I’m on a mission…

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david on stageNot quite like the Elwood Blues quote, of the band from Saturday Night Live, The Blues Brothers…. “I’m on a mission from God”, (a bit more literally than The Blues Brothers)…  I realize more everyday that what I’ve created in David’s Music House is a philosophy or pathway of teaching something more than how to play a musical instrument. I’m actually on a life’s mission to help teach others how to be amazing with their God given gifts, but to also be humble, kind people….through the power of Music. My earliest personal memories are of a bewilderment of why anyone would want to be mean or hurtful to another, when it’s much easier and rewarding to be kind to others. I have, and continue to be, both dismayed and amazed that this will likely always be the case.

Music has always been an emotional and soulful connection to joy and happiness for me. It connects and envelops me with every emotion, from sadness and deep reflection to extreme joy and high energy. Through the magic of music, it is my dream to fulfill a larger purpose of instilling humility and kindness into what occurs at David’s Music House. Toward this purpose, we have adapted a slogan of “The Lesson Room is only the First Step”, meaning we begin teaching how to play and instrument or use one’s voice, but our teachers also become Music Mentors to our students. They also work together, as a team with a higher singular purpose of instilling as much mentoring as is possible, to ingrain performance characteristics such as looking at an audience, listening to other musicians they perform with, making sure their instrument “blends in” with the others rather than trying to make sure they are the only ones heard playing or singing. Along with these performance traits, a natural inheriting of humbleness will also become a part of each student’s learning. Using the amazing power of Music to connect to the soul, along with a mentoring process of humility will hopefully bring more people into the community who will do good things. THIS….is the real agenda behind everything we do at David’s Music House.

We encourage parents and members of the community to become more involved in their children and insure that Music is a high priority in their development process. Week after week, I continue to discover news articles about studies that are finding more evidence of how extremely important it is to have our young children learn and participate in music. The bounty of character building and mind development derived from learning music from an early age is so worthwhile that a strong, yet supportive parental investment is absolutely necessary to our future generations. Nothing but good can come from bringing music into a child’s life….to them and to all the world. Let it be a mission of all of us.

Thanks so much for all your continued support of what we all do here at David’s Music House. Please feel free to add your comments and feedback and I will reply.

Peace and Love,

David

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New Changes for 2015 – Focus on Performance

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david on stage
Another New Year…..I still remember how incredibly hard it always was for me to go back to work after having the Christmas Holidays off. All the celebration and not having to drive to work early in the morning and dealing with gong back to “the grind”, would always leave me in a depressed slump for at least the first full week of the new year. Those were the days of frustrations of a job that I didn’t like for at least 20 years of the 21 years I was there. Now, I celebrate the holidays, take time to enjoy family and friends, reflect on the past year and awaken to excitement of lots of new ideas and plans to try to make David’s Music House even better at bringing more music and better musicians into our world. David’s Music House is all about doing EVERY THING we can to do Music Education better. For 2015, we will be focusing a lot more on “performance learning”. The DMH Coffee House Stage was built mainly for teaching, as well as a good place for musicians to perfect their craft. We have had a mission statement of “The Lesson Room is Only the Beginning”. This means just that…first comes the teaching of the instrument, but there is so much more to becoming a better musician. Anyone can learn how to play an instrument and play in their homes for themselves, but the main purpose of music is to “perform” for the listener. Music needs a landing platform or someone who is listening. This is often an overlooked aspect of music education, especially in private lessons. This creates many gifted musicians but many who are paralyzed with fear of performing before an audience, especially as a solo performer.Instead of the once or twice a year, formal recital type performance, that is the usual and expected step in music education, we will be bringing performance training on a more informal and consistent basis. We are changing our monthly under 18 Open Stage night to incorporate our “Student Showcases”. Each month, one of our music teachers will host and be preparing their students to perform at our monthly Student Showcase/Open Stage Night. Families will come to see their students progress at playing their instrument as well as the progress in performing on the stage, to an audience. Students will be trained on stage presence, using microphones properly, eye contact and speaking to the audience. This will give all of our students much more training on how to perform on stage. Additionally, our under 18 Open Stage provides a platform for any young musician a family friendly environment to explore becoming a musician.

Additionally, about once a month, we will be bringing in professional touring or local music performers and adding additional Student Showcases during the professionals intermission. This will provide stage training to the student but also allow them to meet and greet the professional artist to learn and be inspired by their talent.

These steps are just more aspects that make David’s Music House “A Total Music Experience” and the “Future of Music Education”.

