December is such a busy and exciting time for us all. Often we become so focused on what we need to do that we forget what we need to focus on. Everywhere we look, everything seems to be about gifts and decorations. Christmas is the time to re-focus on our countless blessings of health, family, friendships and love. It is also a great time to remember others who are not as fortunate and to help in any way we can. Christmas reminds us that we are not the center of all things, but that we are all here for the purpose of giving.
I also like to use this time of year to reflect on the past year….what worked, what didn’t and how can things be better. One of the most obvious things I continue to discover as I get older…is that I have so much yet to learn…and the learning of it is what is so exciting!
One new aspect we will be doing next year is our student concerts. Currently, we have had some wonderful performances during the year, but I remembered how I used to think of “recitals” as both a student and a parent and how I wanted David’s Music House to do this better. Occasional student “recitals” do not serve the greater purpose of learning how to perform. Although they do present the experience of performing on stage, the greater thing they do is prepare one or two songs that must be learned and end up causing so much stress, as the time comes for each student to perform at this once or a couple of times during the year performance. As a musician, a learning student and a parent of a student, I have NEVER thought of this as real performance learning!
So….for 2015, we will not have these occasionally, larger student concerts, as we have in the past. All of our DMH teachers will be bringing their students to perform at our Monthly Open Stage/Student Showcases. Teachers will be preparing students as part of their lesson times, on how to perform on stage, by teaching them how to speak to the audience, how to properly use a microphone, how to engage the audience. THESE are the skills that so many young musicians do not possess nor have they ever been taught.
There will also be more occasions to perform for audiences thought the year, such as partake in Student Showcases during our Professional LIVE Concerts, where students will perform during an intermission of a touring Independent artist. We will be holding other Special Performance Events which will be announced as they are scheduled. These may be Student Ensembles or Bands or performances with Teachers. The idea is to have our students perform more frequently and with more specific performance training so that they are not only providing a time to show their parents how well they are doing, but to insure that they become “experts” and comfortable with performing in front of people. Unless the goal is to forever perform alone, in their bedrooms, eventually what every musician learns is they are no longer playing music for themselves, but for the people listening to them. A musician without someone listening is like a tree falling in a forest….does it make a sound? 🙂
As I always have said, “We do Music Education differently here at DMH. The Lesson Room is ONLY the FIRST STEP.” There is so much more to the Experience of learning and loving music than being instructed how to play an instrument. These other aspects are so over looked in music education today. Musicians do not know how to perform, play with other musicians, improvise or LISTEN and ADD to the whole performance, rather than be thinking all about what you are playing in your bedroom, with a video camera to put up on YouTube.
David’s Music House will ALWAYS change and find new ways to provide “A Total Music Experience” Keep reading the Newsletter for more exciting and NEW changes for 2015.
Let me end by first, thanking each student and parent who comes to and supports David’s Music House. I can not thank each of you enough for helping myself and everyone at DMH, for keeping us going and excited to bring more great musicians, music and people in the world to discover and realize, “The Power of Music” in our lives.
I want to wish each of you a Very Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Holidays!
Love yens guys!!!
PS – Please note the Review of our Music Lesson Policy in our December Newsletter.
Over two years ago
As many of you know from my past articles over the last 4 years, I have been constantly talking about WHY I created David’s Music House. I have been passionately trying everything I can to promote my idea that students need more than instruction and even more than hoping that they find that special teacher who goes beyond what other do to instill the LOVE of music into a student. There is more that we can all do.
I was able to see this come together one amazing evening on Saturday, August 16, 2014 during the Hillary Reynolds Band Concert. I have been planning this evening in my mind for a long time! In actuality, the specific planning occurred for at least 3 or 4 months when the band contacted me to say they would love to perform sometime in August during their fall tour. HRB has been one of the BEST and most favorite group of musicians I have had perform at DMH. They are not only amazing musicians and songwriters but are wonderfully caring people who have become great friends. They are also one of our greatest supporters of performing to Inspire students. My mind started to work….I needed to make this event fulfill my dream of getting our students and their families to come to the concert. I have had many concerts over the last 3 + years and have found it challenging to get my message of how important and priceless it is to have learning, developing students see and meet actual professional touring musicians. It is my opinion that this is KEY to a student wanting to make playing music a part of their lives. Even attending area concert halls and arenas, although wonderful to see, does not offer the intimacy of our “Big Living Room” Coffee House setting. With only seating for 50, it provides the perfect Family Friendly setting for students of all ages to watch up close these amazingly talented professional musicians.
