“Til the Season Comes ‘Round Again…”

Over a year 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

 

It IS a Beautiful Life…

Over a year ago

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david on stageYes, it IS truly a beautiful life…full of countless blessings and I am thankful every day for each one, including all the community support and for everyone who has spread the word about David’s Music House.

We have put together a small video of just a small portion of all that has happened over the last 5 years. Enjoy!

October 10, 2010 is a day forever in my mind, right up there with the biggest events of my life! It was actually hard for me to believe I had pulled off getting off my unemployed butt and create a music school in the heart of Peters Township. I still have to pinch myself every time I drive past it on Washington Road and see the David’s Music House logo sign light up in the Waterdam Plaza. Me!!!… I own my own business, and not a tiny one at that. I’m not a big business by any means, but to start the very first business I ever tried, to have opened in the one of the largest spaces in the plaza and be responsible for the rent and overhead to keep it running, really seemed quite beyond my reality.

The journey has been completely rewarding and of course, also one of the hardest things I have ever done. I was never a risk taker. From my earliest memories, I was not the child to climb a tree with my neighborhood buddies. I was the kid who watched one of those friends fall out of the tree and break his arm and see his bone sticking out of his skin! There’s a different feeling I now possess which removes the word “risk” from my focus, and that is knowing that this is my mission – to help make our world just a bit better, by insuring we all have more music…and musicians, who also carry that same purpose….to make the world a better place.

In the scheme of creating, owning and running a business, I know I am still an infant in years, but I have at least been able to pass over that first hurdle of the start up years. Having reached our 5th anniversary is definitive proof to myself that I can do great things. I am a firm believer that, as I look at the past events of my life, there have been far too many blessings that not only led me to where I am right now, but are also proof that too many things have happened and continue happening, that give me an awareness that I am on my correct journey. I am doing, what I exist for and that allows me to know that success will not only continue but will increase. Believing this is, in fact, a major reason for continued success.

All the pieces of the puzzle of my life are clearly showing me the picture that has been developing all these years. Of course, the puzzle will never be completed as my life is but another piece of the puzzle of the universe….all connected….all important…..and all changing and growing.

I say all these things to make others aware that you can do anything you want to do…IF you try hard enough and never quit, even when quitting seems to be the only option. Those who succeed….just tried harder than all the others.

We have planned an event to celebrate and take special note of the importance of our 5th Anniversary filled with Music, Food, Prizes, Student and Teacher Performances and a performance by myself along with my friends, past bandmates and teachers. This is an opportunity for some of our students and families to see and hear what I (David) can actually do! In addition, I intend on just having some righteous FUN!!! It has been quite a ride.

I continue, as all of us of the DMH Family, to thank each of you for coming to us, supporting us and for spreading the word to the community about the good works being done here at David’s Music House.

Peace & Love,

David

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”!

 

Ch..Ch..Ch..Changes

Quite a long while ago

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These are lyrics from a classic song by David Bowie, “Changes”

Life is all about changes. Changes can seem good or bad, but the key to everything is how we react to changes.…how we learn and act from that point on.

Over the last 4 years, I can’t believe how many huge changes I have gone through, from having my 22 + years corporate job outsourced, losing my mother to Alzheimer’s Disease, searching for what I would eventually do for a living, going to a Community College class, “How to Start a Small Business”, meeting several friends and business mentors, SCORE advisors, deciding what the risk factors are, coming up with a business model and plan and organizing a Grand Opening involving 22 performers, outside stage, and opening the doors on my newly designed and constructed David’s Music House on October 10, 2010 (10.10.10).

One major factor that I knew was important for me in this new business venture was that I had to LOVE what I was going to do and not choose a business that was not just involving some product or service that may sound like a “good thing”, but to insure that whatever I did was focused on a major passion in my heart and soul. I knew that had to be music.

I have been playing music since I was 13 years old. About a year after I began taking organ lessons, I started playing the in a local restaurant, playing organ music on Friday & Saturday nights for 6 hours a night. A few years later, I heard the band “Santana” which featured a Hammond B3 organ and my life changed. As with all things when I started, my Dad, helped myself and other friends purchase instruments and find our band jobs. He was totally involved and really responsible for myself and others beginning our professional musical journey.

Since opening David’s Music House, about 18 months ago, I probably have had to step back 3 or 4 times and re-organize my business model. So it’s time once again to take a step back, look over everything over, what works, what doesn’t work and eliminate the things that don’t work and focus more on what does.

So, it’s time once again for some of those ch..ch..ch…changes! Its just about summer time and all of us at ‘da House are working hard to bring the most AMAZING Summer Music Programs to the community.

The Recording Studio is getting re-designed and will also double as a Rehearsal Room for area bands who need some great space to get together and get their performance nailed down. The Rehearsal Room will have a great sound system, mics and drum kit available. There is easy access with no steps from the back of the store to bring in your amps and just plug in. All for an ridiculously affordable $20/hour fee! ARE YOU KIDDING???? NO WE ARE NOT!!!

All of the DMH Music Teachers have been working hard to put together the most AWESOME Summer Band Camps, Songwriting and Guitar Workshops as well as Broadway and Cabaret Camps. Check our website or stop in for all the details and dates for the various camp weeks.

Get ready for this!!!!!!!! We will have some well-known celebrities holding some Master Classes. These will be centered on areas such as songwriting, marketing yourself as an Independent Musician and How to prepare for going to college for a music degree. Names like Vanessa Campagna, who has performed concerts with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Marvin Hamlisch and concerts at Pittsburgh’s Light Up Night, as well as third generation accomplished musician Benny Benack III, currently attending the Manhattan School of Music in New York City.

We are brining in a constant stream of NEW accomplished and degreed teachers to our already renowned staff of music instructors to insure you can find a time and day for just about any instrument you would like to study. Our music teachers at David’s Music House are unique to any other place you may find as they teach and “inspire” and involve students into our “Total Music Experience” with the use of our coffee house stage for quick, impromptu performances, perhaps after a great lesson or at one of our “Inspiring Professional Artist LIVE Concert Nights”, which are for the whole family!

What makes learning an instrument “A Total Music Experience” at David’s Music House is that we provide the entire path anyone needs to learn, develop and be inspired to become the musician you want to be! We take you from lessons, to performance on our café stage, into our State of the Art, Digital Apple Logic Recording Studio and then show you how to distribute, market and promote yourself. What’s more, we provide a direct connection with many Independent Professional Musicians who are doing exactly that. Students who come to our Concert Nights will be able to sit and talk directly to all the national touring musicians we have performing on our coffee house stage.

You CAN NOT FIND a more Total Music Experience anywhere!

Come in anytime and talk to us about whatever aspect of music you are interested in. We have a whole new “EXPERIENCE” right here in your neighborhood!

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