Happy Valentine’s Day – 25 Years – More Teachers – More Performance Learning…So Much Happenin’ at ‘da House!

More than a month ago

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Where do I start? So…what’s happenin’ at ‘da House?

This Valentine’s Day, Anita and I will be celebrating our 25th year of marriage! We can’t believe that many years have gone by…so quickly and yet so amazingly full of way too many blessings to begin to count. We had both ended first marriages and as God seems to have always been with us, we happened to meet while working for the same company we had been working for quite a while but didn’t know each other.

All throughout my life, I have always focused too much on the difficulties I have gone through and as I look back at all of those times, when I thought everything was never going my way…I now plainly see that all that time, I was constantly being saved and blessed by God. After my Dad passed away, about 28 years ago, my life took a 180 degree turn around, starting with finding someone who has been my best friend ever since – Anita. I know that my Dad has been guiding me all these years, from marrying Anita to celebrating over 7 years of growth and success of David’s Music House. Anita and I have worked and been together almost daily since 1993, and now we are blessed to both work together at David’s Music House. I know that ongoing success of DMH will have so much to do with Anita being the face to our DMH Families. I have never known another person who in a few short minutes of spending time with people, uplifts the spirits of those she talks with for the rest of their day. I have watched her do this from the very first time I saw her and she still is doing this at ‘da House. People’s faces light up with smiles and they just feel good, even after they leave DMH because she spent some time catching up on their lives. The very BEST thing about Anita..is that I get to be with her all the time. I have never stopped feeling so blessed that I have been given the Gift of Anita.

sooooo…anyway….what else is going on? (sorry..I begin to ramble when I talk about Anita)

We are kicking up the Performance Learning aspect of what we teach at DMH. We are leaving the stage set up with sound and mics and equipment so teachers can bring students up during their lesson and introduce them to being on the stage.

We are introducing “Student Open Stage” at the DMH Coffee House beginning in February! So here’s how it works. During lessons, teachers will bring some of their students to the stage just to introduce them to being on it. They are actually taking a first step out of the Lesson Room to begin performance training. Next, whenever any teacher feels they have a few students who are ready to get more stage experience, they will sign them up on our All The Time DMH Open Stage List. Any teacher can, on any evening, prepare students (up to 5 per any night) to perform in an Open Stage format for their friends and family. This is a Second Step in Performance Training. All of this prepares DMH students for the more organized, Monthly Student Showcases, where students should now be much more prepared to look and talk to the audience, engage an audience and not “run off the stage” but stay and audibly Thank the audience for their attention and applause.

One of the weakest aspects of most ALL musicians is that NO ONE EVER PREPARED THEM TO PERFORM ON A STAGE! I have wanted to make this a big part of what DMH does since I opened the doors. We are NOW getting more serious about making this part of each student’s learning.

“The Lesson Room is only the FIRST Step”

We are also bringing on a couple of new teachers to our DMH Team. James Diller is an excellent guitar player and teacher who will be teaching beginning to advanced guitar. Nathan Weese, who you may recognize as the 1st Place Winner of the 2018 Washington’s Got Talent” contest. Nathan will be teaching piano as a Level 2 DMH Teacher beginning February and until he goes to college this fall. We are introducing a new program for learning teachers who are at the beginning and during college years, who will give beginning lessons at a reduced cost, as they are not yet fully degreed. We hope this will give high school graduates and those still persuing a college degree in music, some great teaching experience, that they don’t provide at college. You can check out the BIO’s of both James and Nathan on our www.davidsmusichouse.com website on the Music Lesson page.

There’s more to say, but I’ll save some of that for next and upcoming months.

Anita and I thank you each from the bottom of our hearts for coming to David’s Music House and for showing us your love back.

We LOVE YENZ GUYZ!!!!

Peace & Love,

David

Pittsburgh is discovering David’s Music House is The Future of Music Education!

Over a year ago

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David’s Music House has a mission of helping any student of music discover “WHY” they are learning music. We always have a solid focus, which is providing all the teaching, mentoring, support, encouragement and Inspiration possible to every student. Every teacher is screened and goes through an orientation process to insure that every student who comes to David’s Music House has access to ALL the resources possible. New teachers who request to be a part of what David’s Music House brings to music education are excited to discover our NEW approach to teaching! Each new teacher undergoes a rigorous process before they are given a student to teach. This training is not to change each teacher’s personal style and experience of giving lessons, but more of a methodology that brings teamwork and the mission of David’s Music House. Teachers who are extremely experience end up mentoring newer teachers in skills they have acquired, while newer teachers will often introduce a new perspective to a teacher who has been using the same methods for many years and finds a new approach quite helpful. There’s something to learn by all members of the team.

When anyone comes into David’s Music House for a FREE consultation, they are given a tour of everything DMH has to offer and are overwhelmed to find a setting unlike anything they ever would have expected. New students have the entire teaching team as available resources to them. Students can benefit from substitute teachers who may offer a new exciting viewpoint or a student may want to investigate a completely different instrument and that is easily managed at DMH. There are NO jealousies or individual teacher ownership of students because ALL DMH Students belong to David’s Music House and all that it offers. There’s also no need for teachers to be worried about a student moving to a different teacher because they always know that a new student is sure to be assigned to them very quickly. Everything we do is all about the student and their parents wishes.

There is ample and easy parking, we are easy to find as we are directly on a main route through the South Hills of Pittsburgh, PA.  Once you come into David’s Music House, you will immediately feel the comfort and friendship of entering a living room of a home. We have ample soft couches and chairs, tables, FREE WiFi, games to play while you wait, a Music Library of books to read about music learning.

We will always stive to be ahead of the curve on new technology and teaching/mentoring methods. Every teacher at David’s Music House is a resource for any DMH student. We are a team, better yet, we are a FAMILY of mentors, here to help anyone, of any age, discover the love of music and the arts.

I want to personally thank each and every DMH student and their family for your continued support and for spreading the word to the community about the musical enrichment and value you have found by choosing David’s Music House for your Music Education.

Peace and Love,

David

The Dream Never Stops If…

Over two years 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 )

Over two years 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

Creativity….It’s In My DNA

Over two years 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

“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