Life’s Earliest Experiences Drive A Successful Business

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david on stageGrowing up in the 1950’s, in a neighborhood with lots of other kids my age, I remember that my earliest and best experiences were playing outside all day. We were basically unsupervised which gave us the skills and knowledge of dealing with situations and using our creativity and ingenuity. We did have a neighborhood bully but we also had a neighborhood hero, who would look out for all of us, at least I knew him to be my hero. He was my hero because he knew I was more backward than the other kids and that I couldn’t play sports as well as everyone else, so he would tell me,”You can hit the baseball, you can do anything!” Things were fun and happy in my world. I later discovered that it wasn’t like this outside the neighborhood, when I started going to public school. Now there was more than one bully and no hero to help you. This was my first awakening of asking, “Why does that kid have to be mean to everyone?” I still struggle with that issue some 60 years later. We get in our cars and get cut off or almost hit by another car and the person inside is ready to go to war with you over something they did wrong! We see this negativity with almost every comment posted on the Internet.

The summer after I graduated from high school was when I discovered my gift of music and how it made me feel important and purposeful. I could do something that others admired. I could belong to a group of others who became my friends because we all respected what we each brought together to make this amazing thing….music. I found something I could have fun, friendship and pride about. The feeling was indescribable, freeing and wonderful!

Along my journey through music, I discovered that there were many who turned the wonderful gift of music into arrogance and a feeling of superiority over others. I continued to follow my passion to want to encourage and support other musicians. I would often encourage others to seek and discover that amazing emotional experience from your performance, or to try to sing more harmony parts or even solo lead vocal parts when they felt they weren’t good enough to do that. I always felt that this support and encouragement would enhance the music. It just seemed natural to encourage others. I obviously was following the kindness and support of my childhood hero and mentor. I knew how amazing and happy it made me feel when he encouraged me to know that I could do anything.

When I began thinking about starting my own business, I knew whatever I chose to do, my deepest personality traits of who I am had to be a major aspect. I knew this would enable me to have the drive to do whatever it takes to never quit and that my passions and whatever made me who I am must be at the CORE of my business.

These became the fundamental goals of what is the mission of my business. I know that financial success will follow and without intention by focusing on these CORE passions. This is why anyone who comes into David’s Music House discovers almost immediately, the warm and welcoming atmosphere that is unique to a school, store or business. When you walk through our front door, you feel a “living room” experience.
I am always seeking and building a team of music teachers who will fit into and join this mission of Mentoring students and do more than instruct someone how to play an instrument or sing. I insist that teachers at David’s Music House encourage students to not only learn and practice but how to perform with others in a helpful and supportive way. We look for signs of that musician arrogance and by example, mentor students to help and support other musicians they perform with. Mentoring and setting examples of support and caring about others is a fundamental process and philosophy of everything at David’s Music House.

There is no greater feeling of success and accomplishment than seeing and hearing that you are doing something that creates more good in this world. I stop and remind myself of this blessing, every time I am at the school, listening to all the learning and mentoring around me. For this, I am truly blessed.

I can not state any of the above without knowing that I am indeed blessed due to everyone who is part of this journey. I send a heartfelt thank you to each of you for supporting David’s Music House mission of making our world better through the Power of Music.

Peace & Love,

David

The Dream Never Stops If…

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david on stageI recently watched a documentary called “The Boomer List”, that had various people, both famous and not, who were from the Baby Boomer Generation, as I am. The Baby Boomer Generation are people who were born between 1946 – 1964. The documentary had many entrepreneurs talking about how they started hugely successful businesses, such as Tommy Hilfiger, who generally spoke of a dream he had for many years and he knew he felt this strong desire to create a dream even though he had no idea how he was going to get there. The key factor they all knew was that even though they didn’t know how to become successful, what they did know was that they could NEVER give up.

