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

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

Keep on keeping’ on….. 

Over a year ago

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David b&wIf I’ve learned one thing about starting your own business, it’s that you always have to bring yourself back to center focus on WHY you are doing this in the first place. Often, the purpose is to start something that will be successful, new, innovative, and monetarily rewarding. While these are all part of starting a business, they will not keep things moving toward real fulfillment.

During my last 5 or so years before my 22 year corporate job ended, I began thinking, there has to be a better way….a better purpose…something that “I” could do differently. I began exploring a few franchise ideas. I quickly discovered that many franchises have one single purpose and that is providing income to who was selling the franchise. I knew whatever I did, it had to be centered on something that was “me” and on something that had been at the center of fulfillment, most of my life…and that was music.

I must confess that what is David’s Music House…. was not in my mind from the start. I really only knew how I felt inside and that my creativity could come up with something different. I have ALWAYS been about doing things or looking at things from other viewpoints and other ways. As I explored resources about starting a business, I began doing the basics. I took a course “How to start a business” at our local community college. The course provided a general knowledge of steps to take and a TON of resources to investigate. I knew that this was just a first step in a long process of research and discovery that would put me on a path of where I wanted to go.

Then something else seems to take over my next steps in this journey. It was more of an inner voice telling me to go ask this person for advice or ask to speak to the owner of a business. I don’t remember having these steps in my mind but rather just some inner force pushing me. Eventually, I reached a point within a 2 year period of gathering resources and advice that I had to put a pin on a date on a calendar and “just do it”! Somehow, all the pieces fell together as if by some miracle force to the magical date of 10.10.10 –  my Grand Opening Day! October 10, 2010….yes… 10.10.10…so many pieces of a HUGE puzzle of how I had arrived at this date were nothing less than miracles! To this day, I KNOW IN MY HEART that my Dad, who had passed when I was 40 years old, had been standing there, right beside me all the time, making everything happen to me that brought me to that date!

That force and spirit that has been guiding me…that inner voice…is still working within my life, every single day! From that opening day, too many “miracles” have been happening to keep my journey going. I know that the forces that brought me to where I am right now in my life have not happened by chance and that makes me know that this journey that is David’s Music House is only going to continue moving toward my inner purpose of doing everything I can to help others find their personal journey, and what better tool can we use to make our lives better, than music!

Changes happen…and unexpected things occur…but one thing remains the same….we each have a purpose that guides our choices and actions as we go through life. If you listen to who you are, deep inside…the voice that has guided your good and bad choices in life…you will know what to do when those changes come along. Stay in focus of who you are. THIS will always make you know how to make the right choices in whatever you do.

As David’s Music House contines to grow and face challenges, my inner voice will always guide me to keep on target of doing the best I can to provide a place of happiness, guidance and mentoring to those who wish to find out who they want to be….and we do that …. with MUSIC!

Peace and 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

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.

 

 

The 54th Grammy Night – “better than most”

Quite a long while ago

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Being the owner of a business called David’s Music House, I feel it “incumbent upon me” to write an article about this year’s 54th Grammy award show. I actually thought it was one of the best I have seen for quite a while. It seemed to have more meaning, friendliness, warmth and more good music. I am not going to make this any kind of a critique of artist performances, of who won what, who did what or WTH was that? :-), but more of a note that I really enjoyed most of the event. I will say that I was totally caught off guard and absolutely blow away with the performance of someone I did not know….Bruno Mars! I just wasn’t aware of the name. I realized I had heard some of the current hits, but that performance at the beginning of the Grammys was to perfect for words! It was a blend of the best sounds of James Brown, Prince and Earth Wind and Fire…..to me, live music performed at it’s best – real musicians, playing tight, amazing breaks, movement and all brought together by Bruno Mars slick and amazing perfect talent.

I will say that the opening by Bruce Springsteen was truly, gold, as he always is. No one can take a few simple chords, add inspiring lyrics and the perfect build of music to bring everyone to a statement that perfectly shows the POWER that music has in bringing emotions to ultimate heights! Just AWESOME!

It was the music event of this week’s tragic and sudden death of Whitey Houston that brought the usual over the top extravaganza that the Grammys have been in recent years, to a more humble, yet totally inspiring evening of a tribute to not only, perhaps the best vocalist ever, but to all of music itself. That was the reason everyone seemed to be a bit more respectful of all the various musicians and performances of the evening. The spirit and realization that something HUGE was gone from music, made all the genres and generations of music that attended this years Grammy event a “special” one. This year was the most well blended and appreciative gathering of all of the people of the music industry, who seemed to realize that it can all be gone in a moment and that for one night…..ALL of the music… mattered!

The ending, for me, was perfect, with Paul McCartney’s performance of The Beatles, Golden Slumbers – Carry That Weight – The End, with my favorite, meaningful lyrics.. “and in the end… the love you take, is equal to the love….you make”

The winners are posted all over the internet, but if you need, here is a link to the winners.

http://www.grammy.com/

Why not think of a few songs you heard during this year’s event and put together your unique version and perform it at our next Open Mic Night, Saturday, Feb. 25.

Don’t forget to plan to come to hear Vicky Andreis full band performance of her NEW CD, “Treasure”, recorded, produced and digitally mastered in the DMH Studio, on Friday, Feb. 24th, at David’s Music House. pre-sales tickets are $5, call 724-941-9200 for info. ($10 at the door). All ages welcome. Bring the family…Vicky’s songs on this album are truly inspiring and she is always one of the most amazing performers and singers.

Also, a DMH favorite, Jeremy Caywood will be opening the evening with some of his songs that he is currently working on in the DMH Studio.