Over the last 3 months, previous to this concert, I have been strongly promoting the event through social media and area print. I have been relentless in reminding my teachers how important it is to not merely mention this event to their students but to get them involved in how amazing the performance will be and how much they would love becoming fans of The Hillary Reynolds Band. I have also decreased the amount of concerts I have in order to make the ones I do book, more SPECIAL and anticipated.
I learned that this extra effort and more concentrated focus on bringing the DMH Mission and the concert importance together ACTUALLY WORKS!!! I can not emphasize how much this event is now one of the most amazing moments of realizing my dream this far! On this particular evening, I not only got to see and hear a band that is my ideal type of band and music I personally would love to be in, but I also saw multiple DMH students with that “look of complete awe” on their faces as they were mesmerized by the performance.
We also included a “Student Showcase” of 3 of our amazing young vocalist students. Olivia, Alexis and Madhumita performed during an intermission of the concert. Their performance and the experience they gained doing this was beyond valuable. It was something they will likely never forget. The students and their families became strong fans of HRB and many students bought as much merchandise as they could talk their parents into buying for them. They talked with Hillary Reynolds, who is now their true American Idol.
Another very important thing students learn from seeing a concert like this is how great musicians perform with each other, as a band. They see how microphones are used, how to engage an audience, how much practice it takes to play perfectly and one of my important principles of “how to listen to what every other member of the band is playing”. HRB was a perfect example of how to do this. Each band member is not trying to be the star of the show. So many music teachers in private lessons forget to stress the importance of LISTENING. There are so many “want-to-be-musicians” out there picking up guitars and playing cover songs in their bedrooms to their smartphone cameras who are playing by themselves and only thinking of themselves performing. Sooner or later they will begin playing in a band and if they have never been taught the importance of LISTENING to the others, they will continue to please only themselves and never go very far as musicians. This learning disability of playing like they’re the only “important” person on the stage usually continues as a bad habit forever. This is why this is such an important part of the early learning process. I stress this to all my teachers all the time….”don’t forget to train students how to play with others through listening”.
Thanks again to each member of The Hillary Reynolds Band, the Student Showcase students and the DMH Families and friends who came to this event and gave me proof that my journey is true and purposeful! A SPECIAL THANK YOU to Heidi Adomshick for all her hard work of preparation and insuring that the Student Showcase as well as the entire evening was a success!!!
“I have a dream….but I can’t do it alone”!
Yes….There is a place where Music Education with Inspiration Works…..and it’s name is David’s Music House!
Believe it or not, even though we actually have about two months of warm weather coming, Summer seems to be flying by! It’s August and advertisements are already talking people into looking for back to school deals. Back to school also means an increase of families planning their schedules and looking for the best place for music education….and “All signs point to David’s Music House!” We are already seeing a HUGE increase of free consultations for our Fall semester. To prepare for this, we are hiring new teachers to join our DMH Team of Music Mentors.
Check out our Music Lessons webpage for all of our teacher Bios. We have an extensive screening process and detailed orientation that all of our teachers go through to not only ensure you are being taught by degreed and talented teachers but also that DMH Teachers do things the DMH WAY! Our teachers work together as a team to ensure that you are getting the “Total Music Experience”, which is a philosophy of “the lesson room is only the beginning” and that there is so much more to teaching than instructing someone how to do something. We all work to provide the reason WHY a student learns and needs to understand the value of the Power of Music.
Our team of teachers are always coming up with creative programs, workshops and methods for The Total Music Experience, like Chorus, Ensembles, Mandolin Group, and Recording Workshops and Lessons. At DMH, teachers are not left alone to come and go, merely giving instructions on how to play an instrument. At David’s Music House, teachers are free to think “out of the box” and come up with innovative methods and processes to INSPIRE students to discover how far the Power of Music can take you.
We have a HUGE CONCERT this month. Coming back to DMH is the Hillary Reynolds Band on August 16. Check our Event Calendar for more details. These concerts provide great entertainment for the community but our main reason is to have our music students come and hear, meet and talk to the performers. They can ask things like, “What’s it like to tour and play your own music?” This is the KEY to discovering WHY they need to practice more and learn how to perform with other musicians.
We will continue bringing occasional music events to our Coffee House and seek out unique teachers who can learn that “The music lesson is only the beginning.”
Thanks for choosing us, supporting us and spreading the good works we are doing here at David’s Music House.