“There’s no crying in baseball!” – Tom Hanks – “League of Their Own”

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 In the popular Tom Hanks movie, “A League of Their Own”, Hanks portrays the manager of a women’s baseball team created during World War II who tries to treat the women players with the same hard knock methods as he would with a men’s team. When a player becomes upset at him yelling at her and begins to cry, Hanks says the popular quote from the movie, “There’s no crying in baseball”! I use this as an example to illustrate how I talk about the subject of “taking the summer off from taking music lessons”. To this I say…. “There’s no stopping in music!”

I consistently speak to this issue to all parents and students. This is a subject near and dear to the CORE Mission of David’s Music House. Ever hear the quotation, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?…Practice, Practice, Practice”? Becoming the best you can be at any skill only comes from consistent learning, practice and experience. When the academic school year ends, this is the BEST time to continue or begin taking private music lessons, as there is actually less personal time restrictions for families. You’ll be that much ahead of the game when you go back to school and music activities the next year.

Exercising, weightlifting, running, losing weight, and basically any endeavor where the goal is to improve and be as good as you can be, can only be achieved by consistent and continuous pursuit of all the aspects that will lead you to that accomplishment. Music is a skill that one can only improve by adhering to a schedule of continuous experience. As with any skill, any extended or repetitive length of time not spent on that effort, whether it’s a physical sport or playing an instrument or singing, will cause physical changes to occur, such as fingertips getting soft again if playing guitar, or muscle strength in the hands and fingers that develop playing the piano or the vocal cords that grow and strengthen as one learns to sing. All the time spent on developing strengths and learned skills will diminish during long periods of non use and then will have to be relearned and strengthened all over again. Why would anyone want to take 5 steps forward, only to slide back to step 1 again?

NEW SUMMER PACKS PROGRAM

We realize that Summer also means the opportunity for families to spend some much needed time together for some R&R, going on vacations or visiting distant relatives. To help our DMH Families to be able to continue their music learning and take time off for vacations, we have developed our NEW SUMMER PACKS PROGRAM. There are some excellent options for families to schedule and reserve lesson times on our schedule that will also guarantee not losing your usual lesson times. Call us at 724-941-9200, email dmh@davidsmusichouse.com or stop by and ask our receptionists all about the details and reserve your summer lessons right away!

It is the mission of David’s Music House to insure that everyone is immersed in any and all the ways that will offer a continuation of the pursuit of the love of music and the “WHY” they need to continue learning and experiencing playing, listening and sharing the Power of Music! We don’t only teach how to perform music….we help you KNOW WHY music is awesome. Our music teachers are Music Mentors who collaborate and work together as a team for all our DMH students.

Thank you for your continued support and for spreading the word about the VALUE of David’s Music House to the community!

Peace & Love,

David

 

Cinco-De-Davo…huh?

More than a month ago

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In the month of May, the United States celebrates, Cinco De Mayo – May 5th. The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. In the U.S. the date has become associated with the celebration of Mexican-American culture. To myself, it has become a unique milestone and memory…and a beginning!

It was May 5, 2008, 9 years ago, when I walked out of the corporate world that frustrated my creative mind and soul for 22 years and embarked on a journey that became David’s Music House, Inc. While it took 2 years, from that day of wondering what to do, to the opening day, October 10, 2010, David’s Music House has been the most rewarding career effort of my 65 years (so far).

I have been asked, what makes you think you can begin a business at your age, having never been a business owner before? It never takes longer than a second to say the answer. I couldn’t have been ready to do something like this, let alone succeed, until this age. I spent most of the first nearly 50 years of my life thinking I was not as smart, not as capable, or not as important as everyone else around me. I spent 12 years of my life in public schools just hiding or trying to not attract attention, for fear of all the bullies around me. It wasn’t until after I graduated from high school that I found the first thing I could feel proud of and that was playing music in a band, and then eventually, my singing voice, which allowed me to feel what it’s like to have someone who would have usually ignored me, now pay attention to me –  because of my performance in bands. Yet, somehow, when I wasn’t in the environment of music, I stepped back into the world of being inadequate and unseen.

