“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

 

“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

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

Music & Laughter – BEST Stress relievers

Over two years ago

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david on stageStarting your own business takes money, confidence and TIME…and I mean serious amounts of TIME…oh yeah… and for those out there wanting to start a business, this is time WITHOUT being paid! For the first few years, yes, I said years, you will most likely receive no pay! OK… now why do so many do it? For me, it was my chance to be able to use my creativity without being told to stop thinking and go sit down. In addition to this need to use my brain to solve problems and come up with creative solutions, I have had an inner passion to rid my mind of the life long lack of self confidence. I have always had a deep desire to do something to help others but often lacked the confidence to put myself out there to commit myself to that goal. Really age and years of being made to feel as if I couldn’t do anything huge and successful, is what finally gave me the knowledge that not only do I have the ability to do something big, but that I have been doing BIG things for many years. So I finally had the money and the confidence and the willingness to commit the time. There is no way for anyone to understand how much time commitment this really means. It’s more than you can imagine and you WILL become tired and stressed. You will face times when being tired will weaken your focus and drive. This is why it is so important to overestimate the time commitment if you want to start your own business, especially if it’s a new unique idea where you really have no other models to research.

Two things in life can do miracles for our happiness and stress relief and they are MUSIC and LAUGHTER. Fortunately, my business is all about one of these. Of course, that is MUSIC, but even running a music business provides all the stress related issues of any business and I have to find time to completely disconnect myself from the business. Sometimes, I’ll just sit down at the piano and “doodle” and create music of whatever feelings I have at the time. Other times, I’ll just veg out or meditate to some relaxation mood music.

I also LOVE to lose myself in COMEDY! Laughter is another part of being human that provides happiness in indescribable ways. Like music, laughter heals. I know that a few episodes of “Seinfeld”, “I Love Lucy”, a stand up comedian or funny movie takes my mind away from thinking. Whenever I get together with the guys I have played in bands with for most of my life…I get to enjoy both of these at the same time. Recently, when we all performed at David’s Music House, I actually felt a decade of youth enter my body while we were playing on stage. Music is that powerful IF you learn to allow your emotions to fully take over. These guys are also one of my BEST resources of laughter! I never laugh harder, to the point of tears, than when we all get together. Life long friends will do that for each other.

We all have to find time to do things that make us happy and when you are occupied with tasks that consume your thinking and time, you need to STOP and soak yourself into something that takes you away from the race. You can always rely on MUSIC & LAUGHTER as BEST medicines for happiness.

Check out our Music Therapy page for services we offer that utilize #thepowerofmusic

Thanks for all your continued support and spreading the good word about what we do at David’s Music House.

Cheers,

David

“A Total Music Experience – The Future of Music Education”

Getting Wiser or Learning How Much More There is to Learn?

Quite a long while ago

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david on stageIf I’ve found one thing out for sure in six decades of life, it’s that you don’t really get wiser as you get older…you just find out how much more you have yet to learn. There is no end to discovering and learning new ideas, ways of thinking and doing things, IF you have an open mind, that is. Creating a business that doesn’t exist anywhere else is a great idea, but there is really no other models to learn from. You are creating the model from scratch, through trial and error and a lot of instinct. That’s exactly what I wanted to do, after working for a corporation for 22 years that told me to NOT think or create.

My mind constantly is thinking of new aspects and new ideas to use in my business, but I still need to focus on things moving along that are already in place and that are bringing in revenue. To this end, in the beginnings of my fourth year in business, I find that I need to slow down and focus on what is actually feasible and necessary to insure growth and progress. I keep thinking of those creative new ideas, and I keep working on them and storing them, much as a songwriter, who creates the initial idea of a song, but may work on development for years before publishing it.

This is what I love about being an entrepreneur….using your skills and talent to resolve issues and grow the business, but being able to just bring in a brand new concept because you know it will enhance the business concept and mission. That’s something that you can never do if you have to go through manager after manager,  to suggest an idea, only to be told it won’t work or worse, have them implement your idea and call it their own.

I have found it completely a waste of time to even think about what other competitors are doing, other than to see if there are ways similar efforts can help each other’s business. When I look at another business in my area, I wonder how we could partner and work together to increase the community’s wellness. It serves no purpose for me to see what “they” are doing and copy it or be jealous of it. This is a trait of a foolish business person. I’m far too busy thinking of ways to promote music and help the community better connect, through the power of music to bother wasting time trying to get ahead to the “other guy”.

So, needless to say (but I will…) there are some GREAT enhancements coming to David’s Music House over the course of 2014, and beyond. Keep your eyes and ears open for some more great ways to bring more music into the world.

One such enhancement occurring in May, will be better instrument rentals as we partner with “Music Hut”. This is a local business that has been in existence for many years of renting and repairing instruments. We will now be renting acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, amplifiers, cellos and others, in addition to the woodwinds, brass and strings we currently offer. We are often asked by parents of children beginning lessons about renting as they do not want to purchase instruments until they see that the student really wants to keep playing the first instrument they become interested in. Now, we will be able to offer a much wider selection to rent, as well as support another area local small business.

Now….some reflection and what’s coming next:

Our Spring Student Concerts were just amazing and full of great new talented students of all phases of learning and all ages.
I am constantly looking for great talent all over the country who can perform in our DMH Cafe and INSPIRE our students, as well as our teachers! We are bringing an A Capella Chorus Group called “Minor Variation” from Wake Forest University of North Carolina. This will be an evening of choral music as our new DMH Chorus opens with a few songs and then gets to attend the concert for FREE, as well as talk to them about how they tour and record.
In coming months we will bring back the Hillary Reynolds Band and Noel McLeary among other touring recording artists.

Behind the scenes, we are doing some serious soundproofing to the lesson rooms, as well as a fresh coat of paint and some NEW design and artwork. Most of these tweaks will be done by the end of May/June and will not cause any interruption of lessons or events. All of these improvements will give everyone a much better learning experience!

As always, thank all of you for your continued support and spreading the good word of David’s Music House bringing more music into our community and world.

David