closely with the family to determine goals, and create ways to address those goals through music.  I usually use guitar, piano, and percussion instruments with structured activities based around the client’s individual interests and needs.  These activities include singing, playing instruments, creative improvisation, song writing, lyric discussion, story telling, and reminiscing.  I often write my own songs to use with my client or group, so we can work on a specific goal at their level.

There’s so much more I can say about music therapy.  I absolutely love my career as a music therapist, and have personally seen it help many people, in many areas of life.  It is beneficial for all- from young children, to middle aged adults, to senior citizens.  And all are welcome at David’s Music House!  I offer free consultations for anyone interested or wanting to learn more about music therapy.  Insurance reimbursement may be available.  Just call or stop in!  And be sure to save the date for our Music PLUS Program Fun/Info Night on November 14th at 7 p.m.  It will feature our guest Ed Boas, a certified rythmic facilitator, who will lead us in an energizing drum circle that will have us all feeling the beat!  Ed works with many organizations and corporations to build teamwork and social interactive rhythmic sessions. I will also be presenting on some of the aspects of our NEW Music PLUS Program and how it can benefit you, your loved one, and our community.  Come on in! It’s a FREE night of FUN for the whole family.

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