Posts in Musings
The Artist: Wellness Story #3

When I think of this person, it reminds me that you can’t kill the imagination sometimes, even in a place where medicated living is the norm, where the energy is heavy as a result of so many people struggling in life, and where one is confined to a limited space (though of course not like a 1 x 1 prison cell.  The grounds of the hospital are fairly large, and there are trees, and other soft features, but… the place is still surrounded by a fence. It’s an interesting contrast; barbed wire and gardens, but not to keep the animals out of the veggies, but to keep the people inside the walls where they are. Just remember that art can find root ANYWHERE.  In an abandoned alleyway, a grim war torn landscape, a garden, or even a psychiatric hospital. Never cease to use the imagination, and let it run free no matter where you are. 

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Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?

This is one of the most common questions that a songwriter will get from an eager student or an enthusiastic fan, or sometimes from a friend curiously pondering as they listen to a song... 

“When writing a song, which comes first?...The words? The melody? The chords?”

There is an easy answer to this...

There is NO set method that is universally practiced by everyone.

The songwriting process is vast in its ways of manifesting and inspiring itself into existence with the help of a skilled (or not always so skilled) conduit.  The conduit for this divine outpouring is YOU, and it’s Me, and it’s every being with the intention and desire to make it so.

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Agreements for Collaborations

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.

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Reach Out Speak Out- Wellness Story #2

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.

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How To Travel Well With Others (Part 2)

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.

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Music & Wellness at Sacred Fire Circles

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.

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Music Video Tips #2

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.

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The Benefits Of Travel and Adventure

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.

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Inspiration And Technology

Inspiration is a slippery thing.  It comes and it goes. It strikes us in moments when we aren’t prepared, and it isn’t always something that makes itself known when it appears. It’s no surprise that the perfect lyric comes to us when we don't have a pen and paper handy, or a melody that creeps into our head when there is nothing to do but sing it a million times to try to remember it.  So the best thing a creative person can do is to be prepared at all times. It seems like a big task to always have a go-bag ready to capture such gems in the moment they decide to appear. It IS a big task, and the difference between a person that seizes the moment and one who doesn’t is in fact that go-bag of preparedness. I ALWAYS have a pen and paper no matter where I go.  I literally travel with these crucial tools everywhere. If you see me, I’m likely to have a backpack with me. My go-bag, if you will. That is what sets me apart from others that lose the precious diamonds of creativity. I am always ready to receive and capture. Are you?

Let’s talk about some ways to always be prepared.

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Deep Clean

“Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”  This expression is commonly known, and often used.  The reason for that is because it TRUE. Or at least it feels true to me.

Recently I finally broke my funk regarding getting to yoga class, something that is difficult for me at times given my work schedule.  I took an intermediate class with my Yoga Teacher Training Yoga, Tarra Madore, at Smart Asana yoga. I'm picky about my yoga classes because I can't go often, so when I do, I want it to be the way I know to be best for me. Her classes always do me well, and no matter how long it's been between sessions, I can always fall right back into the flow.  200 hours of teacher training comes back just by showing up in my case.

I took the class and it energized me like you wouldn't believe.  I know this is always how it goes in my body. It's really just a matter of schedule often, so if anything there is a desire to go always.  Anyway, the class really broke open my stagnancy, and so that night I was buzzing. I got home and dove into DEEP cleaning my space.

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How To Travel Well With Others (Part 1)

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.

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