All of the years that I have performed with various musicians have provided me with a keen sense of how much young musicians need to learn how to be good listeners and humble people. Being a musician is an ego trip for most of us and DMH is here to teach students the difference between enjoying your musical gifts and being so full of your talent. Nothing is more important than the “PERFORMANCE” and the “LISTENER”.

Thanks for supporting David’s Music House.

David

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Once Again, Time to Reflect and Refresh…

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david on stageDecember is such a busy and exciting time for us all. Often we become so focused on what we need to do that we forget what we need to focus on. Everywhere we look, everything seems to be about gifts and decorations. Christmas is the time to re-focus on our countless blessings of health, family, friendships and love. It is also a great time to remember others who are not as fortunate and to help in any way we can. Christmas reminds us that we are not the center of all things, but that we are all here for the purpose of giving.

I also like to use this time of year to reflect on the past year….what worked, what didn’t and how can things be better. One of the most obvious things I continue to discover as I get older…is that I have so much yet to learn…and the learning of it is what is so exciting!

One new aspect we will be doing next year is our student concerts. Currently, we have had some wonderful performances during the year, but I remembered how I used to think of “recitals” as both a student and a parent and how I wanted David’s Music House to do this better. Occasional student “recitals” do not serve the greater purpose of learning how to perform. Although they do present the experience of performing on stage, the greater thing they do is prepare one or two songs that must be learned and end up causing so much stress, as the time comes for each student to perform at this once or a couple of times during the year performance. As a musician, a learning student and a parent of a student, I have NEVER thought of this as real performance learning!

So….for 2015, we will not have these occasionally, larger student concerts, as we have in the past. All of our DMH teachers will be bringing their students to perform at our Monthly Open Stage/Student Showcases. Teachers will be preparing students as part of their lesson times, on how to perform on stage, by teaching them how to speak to the audience, how to properly use a microphone, how to engage the audience. THESE are the skills that so many young musicians do not possess nor have they ever been taught.

There will also be more occasions to perform for audiences thought the year, such as partake in Student Showcases during our Professional LIVE Concerts, where students will perform during an intermission of a touring Independent artist. We will be holding other Special Performance Events which will be announced as they are scheduled. These may be Student Ensembles or Bands or performances with Teachers. The idea is to have our students perform more frequently and with more specific performance training so that they are not only providing a time to show their parents how well they are doing, but to insure that they become “experts” and comfortable with performing in front of people. Unless the goal is to forever perform alone, in their bedrooms, eventually what every musician learns is they are no longer playing music for themselves, but for the people listening to them. A musician without someone listening is like a tree falling in a forest….does it make a sound? :-)

As I always have said, “We do Music Education differently here at DMH. The Lesson Room is ONLY the FIRST STEP.” There is so much more to the Experience of learning and loving music than being instructed how to play an instrument. These other aspects are so over looked in music education today. Musicians do not know how to perform, play with other musicians, improvise or LISTEN and ADD to the whole performance, rather than be thinking all about what you are playing in your bedroom, with a video camera to put up on YouTube.

David’s Music House will ALWAYS change and find new ways to provide “A Total Music Experience” Keep reading the Newsletter for more exciting and NEW changes for 2015.

Let me end by first, thanking each student and parent who comes to and supports David’s Music House. I can not thank each of you enough for helping myself and everyone at DMH, for keeping us going and excited to bring more great musicians, music and people in the world to discover and realize, “The Power of Music” in our lives.

I want to wish each of you a Very Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Holidays!

Love yens guys!!!

David

 

PS – Please note the Review of our Music Lesson Policy in our December Newsletter.

 

 

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From Both Sides Now…The Music Streaming Blame Game

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david on stageThere have been a lot of new articles about where is the future of music going since the recent Taylor Swift pull from Spotify, a leading music streaming service. I only know, as with all media news resources, we need to take them for the source they are coming from. In other words, find out more about the issue and don’t listen to one or a few sources opinions before you decide who’s the bad guy.  I know that in the “land of digital music times” and from the perspective of myself being both a musician and listener, I look at these times as pretty awesome for a music lover and performer.  In the days of old, as the radio was THE only source of hearing new music, it was the big label record companies who controlled everything, from who gets a record deal and lands on the radio, to who advertising and DJ’s were told to push as who to buy, and we did. We had to buy an entire album of songs that were likely to be good, but many times were not. We had no choices and then the media collected dust over the decades, from vinyl records left in basements, to CD’s left in trucks of our cars. Now, we get a chance to hear each song before we make our purchase and with our amount we want to spend. We can choose to spend some on one artist and some on another artist, or perhaps an unknown Independent artist we may have heard on the vast amount of places we can hear music for free or via a subscription service. By the way, I’m not spending less on music purchases now. I’m spending more, because I am hearing more music.