This is really THE KEY to success….NEVER GIVING UP. This is true in anything anyone wants to do, in any effort. First, there is the strong desire that’s deep within you, followed by never stopping moving toward and making that dream a reality. Even when many successful entrepreneurs failed along their way, they still never quit. The failures were learning experiences but we know about their success and we know who they are…because they never quit. They found a way around obstacles and failures and kept moving forward.

No matter who you are or what you do, all of us will face issues throughout their lives, from financial to health issues. When you’re an entrepreneur, the business still needs to continue moving. I faced some health issues over the last couple of months that kept me away from the business and prevented me from being at my usual 100% level. I fortunately had my wife, Anita,  to keep the business going, as well as all the continued hard work by our wonderful family of teachers.

The point is, that when issues cause a business owner to not be at 100%, it can be easy to fall into a state of thinking, “this is too hard….I’m so tired…how can I get back to where I was?….” The reason I can get back to 100% level is because the business comes from a dream derived from my very CORE. I have a mission much larger than just a running a business. I can easily get back all the drive to keep moving toward my dream of what I see David’s Music House reaching. That CORE mission will always drive me back to NEVER QUITTING! Quitting is NOT AN OPTION of SUCCESS!

As an additional note to parents and students of music. This same thinking applies to succeeding as a musician. You can be anything you deeply desire in your CORE, if you NEVER QUIT. Often many parents and students use the same thinking with their music lessons as their school year, and they think it’s ok to take the summer off. The DOES NOT APPLY to anything a person is learning. You can not become progressively better at a skill such as performing music if you take several weeks off in the middle of learning. This applies to any skill, such as athletics or music. If you are an athlete and stop running for several weeks, your body will loose it’s strength and endurance. The same thing applies to learning a skill like music. Your timing will be lost, your finger strength and quickness will deteriorate. In addition, the only way a musician become better than all others is constant and consistent practice and learning. We strongly encourage all of our DMH students to continue their lessons throughout the summer. Even if you take family vacations, which are life long memories, a week or so is fine, but don’t stop your lessons longer or you will lose ground in your learning. There’s a reason why the old saying goes…”The way to get to Carnegie Hall is practice, practice, practice!”

Musicians Without Arrogance – Do They Exist? ( #repost )

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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

Creativity….It’s In My DNA

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david on stageI have always loved looking for a new or different way of doing anything! I can remember from a very early age following my Dad around and watching anything he did. My Dad was always into something, from home improvement projects to taxidermy (don’t know what that is? Google it :-). Dad would do home projects but always with a creative drive. He didn’t like having the same things every other house in the neighborhood had. Many homes had driveways in our neighborhood that were either gravel or cement where the tires drove into the garage with grass in the middle. Dad decided he was going to make the driveway all cement but he found a way of coloring cement so our driveway had a strip of green cement where the grass used to be. Dad also installed air-conditioning in our home way before anyone ever considered getting air-conditioning in homes.

Dad was known for having that creative flair even when he was very young. He was an avid hunter even as a teenager, but in those days, teenagers weren’t just given money for anything they wanted. If they wanted something, they had to find a way to earn the money. Dad also started doing taxidermy as a teenager, so he walked into the local hardware store and asked the owner if he would allow him to decorate his front window to display their hunting equipment, in exchange for hunting supplies he wanted. So the owner agreed and Dad used animals he had stuffed, leaves, tree branches and created an awesome display window and this was how he was able to get the hunting supplies he needed every year.

I definitely have the creative gene in my DNA. I’m always looking for better and creative ways to improve our “Total Music Experience”. Over the next couple of months, we will be migrating to a new scheduling software that will provide each parent/student their personal portal of communication with their teachers.

Beginning Soon – NEW Scheduling Software.

Some of the services this will offer:

  • Your personal webpage to view your upcoming lesson appointments
  • One place for teachers to post lesson plans, notes about music books needed, resources to help with practicing for you next lesson
  • Communications tool to your teacher
  • Email reminders about tuition payments
  • FUTURE – on-line payment processes
  • DMH merchandise, gift certificates, etc. in an easy access on-line store.

