April ???…Really ???

In the last month

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david on stageRemember last month, I said if March comes in like a lamb, it goes out like a lion?…well, it looks like the lion is hanging on into April still. What’s with these cold temps and snow…still in April? It’s supposed to be April Showers..but not SNOW showers! Oh well, it is Pittsburgh, PA…we get the four seasons, but they also tend to blur from one season into another anymore. We seem to not really know when Winter stops and Spring starts. It’s a good thing we have calendars to tell us…right?

So, since it’s mostly Spring, we’re all getting ready to see those trees fill with all those green leaves and the spring flower pop out of the ground. We’re gearing up for some beautiful Spring action at ‘da House as well. We have more new teachers and new Performance learning all beginning in April.

We have 3, yes, three String teachers now! Check out all of our teachers BIO’s on our Music Teachers page on our website here.

We are beginning our NEW Performance Learning in April as well. One of the key missing components of most musicians is knowing and understanding why and how to perform on stage. I’m not talking about playing their instruments or singing here. I am speaking about having the awareness that musicians are not performing on a stage for their own pleasure. Yes, every musician gets pleasure from playing and performing, but without an audience, you may as well be alone in a room listening to yourself. Once a musician steps onto a stage or has an audience listening, they have a responsibility to “entertain” those listeners, at least if they ever want people to like, follow and come hear them perform again in the future. There is more to entertaining an audience than just being good at playing an instrument or having an amazing voice. Every musician should show their audience that they are aware that they are indeed out there and let them know that, by talking to them, looking at them and most importantly, thanking them! Believe it or not, there are so many who do not do this at all and many more who don’t know how to do this. This is because they don’t have any experience entertaining audiences and have never been taught HOW to do this.

This has been a fundamental reason I created David’s Music House. In addition to providing inspiration, encouragement and mentoring students to want to learn…I want students to show their listeners that they care about them. This falls under our mentoring of students. It provides students with more than lessons, but with responsibility and caring for others. This part of learning at David’s Music House will carry over into our students awareness of how to care for and support others throughout all of their lives. At DMH, it is an important value to make our best efforts to encourage support of others and community. We do this through the very best communications tool known…MUSIC! Music is communicating directly to not only understanding, but to our human emotions and there is no better pathway to promote kindness and understanding of others.

As always, I want to thank all of the parents and students who have chosen David’s Music House for your Music Education and for spreading the word about what we are trying to do in our community and the world – make our world just a little better, one student at a time.

“The Lesson Room is Only the First Step” – David

Peace and Love,

David

 

 

 

 

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day…March Madness?

More than a month ago

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Sorry sport fans…just trying to get your attention. We do have March Madness though…MMM…Music March Madness!

So…it seems March is coming in nice and gentle, like a lamb…so you all know what that means…if you don’t walk under ladders or have other superstitions…it means March’s weather will go out like a lion…meaning some serious snow type blizzard is due. We have had some big blizzards in March. I can remember they years of performing at Seven Springs Ski Resort, many a March we found ourselves having to stay there over the weekend because we were caught in a blizzard…and what a place to get caught in snow. That place comes alive when it happens. The next day, they usually get the roads pretty clear to allow all the skiers access to come up and spend some serious dollars…oh and have fun too.

Those days are long gone and I’ve had my share of dealing with driving in snow, so I’m just fine, as they say…”hunkering down” and staying home, inside looking out at it..as long as the electricity stays on that is.

So DMH will be celebrating St Patrick’s Day with our awesome Peppermint O’Patty Lattes. Sorry, we don’t have the Irish brew (no alcohol, we’re a music school after all) but that won’t keep us from decorating and putting up a bit o’ the green. Ya know…Lil’ Davy is part Irish…on his mudder’s side ya know!

So, I’m going to talk a bit about our Performance teaching here at David’s Music House. I have said since the day we opened (10.10.10) that we do much more than teach how to play an instrument or sing inside a lesson room. There are lots of music teachers all around who do that and they do it well. I am very proud of our DMH Teachers and how amazing they are at providing music lessons. DMH, on the other hand, was created to do so much more than that. It is my clear passion to teach our students what to do when they get up on a stage! So here’s a few changes we are putting into place to do a better job of that.

Currently, we have our teachers each host a Student Showcase once a month to get the students they teach some “on stage experience” and perhaps to learn to perform with some other students in bands or ensembles. Now we are kicking that performance training up a notch by providing a path of performance training that arrives at the Student Showcase as a final accomplishment. We are starting “DMH Student Open Stage Performances”. Open Stage is only for DMH students and can be any day a student and teacher want to give it try.

Our teachers will begin getting students up on the stage during their regular lesson days, and show them how to use a microphone, how to talk to an audience and say more than my name is…and to begin learning how to show an audience that they, as a performer, are actually engaging the audience and letting them know they are thankful for their attention and perhaps applause. They can even perform a couple of songs, up to a max of 15 minutes.

