Over The River and Through Our Memories

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david on stageWhen I was very young I always loved listening to stories from older family members. I can remember I wouldn’t go outside and play with my cousins during the visits to Grama’s house. I would stay at the dinning room table during the after dinner coffee and desert time because I loved hearing their stories about times gone by. They were funny, everyone laughing to tears, colorful, wonderful stories that made me want to be inside their stories. This was almost better than television, and that is saying something because TV was everything to a Baby Boomer child of the 1950’s.

Thanksgiving conjures up instant feelings of warm Fall colors, stopping the race of everyday life, great aromas of food, families getting together, and seeing friends. Yes, even with the normal dysfunctional family situations of dealing with our own oddities seemed to be dealt with, diminished, ignored or resolved during this family gathering holiday. The house where the turkey is prepared was the place to wake up to that heavenly aroma of cooking that only Thanksgiving can produce.

To a child of the Boomer Generation, Thanksgiving meant waking to that wonderful smell of the turkey roasting in the oven, then rushing down to watch the Thanksgiving parade on TV and getting primed for Christmas and waiting for Santa to show up at the end of the parade. Thanksgiving was all about food. I have old family photos of my Dad’s dinning room display of food. He set up this display of fruit, berries, nuts, crackers, cheeses and anything else he could think of. Of course he managed an A&P grocery store at the time, which obviously helped. My Dad was always ready to set up a display of anything, most likely from displaying food in the grocery stores. Even during his later years as a car salesman, he would decorate his office with a full display of fall leaves and deer so he could enjoy the feeling that the Fall brings to us all.  I am very aware that I was fortunate to have been born who and where I was to enjoy the abundance of food and memories. There were so many who did not have this abundance, who I was oblivious to as a child. Especially during the post World War II, 1950’s,

Thanksgiving was originally a way of celebrating the year’s harvest of the crops, but it seemed logical and appropriate to make it an event of taking some time to give thanks for all the blessings we have. Our first President of the United States, George Washington, proclaimed the first nationwide Thanksgiving celebration in America, marking November 26, 1789, “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God.” (Wikipedia)

All of us at David’s Music House are so very thankful to each of you who support and spread the word of what we do. I will never take the blessings of starting my first business and watching it grow into one of the most respected sources of Music Education in the South Hills and surrounding area. As a lover of music and a life long musician for over 55 years, I have always known that whatever I started, had to have a mission and goal that was purely from my heart and not to make money. I feel this is what makes David’s Music House unique and successful, in that this message is felt and known by all the wonderful families and students who choose to come to us for their music learning.

Each and every one of us at ‘da House, wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving holiday.  May you all take time out this Thanksgiving Day and give thanks for all the blessings you have and enjoy the day with family and friends.

Peace and Love,

David

 

One Team – One Purpose

More than a month 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

Want the Secret of Success?

More than a month ago

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Three key ingredients – Yep, that’s the big secret to success, so simple and yet so not followed. So many approach success as what’s the popular thing…what will yield the most return on investment… The secret comes from inside YOU and what has life taught you and what frustrates you that you want to fix…? Here are my 3 ingredients:

1) The idea of what DMH continuously strives to do comes directly from about 60 years of my personal life experiences. Every facet of David’s Music House is created and driven by the voice inside of me and that makes the business have no direct competition. No one else can possibly have had the experiences I have over the last 65 years.

2) Never, never, never, never, never…infinity + NEVER….QUIT. I know if I ever stop, that will be just a few inches short of succeeding beyond my wildest dreams. Every single world changing idea, invention or service created only came about to all of our awareness because the originator continued until it happened.

3.)There is one more key ingredient, which I strongly believe in, more so now in my life than ever before…that is the knowledge that I have discovered why God created me and why every good and terrible experience I’ve ever gone through happened to me. Every step, from my earliest childhood, to the moment I am typing this right now has allowed me to be exactly who I am and where I am and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve experienced, over the last 7 years, digging into some of my retirement money and even hitting a couple of solid walls of not knowing how I would pay for the next month, but every time, God has provided a way, through sources I would have never imagined! I have never been very religious, but at this stage in my life, I am 100% aware that all the years I thought my life was nothing of any significance, there were just far too many times and events that could have turned my life the wrong way or even ended it. This has solidified my faith in the simple fact that God has taken care of me. I won’t go further into this subject here except to say that these “facts or ingredients” provide such a sense of accomplishment and happiness to my life. I also know there is so much more to come…because I hear it and feel it from my inner voice every day.

Want to succeed and be happy? Look at your life and all the events in it that you experienced and then ask yourself, in your most quiet moments…What am I here for? You will find your answer….BUT…you may not realize it until you have had enough life experiences in order for this to be revealed to you.

As aways, I thank everyone for finding and supporting David’s Music House and what we do.

“It is our mission to not only teach how to play an instrument or sing, but to help students discover “WHY” they have begun this music journey! I call our music teachers, “Music Mentors” as they live the passion of “The lesson room is only the FIRST STEP” in the process of discovering this almost magical and emotional thing that we humans do to express ourselves, communicate and make the world a better place.” – David

 

Peace and Love,

 

David

 

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

More than a month ago

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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

Over 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.

happy-thanksgiving-1

 

 

 

 

 

Love & Peace,

David and Anita

My Musical Journey Began Early

Over 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