Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Not For All…

Over a year 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

What’s Happening at ‘da House for September?

Over a year ago

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David

What a fast summer. They really do seem to fly by anymore. Thank goodness we actually still have a couple of months of nice weather ahead before the long cold winter….brrrrrrr….let’s not go there yet. September is of course, back to school, lots of school activities and naturally, your music lessons continuing. Well, all of us at David’s Music House is here for you, teaching, mentoring and inspiring you with everything we can think of.

I need to mention as time moves on, changes always occur in every facet of our lives. The same is true of David’s Music House. Music teachers are passionate about what they do as musicians. I played music in many ways over that last 50 years. Some of our amazing teachers who have been with us for a long time are going through changes in their lives as well, causing some of them to face new experiences and new paths on their musical journeys. We thank them for all they brought to the experience of David’s Music House and wish them the very best. Of all the amazing things I have been blessed with in my journey of creating this learning place, I am continually blessed with new and tremendously gifted teachers who discover what David’s Music House does and have joined us in the pursuit of providing the very BEST learning experience possible for the community and our students.

We have just added three new, incredibly gifted teachers to continue offering the community and music lovers as many options as possible. David’s Music House provides a complete teaching team that works together to insure our students receive the best of ALL of our teaching staff. Nowhere else will you find teachers working together, meeting monthly to keep on track, discuss teaching methods and ideas. Here, teachers will transfer a student who will benefit from the experience and methods of a different teacher because our teachers don’t feel ownership of students nor jealousy of other teachers. All students are under the umbrella of David’s Music House and everything is done for total benefit of the student, not any individual teacher. This all insures each parent and parent is receiving only the very best learning experience possible.

This month is an exciting one indeed as we will have our monthly Student Showcase plus a rare gem of inspiration in the form of Ian Ethan Case who will perform LIVE on the DMH Coffee House Stage. Some of our guitar students will get the opportunity to do a small concert performance during an intermission of Ian’s Concert. What an amazing opportunity for some guitar students to perform and meet a professional touring musician like Ian. This are the kinds of events that can change a student’s entire life of music!

We will continue providing the best musical mentoring to our students to enhance their talent and love of music. As always, thank you all for reading, spreading the word about David’s Music House and for choosing us to be your Total Music Experience.

Peace & Love,

David

 

What’s Happening at the House

Over a year ago

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David

David

There’s always lots going on at David’s Music House. We have more New Teachers, Summer Camps still going on, our monthly Student Showcase Performance (2nd Wednesday of each month) and a great Kick Off for September with Guitar Virtuoso Ian Ethan Case coming back to perform LIVE on the DMH Coffee House Stage.

What makes David’s Music House your BEST choice for music education? Simply put we are “A Total Music Experience”

As a parent myself, I drove my daughters to music lessons, parked in driveways, sat in basements on old couches with the house cat jumping on me, or I drove around for 20 minutes, until it was time for the lesson to be over. That’s why the main thing I wanted to do when I created a music school, was to create a large space for parents to wait, read, listen to music, use free WiFi or have some coffee, tea or a small snack. We hear so much from parents, “I just LOVE coming here during a lesson…just to relax or read.” I also remember all those tiny lesson rooms where my daughter’s knees were almost touching the teachers. I thought this must have been a closet to hang coats at one time!” That’s why I made sure our lesson rooms are very large and can easily allow a parent to sit in and be a part of the lesson, so they know what the teacher is teaching and how they can help support that learning process.

2015 Summer Camps

Our Summer Woodwind Camp was a wonderful success…lots of learning, tips, recording studio exposure and capped off with a LIVE performance on the Public Radio Saturday Light Brigade Program.

SLB Sax Ensemble

Our 2015 Woodwind Camp students are: Luke Will (11, McMurray Elementary, Alto Saxophone), Brenden Stillwell (13, Canonsburg Middle School, Alto Saxophone), Nicole Esselstyn (13, Peters Township Middle School, Soprano Saxophone) and Matt Liberatore (13, Canon-MacMillan High School, Piano).

There are still more camps to go. Next is our Broadway Camp. Our camps are 3 hours for 5 successive days (Mon – Fri) usually from 12:30pm – 3:30pm. All campers get a free snack and one of our DMH T Shirts. Call 724-941-9200 or email dmh@davidsmusichouse.com for all the details.

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Woodwind Camp

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Woodwind Camp

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Woodwind Camp

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Woodwind Camp

We are so very excited to welcome two New Music Mentors to the DMH Family: (click on their pictures for BIO) Jonathan Klein and Javier Camacho.

Jon Klein

Jonathan Klein will be teaching Drums, Percussion and Beginning Guitar.

