From Both Sides Now…The Music Streaming Blame Game

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david on stageThere have been a lot of new articles about where is the future of music going since the recent Taylor Swift pull from Spotify, a leading music streaming service. I only know, as with all media news resources, we need to take them for the source they are coming from. In other words, find out more about the issue and don’t listen to one or a few sources opinions before you decide who’s the bad guy.  I know that in the “land of digital music times” and from the perspective of myself being both a musician and listener, I look at these times as pretty awesome for a music lover and performer.  In the days of old, as the radio was THE only source of hearing new music, it was the big label record companies who controlled everything, from who gets a record deal and lands on the radio, to who advertising and DJ’s were told to push as who to buy, and we did. We had to buy an entire album of songs that were likely to be good, but many times were not. We had no choices and then the media collected dust over the decades, from vinyl records left in basements, to CD’s left in trucks of our cars. Now, we get a chance to hear each song before we make our purchase and with our amount we want to spend. We can choose to spend some on one artist and some on another artist, or perhaps an unknown Independent artist we may have heard on the vast amount of places we can hear music for free or via a subscription service. By the way, I’m not spending less on music purchases now. I’m spending more, because I am hearing more music.

This whole media blitz lately, about the evils of Internet companies ripping artists off by playing music for free, reminds me of what the music publishing companies are doing to live performers and venues in local towns and cities all over the country. While pretending to be out there getting those missing dollars back into the pockets of each and every musician, with aggressive and almost mafia’ish bullying tactics of going after every bar, coffee house and tiny dance or music lesson studio, for outlandish license fees which will NEVER put these dollars into the pockets of the small local Independent artist but instead are a new way of making the 1%’ers of the license companies and lawyers just richer. The dreadful cost of this live music venue bashing is that this is the way those artists and legends of today became who they are… by playing the cover music of famous artists at these very same bars and coffee houses. When people heard bands at their local bar playing Doobie Brothers, they didn’t say, “Now I don’t have to buy their album, I just heard it for free”! Live bands and musicians promote and build the representations of recording artists and make their music more popular, not to mention the fact they play their music because the WORSHIP AND LOVE the artist. Another very sad aspect of this licensing bashing to music venues is that bands and musicians can’t find nearly as many places to play live anymore. Venues are stopping live performances because they can’t afford the extravagant fees to the licensing companies. By the way, if an artist thinks that their local club license fees are going to go into their pockets for their original songs….well, good luck with that!

In my opinion, the sources and companies that play music, supposedly for FREE, are promoting the music they and we all love. They are also paying licensing fees behind the scenes and they try to recoup and earn as a business by subscriptions and ads, just like any other business. It is true that I don’t go into retail stores and buy the big mainstream artists music anymore….I buy SOME of their music and I buy SOME music from small amazing artists who would never have that opportunity in the past of the big recording company days. Now I hear so many more types of music than I ever did in the past and then I purchase and give to the artist I want to.

I’m not saying that it’s fair that all the work of an artist ends up selling for $.99 a song. I’m saying that it is my option that the many new ways of hearing streaming music is not the cause of that. Digital music was selling for $.99 a song before all the streaming music became so huge. The whole using the word “Naptster” blame game is a marketing gimmick to promote evil and greed of the 1%’ers. Naptster and file sharing days was wrong because it was simply putting music on large computers and letting everyone download them. Today’s large streaming music companies are paying license and legal fees. It’s good to note here that ANY company that grows into a very large corporation can eventually become greedy as well and do wrong. The point being is to not just throw everyone at the wall like spaghetti to see what sticks. I for one, love the fact that I have choices and places to hear music for free, so I can then spend dollars at the source that go to the artist.

The new ways we get music are not going away any time soon and the rich and powerful will always do whatever they can to get the most dollars from it all, but as long as we all listen, there will always be new ideas and innovators coming up with ways for anyone to get their music heard by us all.

The more kinds of music we can hear and the more chances and pathways a new beginning artist has to get his music heard….the better off we all are….and that’s a good thing.

That’s just one musician/business owner’s opinion….from Both Sides Now….

Thanks for reading and supporting what we do at David’s Music House.



New for Fall – Group Lessons!

