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

More than a month 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

 

New Changes for 2015 – Focus on Performance

Over two years ago

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david on stage
Another New Year…..I still remember how incredibly hard it always was for me to go back to work after having the Christmas Holidays off. All the celebration and not having to drive to work early in the morning and dealing with gong back to “the grind”, would always leave me in a depressed slump for at least the first full week of the new year. Those were the days of frustrations of a job that I didn’t like for at least 20 years of the 21 years I was there. Now, I celebrate the holidays, take time to enjoy family and friends, reflect on the past year and awaken to excitement of lots of new ideas and plans to try to make David’s Music House even better at bringing more music and better musicians into our world. David’s Music House is all about doing EVERY THING we can to do Music Education better. For 2015, we will be focusing a lot more on “performance learning”. The DMH Coffee House Stage was built mainly for teaching, as well as a good place for musicians to perfect their craft. We have had a mission statement of “The Lesson Room is Only the Beginning”. This means just that…first comes the teaching of the instrument, but there is so much more to becoming a better musician. Anyone can learn how to play an instrument and play in their homes for themselves, but the main purpose of music is to “perform” for the listener. Music needs a landing platform or someone who is listening. This is often an overlooked aspect of music education, especially in private lessons. This creates many gifted musicians but many who are paralyzed with fear of performing before an audience, especially as a solo performer.Instead of the once or twice a year, formal recital type performance, that is the usual and expected step in music education, we will be bringing performance training on a more informal and consistent basis. We are changing our monthly under 18 Open Stage night to incorporate our “Student Showcases”. Each month, one of our music teachers will host and be preparing their students to perform at our monthly Student Showcase/Open Stage Night. Families will come to see their students progress at playing their instrument as well as the progress in performing on the stage, to an audience. Students will be trained on stage presence, using microphones properly, eye contact and speaking to the audience. This will give all of our students much more training on how to perform on stage. Additionally, our under 18 Open Stage provides a platform for any young musician a family friendly environment to explore becoming a musician.

Additionally, about once a month, we will be bringing in professional touring or local music performers and adding additional Student Showcases during the professionals intermission. This will provide stage training to the student but also allow them to meet and greet the professional artist to learn and be inspired by their talent.

These steps are just more aspects that make David’s Music House “A Total Music Experience” and the “Future of Music Education”.

All of the years that I have performed with various musicians have provided me with a keen sense of how much young musicians need to learn how to be good listeners and humble people. Being a musician is an ego trip for most of us and DMH is here to teach students the difference between enjoying your musical gifts and being so full of your talent. Nothing is more important than the “PERFORMANCE” and the “LISTENER”.

Thanks for supporting David’s Music House.

David

How Do You Spell “Inspiration”?

Quite a long while ago

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During February, we held our first Teachers Concert where our teachers performed on the DMH coffee house stage for their students. The results of the event were more than anyone could have imagined! The theme was “INSPIRATION” and each teacher spoke of what inspired them and made music their passion and career. The stories were varied, but most had a common theme of “family”. Someone, whether it be a father, mother or uncles and aunts, were the sources of their inspiration and supporters of their talents. That is THE KEY to getting your child to succeed. Yes, that first action of getting them started taking music lessons is important, but then it is supporting their development over the years. Some of the BEST ways of doing this is to take them to a variety of LIVE music events. Seeing LIVE performances will do more to encourage them to practice and grow as students. THIS is why David’s Music House was created…to offer an environment of consistent “INSPIRATION”. I say it often in my articles, but the LIVE music performances at DMH will help your student more than you can imagine. David’s Music House is the only place in the area where you can bring the whole family to amazing performances of independent recording, touring and local musicians and be sure you will not hear or see anything you wouldn’t want your family to be exposed to. DMH Concerts are also the only “interactive concerts”, where the audience can ask the artists questions, meet and have conversations with them. I ask performers to “Inspire” our students and tell them how they do what they do and what inspires them. Below is an example how artists talk about what they do with our audiences.

The Hillary Reynolds Band

My “Inspiration” and source of the creation of David’s Music House – David A. Lindberg