Speaking of growth, we are indeed growing. One aspect of growth is keeping up with it in order to continue providing the same level of service and satisfaction. Our growth is reaching the level where we need to be aware of how to insure we are providing the BEST EXPERIENCE to ALL of our DMH student families.

Opened on Oct. 10, 2010DMH Student Grown 2010-2015

Started with 30 students

Now over 200 students

Started with 4 teachers

Now – 17 teachers

Our Monthly Student Showcases, for example, have been extremely successful, to the degree that we are overcrowding our space. We now need to limit the amount of people for the comfort and safety of everyone, so the students performing will invite two family members to watch their performance. We also need to insure performing students have seats to enjoy the showcase as well.

Other family and friends can watch their students perform as we will be streaming showcases LIVE, on the internet using Ustream. To view a showcase, anyone can simply go to www.davidsmusichouse.com and click the U icon, in the top, right corner of the HOME PAGE and they will be taken to the LIVE performance.  The performance will later be available on our DMH YouTube Channel, which is also accessed from the YouTube icon on our website.

I love looking for ways to use technology and creativity to insure David’s Music House always provides “A Total Music Experience”.

Thank you to each and every one of you for your continuing support and love!

PS – Don’t forget to check out our Ustream Channel LIVE broadcast of this month’s Student Showcase.

Peace & Love,

David

Cloudy Days…but the Music Goes On….Indeed

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david on stageWOW…what a January it has been for losing some of music’s legends! One being Glenn Frye 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 Frye’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.

“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.)

So far in 2016, these music legends have passed away:

Paul Kantor

January 28, 2016: Kantner, a co-founder of the ’60s psychedelic rock staple Jefferson Airplane, died at age 74 as a result of multiple organ failure and septic shock. He struggled with health problems for some time, having suffered a heart attack in March 2015. A vocalist and rhythm guitarist, Kantner helped create the “San Francisco sound” that so defined the counter-cultural movement with songs such as “White Rabbit” and “Somebody to Love.” As a songwriter, he crafted the band’s “Young Girl Sunday Blues” and “Today,” among others.

Glenn Frey

January 17, 2016: Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey died at the age of 67 due to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia. The guitarist co-wrote some of the bands most famous hits, like “Desperado” and “Hotel California,” and Frey also provided vocals for songs like “Take It Easy,” “Heartache Tonight,” and “Lyin’ Eyes.” His 1982 solo album, No Fun Allowed, cracked the top 40 with “The One You Love,” “Smuggler’s Blue,” “Sexy Girl,” and other hits.

Dale “Buffin” Griffin

January 17, 2016: Mott the Hoople drummer Dale “Buffin” Griffin passed away in his sleep at the age of 67. Mott the Hoople’s most famous album, 1972’s All the Young Dudes, was produced by David Bowie. Griffin was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2009.

Pete Huttlinger

January 15, 2016: Musician Pete Huttlinger died suddenly at the age of 54 after a stroke. The guitarist is best known as the lead guitarist for John Denver. A graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Denver also toured with John Oates and LeAnn Rimes. He also recorded more than 15 albums of his own solo work.

David Bowie

January 10, 2016: After an 18-month battle with cancer, legendary musician/artist/fashion visionary David Bowie passed away surrounded by his family. He was 69. Bowie’s knack for blending musical styles like rock, jazz, cabaret, dance, electronica, and soul helped him create some of the most beloved and iconic songs in history. His first album,The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was released in 1972. In 1976, he achieved international success with his second album, Young Americans and the single, “Fame.” Other memorable songs from his 40 year career include: “Space Oddity,” “Heroes,” “Changes,” “Under Pressure,” “China Girl,” “Modern Love,” “Rebel, Rebel,” “All the Young Dudes,” “Panic in Detroit,” and “Fashion.”