During my years working the corporate world, I discovered a couple of things: 1.) Having a technical job had absolutely nothing to do with being creative and 2.) People behaved differently in that environment. Those who would normally have been friendly people, behaved as those they thought they would gain importance and promotions from. In other words, management ignored talents of some, to give monetary gain and power to those who “worshiped” them. The corporate world acts pretty much as the bland cubicles that reside within it…separate, detached and cruel to many, while ignoring ignorance of others and promoting such ignorance and lack of performance. Needless to say, I felt as worthless there as I did during my school years. Eventually, one’s efforts simply wither and die into thinking, “well, at least I have a decent job that helps provide for my family” and then go home to find your happiness and value. If it were not for my family and love of music, I am fairly certain that I would have never made it through the bouts of depression.

When I was nearing the time of being “blessed” with the opportunity to leave that corporate world, I joyfully chose it and that day in May, that celebrated holiday we know as Cinco De Mayo, was the beginning of a journey of awakening, the likes of which I had never known in all my previous years. I can vividly remember walking out of that building on that last day with a wave of emotional relief, like I was headed for the longest vacation I would ever take. This was in 2008, which we all know became our country’s biggest economic depression since the “Great Depression”. It was during this time in 2008, that I began to develop my idea for starting my business. I began talking to business owners and learning a lot. The most important discovery I made was that I began to reflect on all the things I had done in my life and instead of taking the insignificant aspects, I became aware of the huge, risky decisions I had taken and the drive that enabled me to do them. I was no longer the “silent, unimportant one”. I was a different person, and I knew that I could actually do ANYTHING I wanted to do…as long as I didn’t quit. Everything I ever did before failed because I quit. These failures actually taught me a lot, as failures always do. Mostly, they taught me what I never knew before…If I wanted to do anything, all I had to do was NEVER, NEVER, NEVER stop moving toward that goal, but ONLY if it was a true, deep passion that I believed in.

As anyone who knows me, well knows, I am not very good at remembering dates. I try my best to keep our wedding anniversary (also inside my ring), the birthdates of my wife and my two daughters and of course my birthday, but that’s all I claim to be able to remember, with one other exception… Cinco De Mayo, especially May 5, 2008…

Oh yeah…just one more date, the opening of David’s Music House, 10.10.10, October, 10, 2010. All of the 65 years of my life have been a step by step journey of preparation, leading to David’s Music House and my discovery of WHY I exist. There will be more to come on that subject, in future David’s Blog articles. What I can say is, that same passion and drive will reveal more of what I now know – “I can do ANYTHING I am passionately driven about…as long as I don’t quit”… and when it comes to this subject…there is no quitting.

Thank you as always for loving music, coming to DMH and spreading the word about what we do.

Love and Peace,

David

Practice…Practice…Practice…Yep, That’s How

More than a month ago

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You’ve may heard the expression, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.” These are not just words. That is the truth! Music is a amazing skill to learn and has tremendous mental and physical benefits to both the performer and the listener, but there is no way around the fact that you are not going to gain the skill to play an instrument or to sing without spending a good deal of time, over the days, months and years, practicing. This is the hardest part of learning music. Practicing is not a punishment to endure, but a necessary part of improving. Everyone knows that to become a athlete, the daily grind of training, over a long period of time is a requirement. The same is true of any skill. Improvement will not happen if the time is not spent every day, doing the repetitive tasks that allow the body and mind to become skilled at the endeavor. So the motivation for practicing has to be how much does one want to be proficient at a chosen skill. This is why, at David’s Music House, teachers will integrate the reason, or the “Why am I learning this instrument in the first place”, into their mentoring of our students. Without knowing WHY you want to do something, there is no motivation or drive to achieve success.

I started taking electric organ lessons at the age of 13, and my teacher knew when I didn’t practice during the week. I thought I could fool her and practice a lot the day of my lesson, but of course, I never fooled her. Parental involvement and strictness is absolutely necessary to insure their children succeed in whatever they attempt. When school requires homework, many children will try almost anything to avoid doing the work. Parents know to take the responsibility to insist that their children sit down and do the homework and if necessary, sit down with them to make sure it gets done. The same applies to music lessons. I knew that I could not quit music lessons because my Dad wouldn’t hear of it. Only when I became about 17 years old and graduated high school, did I feel that I could stop taking lessons. I know now, that was a mistake. Just as parents have to take active roles in supporting academic learning, the same is required of music lessons.
 
Unfortunately, often it is the case that music and the arts have never had the proper support of our educational systems and are treated as extra curricular activities. More recently, Music and the Arts are now being pushed by many to become CORE subjects. The research has shown that the Arts actually improve a student’s mental capacity, learning skills and accomplishments throughout all the academic years and the rest of their lives.
 
