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

In the last month

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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

 

Make Every Day a Day to Give Thanks

About half a year ago

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david on stage

How hard is it to take a few minutes of each day to reflect on the Good Things in our lives? Things like when you wake up feeling good and know you are healthy today, or for just one simply wonderful thing that happened yesterday. Our minds easily go to negative thoughts, such as that driver who pulled right out in front of us in traffic, or why someone said something terrible that hurt your or someone’s feelings. Humans have survival thought processes built in our DNA, making it really difficult to not go to “worry” and “what if’s” throughout the day. It takes a conscious effort and focus to think of the thousand good things that happened before and after the one negative that happened earlier. If you think about the logic of it, what would be better for your body and mind than remembering a smile from a young child or a clear blue sky, or even a cloudy, rainy sky if you had been waiting for rain. There are countless good things happening to us all the time. Why not spend a few minutes each morning or evening to think about them, when it’s so easy to waste hours thinking about negative things that offer us no benefit but increased stress and anxiety.

This month we celebrate Thanksgiving Day. While becoming a marketing start of the holiday shopping season, it remains, for most of us, a day of gathering with family and friends to celebrate memories, love and showing thanks for our many blessings.

So, as we all gather together this year to give thanks,  let’s also begin a habit of taking a few minutes of each day, just to give quiet, reflective thought to the previous healthy breath you just inhaled, or the job that provides shelter and food for your family, or that serious illness you or a loved one now only share as a victory from the distant past, or the next smile or “Hello” from a passing stranger. There are so many blessings in our daily lives…let’s take a few moments to raise your awareness of them, every day. It will do amazing things for you.

As always, Anita and I give additional Thanks for the blessing of being able to see our dream of David’s Music House as reality in our lives and we are so incredibly thankful to each student, parent, family and teacher, who support this dream of making the world a little bit better, through the amazing power of music.

Please have a Blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving Day with family and friends.

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Love & Peace,

David and Anita

My Musical Journey Began Early

Almost a year ago

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david on stageI remember my earliest awareness of knowing I loved music. When I was a pre-teen in my family’s church, the pastor’s sermon was about sin and “scary things” to a young child, so I really didn’t like going. But one thing I did like was singing hymns. I remember thinking that I could sing well, and so I would sing loud enough for others around me to hear in church. Somehow I knew, or at least thought in my mind, that they could tell how good I was; no one was really listening to me, but I thought they were and it made me feel special.

My grade school would have a music teacher come into our room, and all I remember is her drawing staff lines on the chalkboard with the coolest gadget. It was a device that would hold 5 sticks of chalk, spaced equally, and when she would drag it across the chalkboard, it would draw 5 perfectly straight lines of the music staff. Teaching us the fundamentals of music, she would get out her pitch pipe and sing the notes on the staff drawing. “Loo, loo, loo”….was the word she would sing to each note as she pointed to it, and we were to sing along with her. Though it seemed funny to many in the classroom, I knew she was sharing her love of music with us.

At some point, the school tested our aptitude in music and I was told I should learn to play an instrument. My family had a trombone that no one seemed to know where it came from, but I thought it was pretty cool and I began taking lessons during that summer at the high school. These lessons were to start us out in middle school band that coming fall. That summer I started teaching myself from the trombone music book that came with the instrument. When it was time to start the summer music program, the teacher was amazed at how much I already knew. I went on to play in the middle school band for a few years and marched in a few holiday parades. Eventually, I stopped playing because sadly, I was uninspired by the middle school band director.

When I was about 12 years old, my mother wanted to buy a player piano. This was a piano that would play music itself with rolls of punched paper that when inserted into the piano, would play and move the keys like magic! While at the music store, a teacher sat me down at an organ and placed some cardboard guides on the upper and lower keyboards to show the names of each note. She put a beginner music book and showed me how to play chords with my left hand and play the melody with my right hand by following the music on the cardboard note cards. I sat there playing music for a few hours while my parents left the store to shop (wouldn’t do that today!). When they returned, they were amazed that I was actually playing songs already! They bought the organ that night and signed me up to take organ lessons from that teacher. She (my teacher) was amazing at playing the organ and had even recorded on a national record or two.