In addition to his musical prowess, Bowie found another artistic outlet in film, starring in movies like The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Last Temptation of Christ, and Labyrinth. Just a month before his death, Bowie’s rock musical,Lazarus opened on Broadway. His final album, Blackstar, was released January 8, just two days before he passed away.

From article in Ranker.com

 

2016 Resolution: Music = Love = Laughter = Living Longer

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david on stageWant to live longer? Do these 3 things: Love, Laugh, Listen to and play Music. Yeah, we all know to eat healthier foods and exercise to be healthy and live longer and of course this is true, but I add, just as importantly, Love, Laughter & Music. These build our emotional betterment, which in turn strengthens our physical health. I strongly feel that without Love, Laughter & Music, we can eat properly and exercise until we are all super bodybuilders and fitness models….in appearance…but what’s going on inside the heart and soul?

Most of us choose a religion or spiritual path that promises to lead to some eternal existence that goes on beyond the physical world. This yearning to hope that there is something more to our existence than the physical time we live here on Earth, gives us a reason for being. This is fed by FAITH…Faith that we will not cease when our physical body stops breathing and living. We want to do things to help our children and our future generations live happier, longer lives so we have Faith that we will be able to do so, somehow, after we are gone from our physical world. Some say that how we lived our lives, sets examples and teachings to our children, that will be handed down to future generations, but to believe in some form of afterlife, or heaven…lends to believing that we will be there to help our future families as their angels. I know that I feel certain, although I can not prove it to anyone, that my Dad has helped, guided and directed my life from the moment of his death. Sure, I can say that his DNA is within me and his actions during his lifetime were examples of how to be and these all are the reasons for my guidance in my life…but where does that leave my possibility of helping my family after my passing? I can also say that the same DNA and examples of my father were guiding me before he passed…so why did my life do a 180 degree change after he died? Was that all just due to my growing older? I choose to believe there’s more to all of this.

Scientific research and theory is based on physical facts and evidence. The way I look at spiritual belief, afterlife and the existence of God is based on common sense logic and the concept, “Why Not?” If we were to go back in time and tell someone that “Where I came from, we can all talk to anyone, anytime, anywhere in the world by talking into a thing I can hold in the palm of my hand”, they would ask, “Why should I believe that when you can’t show it to me?” The fact that we can not show and prove the existence of Heaven or Angels does not mean they don’t exist. It is just as easy to discount something because we can’t prove it as it is to believe in something because we believe it exists!

We have the choice to believe or not believe in God and Heaven. I will choose to BELIEVE because it makes my heart and soul feel GOOD to know that I will be there to continue guiding and helping my children and my children’s children…long after I leave this world.

The New Year is a time when we think about doing something better or finally, such as lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more and on and on… We can do this on any particular day of the year, but the First day of the year seems like a better choice to do something new…like ah…saying “I’ll start exercising on Monday”…which gives us the rest of the weekend to NOT start yet! We all usually want to make so many improvements that we state we’ll work on too many of them. I will choose to do 2 things better in 2016.

Turn Off Negative Thoughts  (I’ve have started this already. It’s an extremely difficult thing to do….stop doing something you’ve been doing all of your life.)

STOP Watching the NEWS! (This is actually related to the first resolution because it is part of stopping negativity. Want to know what happened in the world overnight while you were sleeping? I can find that out on my phone or any computer….on my OWN schedule! We all usually start our days with turning on a morning news program, which has ONE goal…make it BIG, make it BREAKING and make it BAD!!! How can we all expect to be happy when we start our day with all that is BAD? I’m breaking a habit of many, many years and NOT start my day with BAD. Instead, choose meditation, exercise, walk or even a LAUGH. With video recording, YouTube and streaming…we can find something to make us laugh, first thing in the morning. I usually try some clips of my comedy heroes, The Three Stooges – for me, a guaranteed belly laugh session.
New Year’s Day is just another day on the calendar, but it is a landmark or milestone to start fresh, with new ideas and new creativity, to do something to make our world just a bit better, this year, this day and this moment.

Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year in 2016!

Peace & Love,

David