This whole media blitz lately, about the evils of Internet companies ripping artists off by playing music for free, reminds me of what the music publishing companies are doing to live performers and venues in local towns and cities all over the country. While pretending to be out there getting those missing dollars back into the pockets of each and every musician, with aggressive and almost mafia’ish bullying tactics of going after every bar, coffee house and tiny dance or music lesson studio, for outlandish license fees which will NEVER put these dollars into the pockets of the small local Independent artist but instead are a new way of making the 1%’ers of the license companies and lawyers just richer. The dreadful cost of this live music venue bashing is that this is the way those artists and legends of today became who they are… by playing the cover music of famous artists at these very same bars and coffee houses. When people heard bands at their local bar playing Doobie Brothers, they didn’t say, “Now I don’t have to buy their album, I just heard it for free”! Live bands and musicians promote and build the representations of recording artists and make their music more popular, not to mention the fact they play their music because the WORSHIP AND LOVE the artist. Another very sad aspect of this licensing bashing to music venues is that bands and musicians can’t find nearly as many places to play live anymore. Venues are stopping live performances because they can’t afford the extravagant fees to the licensing companies. By the way, if an artist thinks that their local club license fees are going to go into their pockets for their original songs….well, good luck with that!

In my opinion, the sources and companies that play music, supposedly for FREE, are promoting the music they and we all love. They are also paying licensing fees behind the scenes and they try to recoup and earn as a business by subscriptions and ads, just like any other business. It is true that I don’t go into retail stores and buy the big mainstream artists music anymore….I buy SOME of their music and I buy SOME music from small amazing artists who would never have that opportunity in the past of the big recording company days. Now I hear so many more types of music than I ever did in the past and then I purchase and give to the artist I want to.

I’m not saying that it’s fair that all the work of an artist ends up selling for $.99 a song. I’m saying that it is my option that the many new ways of hearing streaming music is not the cause of that. Digital music was selling for $.99 a song before all the streaming music became so huge. The whole using the word “Naptster” blame game is a marketing gimmick to promote evil and greed of the 1%’ers. Naptster and file sharing days was wrong because it was simply putting music on large computers and letting everyone download them. Today’s large streaming music companies are paying license and legal fees. It’s good to note here that ANY company that grows into a very large corporation can eventually become greedy as well and do wrong. The point being is to not just throw everyone at the wall like spaghetti to see what sticks. I for one, love the fact that I have choices and places to hear music for free, so I can then spend dollars at the source that go to the artist.

The new ways we get music are not going away any time soon and the rich and powerful will always do whatever they can to get the most dollars from it all, but as long as we all listen, there will always be new ideas and innovators coming up with ways for anyone to get their music heard by us all.

The more kinds of music we can hear and the more chances and pathways a new beginning artist has to get his music heard….the better off we all are….and that’s a good thing.

That’s just one musician/business owner’s opinion….from Both Sides Now….

Thanks for reading and supporting what we do at David’s Music House.

David

 

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“Till the Season Comes ‘Round Again”

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david on stage“Till the Season Comes Round Again” – That’s the title of a song written by John Jarvis & Randy Goodrum and I first heard performed by Kenny Rogers. I love this song because it expresses what this time of year means. Fall means beautiful colored leaves beginning to fall, chilly air and nature preparing to close down for the cold to come, but most of all November means Thanksgiving and giving thanks for our many blessings.

The last two months of the year have been blended into one commercial shopping season by the big box corporations. The very first thing I saw when I turned on the TV, the morning after Halloween night, was a car commercial themed about Christmas. I prefer to first enjoy the Fall and its glorious colors, followed by a celebration of family and thankfulness for all the blessings we have been given. The sheer blessing of living and being here another year to gather at the Thanksgiving table, and take the moment to feel all the love is surely worth spending the time to pause and give thanks.

“Let’s all gather round at the table, in the spirit of family and friends, and we’ll all join hands and remember the moment, till the season comes round again.” These are more of the lyrics of the song.

Here is a short list of what I am thankful for, beginning with my realization of God’s love for me. I have never been more aware of this.

I am thankful that I am able to spend every single moment possible with the most wonderful person I have ever met in my 62 years of life, my best friend and wife, Anita.

I am more thankful than I ever knew, for the parents and family I was born into, for the wonderful life they gave to me.

I am thankful for each person in my family for all their gifts of love and support.