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We’ve been very busy adding new teachers to keep up with the demand of incoming students and we are so excited to be adding some fabulous NEW Group Lessons beginning this September. Although group lessons do not provide that one on one attention of private lessons, they are a very beneficial because the introduce students to performing with other musicians and are a more affordable method if private lessons are not an option for large families. Give us a call to sign up – 724-941-9200

Here are the NEW Sessions:

Beginner Guitar: Mondays 7:30pm-8:30pm
Junior Jamboree: Mondays 1:30pm-2:30pm
Songwriting: Saturdays at 12:00pm-1:00pm
Music Theory: Wednesdays 7:30pm-8:30pm
Audio Training: Saturday 11:00am-noon
Beginner Voice: Tuesday 7:00pm-8:00pm

Class Descriptions

• Beginner Guitar – This class is designed for students who have a guitar, but have no formal training on this instrument. It is open to students ages 8-18. The class will first focus on the parts of the guitar, some history of the instrument, and then basic playing styles and uses of the guitar. In the following weeks students will learn how to play chords, which are the most popular way of using the guitar, and then learn how to play songs in a group and independently. Each student will have the opportunity to perform a song at the end of the class independently, or perform as a group.

• Songwriting – This class is for the musician who has played other people’s music, but has not yet created something themselves. Musicians who have already written songs and need more inspiration or a different outlook to spark their writers block are welcome as well. Student should already know how to play an instrument and be able to follow basic musical instruction as an individual.

• Music Theory I – Music Theory is the underlying language of music. When you understand what is going on within the mechanics of music, you can understand and manipulate it in ways never imagined before. This class is designed for students who are curious about how music works, students who are preparing for a collegiate career in music and need to brush up on their skills, or for musicians who need to dig deeper within the roots of their knowledge of music to find inspiration or better understand music from another musical activity. Singers and instrumentalists alike, we all need to know theory. Get your head start here!

• Beginner Voice – This class is for students who have never taken lessons, or who have taken a minimal amount of lessons focusing on the vocal instrument. Student will first learn about the different kinds of voices, and how each are used within different genres of music. Student will learn how to breathe properly, how to carry their voice with a proper breath, and how to make their voices sound full and rich with specific vocal techniques. This class is open to students 8-18. This class will be full of fun with silly improvisation activities and fun wacky vocal warm-ups. Ever sing with your tongue sticking out? You will here!

• Junior Jamboree – This class is for potty-trained students aged 3-5 years old. Parent accompaniment is not necessary for this hour long class chuck full of stories, rhymes, silly dances, wacky games, and lots of musical educational FUN! Students will sing, play hand instruments, acts out songs and stories, and enjoy themselves while laying the ground for a lifetime of enjoying music and language.

• Audio Training – Students aged 10-18 will enjoy learning about all the hard work backstage to make performers look and sound so good. Students will learn how to set up and tear down a basic stage set-up for live music, microphone set-up and handling, cabling and connections, how to run a sound board, and how to record using different types of software. Students will be using hi-tech audio tracking systems to record and mix musicians and will also have the opportunity to RUN the sound for a live musical performance. A totally UNIQUE class you won’t find anywhere else!

A Special Season of Thanks & Celebration of Blessings

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Fall can be looked at in two ways…as nature closes down and prepares itself for the long, cold winter…. or as a beginning of gathering times when we all congregate together over warm beverages, sweet pumpkin flavors and sharing of times and friendships in comfy chairs and listen to some amazing music. This is a great time to move away from the hot and crazy summer hectic lives and relieve our stress with the sound of music! All of us at ‘da House are set to give thanks to all of our students and their families, as well as the community of musicians and music lovers who have been making David’s Music House their second home. We have some great music events lined up to celebrate and give our thanks to all of you.

On November 10th, David’s Music House is just the place to come as we bring a celebration of Classic Country songs from legends like Hank Williams Sr, Johnny Cash, Hank Thompson, Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty, Buck Owens and many others. Rock and roll has their “oldies” groups, those keeping the music of the 50′s and 60′s alive. Now, the local country scene has Black Horse to accomplish the same.

Also, this November 17th, David’s Music House brings a South Hills favorite entertainer and close friend, Bradley Bendis. Brad has been a firm supporter and promoter of David’s Music House since we began in October of 2010. Brad will be singing some of his favorite folk and country legends and will also be playing with his band, These Old Bones, who will each perform individually as well. This will be a great evening of music to be sure.

To round out our musical events, we bring back a Special performance from Alayna performing with John Michael (Johnny Bee from the John Michael Band) on Thanksgiving Eve, November 21st. This will be an evening of fun, food, music, laughter, conversation, and thanks. This concert will also be an interactive workshop as Alayna will be talking about how she is pursuing her musical dreams and there will be a question & answer time so students, get your questions ready.

SPOILER ALERT: David’s Music House Teachers are gearing up their students for a “Hollywood Holiday Concert” which is scheduled to be on December 20th, so be sure to mark your calendars for that.

Once again, all of us at David’s Music House wish all the blessings, good health and prosperity possible to all our “Special DMH Family and Community” and hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday with loved ones and friends!