Javier Camacho

Javier Camacho will be teaching Beginning to Advanced Piano

September 2, 2015 LIVE Performance – Ian Ethan Case + DMH Student Showcase

I know it’s still Summer but start planning to make it to this LIVE Performance of one of the most amazing guitarists in the country… and also one of the nicest persons I know. Ian Ethan Case plays double neck guitar and loops his performance, LIVE and continues weaving more amazing and intricate parts with all his other guitars and percussion instruments he has with him. It is truly an amazing live performance…not to be missed.

We will be having some of our guitar students perform a student showcase during Ian’s performance and they will get to meet, talk and learn all about the amazing things Ian has done in the music world! This is LIVE INSPIRATION and nothing put a learning student more on the path to success than that!

As always…thank you all for your amazing support and for spreading the word about David’s Music House.

Peace & Love,

David

Once Again, Time to Reflect and Refresh…

Over two years ago

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david on stageDecember 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!!!

David

 

PS – Please note the Review of our Music Lesson Policy in our December Newsletter.

 

 

Four Years – “Live Long and Prosper”

Over two years ago

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david on stageOctober 10, 2010 – October 10, 2014, 2 years of planning and 22 years of saving gets you blessings, success, purpose and seeing a dream ( as Mr. Spock would say ) “live long and prosper”. As we hit our 4th year milestone, I must pause to reflect.

Once upon a time… I had a seed of an idea of how to try harder to go the steps beyond giving instruction on how to play an instrument or sing. The seed of an idea was just in my mind a few years ago. I wasn’t even aware that it was there at the beginning, but my frustration was taking hold. I have been a musician for 50 years now. I have taken formal lessons, learned to play with other musicians, learned how to improvise, how to sing harmonies and then lead vocals. Over the years, as I struggled with the age old question of many young musicians, especially from the 1960’s Beatles and Woodstock explosion…”should I be just a full time musician and risk it all…or go to college and get a 40 hour a week job”? Not being a person who took risks in my youth, I chose the latter and went to college. All the while, I would face difficult or uninteresting issues and quit and start performing music more. This back and forth struggle continued most of my second, third and forth decades of life. I eventually worked at a full time job, raised a family and performed music on the side for fun and extra money, thus giving up on my dreams of being all that I could be as a musician.

During the raising of my children, I had two daughters who showed a natural gift for music and I proudly watched them take to it so much better than I ever did, throughout their school years, only to find that they would give it up after school and go the way of college and become school teachers – a very noble profession indeed and one that I always thought I would have been good at. I am extremely proud of the people and teachers they have become but I will always feel like I didn’t do enough to encourage their musical learning journey. THIS is the seed that I speak of! This is what started growing a burning desire in my mind that eventually became David’s Music House. This business would serve multiple purposes. It would allow me to explore my passion to provide encouragement and ways to help students of music discover WHY they wanted to learn how to perform. It would also serve to replace the disappearing ‘Retirement of Baby Boomers” with something that would not only be my retirement, but would allow me to find ways to help the world be better off, because of creating more musicians and in turn, more music.
The seed of an idea grew from my non risk portion of my youth, into a burring desire to do whatever it takes, to see this vision become a reality in my life.

I repeat this vision over and over to all that will listen. David’s Music House is a place you can come to learn how to play an instrument or sing, but there are many private teachers and music stores that do that. David’s Music House is a place to come and discover WHY music is so powerful, incredible, healing, emotional, basic, life improving and on and on. We are like a house or home that explores music and what is so special about music. I call our teachers Music Mentors because as they teach you how to play or sing, they teach you how to act on stage, how to listen to other musicians you perform with, how to add to a musical group or performance rather than “be the star on the stage”! Our LIVE concerts by touring singer/songwriters provide hands on learning that music students can not find anywhere else. We can teach you how to start writing your own music and take it in the recording studio experience.

When new music teachers who come to David’s Music House, they are given the “keys” to experiment and create their new ideas to Inspire students. New teachers also discover that they can actually “learn” from the other teachers here because we are a Music Mentoring Team that does not shun other teachers but instead, help and support the other teachers.

Our Coffee House setting provides a great place for waiting parents but it does so much more than that! It provides the “kitchen table” home-like atmosphere that provides a family welcoming and gathering place where people find a few moments of their day to relax and stop thinking about everything going on in their hectic world outside.

I have learned a great deal as an entrepreneur over the last 6 years of planning, building and tweaking the business model of David’s Music House but one thing never stops being the center of my focus and passion….that is the “seed” of what started in my mind that is growing into a thriving model for help, support and Inspiration to all those who come to share their love of Music.

I end with my forever and constant Thank You to each of you who have discovered, come, shared and continue being loyal lovers of the dream that is David’s Music House.

Sincerely yours,

David

DMH E Sign

“I always wanted my name up in lights”!

 

There is a place where Music Education with Inspiration Works!

Over two years ago

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david on stageAn Evening of Proof – There is a place where Music Education with Inspiration Works!

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.

Hillary Reynolds Band Concert

Hillary Reynolds Band Concert

 

HRB Student Showcase HRB 2 HRB 3

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!

Cheers,

David