I am thankful for the people I have met throughout my life, both good and bad, for they have shaped and formed the person I am.

I am thankful for coming to a stage of enlightenment in my life, of who I am and what my purpose is.

I am thankful for all my years of feeling less than valuable, inadequate and like a failure, because all those moments made me the person I am now and proud to be.

I am thankful to have been helped by so many others to be able to create a business that is all about who I am and what I am here for – to leave the world better off by helping others become kinder to each other, through the magic of Music.

I thank God often, every day for the people who make me aware that what I am doing is a good thing.

This year, as I gather round the table, I give thanks to each one of YOU! I hope you are each able to gather with all the special loved ones in your life this Thanksgiving….’round your table….again.

With the sincerest love and thanks,

David

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Four Years – “Live Long and Prosper”

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david on stageOctober 10, 2010 – October 10, 2014, 2 years of planning and 22 years of saving gets you blessings, success, purpose and seeing a dream ( as Mr. Spock would say ) “live long and prosper”. As we hit our 4th year milestone, I must pause to reflect.

Once upon a time… I had a seed of an idea of how to try harder to go the steps beyond giving instruction on how to play an instrument or sing. The seed of an idea was just in my mind a few years ago. I wasn’t even aware that it was there at the beginning, but my frustration was taking hold. I have been a musician for 50 years now. I have taken formal lessons, learned to play with other musicians, learned how to improvise, how to sing harmonies and then lead vocals. Over the years, as I struggled with the age old question of many young musicians, especially from the 1960’s Beatles and Woodstock explosion…”should I be just a full time musician and risk it all…or go to college and get a 40 hour a week job”? Not being a person who took risks in my youth, I chose the latter and went to college. All the while, I would face difficult or uninteresting issues and quit and start performing music more. This back and forth struggle continued most of my second, third and forth decades of life. I eventually worked at a full time job, raised a family and performed music on the side for fun and extra money, thus giving up on my dreams of being all that I could be as a musician.

During the raising of my children, I had two daughters who showed a natural gift for music and I proudly watched them take to it so much better than I ever did, throughout their school years, only to find that they would give it up after school and go the way of college and become school teachers – a very noble profession indeed and one that I always thought I would have been good at. I am extremely proud of the people and teachers they have become but I will always feel like I didn’t do enough to encourage their musical learning journey. THIS is the seed that I speak of! This is what started growing a burning desire in my mind that eventually became David’s Music House. This business would serve multiple purposes. It would allow me to explore my passion to provide encouragement and ways to help students of music discover WHY they wanted to learn how to perform. It would also serve to replace the disappearing ‘Retirement of Baby Boomers” with something that would not only be my retirement, but would allow me to find ways to help the world be better off, because of creating more musicians and in turn, more music.
The seed of an idea grew from my non risk portion of my youth, into a burring desire to do whatever it takes, to see this vision become a reality in my life.

I repeat this vision over and over to all that will listen. David’s Music House is a place you can come to learn how to play an instrument or sing, but there are many private teachers and music stores that do that. David’s Music House is a place to come and discover WHY music is so powerful, incredible, healing, emotional, basic, life improving and on and on. We are like a house or home that explores music and what is so special about music. I call our teachers Music Mentors because as they teach you how to play or sing, they teach you how to act on stage, how to listen to other musicians you perform with, how to add to a musical group or performance rather than “be the star on the stage”! Our LIVE concerts by touring singer/songwriters provide hands on learning that music students can not find anywhere else. We can teach you how to start writing your own music and take it in the recording studio experience.

When new music teachers who come to David’s Music House, they are given the “keys” to experiment and create their new ideas to Inspire students. New teachers also discover that they can actually “learn” from the other teachers here because we are a Music Mentoring Team that does not shun other teachers but instead, help and support the other teachers.

Our Coffee House setting provides a great place for waiting parents but it does so much more than that! It provides the “kitchen table” home-like atmosphere that provides a family welcoming and gathering place where people find a few moments of their day to relax and stop thinking about everything going on in their hectic world outside.

I have learned a great deal as an entrepreneur over the last 6 years of planning, building and tweaking the business model of David’s Music House but one thing never stops being the center of my focus and passion….that is the “seed” of what started in my mind that is growing into a thriving model for help, support and Inspiration to all those who come to share their love of Music.

I end with my forever and constant Thank You to each of you who have discovered, come, shared and continue being loyal lovers of the dream that is David’s Music House.

Sincerely yours,

David

DMH E Sign

“I always wanted my name up in lights”!

 

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