Posts in Music Education
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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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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Trenton Psychiatric- Wellness Story #1

I have been providing wellness services to various facilities for the last four years or so (since 2015), and I am always reminded of one of my first experiences at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital in New Jersey.  For confidentiality reasons, I can’t share names or any patient details that could reveal their identity, but I can share some experiential stories.

The Shakes

I was at my session for the day, providing various music and alternative wellness services, and towards the end of the work day I had one last person approach me to ask if I could help with any of my tools.  As he approached me, I could see him visibly shaking with tremors, as a result of all the meds he was on.

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Music Video Tips #1

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.   YouTube 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.

Here are some tips on how to get started, and how to ensure that your project runs smoothly:

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The Melameds- Family Support Story #3

Over the years, I have been very close with the Melameds, a family I started working with in 2009 or so.  I was Mike and Ethan’s first music teacher, and during our time working together I taught the boys guitar, bass, drums, piano, songwriting, theory, and about being a working musician.  I had the guys take part in the various music talent showcases I hosted with my band Amber Blues, and they became friendly with other students, notably Matt and Paul Rose from Blog #1. In fact they are still friendly now, almost a decade later!!

The boys parents’ Ron and Cheryl were and are still so incredibly supportive of their ambitions, and pulled out all the stops to see that they were able to learn and develop with all the resources they could possibly need.  

There is almost too much that can be said about how supportive this family is not only of their kids, but also of me, my endeavors, and others in the tribe.  They come to the shows, buy the merch, offer opportunities for prosperity, and are some of the most accommodating folks you’ll ever meet.

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The Roses: Family Support Story #1

Working with families is one of the elements at the core of what I do as a music teacher, musician, and healer.  In over my 20+ years of working in my business, I have encountered so many different family dynamics, and have been able to customize my services to best serve each one in ways that are of great mutual benefit. Not all of my clients are family based, but often they are.  I provide services to families with special needs, with elderly and infant members, parent and child joint sessions, and I’ve even been able to provide support in times of death, medical urgency, birth, divorce, and of course, joy. This blog series will explore some of the various experiences that I have been privileged to have a role in regarding family dynamics.

Story #1: The Roses

In 2009, I started working with a family called the Roses.  I was teaching two brothers, Paul and Matt. They were both fairly young, with Paul being a teenager, and Matt, a pre-teen…

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3 Ways To Stay Motivated

Motivation is something that seems to come and go.  What is it that drives us to pursue something? Where does that fire originate, and more importantly, how do we keep that fire lit?  Motivation, the thing that pushes us forward, but the thing that also can be daunting and overwhelming. How do we wrestle this beast into serving us instead of scaring us?  Here are some tips I can share from my experiences:

1. Gimmie fuel, gimmie fire, gimmie that which I desire!! YEAH!!

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"Practice", and "Play"

The expression “practice makes perfect” is one of those concepts that transcends geography, race, class, and just about all other boundaries.  It’s a concept that is often implemented by teachers, mentors, guides, and gurus across the globe. Why is that? - It’s because well..., it’s true.  Without the routine of practice finding its way into a person’s life, then there is literally not going to be an opportunity to discover, hone, and master a skill.  Some say it takes 10,000 hours, others say a lifetime, and some even say that true mastery is idealistic, which is by definition, unattainable yet strived for… It all depends on who you are talking to.

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