Have you ever found yourself in a collaboration or team effort spin-out? Have you ever walked away from a meeting with others and said, “What the hell just happened?” or “I don't like the way this turned out?” If you have, then likely you have either NO agreements in place, the agreements are not defined well enough, or the agreements were not honored. This is not good...but it is fixable and it is manageable, provided that all of the terms are stated, agreed upon, and written down. It’s really that easy. The hard part is nailing down everyone’s true needs, desires, and expectations. In this blog we will explore this topic.Read More
I first met the Vawters while leading a drum circle for the Freehold Special Scouts troop 454, where they earned the music merit badge.
The gig had resulted from a referral I had received from a woman I met at a different special needs drumming event that her child attends. So it was a nice little connection.
I met the father, Jamie Vawter and we talked about having me at his home to do private lessons and drumming for his family, which included his elderly mother, a delightful woman I might add, and his son Zach, who is 20 years old with low-verbal Autism.Read More
For nearly three years I have been working as a group facilitator at Reach out Speak Out Community Center in Trenton, New Jersey. The group has been primarily the same cast of folks since I started there, with the exception of some people that were regionally local temporarily, or in transit through other transitions in their journeys, but for the most part, it’s the same group. And what a group they are! I have seen their growth and changes over the last few years and it is quite amazing. Many of these people have histories within various aspects of state and county behavioral or mental health institutions, substance abuse programs, or other special needs and circumstance based counseling programs. I’ll tell you though, this group is an absolute hoot!! I have had so many laughs with these folks, and built up many many memories. It’s an absolute delight to serve them as a facilitator.Read More
Sometimes, collaboration includes the element of travel excursions. For bands this could mean going on tour, for artists this could be traveling with an agent to a gallery opening across the country, for architects this could mean going to Europe to restore a historic structure, and so on. No matter who you travel with, it's important to travel well. This blog will explore travel dynamics and offer some tips gained from experiences I've had on the road.Read More
When it comes to building trusting and loving interactions with clients over the years, there is an openness that develops, a sense of safety that one can be themselves free of judgement or condemnation. I enjoyed this level of comfort with Becca, and one day when she came into her class she went quiet and kinda smirked as she said “Can I tell you something?”.. to which I of course said, “Sure, whats up?”, and that’s when she revealed her truth to me.Read More
Sacred Fire Circles
Music and Wellness very often share space in an activity or happening, when music sometimes is the delivery mechanism for wellness and likewise. Other times music and wellness share space separately but in tandem while maintaining their own autonomy. One of the places that I have discovered this particular dynamic is in sacred fired circles.Read More
Just as it was with advent of the video age, modern day artists rely heavily on video and image content to “show” more than “tell”. That’s the beauty of video; it’s dynamic and more exciting than a photo or text. Artists have been using video to showcase themselves for many decades now. The Beatles did it 1964 on Ed Sullivan before MTV, Score Composers alongside animators did it before as early as 1937 with “Snow White”, and really, all major artists have done it before, during and after these times. You tube changed the game, and then came other standards like Vimeo, Instagram, Facebook, and dozens of other platforms, all of which feature video platforms and Live Stream features. Given all of these technological media advancements, it’s crucial for Artists to get in line with the times and utilize video as a way to promote themselves.Read More
One of the families I worked with very early on were the McDaniels. I taught DJ, the eldest son.
I first met him, and the family when I worked at Rising Star Music in Spotswood, New Jersey when I was a relatively new music teacher. I was probably about twenty years old, and so I was still able to age-relate easily to younger teens, since I wasn’t that far ahead of them life-wise. DJ was one of my guitar students, and when I eventually left the studio, he wanted to continue on with me privately, and so we worked together for several years to come. I might have been teaching him until he graduated high school, but I don’t remember that part exactly. Even after we stopped doing lessons, I would often see him and hang out, often at the gym, or at the mall.Read More
Modern day living is fairly hectic. People get up, make coffee, check Facebook, work, get home, do chores, check Facebook again, have dinner, clean up, check Facebook, and sleep. This isn't the case for all, but it definitely is for many. Gone are the days in America where the farmer is up before dawn working long hours until sundown... The closest to that life that most people get is through App games like Farmville. One of the greatest tragedies a life can sustain, in my opinion, is never getting out and seeing in person all the things that are seen on TV, or in pictures. Have you ever seen a photo of Stonehenge and said “before I die, I will get there...” ? I know I have had thoughts like this.
Here is the brain buster... YOU CAN. There is little stopping you. It all depends on how bad you want it, how serious your intention is, and what you are willing to do to get there.Read More