December 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, everythingÂ 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 weÂ 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 pastÂ yearâ€¦.what worked, what didnâ€™t and how can things be better. One of the most obvious things I continue to discover as I get olderâ€¦is that I have so much yet to learnâ€¦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 ofÂ â€śrecitalsâ€ťÂ as both a student and a parent and how I wanted Davidâ€™s Music House to do this better.Â Occasional studentÂ â€śrecitalsâ€ť 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 theÂ 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 aÂ parent of a student, I have NEVER thought of this as real performance learning!
Soâ€¦.for 2015, we will not have theseÂ 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, onÂ 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 manyÂ young musicians do not possess nor have they ever been taught.
There will also be more occasions to perform for audiencesÂ thoughtÂ the year, such as partake in Student Showcases during our Professional LIVE Concerts, whereÂ students will performÂ during an intermission of a touringÂ Independent artist. We will be holding other Special Performance Events which will be announced as they are scheduled.Â 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,Â 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? đź™‚
As I always have said,Â â€śWe 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.
Davidâ€™s Music House will ALWAYS change and find new ways to provideÂ â€śA 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 Davidâ€™s Music House. I can not thankÂ eachÂ of you enough for helping myself and everyone at DMH, for keeping us going and excited to bring more great musicians, music andÂ people in the world to discover and realize,Â â€śThe Power of Musicâ€ť in our lives.
I want to wish each of you a Very Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Holidays!
Love yens guys!!!
PS â€“ Please note the Review of our Music Lesson Policy in our December Newsletter.
Quite a long while agoÉ
In our never-ending effort to â€śinspire our studentsâ€ť, Davidâ€™s Music House is going to start featuring a few of our students right before our Friday Night Concert Performances. Each week, we bring in talented artists from the Pittsburgh Downtown Music Scene to the South Hills to perform on our Coffee House Stage. Sometimes, we have musicians, who are touring the country, perform on our stage. This are â€śspecial inspirational momentsâ€ť that are invaluable to of the students within DMH.
The main reason for creating Davidâ€™s Music House was to create a place of â€śinspirationâ€ť, where parents can bring their children, or themselves for that matter, and not only learn how to play an instrument well, but to perform it in front of an audience and to find a place where students are constantly fed the inspiration that will make them want to practice their instrument and envision themselves on stage, performing and doing what they love! Our Friday Night Concerts are â€śMoments of Inspirationâ€ť and we want to encourage parents to bring their children to listen to these amazing professional performers in our close, intimate â€śLiving Roomâ€ť setting. I have seen what happens when a young student has watched one of our concerts and then the next night, came and performed on our stage for Open Mic Night and saw the look in their eyes…that student was picturing their self as the performer they were mesmerized by, the night before. The student was seeing that â€śI can do this tooâ€ť!
As parents, we are always trying to find ways to have our children follow their dreams or avoid the mistakes that we have done in our lives. We want to make sure they get a great education and that they are confident and good people. We all have heard the recent research and findings about how important music and the arts is to the developing mind. These are the reasons for the existence of Davidâ€™s Music House. We are here to provide that â€śinspirationâ€ť to further develop their studies in music and any form of â€śthe artsâ€ť.
I urge all parents to bring their children and any of our DMH students to come to our Friday Night Concerts to give them that reason to keep going and practice and get better at their craft. Everyone within Davidâ€™s Music House is here to assist them, support them and provide the tools needed to become whoever they want to be!