This was my beginning of playing music for the rest of my life. When my parents had friends or family over our house, I was always asked (told actually!) to play for them the latest songs that I had learned. I didn’t particularly like having to perform for everyone who came to the house, but once I got going, I always loved how it made me feel to hear others tell me how well I played.

As a teenager, The Beatles had changed the world of music and I started wanting to play all the songs I liked on the radio. After I had graduated from high school, I got together with friends and started a band. We’d practice in living rooms, basements or garages; my Dad loved that this was happening. He found a small Hammond organ with a wooden cabinet speaker that I could play, and he even purchased a van so that I could carry around the equipment. We started listening to some blues records to learn how to improvise playing solos. It would be a few years before I would try to sing the lead solo parts. I can remember the first time I felt reactions of people listening to me sing and I knew I had something special. I have always been a quiet and reserved person, which is what people perceive me to be…until I open my mouth to sing! When a musician does it well and the music connects with their emotions and soul, it’s like speaking to others in a whole new way. That is the Power of Music and it truly is an amazing sensation to feel.

These are some of the beginning stories that have made up my life in music and the reasons behind why I created David’s Music House……. a place where anyone of any age, especially the young, can begin learning all the parts that make up the world of music, how to love it and understand what it can do. Students learn all of this, as well as how to share that feeling and experience with others…. through the Power of Music!

Thank you for your constant support of David’s Music House. Feel free to comment on this post and I will do my best to respond.

Peace & Love,

David

One Team – One Purpose

Almost a year ago

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david on stageThis article is a letter to our current DMH student families, as well as the surrounding communities of David’s Music House. As a life long musician and parent, I wanted to create a business that would serve a purpose of making the world a bit better, less arrogant, less combative, less judgmental, more friendly, more kind, more supportive of one another. This has been an underlying mission of my entire life as I questioned others’ intolerance and judgmental indifference.

The environment at DMH is completely unique in that everyone’s focus is totally on the needs of the students and the parents’ goals. As creator and owner of David’s Music House, I am keenly aware that often issues can arise, such as a young student wanting the same gender for a teacher, or perhaps a parent may want a teacher who has a firmer approach to insure their child follows and learns discipline. Other parents may only want the experience to be fun, and may feel that strictness will destroy the desire to learn. I understand these parental desires and that is why I require teachers do a blend of firm and formal learning, but also make it FUN. The world loses when a child wants to stop learning music.

Students who come to DMH do not belong to any one teacher. We only have teachers at David’s Music House who act as ONE TEAM, with the sole purpose of insuring the student is always inspired and WANTS to continue learning. Every teacher at David’s Music House is trained to look for “disinterested” signs from students. Actions are taken such as introducing the student to a completely different instrument and teacher, have them observe and maybe even make a connection that may lead to a duo, trio or ensemble performance experience or even suggest the student switch to another teacher. We all know that the student-teacher bond is a strong connection of trust and mutual admiration. This does not mean that every teacher is the best match for every student. This is why, at David’s Music House, every teacher is advised from the first day they join our DMH Family, that the student does not belong to any single teacher. Teachers at David’s Music House are in harmony with ONE GOAL …… to meet the needs of every single student and parent!

I speak to parents often about the fact that we are here for your child to explore music and all of our teachers are here for you. I encourage parents come forward if you are interested in switching to another instrument if they, or their child, tells them they want to do so. We will accommodate and arrange for a meeting between your current teacher and another to discuss the transition to a new teacher and experience. NO PARENT OR STUDENT who comes to David’s Music House should EVER feel that they cannot ask to try a new instrument or different teacher.