As little as one or a maximum of 5 students may perform on any giving evening. This will be a learning performance, meaning they may make mistakes, start over, or whatever. It’s just fun and informal but a teachable moment. After a student has performed a few Open Stages and are more polished AND their teacher feels they are ready, they will then step up, eventually, to the Student Showcase, where at this point, they will know how to engage and thank an audience.

The intent here is to make Student Showcases a goal to strive towards and in the meantime, be much more prepared to actually entertain an audience, once they perform at a Showcase.

This will be a great step by step method for students to gain not only experience of being on a stage, but to actually entertain an audience.

We are excited about this new Performance service, which will begin in April. It’s just another way David’s Music House is your place to get the best Total Music Experience around.

As always, we are all so thankful to each of you parents and students for choosing and being loyal fans of David’s Music House.

Peace & Love,

David

Happy Valentine’s Day – 25 Years – More Teachers – More Performance Learning…So Much Happenin’ at ‘da House!

More than a month ago

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Where do I start? So…what’s happenin’ at ‘da House?

This Valentine’s Day, Anita and I will be celebrating our 25th year of marriage! We can’t believe that many years have gone by…so quickly and yet so amazingly full of way too many blessings to begin to count. We had both ended first marriages and as God seems to have always been with us, we happened to meet while working for the same company we had been working for quite a while but didn’t know each other.

All throughout my life, I have always focused too much on the difficulties I have gone through and as I look back at all of those times, when I thought everything was never going my way…I now plainly see that all that time, I was constantly being saved and blessed by God. After my Dad passed away, about 28 years ago, my life took a 180 degree turn around, starting with finding someone who has been my best friend ever since – Anita. I know that my Dad has been guiding me all these years, from marrying Anita to celebrating over 7 years of growth and success of David’s Music House. Anita and I have worked and been together almost daily since 1993, and now we are blessed to both work together at David’s Music House. I know that ongoing success of DMH will have so much to do with Anita being the face to our DMH Families. I have never known another person who in a few short minutes of spending time with people, uplifts the spirits of those she talks with for the rest of their day. I have watched her do this from the very first time I saw her and she still is doing this at ‘da House. People’s faces light up with smiles and they just feel good, even after they leave DMH because she spent some time catching up on their lives. The very BEST thing about Anita..is that I get to be with her all the time. I have never stopped feeling so blessed that I have been given the Gift of Anita.

sooooo…anyway….what else is going on? (sorry..I begin to ramble when I talk about Anita)

We are kicking up the Performance Learning aspect of what we teach at DMH. We are leaving the stage set up with sound and mics and equipment so teachers can bring students up during their lesson and introduce them to being on the stage.

We are introducing “Student Open Stage” at the DMH Coffee House beginning in February! So here’s how it works. During lessons, teachers will bring some of their students to the stage just to introduce them to being on it. They are actually taking a first step out of the Lesson Room to begin performance training. Next, whenever any teacher feels they have a few students who are ready to get more stage experience, they will sign them up on our All The Time DMH Open Stage List. Any teacher can, on any evening, prepare students (up to 5 per any night) to perform in an Open Stage format for their friends and family. This is a Second Step in Performance Training. All of this prepares DMH students for the more organized, Monthly Student Showcases, where students should now be much more prepared to look and talk to the audience, engage an audience and not “run off the stage” but stay and audibly Thank the audience for their attention and applause.

One of the weakest aspects of most ALL musicians is that NO ONE EVER PREPARED THEM TO PERFORM ON A STAGE! I have wanted to make this a big part of what DMH does since I opened the doors. We are NOW getting more serious about making this part of each student’s learning.

“The Lesson Room is only the FIRST Step”

We are also bringing on a couple of new teachers to our DMH Team. James Diller is an excellent guitar player and teacher who will be teaching beginning to advanced guitar. Nathan Weese, who you may recognize as the 1st Place Winner of the 2018 Washington’s Got Talent” contest. Nathan will be teaching piano as a Level 2 DMH Teacher beginning February and until he goes to college this fall. We are introducing a new program for learning teachers who are at the beginning and during college years, who will give beginning lessons at a reduced cost, as they are not yet fully degreed. We hope this will give high school graduates and those still persuing a college degree in music, some great teaching experience, that they don’t provide at college. You can check out the BIO’s of both James and Nathan on our www.davidsmusichouse.com website on the Music Lesson page.

There’s more to say, but I’ll save some of that for next and upcoming months.

Anita and I thank you each from the bottom of our hearts for coming to David’s Music House and for showing us your love back.

We LOVE YENZ GUYZ!!!!

