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

One Team – One Purpose

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david on stageThis article is a letter to our current DMH student families, as well as the surrounding communities of David’s Music House. As a life long musician and parent, I wanted to create a business that would serve a purpose of making the world a bit better, less arrogant, less combative, less judgmental, more friendly, more kind, more supportive of one another. This has been an underlying mission of my entire life as I questioned others’ intolerance and judgmental indifference.

The environment at DMH is completely unique in that everyone’s focus is totally on the needs of the students and the parents’ goals. As creator and owner of David’s Music House, I am keenly aware that often issues can arise, such as a young student wanting the same gender for a teacher, or perhaps a parent may want a teacher who has a firmer approach to insure their child follows and learns discipline. Other parents may only want the experience to be fun, and may feel that strictness will destroy the desire to learn. I understand these parental desires and that is why I require teachers do a blend of firm and formal learning, but also make it FUN. The world loses when a child wants to stop learning music.

Students who come to DMH do not belong to any one teacher. We only have teachers at David’s Music House who act as ONE TEAM, with the sole purpose of insuring the student is always inspired and WANTS to continue learning. Every teacher at David’s Music House is trained to look for “disinterested” signs from students. Actions are taken such as introducing the student to a completely different instrument and teacher, have them observe and maybe even make a connection that may lead to a duo, trio or ensemble performance experience or even suggest the student switch to another teacher. We all know that the student-teacher bond is a strong connection of trust and mutual admiration. This does not mean that every teacher is the best match for every student. This is why, at David’s Music House, every teacher is advised from the first day they join our DMH Family, that the student does not belong to any single teacher. Teachers at David’s Music House are in harmony with ONE GOAL …… to meet the needs of every single student and parent!

I speak to parents often about the fact that we are here for your child to explore music and all of our teachers are here for you. I encourage parents come forward if you are interested in switching to another instrument if they, or their child, tells them they want to do so. We will accommodate and arrange for a meeting between your current teacher and another to discuss the transition to a new teacher and experience. NO PARENT OR STUDENT who comes to David’s Music House should EVER feel that they cannot ask to try a new instrument or different teacher.

I TAKE THE TRUST AND PARTNERSHIP OF THE FAMILIES OF THE COMMUNITY VERY SERIOUSLY AND DAVID’S MUSIC HOUSE EXISTS SOLELY FOR THE BETTERMENT OF US ALL. MY REASON FOR CREATING THE SCHOOL IS A MISSION OF DOING EVERY THING POSSIBLE TO INSPIRE AND MENTOR STUDENTS TO KEEP DISCOVERING THE ‘WHY’ OR THE REASON THEY LOVE MUSIC OR PLAYING A PARTICULAR INSTRUMENT. WE WANT TO GIVE THE OPPORTUNITY FOR PEOPLE TO DISCOVER MUSIC AND THE POWER OF MUSIC AND WHAT IT CAN DO FOR THEM….AND ALL OF US.” – DAVID

Please feel free to email me anytime for any reason at David@davidsmusichouse.com or to DMH@davidsmusichouse.com. As always…..I thank each and every one of you for your continued Love and Support of what we are doing.

Peace & Love,

David

The Summer of David

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david on stageI am officially proclaiming (:-) this to be “The Summer of David”, as of the first day of Summer 2016. On June 21, the first day of Summer Solstice, I was released from the bonds of a season of a crazy series of events that, to this day, completely baffle me! Over the past Winter and Spring, there were many articles in news, of an increase of challenging virus strains in our area. What I have discovered over this time period is that you bounce back from colds and flu much faster when you’re younger….ah….this is not the case when you pass or near the 6th decade of life, as health issues take a lot longer to recuperate from. Healing will come….it just takes longer and more faith that it will pass.

So, without going into all the details, let me describe the unique set of circumstances of health issues I went through in the beginning of 2016. There have been many others who were hit by this strong viral strain this past Winter and Spring that caused a six week period of hard coughing, which lasted longer than the actual virus event itself. During this six week period of coughing, I had a rare issue called “Rectus Hematoma”. (Google it if you want to find out what it is). Basically, this is where a blood vessel in the abdominal area literally breaks or leaks due to the extreme amount of constant coughing. So it started slowly and eventually led to one night, during coughing, I felt something snap or burst in my abdomen that swelled to the size of a softball and caused excruciating pain. I have never experienced calling 911 for an ambulance in my I life, but this night, I knew this was absolutely necessary! Long story shorter, I had emergency surgery a few hours later to drain and clean out this blood mass, which gave immediate pain relief when I came out of surgery. I had to go through the usual surgery recovery period of 4 weeks and thought I’d came out of this nightmare. A mere day after my post operation exam of the surgeon saying all is well and I’m good to go, I began having flu like symptoms that led to finding out the surgery area had abscessed or became infected. This led to another emergency surgery and thus a “better” method of healing, which was to leave the area heal as an “open wound”, which prevents infection as you heal. This did heal with much better results, but required being attached to a “wound vac” (again, Google for definition) for another 4 weeks. All in all, this event of getting a cold and cough, led to more than 3 months or a “season” of illness.

My whole point of telling all of you about this was to illustrate that any of us can come into a period, or season, of time when you may feel like this will never end, why me, I will never be normal, whole or successful again. Although, I often felt that this entire event was taking forever, I never let go of knowing that it would END and I would go back to my mission of what David’s Music House means and leading it into my vision of what it will become in the future. In any endeavor, we face issues, both positive and negative. When you risk beginning a business, or choosing a career path, choosing something from your center of “who you are” or from what area of interest you have always focused on, is the only thing that will keep you finding the strength to continue on after any setbacks that may occur.

This being said, and proclaiming 2016 to be “The Summer of David”, will not shield myself from the times when some rain falls, but it does illustrate that, come what may…David’s Music House will continue on the path of providing the tools and mentoring to the community’s music students and music lovers, that will help make our world just a little bit better.

“You know what music is? God’s little reminder that there’s something else besides us in this universe…harmonic connection between all living beings, every where, even the stars.” – Robin Williams, “August Rush”

Thank you to all the supporters of David’s Music House.

Peace and Love,

David