I TAKE THE TRUST AND PARTNERSHIP OF THE FAMILIES OF THE COMMUNITY VERY SERIOUSLY AND DAVID’S MUSIC HOUSE EXISTS SOLELY FOR THE BETTERMENT OF US ALL. MY REASON FOR CREATING THE SCHOOL IS A MISSION OF DOING EVERY THING POSSIBLE TO INSPIRE AND MENTOR STUDENTS TO KEEP DISCOVERING THE ‘WHY’ OR THE REASON THEY LOVE MUSIC OR PLAYING A PARTICULAR INSTRUMENT. WE WANT TO GIVE THE OPPORTUNITY FOR PEOPLE TO DISCOVER MUSIC AND THE POWER OF MUSIC AND WHAT IT CAN DO FOR THEM….AND ALL OF US.” – DAVID

Please feel free to email me anytime for any reason at David@davidsmusichouse.com or to DMH@davidsmusichouse.com. As always…..I thank each and every one of you for your continued Love and Support of what we are doing.

Peace & Love,

David

Life’s Earliest Experiences Drive A Successful Business

Over a year ago

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david on stageGrowing up in the 1950’s, in a neighborhood with lots of other kids my age, I remember that my earliest and best experiences were playing outside all day. We were basically unsupervised which gave us the skills and knowledge of dealing with situations and using our creativity and ingenuity. We did have a neighborhood bully but we also had a neighborhood hero, who would look out for all of us, at least I knew him to be my hero. He was my hero because he knew I was more backward than the other kids and that I couldn’t play sports as well as everyone else, so he would tell me,”You can hit the baseball, you can do anything!” Things were fun and happy in my world. I later discovered that it wasn’t like this outside the neighborhood, when I started going to public school. Now there was more than one bully and no hero to help you. This was my first awakening of asking, “Why does that kid have to be mean to everyone?” I still struggle with that issue some 60 years later. We get in our cars and get cut off or almost hit by another car and the person inside is ready to go to war with you over something they did wrong! We see this negativity with almost every comment posted on the Internet.

The summer after I graduated from high school was when I discovered my gift of music and how it made me feel important and purposeful. I could do something that others admired. I could belong to a group of others who became my friends because we all respected what we each brought together to make this amazing thing….music. I found something I could have fun, friendship and pride about. The feeling was indescribable, freeing and wonderful!

Along my journey through music, I discovered that there were many who turned the wonderful gift of music into arrogance and a feeling of superiority over others. I continued to follow my passion to want to encourage and support other musicians. I would often encourage others to seek and discover that amazing emotional experience from your performance, or to try to sing more harmony parts or even solo lead vocal parts when they felt they weren’t good enough to do that. I always felt that this support and encouragement would enhance the music. It just seemed natural to encourage others. I obviously was following the kindness and support of my childhood hero and mentor. I knew how amazing and happy it made me feel when he encouraged me to know that I could do anything.

When I began thinking about starting my own business, I knew whatever I chose to do, my deepest personality traits of who I am had to be a major aspect. I knew this would enable me to have the drive to do whatever it takes to never quit and that my passions and whatever made me who I am must be at the CORE of my business.

These became the fundamental goals of what is the mission of my business. I know that financial success will follow and without intention by focusing on these CORE passions. This is why anyone who comes into David’s Music House discovers almost immediately, the warm and welcoming atmosphere that is unique to a school, store or business. When you walk through our front door, you feel a “living room” experience.
I am always seeking and building a team of music teachers who will fit into and join this mission of Mentoring students and do more than instruct someone how to play an instrument or sing. I insist that teachers at David’s Music House encourage students to not only learn and practice but how to perform with others in a helpful and supportive way. We look for signs of that musician arrogance and by example, mentor students to help and support other musicians they perform with. Mentoring and setting examples of support and caring about others is a fundamental process and philosophy of everything at David’s Music House.

There is no greater feeling of success and accomplishment than seeing and hearing that you are doing something that creates more good in this world. I stop and remind myself of this blessing, every time I am at the school, listening to all the learning and mentoring around me. For this, I am truly blessed.

I can not state any of the above without knowing that I am indeed blessed due to everyone who is part of this journey. I send a heartfelt thank you to each of you for supporting David’s Music House mission of making our world better through the Power of Music.

Peace & Love,

David

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