One of the main reasons I created David’s Music House was my deep passion to do everything we can, to keep a student learning and try to prevent students quitting. I have been telling parents and teachers since our school opened in 2010, that we are going to do things differently here at David’s Music House. Teachers do not simply rent space and give instructions. David’s Music House is not a store that sells music instruments or music equipment. We are a private music school and everyone at DMH is dedicated to the same goals and mission, which is to do everything we can think of to not only provide an excellent learning experience, but to mentor students by example.
 
I personally have two main goals of what I want David’s Music House to do:
 
1. Provide an atmosphere that celebrates and fosters love and appreciation of music and the arts and instilling that same passion in our students, through inspiration and mentoring.
 
2. Instilling a fundamental characteristic of support and humility in our students, that will enable them to not only support other musicians but also people they deal with in all facets of their lives.
 
I love what I do more than anything I have ever done. One thing saddens me and that is to see any student quit music or to see parents punish their children by stopping their learning as a punishment for not practicing enough. My highest objective is to insure that everyone connected with David’s Music House is doing everything we can think of to prevent a student from quitting. When anyone stops playing music….everyone of us loses.

“I’ve never known a musician who regretted being one.” – Virgil Thomson

“I have heard many people say they regretted not being one.” – David

Thank each of you for your constant support of what we do.

Peace & Love,

David

Pittsburgh is discovering David’s Music House is The Future of Music Education!

More than a month ago

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David’s Music House has a mission of helping any student of music discover “WHY” they are learning music. We always have a solid focus, which is providing all the teaching, mentoring, support, encouragement and Inspiration possible to every student. Every teacher is screened and goes through an orientation process to insure that every student who comes to David’s Music House has access to ALL the resources possible. New teachers who request to be a part of what David’s Music House brings to music education are excited to discover our NEW approach to teaching! Each new teacher undergoes a rigorous process before they are given a student to teach. This training is not to change each teacher’s personal style and experience of giving lessons, but more of a methodology that brings teamwork and the mission of David’s Music House. Teachers who are extremely experience end up mentoring newer teachers in skills they have acquired, while newer teachers will often introduce a new perspective to a teacher who has been using the same methods for many years and finds a new approach quite helpful. There’s something to learn by all members of the team.

When anyone comes into David’s Music House for a FREE consultation, they are given a tour of everything DMH has to offer and are overwhelmed to find a setting unlike anything they ever would have expected. New students have the entire teaching team as available resources to them. Students can benefit from substitute teachers who may offer a new exciting viewpoint or a student may want to investigate a completely different instrument and that is easily managed at DMH. There are NO jealousies or individual teacher ownership of students because ALL DMH Students belong to David’s Music House and all that it offers. There’s also no need for teachers to be worried about a student moving to a different teacher because they always know that a new student is sure to be assigned to them very quickly. Everything we do is all about the student and their parents wishes.

There is ample and easy parking, we are easy to find as we are directly on a main route through the South Hills of Pittsburgh, PA.  Once you come into David’s Music House, you will immediately feel the comfort and friendship of entering a living room of a home. We have ample soft couches and chairs, tables, FREE WiFi, games to play while you wait, a Music Library of books to read about music learning.

We will always stive to be ahead of the curve on new technology and teaching/mentoring methods. Every teacher at David’s Music House is a resource for any DMH student. We are a team, better yet, we are a FAMILY of mentors, here to help anyone, of any age, discover the love of music and the arts.

I want to personally thank each and every DMH student and their family for your continued support and for spreading the word to the community about the musical enrichment and value you have found by choosing David’s Music House for your Music Education.

Peace and Love,

David

Revisit – “No More Cloudy Days”

More than a month ago

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I LOVE this tune…one of the last written and sung by legend Glenn Frey…the originator of one of the greatest song writing bands in our lifetime.  I began as a musician from the birth of The Beatles and Woodstock and the bands I was part of from the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s focused a the vocals with instruments. Everyone in the band sang either harmonies or lead vocals. During those decades and still today, one of the hardest things for any band is finding a great singer, let alone have all the members of the band be good singers as well. Background vocals supporting a lead vocalist along with everyone playing instruments is just what I consider to be “as good as it gets”. I played a lot of genres over the years but in recent years I migrate to ballads with great vocals and meaningful lyrics. The 1950’s were famous for great vocal bands and singing groups but after The Beatles started writing, playing and adding those great vocals, everything changed. This created young musicians of the times to want to do the same and The Eagles are about the best vocal bands that came from that time, but they had something completely unique….their vocal sound and the songs…a blend of rock and country, which was original at that time.

