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

Around 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

2016 – Growth, Mortality and the Jetsons?

More than a month ago

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david on stageAnother year comes to a close as we reflect on what happened during 2016.  Many of us of the Baby Boomer Generation began facing some realization of our mortality as we saw the heroes of our lives passing away in record numbers; from David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Muhammad Ali and Prince, to the Brady Bunch mom, Florence Henderson. (If you feel like going through the list, click here)

The realization that we would live forever and fly around in our cars and Jetson jet packs is pretty much not going to happen, is a cold slap in the face.  We at least know now to tell our children to appreciate all the moments of youth because things won’t last forever; but we also know that’s just the way youth thinks.  In our 20’s and 30’s, it’s all about what’s next, facing the unknown and “hey, we’ll get around to it…someday, but for now….no worries!”  It’s not all gloom and doom as we age.  Most people who reach the age of 50 and over, don’t want to go back through all the growing pains again… although we wouldn’t mind having the 20 year old body for sure.

To us Boomers, the year 2000 seemed like it would be so much more futuristic, and now that we are nearing the end of the first two decades of the new century, we are really starting to see some very futuristic things happening.  Driverless cars are actually being used, auto-braking and auto-parking cars, new discoveries in medical research with new methods of using our immune system to fight off cancers,  stem cell research and 3D printing closing in on printing replacement parts for our bodies are being developed. If Boomers can just hold on for another decade or two, we just may be able to stay around quite a bit longer, and in relatively decent physical condition.

So, to reflect on 2016, it was quite a year for DMH, with student and teacher growth taking us to new levels.  We changed to a new scheduling system that provides students and parents with their own profile sites that show upcoming lessons and promotes better communication between teachers and students.  We have also added another lesson room to accommodate growth for 2017 and have plans to continue expansion in the future.

We will be bringing some amazing new ideas and processes, coming soon in 2017, so keep reading the newsletters for all the latest updates!

Most importantly, all of us at DMH never stop appreciating all the love and support we receive from the community and our student families.  We are incredibly blessed by each of you.

All of us at DMH wish everyone the Merriest Christmas and Happiest New Year.

Love and Peace,

David & Anita

Make Every Day a Day to Give Thanks

More than a month ago

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david on stage

How hard is it to take a few minutes of each day to reflect on the Good Things in our lives? Things like when you wake up feeling good and know you are healthy today, or for just one simply wonderful thing that happened yesterday. Our minds easily go to negative thoughts, such as that driver who pulled right out in front of us in traffic, or why someone said something terrible that hurt your or someone’s feelings. Humans have survival thought processes built in our DNA, making it really difficult to not go to “worry” and “what if’s” throughout the day. It takes a conscious effort and focus to think of the thousand good things that happened before and after the one negative that happened earlier. If you think about the logic of it, what would be better for your body and mind than remembering a smile from a young child or a clear blue sky, or even a cloudy, rainy sky if you had been waiting for rain. There are countless good things happening to us all the time. Why not spend a few minutes each morning or evening to think about them, when it’s so easy to waste hours thinking about negative things that offer us no benefit but increased stress and anxiety.

This month we celebrate Thanksgiving Day. While becoming a marketing start of the holiday shopping season, it remains, for most of us, a day of gathering with family and friends to celebrate memories, love and showing thanks for our many blessings.

So, as we all gather together this year to give thanks,  let’s also begin a habit of taking a few minutes of each day, just to give quiet, reflective thought to the previous healthy breath you just inhaled, or the job that provides shelter and food for your family, or that serious illness you or a loved one now only share as a victory from the distant past, or the next smile or “Hello” from a passing stranger. There are so many blessings in our daily lives…let’s take a few moments to raise your awareness of them, every day. It will do amazing things for you.

As always, Anita and I give additional Thanks for the blessing of being able to see our dream of David’s Music House as reality in our lives and we are so incredibly thankful to each student, parent, family and teacher, who support this dream of making the world a little bit better, through the amazing power of music.

Please have a Blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving Day with family and friends.

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Love & Peace,

David and Anita