Peace & Love,

David

Why Is It So Hard to Find Happiness?

More than a month ago

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There is a short story that is often used for motivation that you can easily find on the Internet. I had not heard this story until recently and it is such a simple way to make us think about how we all tend to look at our lives and why we “think” we are unhappy, stressed and spend so much effort to find happiness. The story goes as follows:

 

****************************************** One day a professor entered the classroom and asked his students to prepare for a surprise test. They waited anxiously at their desks for the test to begin. The professor handed out the question paper, with the text facing down as usual. Once he handed them all out, he asked his students to turn the page and begin. To everyone’s surprise, there were no questions….just a black dot in the center of the page. The professor seeing the expression on everyone’s face, told them the following:

“I want you to write what you see there.”

The students confused, got started on the inexplicable task.
At the end of the class, the professor took all the answer papers and started reading each one of them aloud in front of all the students. All of them with no exceptions, described the black dot, trying to explain its position in the middle of the sheet, etc. etc. etc. After all had been read, the classroom silent, the professor began to explain:

“I am not going to grade on you this, I just wanted to give you something to think about. No one wrote about the white part of the paper. Everyone focused on the black dot – and the same happens in our lives. We have a white paper to observe and enjoy, but we always focus on the dark spots. Our life is a gift given to us by God, with love and care, and we always have reasons to celebrate – nature renewing itself everyday, our friends around us, the job that provides our livelihood, the miracles we see everyday…….
However we insist on focusing only on the dark spots – the health issues that bother us, the lack of money, the complicated relationship with a family member, the disappointment with a friend etc. The dark spots are very small compared to everything we have in our lives, but they are the ones that pollute our minds.

Take your eyes away from the black spots in your life. Enjoy each one of your blessings, each moment that life gives you. ****************************************************************************

When I first heard this story, it amazed me at how my mind works and how much of a struggle it seems to be to force the mind to not look at the black dot on the page…or all the negative things we see all around us. When you focus on the spot, it actually becomes all there is on the page. It becomes everything in our life. This is not to say that the negative issues in our world don’t exist…we well know that they do, but our minds have been looking at the fact that the only object on the page is the spot, so therefore, the spot is everything…and so we instantly see the stopped traffic ahead, the car that just pulled out in front of us, the slight pain we feel that makes us wonder what become of it, we are or are not eating the correct foods to present us the healthiest life so we must be doomed…and the list goes on and on.

In our current times, with all of our media being the center of most of our occupied time, whether by habit or design, the focus is almost always based on what will get our attention – the black dot. In fact, when the dot is on the white page, there is no way to not see it. We literally have to block it or remove it to only see the rest of the page. I think this makes the most significant point of the story. We can not remove the spot or negative issues we face. We don’t have control of that, but what we CAN control is moving our eyes or focus on the countless good stuff that has and is happening in our lives.

This brings me back to the Mission of David’s Music House – We teach and promote kindness and support of one another by teaching and mentoring by example, using the most effective method of communication known to humans – The Power of Music, which connects us all through our emotions.

 

COMING FOR 2018 – “PERFORMANCE TRAINING”

Every year, since 2010, we have continued bringing new methods of music education and we have some exciting things coming for 2018.

We will be bringing more focus to preparing students to “Performance Training” by more use of our Coffee House Stage.

DMH Teachers will be bringing students out of the lesson room, during their lessons and on the stage to train them how to perform, including addressing the audience, speaking more, eye contact and thanking audiences following performances.

Next, we are introducing “Student Open Stage Performances”. These will be informal but geared more toward actually performing as if they were at an Open Stage. Teachers will be scheduling these impromptu student performances anytime during open hours and as often as desired and these will also be more opportunities for student families to see them perform. The only prerequisites will be that the student has already been taught how to Perform on Stage during their lessons and that no more than 5 students can perform on any single day, during normal business open hours.

We will then be continuing our Student Showcases but students will have previously performed at Open Stage events and will be more prepared for the more formal Student Showcases, thus making Showcases a more “REAL” performance.

I built the stage and Coffee House atmosphere for the main purpose of teaching Performance, as I strongly feel that this has always been a sadly neglected part of music education and nevermore so in our current YouTube times, when our youth look to making the Internet their pathway for success. Music is never more effective and powerful than when a LIVE audience is part of the performance and both the artist and listener are interacting or communicating for whatever purpose the artist creates. This is why David’s Music House was created and why we live by – “The Lesson Room is only the FIRST STEP”.

As always, everyone at David’s Music House is forever grateful to all of our student families and the community for all the love and support and for spreading the word of what we do.

