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

 

“There’s no crying in baseball!” – Tom Hanks – “League of Their Own”

About half a year ago

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 In the popular Tom Hanks movie, “A League of Their Own”, Hanks portrays the manager of a women’s baseball team created during World War II who tries to treat the women players with the same hard knock methods as he would with a men’s team. When a player becomes upset at him yelling at her and begins to cry, Hanks says the popular quote from the movie, “There’s no crying in baseball”! I use this as an example to illustrate how I talk about the subject of “taking the summer off from taking music lessons”. To this I say…. “There’s no stopping in music!”

I consistently speak to this issue to all parents and students. This is a subject near and dear to the CORE Mission of David’s Music House. Ever hear the quotation, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?…Practice, Practice, Practice”? Becoming the best you can be at any skill only comes from consistent learning, practice and experience. When the academic school year ends, this is the BEST time to continue or begin taking private music lessons, as there is actually less personal time restrictions for families. You’ll be that much ahead of the game when you go back to school and music activities the next year.

Exercising, weightlifting, running, losing weight, and basically any endeavor where the goal is to improve and be as good as you can be, can only be achieved by consistent and continuous pursuit of all the aspects that will lead you to that accomplishment. Music is a skill that one can only improve by adhering to a schedule of continuous experience. As with any skill, any extended or repetitive length of time not spent on that effort, whether it’s a physical sport or playing an instrument or singing, will cause physical changes to occur, such as fingertips getting soft again if playing guitar, or muscle strength in the hands and fingers that develop playing the piano or the vocal cords that grow and strengthen as one learns to sing. All the time spent on developing strengths and learned skills will diminish during long periods of non use and then will have to be relearned and strengthened all over again. Why would anyone want to take 5 steps forward, only to slide back to step 1 again?

NEW SUMMER PACKS PROGRAM

We realize that Summer also means the opportunity for families to spend some much needed time together for some R&R, going on vacations or visiting distant relatives. To help our DMH Families to be able to continue their music learning and take time off for vacations, we have developed our NEW SUMMER PACKS PROGRAM. There are some excellent options for families to schedule and reserve lesson times on our schedule that will also guarantee not losing your usual lesson times. Call us at 724-941-9200, email dmh@davidsmusichouse.com or stop by and ask our receptionists all about the details and reserve your summer lessons right away!

It is the mission of David’s Music House to insure that everyone is immersed in any and all the ways that will offer a continuation of the pursuit of the love of music and the “WHY” they need to continue learning and experiencing playing, listening and sharing the Power of Music! We don’t only teach how to perform music….we help you KNOW WHY music is awesome. Our music teachers are Music Mentors who collaborate and work together as a team for all our DMH students.

Thank you for your continued support and for spreading the word about the VALUE of David’s Music House to the community!

Peace & Love,

David

 

Creativity….It’s In My DNA

Over a year ago

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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

Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Not For All…

Over two years ago

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david on stageIt’s the most wonderful time of the year! That’s the song title that describes this time of the year for so many of us. There are however many who are effected quite oppositely, with depression and sadness from losing a loved one or perhaps living in poverty and hunger and lack of the basic necessities of life. The holidays and the fact that it’s the end of the year just lends us to feel like everything, good or bad, is much bigger and more significant.

I’ll tell you a little secret….David’s Music House was created to be a safe haven…a fortress of solitude for the soul. We all know that “music soothes the savage beast” and about all of the benefits music brings to the mind and the soul. Well, our Big Living Room was created to provide the community a place to get away from it all. No, we’e not a resort in the Caribbean….but we can provide you with a break from the sometime insane world outside…with some warm beverages and perhaps a satisfying snack or two…all while soaking you in the wonderful world of Music! Music from the sweet voice of a small child singing a Christmas carol in a lesson room to the strum of a guitar or pull of a bow across the strings of a violin. In the distant, you can hear the beginnings of a young learning musician. I often see the face of a young child smiling from ear to ear, just so excited to see their music teacher’s face welcome them with a “So…you ready to rock n roll?”, to which the response is a HUGE “YESSSS” and followed by a run to the lesson room. There is just nothing quite like seeing a young, eager musician who can’t wait to come into David’s Music House and meet with their teacher. We even have a Music Therapy program for anyone dealing with more serious issues of depression and anxiety or diagnosed issues of all ages. Our Music Therapist is licensed and trained to use The Power of Music to help anyone dealing with these more serious issues.

I have found the MOST AMAZING business model EVER….knowing that this “special place” is indeed…changing our world…every single day! While most business ideas are about a business plan, financials, budgeting, cash flow, profit margins…and on and on…. I receive treasures of the heart…in every single note played or sung… from the instruction of a gifted teacher, into a child’s hand and voice, through a glorious music instrument’s vibrations….into the air and out into our world…and finally falling onto the ears and heart and soul of all of us.

That, my friends…is AMAZING STUFF!

I always knew that someday, my yearning to change the world, one person at a time, would take some form and shape. Now, I’m seeing that blossom into reality!

December is about Christmas, helping others, making people smile, giving and receiving, music and laughter….and HOPE and FAITH that this world will spend one time of each year, making this life worth living.

Come, be a part of our journey and help change the world…one note and one person at a time.

