My Musical Journey Began Early

Around a month ago

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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

More than a month ago

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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

More than a month ago

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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

Life’s Earliest Experiences Drive A Successful Business

More than a month ago

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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…

More than a month ago

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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 )

More than a month ago

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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