Seeing so many music legends of my era pass away in 2016 and being a musician myself made last year a difficult year in realizing these heroes of ours are mortal…and showed us that we too are mortal.
Below is a part of an article I published last February 2016 and I thought it deserved a revisit one year later.
Click Play on the album cover and enjoy “No More Cloudy Days” by Glenn Frey and The Eagles.

“These cloudy days, make you wanna cry. It breaks your heart when someone leaves and you don’t know why ” – Glenn Frey

(above lyrics from the song, “No More Cloudy Days” from the “Long Road Out of Eden” album. Check it out…it’s a great album.)

WOW…what a January it has been for losing some of music’s legends! One being Glenn Frey of The Eagles. The Eagles have always been one of my most favorite bands, because of the songs but even more so because of the vocals. Their strong vocal harmonies had such a tone and quality that gave them a unique sound and set them apart from other bands of their time. Then their songwriting developed and gave them longevity as Music Icons

Well said words from Eagles co-creator, Don Henley  –  “Glenn had an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music and a work ethic that wouldn’t quit.  He was funny, bullheaded, mercurial, generous, deeply talented and driven.  He loved is wife and kids more than anything.  We are all in a state of shock, disbelief and profound sorrow.  We brought our two-year History of the Eagles Tour to a triumphant close at the end of July and now he is gone.  I’m not sure I believe in fate, but I know that crossing paths with Glenn Lewis Frey in 1970 changed my life forever, and it eventually had an impact on the lives of millions of other people all over the planet.  It will be very strange going forward in a world without him in it.  But, I will be grateful, every day, that he was in my life. Rest in peace, my brother.  You did what you set out to do, and then some.”

 

There is a great documentary “The History of The Eagles” that has played on CNN and is also streaming on Netflix. It was a story that illustrated to me how those times of the 1970’s were times when the recipe was there to follow and become famous in music that doesn’t exist today. I think about myself and my beginning bandmates and how we had those great 4 part vocal harmonies and were also set apart from so many of our peers. In the documentary, there was a line of Glenn Frey’s from when he first went to California and met Jackson Brown…he said, the only way you’re going to become famous was to write songs. Our band just didn’t write the songs. We were a local town bar band. We had fun, made some money and did something that many others couldn’t…be really good doing what we loved.

Peace and Love,
David

Teachers…Who Needs ‘Em?

More than a month ago

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david on stage

ANSWER – DUH…YOU BET WE DO!

Some people may ask:  Why do I need a teacher when I can learn to do it on my own? Why do I need a teacher to show me what they do, to be like them and to mirror them?

Teachers do so much more than show us how to do something that we don’t know how to do.  Teachers open a world of discovery, through examples of behavior…they mentor us through aspiration and inspiration.  It is their example which provides the connection that becomes a bond between teacher and student.  This bond allows the learning process to actually work, and awakens the student to focus and want to learn.

David’s Music House was created with one main purpose…to carry out a mission of making the world we live in just a bit better off than it was, and to provide an atmosphere where people can get away from all the things that add stress and negativity.

I have found in my life, that music always gave me my place of peace and confidence.  Music, unlike any other means of communication, speaks to all forms of life.  The arts connect with us and speak deep within our very soul of what we feel and wish to be.  The people who are the truest communicators of this connection, are our teachers.

David’s Music House provides an atmosphere of a home, where parents can park their car easily, sit in a place of calmness, have a warm cup of coffee or tea, perhaps a small snack to satisfy a craving, while they wait for their child (or themselves) to discover all the amazing benefits that music can provide.

As a parent who wanted my children to discover the power of music, it was difficult to find a place that provided this type of environment.  Since October 10, 2010, David’s Music House has been here to do just that, and we will continue and insure that we are providing a HOME of learning the true power of music.

So the answer to the title of this article is YES…INDEED…WE NEED TEACHERS!

  • Teachers who don’t forget the spark that made them first want to become a teacher….
  • Teachers who remind themselves that there is something much larger going on in what they do…
  • Teachers who continue to awaken a student’s awareness of WHY they need to practice and keep coming to their weekly lessons…
  • Teachers who mentor through example, a behavior of community and support of one another.

teacher quote ben franklin.png

“I guarantee that music teachers at David’s Music House will always provide more than instruction. Our DMH Teaching Team will always provide the BEST and Total Music Experience to all of our students” – David

Peace and Love to your all.

David