To speak of my personal source of “Inspiration”, in addition to The Beatles who changed music for my generation, I have to talk about my father, “Big Dave”. My Dad was the person who put me on a path of music and lived his life of loving music through me. When my Dad was young, he played guitar. The family stories were of him singing songs around the campfire. His father, my Grandfather, also David, played piano by ear. He also never took lessons but the stories are that in his youth, he played honky-tonk piano style. This is definitely where my love and gift of music all came from along with my ability to play and sing by ear, which means I can listen to songs, find the chords and melody on the piano keys and learn the song. The picture is of me playing my very first professional gig, at a local restaurant. I did not sing, but played the organ for 6 hours on Friday & Saturday nights and my Dad was right there every night. He was my manager and biggest fan. David’s Music House would not exist today if it were not for my Dad. I feel his presence at DMH constantly. I know he has been helping and guiding me all the way through this venture of my lifetime. My Dad was the parent who signed loan notes for other band members. He bought a van for us to haul our equipment around in. He found us jobs and was there with us wherever we played. He drove us and our equipment to Seven Springs ski resort in the early 1970’s and talked the bar manger to allow us to play during their house band’s breaks. We did and ended up playing there for decades afterward. I began taking organ lessons when I was 11 years old and eventually took classical pipe organ lessons for a few years. In the meantime, The Beatles happened and I as many of the Baby Boomer Generation became in grossed in The Beatles and Rock. Then Woodstock happened. (Google it, if you don’t know what it is). I found some other guys my age who had already formed a rock band and joined them. I have played many genres of music throughout the last 45+ years that I have been playing professionally, but most of my performing was playing Motown, Rhythm & Blues and Pop songs. I love ballads with a great melody and lyrics the most. In my beginning years of playing with the first band, I discovered that I could sing. Vocals became what I did best.

It is my passion to develop and insure that anyone who loves music and wants to play or sing it, find his or her path of inspiration. Music has provided lifelong gifts to me and I want to insure that anyone who has that same desire can be helped and mentored along that same path, as far as they wish to go.

What “INSPIRES” you about music? Please add your comments to this article. Let’s see if we can get a conversation going about Inspiration.

Thank YOU ALL for your support and LOVE for David’s Music House where “The Lesson Room is only the FIRST STEP”

David

Little Things Matter, Teachers Concert & “Love R Cafe Month”

Quite a long while ago

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Our very good friend, gifted musician, songwriter and master of performance, Andrew McNight has an original song from his album, “Beyond Borders”, titled “Good Things Matter“. Andrew talks about how his grandmother had all these stories and bits of wisdom that he remembers and treasures. She taught him that little things matter a great deal more than you think. (watch video below)

Through the vast sea of Internet social media information that we all are engulfed within our daily lives, we see a great many negative messages that seem to get a good deal of attention paid to, but there are a lot of people who realize and use the Internet to spread positive and good things that matter. We hear of movements such as 26actsofkindness, a page on Facebook that was started to suggest doing one kinds act, no matter how small and post it on the page in tribute to the 26 innocent souls who lost their lives in Newtown.

Little things DO indeed matter. We hear of things during the holidays where someone anonymously paid off families gift lay away items, or someone suddenly pays for the strangers coffee behind them. These acts of kindness and thoughtfulness are ripples in the pond that go on and on and pass on kindness far beyond the originators action.

All of us at David’s Music House are here for a much larger purpose than making a small business succeed, giving some lessons, recording sessions and seeing how much money we can make. I did not decide on the unique concept of David’s Music House merely to start a small business. If I wanted to do that, I would have most likely built a recording studio, which is what I love doing. No, David’s Music House has a much BIGGER purpose. C. J. Young,  our percussion, guitar and keyboard Music Mentor said it perfectly during our December student concert when he said the words, “changing children’s lives”! That is indeed why David’s Music House was created. Our prime directive that we repeat over and over at DMH is “the lesson room is only the first step”. No music teacher joins our DMH Special team of Music Mentors until they can prove that they have an open mind and can accept this principal that the entire space of David’s Music House is for teaching and mentoring. A teacher must be able to accept and passionately illustrate that they will do more than give a music lesson inside a lesson room.

I have said repeatedly to every teacher at DMH, I will not tell you how to teach, but I WILL tell you how to mentor and devote music development the DMH Way! As a parent or a student, when you join our DMH Family and pay your hard earned money for a service from anyone at David’s Music House, you can be assured that each of us will do EVERYTHING WE CAN to teach, develop, encourage creativity and exploration and inspire you to go as far as you can or want to in music! Often, our Music Mentors will collaborate with other teachers if they feel a student will benefit from mentoring of another teacher. If we notice a lack of practice or interest, we will FIND A WAY to motivate and reactivate that passion in a student.

We highly encourage students and parents to talk to your teacher or any of us if you see any lack or dwindling of interest of their learning or practicing. Please let me or any of us know if you have concerns or questions about anything. We would rather you talk to us and give us feedback so we can do something to help reignite the interest that a student started out with. We are here to insure that beginning interest and yearning for music doesn’t get lost. We love music passionately and realize the special gift music gives to every human.

As the creator of the idea and reason for David’s Music House, I firstly, encourage all of you to give us your feedback, talk to your teacher about any issue or question. I strongly encourage you to come to an occasional concert or Unplugged Night even if only to expose your student to others who play music but also to set an example to your child to appreciate and learn about music by listening to other LIVE performances.

