My Musical Journey Began Early

Over a year ago

No Comments

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

Life’s Earliest Experiences Drive A Successful Business

Over a year ago

2 Comments

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

No Comments

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

Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Not For All…

Over two years ago

No Comments

david on stageIt’s the most wonderful time of the year! That’s the song title that describes this time of the year for so many of us. There are however many who are effected quite oppositely, with depression and sadness from losing a loved one or perhaps living in poverty and hunger and lack of the basic necessities of life. The holidays and the fact that it’s the end of the year just lends us to feel like everything, good or bad, is much bigger and more significant.

I’ll tell you a little secret….David’s Music House was created to be a safe haven…a fortress of solitude for the soul. We all know that “music soothes the savage beast” and about all of the benefits music brings to the mind and the soul. Well, our Big Living Room was created to provide the community a place to get away from it all. No, we’e not a resort in the Caribbean….but we can provide you with a break from the sometime insane world outside…with some warm beverages and perhaps a satisfying snack or two…all while soaking you in the wonderful world of Music! Music from the sweet voice of a small child singing a Christmas carol in a lesson room to the strum of a guitar or pull of a bow across the strings of a violin. In the distant, you can hear the beginnings of a young learning musician. I often see the face of a young child smiling from ear to ear, just so excited to see their music teacher’s face welcome them with a “So…you ready to rock n roll?”, to which the response is a HUGE “YESSSS” and followed by a run to the lesson room. There is just nothing quite like seeing a young, eager musician who can’t wait to come into David’s Music House and meet with their teacher. We even have a Music Therapy program for anyone dealing with more serious issues of depression and anxiety or diagnosed issues of all ages. Our Music Therapist is licensed and trained to use The Power of Music to help anyone dealing with these more serious issues.

I have found the MOST AMAZING business model EVER….knowing that this “special place” is indeed…changing our world…every single day! While most business ideas are about a business plan, financials, budgeting, cash flow, profit margins…and on and on…. I receive treasures of the heart…in every single note played or sung… from the instruction of a gifted teacher, into a child’s hand and voice, through a glorious music instrument’s vibrations….into the air and out into our world…and finally falling onto the ears and heart and soul of all of us.

That, my friends…is AMAZING STUFF!

I always knew that someday, my yearning to change the world, one person at a time, would take some form and shape. Now, I’m seeing that blossom into reality!

December is about Christmas, helping others, making people smile, giving and receiving, music and laughter….and HOPE and FAITH that this world will spend one time of each year, making this life worth living.

Come, be a part of our journey and help change the world…one note and one person at a time.

All of us at David’s Music House wish each of you the Merriest Christmas and Happiest Holiday Season and hope that we all take the time to do some small acts of kindness during this time of year to spread Peace, Love and Joy.

Peace and Love,

David

“Til the Season Comes ‘Round Again…”

Over two years ago

No Comments

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 two years ago

No Comments

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