Revisit – “No More Cloudy Days”

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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?

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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.

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“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?

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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

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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

How Do I Know More Success Is On the Way?

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david on stageYears keep rolling by as if I’m in some kind of time machine, watching everything spin by, changing at the speed of light.  There’s so much more to do and yet, so much has been already accomplished.  This October 10th, 2016, will mark the 6th year that David’s Music House has been a part of this world, and still every single day I ask myself …”How did I ever do THIS?”  THIS is not something that David does!  David always has all these ideas running around in his head, but they’re just thoughts, things that other…smart…important…powerful people do.  I talked to myself like that for almost 40 years of my life…every day.  Having very little confidence, I would allow people to talk down to me and make me believe that I actually was stupid.  I would go somewhere to be alone and break down and tell myself over and over….you are useless…who DO you think you are?  Why do I always feel this way?  Why do I always fail at every single thing I do?  I’d pull myself together and act like nothing bothered me and I was fine.

Then, in what seemed like a single moment…a single second in time, that same voice down inside of me said “I’m tired of always telling myself I’m useless, not smart and can’t achieve these ideas in my head!”  For some unexplainable reason, I was able to realize that I was the voice who was stopping me!  I was the voice who said “you’re stupid.”  If I was the one saying these things, I had absolutely nothing to lose by first, not talking like that anymore…and second, start doing the opposite.  I began by focusing on getting rid of 10 years of crippling back pain and started eating less food.  I lost 100 pounds in a year, which made me feel so much better that I found I could start exercising to make my body stronger…and I did. This turning point was in of itself a huge milestone of making myself physically and mentally healthier and happier…but it was so much more than that…it showed me that I COULD DO ANYTHING THAT I MADE MY MIND UP TO DO!  I next corrected a long personal relationship that was not only keeping my mind emotionally broken, but that I knew it had to change in some way or it would hurt the two most important human beings in my world…my daughters.  So I did something that the person in the previous 40 years would have never been brave enough to do…I ended that emotionally broken relationship.  There was nothing before or since that was more difficult or scarier to do, but I know now that it was not only the right thing to do, but one of the best and most successful things I have ever done.  The list of things that are now better for myself and many others, because of the things I did at that time, are far too many to begin talking about here.  That is the measure of how much I am aware that I or anyone can make anything they truly desire, a success!

The events in my life that occurred after I turned 40 years old, were turning points of courage, realization and faith.  Over the 24 years since, events that have continued being blessings, ratified my awakening that ALL of these events in my life have happened and continue to do so because of the divine power of God…a power that I now choose to have complete faith in, by simply looking at the past and knowing that the voice deep inside me that grows stronger every day, is God’s voice.  He is telling me that there is still a lot of work to do toward the “dream” that He created me for… which is taking David’s Music House and its mission, to a higher purpose, and for me, that is making the world a bit better, happier, kinder and full of music.

October 10, 2016 is the beginning of the 7TH YEAR of David’s Music House and I have never felt stronger about what will happen to the “ideas” in my head.  I have more faith that they will happen….just as ALL the other events of my life happened.

Get ready folks….more great things are on the way….because changes are always happening…and I’m enjoying the ride…every minute!

 

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly” – Robert Kennedy

 

Peace & Love,

David

My Musical Journey Began Early

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david on stageI remember my earliest awareness of knowing I loved music. When I was a pre-teen in my family’s church, the pastor’s sermon was about sin and “scary things” to a young child, so I really didn’t like going. But one thing I did like was singing hymns. I remember thinking that I could sing well, and so I would sing loud enough for others around me to hear in church. Somehow I knew, or at least thought in my mind, that they could tell how good I was; no one was really listening to me, but I thought they were and it made me feel special.

My grade school would have a music teacher come into our room, and all I remember is her drawing staff lines on the chalkboard with the coolest gadget. It was a device that would hold 5 sticks of chalk, spaced equally, and when she would drag it across the chalkboard, it would draw 5 perfectly straight lines of the music staff. Teaching us the fundamentals of music, she would get out her pitch pipe and sing the notes on the staff drawing. “Loo, loo, loo”….was the word she would sing to each note as she pointed to it, and we were to sing along with her. Though it seemed funny to many in the classroom, I knew she was sharing her love of music with us.

At some point, the school tested our aptitude in music and I was told I should learn to play an instrument. My family had a trombone that no one seemed to know where it came from, but I thought it was pretty cool and I began taking lessons during that summer at the high school. These lessons were to start us out in middle school band that coming fall. That summer I started teaching myself from the trombone music book that came with the instrument. When it was time to start the summer music program, the teacher was amazed at how much I already knew. I went on to play in the middle school band for a few years and marched in a few holiday parades. Eventually, I stopped playing because sadly, I was uninspired by the middle school band director.

When I was about 12 years old, my mother wanted to buy a player piano. This was a piano that would play music itself with rolls of punched paper that when inserted into the piano, would play and move the keys like magic! While at the music store, a teacher sat me down at an organ and placed some cardboard guides on the upper and lower keyboards to show the names of each note. She put a beginner music book and showed me how to play chords with my left hand and play the melody with my right hand by following the music on the cardboard note cards. I sat there playing music for a few hours while my parents left the store to shop (wouldn’t do that today!). When they returned, they were amazed that I was actually playing songs already! They bought the organ that night and signed me up to take organ lessons from that teacher. She (my teacher) was amazing at playing the organ and had even recorded on a national record or two.

This was my beginning of playing music for the rest of my life. When my parents had friends or family over our house, I was always asked (told actually!) to play for them the latest songs that I had learned. I didn’t particularly like having to perform for everyone who came to the house, but once I got going, I always loved how it made me feel to hear others tell me how well I played.

As a teenager, The Beatles had changed the world of music and I started wanting to play all the songs I liked on the radio. After I had graduated from high school, I got together with friends and started a band. We’d practice in living rooms, basements or garages; my Dad loved that this was happening. He found a small Hammond organ with a wooden cabinet speaker that I could play, and he even purchased a van so that I could carry around the equipment. We started listening to some blues records to learn how to improvise playing solos. It would be a few years before I would try to sing the lead solo parts. I can remember the first time I felt reactions of people listening to me sing and I knew I had something special. I have always been a quiet and reserved person, which is what people perceive me to be…until I open my mouth to sing! When a musician does it well and the music connects with their emotions and soul, it’s like speaking to others in a whole new way. That is the Power of Music and it truly is an amazing sensation to feel.

These are some of the beginning stories that have made up my life in music and the reasons behind why I created David’s Music House……. a place where anyone of any age, especially the young, can begin learning all the parts that make up the world of music, how to love it and understand what it can do. Students learn all of this, as well as how to share that feeling and experience with others…. through the Power of Music!

Thank you for your constant support of David’s Music House. Feel free to comment on this post and I will do my best to respond.

Peace & Love,

David