Peace and Love,

David

Year End Reflection and New Things To Come…

More than a month ago

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So we come to the end of another spectacular year of growth and success of David’s Music House because of all the amazing parents and students of the South Hills Community. When I stepped out of a 22 year corporate job, at the age of 56, I knew I had to continue working and find a job but it was 2008 and the beginning of our country’s greatest depression since The Great Depression of the 1930’s  which devastated families and our country’s economy. Although it was a good job that provided for my family all those years, I was never happy and often downright miserable. To stop myself from becoming mentally depressed, I would remind myself that I at least had a decent paying job and at least I didn’t have to do hard physical labor. So, looking back, I realize how blessed I was to have that 22 year job, in spite of it being a struggle. It provided a lot of learning experience I use today for my business. It also provided savings and money so I could start my first business on my own and yet make sure I retained my retirement savings. I am a believer that it’s always better to look forward and not dwell on past mistakes, but it is good to remember the past in that you gain a different perspective on who you are today and how you learned and improved from the good and bad experiences of our lives, as long as you realize how to avoid past mistakes and make better choices.  Everything we experience makes us who, what and where we are in the present, and most likely, the future as well.

I am fully aware that every step I have taken has brought me to the awareness I have today of why David’s Music House is succeeding and growing. I always take some time during the month of December, as we celebrate the holidays with family and friends, to reflect on the year that is ending and the possibilities of the year ahead. Every year since David’s Music House opened on October 10, 2010, we look to the coming year with great hope and excitement. We usually try to make improvements to things we did in the past year that we learned could be better and 2018 is not exception.

We have some exciting new things to announce very soon during the month of December. More focus will be brought to the performance learning of DMH students. A special email will be coming to all of our current DMH Student Families in a couple of days with a BIG improvement in our tuition payment process.

DMH PARENTS AND STUDENTS – LOOK FOR A SPECIAL EMAIL IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.

As always…I personally want to thank each of you for discovering us, coming to us, bringing yourself and your children to David’s Music House for your music education and for supporting and spreading the word to others of what we all do.

Anita and I wish each of you a Wonderful, Safe and Happy Holiday Season and a Joyous and Prosperous New Year!

Love and Peace

David & Anita

 

Over The River and Through Our Memories

More than a month ago

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david on stageWhen I was very young I always loved listening to stories from older family members. I can remember I wouldn’t go outside and play with my cousins during the visits to Grama’s house. I would stay at the dinning room table during the after dinner coffee and desert time because I loved hearing their stories about times gone by. They were funny, everyone laughing to tears, colorful, wonderful stories that made me want to be inside their stories. This was almost better than television, and that is saying something because TV was everything to a Baby Boomer child of the 1950’s.

Thanksgiving conjures up instant feelings of warm Fall colors, stopping the race of everyday life, great aromas of food, families getting together, and seeing friends. Yes, even with the normal dysfunctional family situations of dealing with our own oddities seemed to be dealt with, diminished, ignored or resolved during this family gathering holiday. The house where the turkey is prepared was the place to wake up to that heavenly aroma of cooking that only Thanksgiving can produce.

To a child of the Boomer Generation, Thanksgiving meant waking to that wonderful smell of the turkey roasting in the oven, then rushing down to watch the Thanksgiving parade on TV and getting primed for Christmas and waiting for Santa to show up at the end of the parade. Thanksgiving was all about food. I have old family photos of my Dad’s dinning room display of food. He set up this display of fruit, berries, nuts, crackers, cheeses and anything else he could think of. Of course he managed an A&P grocery store at the time, which obviously helped. My Dad was always ready to set up a display of anything, most likely from displaying food in the grocery stores. Even during his later years as a car salesman, he would decorate his office with a full display of fall leaves and deer so he could enjoy the feeling that the Fall brings to us all.  I am very aware that I was fortunate to have been born who and where I was to enjoy the abundance of food and memories. There were so many who did not have this abundance, who I was oblivious to as a child. Especially during the post World War II, 1950’s,

Thanksgiving was originally a way of celebrating the year’s harvest of the crops, but it seemed logical and appropriate to make it an event of taking some time to give thanks for all the blessings we have. Our first President of the United States, George Washington, proclaimed the first nationwide Thanksgiving celebration in America, marking November 26, 1789, “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God.” (Wikipedia)

All of us at David’s Music House are so very thankful to each of you who support and spread the word of what we do. I will never take the blessings of starting my first business and watching it grow into one of the most respected sources of Music Education in the South Hills and surrounding area. As a lover of music and a life long musician for over 55 years, I have always known that whatever I started, had to have a mission and goal that was purely from my heart and not to make money. I feel this is what makes David’s Music House unique and successful, in that this message is felt and known by all the wonderful families and students who choose to come to us for their music learning.

Each and every one of us at ‘da House, wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving holiday.  May you all take time out this Thanksgiving Day and give thanks for all the blessings you have and enjoy the day with family and friends.

Peace and Love,

David