All of us at David’s Music House wish each of you the Merriest Christmas and Happiest Holiday Season and hope that we all take the time to do some small acts of kindness during this time of year to spread Peace, Love and Joy.

Peace and Love,

David

“Til the Season Comes ‘Round Again…”

Over two years ago

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Fall is really my most favorite time of the year. I like the cooler sunny days and the amazing color Fall foliage that we get to enjoy in our area. It’s a great time to get some cozy time, binge watching holiday movies about family gatherings of Thanksgiving. This month is really centered around giving Thanks for all the blessings we have enjoyed all year and the people who we love and who love us. We all need to spend time each day of our lives to give thanks all that we have.

I really don’t mind that the last two months of the year have been blended into one mass holiday that I call – Hallothankamas. True, it is the product of business marketing and commercialism, but that’s not what it means to me. I choose to celebrate this time of year for gathering of family, enjoying spending time together in the warm colors of Fall and appreciate God’s goodness and love. The whole month of November IS for giving thanks,  that culminates in one beautiful day of Family & Food of the harvest of a year of hard work. Yes, there are Christmas movies and commercials spamming us to buy, buy buy….but in these days of Tivo, DVR’s and Netflix…we can just pass all the marketing right by and enjoy the good stuff. As long as we each insure we focus on the true meaning and reasons for the holiday season, it’s not really necessary to be concerned of what everyone else is doing.

I like to keep music as a part of our family’s holiday celebrations. Music has always been a major part of my life and even when we aren’t paying attention, we are living with the sounds of music everywhere. Music is the theme of the holidays, through our favorite holiday movies to the sounds of the season at the shopping malls.

One of my most favorite songs of the holiday season is “Til the Season” written by Randy Goodrum and John Barlow Jarvis. It has been performed by Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Kenny Rogers and others. The lyrics of this song really highlight the true meaning of this time of the year.

“And we’ll all join hands and remember this moment
 And we’ll love and we’ll laugh in the time that we have
’til the season comes ’round again….”

We all have busy hectic lives and it’s natural for us to be caught up in the moment of where we have to rush off to or do next. The stress of all we have to do tends to make us forget the really important things and people in our lives. We NEED this these two months of the year to take the time to really think about the people we love because we never know if they will be with us next year.

Make this Season special by spending time with the people you love. Show them how special they are to you. Say the words….give the hugs and kisses. Each day we get to spend with our loved ones deserves to be something we focus on…while we can physically do so, while they are with us.

All of us at David’s Music House wish each of you all the blessings of the season and the bounty of family, friendships and loves.

Happy Thanksgiving, Peace & Love.

David

 

It IS a Beautiful Life…

Over two years ago

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david on stageYes, it IS truly a beautiful life…full of countless blessings and I am thankful every day for each one, including all the community support and for everyone who has spread the word about David’s Music House.

We have put together a small video of just a small portion of all that has happened over the last 5 years. Enjoy!

October 10, 2010 is a day forever in my mind, right up there with the biggest events of my life! It was actually hard for me to believe I had pulled off getting off my unemployed butt and create a music school in the heart of Peters Township. I still have to pinch myself every time I drive past it on Washington Road and see the David’s Music House logo sign light up in the Waterdam Plaza. Me!!!… I own my own business, and not a tiny one at that. I’m not a big business by any means, but to start the very first business I ever tried, to have opened in the one of the largest spaces in the plaza and be responsible for the rent and overhead to keep it running, really seemed quite beyond my reality.

The journey has been completely rewarding and of course, also one of the hardest things I have ever done. I was never a risk taker. From my earliest memories, I was not the child to climb a tree with my neighborhood buddies. I was the kid who watched one of those friends fall out of the tree and break his arm and see his bone sticking out of his skin! There’s a different feeling I now possess which removes the word “risk” from my focus, and that is knowing that this is my mission – to help make our world just a bit better, by insuring we all have more music…and musicians, who also carry that same purpose….to make the world a better place.

In the scheme of creating, owning and running a business, I know I am still an infant in years, but I have at least been able to pass over that first hurdle of the start up years. Having reached our 5th anniversary is definitive proof to myself that I can do great things. I am a firm believer that, as I look at the past events of my life, there have been far too many blessings that not only led me to where I am right now, but are also proof that too many things have happened and continue happening, that give me an awareness that I am on my correct journey. I am doing, what I exist for and that allows me to know that success will not only continue but will increase. Believing this is, in fact, a major reason for continued success.

All the pieces of the puzzle of my life are clearly showing me the picture that has been developing all these years. Of course, the puzzle will never be completed as my life is but another piece of the puzzle of the universe….all connected….all important…..and all changing and growing.

I say all these things to make others aware that you can do anything you want to do…IF you try hard enough and never quit, even when quitting seems to be the only option. Those who succeed….just tried harder than all the others.

We have planned an event to celebrate and take special note of the importance of our 5th Anniversary filled with Music, Food, Prizes, Student and Teacher Performances and a performance by myself along with my friends, past bandmates and teachers. This is an opportunity for some of our students and families to see and hear what I (David) can actually do! In addition, I intend on just having some righteous FUN!!! It has been quite a ride.

I continue, as all of us of the DMH Family, to thank each of you for coming to us, supporting us and for spreading the word to the community about the good works being done here at David’s Music House.

Peace & Love,

David