I leave you with one extra plea for expressing your appreciation for the VALUE of David’s Music House of being THE ONLY place of music learning where you feel welcome, comfortable in our soft comfortable couches and chairs, where you can get to easily for its central location, ample plaza free parking, immaculately clean rest rooms, free WiFi, games to play and that is to make your visit more pleasant by purchasing a warm delicious cup of coffee, tea, capacinos, latte or other beverage and some snacks or pasties. I’m sure many of you enjoy going to a local Starbucks or Panera Bread for a great cup of coffee or tea. Help support what we are doing by celebrating February during our Love R Cafe Month!”

When I say “Little things Matter”if every parent of the many students who come to David’s Music House would purchase one item or spend $1 dollar at our wonderful cafe, it would make such a huge difference in helping us insure that David’s Music House survives these difficult economic times and continues our mission of “Changing Children’s Lives Through Music”. 

Thank each of you for your kind and helpful support of David’s Music House. You each give me the reason and strength to do all that I can to keep this dream alive!

Love to you all!

David

 

Music Teacher Spotlight: Jeff Knell

Quite a long while ago

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Jeff Knell is a native of McMurray and has been involved with music since the age of 10. While attending Peters Township High School, he held leadership positions in both the marching and concert bands as first chair trombone player and was selected to participate in County, District and Regional band festivals. To fill an empty seat in a pit orchestra rehearsal, he taught himself to play the bassoon and quickly took to the instrument. This experience fueled the desire to continue learning woodwind instruments in addition to the brass he was already familiar with, and helped him to decide on a future in music.

A graduate of Mercyhurst College in Erie with a degree in Music Education, he is an accomplished performer and teacher and is certified to teach general, vocal and instrumental music. While his primary focus in college was bassoon, he performed on saxophone and trombone regularly in the jazz ensemble and played clarinet, flute and oboe at various times in chamber groups and pit orchestras for musicals, becoming versed in classical, orchestral, jazz and contemporary band literature. He played the baritone saxophone in a saxophone quartet, and has also performed vocally in concert choir, chamber choir and an a cappella vocal jazz ensemble. He has spent the past two summers working at a Music and Arts Day Camp at Chatham University and enjoys performing and teaching instrumental music.

Jeff has been a substitute Bethel Park Middle School 6th grade general music teacher from January 2012, composing some wind band music, waiting to plant in the garden, dabbling with electronics and microphones with his personal recordings and teaching himself electric bass in his free time, of which there is very little.

“I’m loving everything I am doing, I just wish I didn’t have to eat or sleep so I could get more done in a timely manner.” says Jeff.

“I am so very proud to have someone of Jeff’s caliber teaching here at David’s Music House. Jeff is not only an extremely knowledgeable teacher, but an absolutely amazing person and all of his students love him, as do all of us at DMH!” – David

We keep bringing in The Best Performers

Quite a long while ago

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Kurt Scobie performed last night, March 23, and literally dumbfounded the audience! I have been a musician for over 40 year now and I am completely lost for words when some performers come to my little venue “dream” that I have created at this period of my life. These “special moments” when someone gives me a lead to check out some independent musicians from all over the country, take me aback as I first am caught up in getting them in, settled, plugged in, work the sound check, set up chairs and video cameras and begin to sweat bullets just getting things just right. Then suddenly, I realize this wonderful musician/singer/songwriter who literally drove hundreds of miles just to play only in one stop in Pittsburgh, David’s Music House! WHAT????

It’s a musician’s dream to hear the BEST performers and to have one-of-a-kind musicians like Kurt Scobie, perform in our “living room cafe” is beyond a musician’s dream!

Marielle Thomas is an absolutely wonderful local area singer/songwriter who happened to come to one of our Open Mic Nights a few months back and I thought she would be a perfect opener for Kurt and she proved me right. Marielle has a velvet voice and writes great songs and is putting her band together as I type this. We’ll have her back with her band in the coming months.

I keep plugging away and trying hard to tell the community of South Hills about how David’s Music House continues to bring these performers who could easily win contests like American Idol and The Voice…right to their own neighborhood. It’s taking a long while to get past the “do you have alcohol” mindset to get people to just realize the music that’s going on here at “da House.

I hope we can continue bringing artists like Kurt and Marielle to our venue…..but we need the support of the community to let these performers know that this area does indeed love music and will support independent music, wherever it appears.

Click on our YouTube button at the top right corner of our webpages to see ALL the amazing performances that have appeared at David’s Music House over the past 15 months, as well as check the calendar page for upcoming performances. If you click right on any performer on the calendar, it will take you to another webpage with some samples and detail about each concert performers as well as some of their videos.

Please continue coming to our concerts and spreading the word about what a gathering place of music David’s Music House is to all of your friends.

We thank you all for your support!

David