Posts in Musings
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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The Pepes/Clarkes- Family Support Story #4

When I think of large, tight-knit families, the Pepes and the Clarkes come right to mind for me. I taught six members of this family over the last ten years.  I have basically taught all the kids, with the exception of one sister.

With the Pepes, I taught three out of four of the sons, Pat, Joe, and Gerard, and their father Jerry.  They all dabbled with guitar, bass, piano, singing, some song-writing, and a whole lot of music theory.  I taught them long enough to see them through middle school to college, and even a bit beyond.

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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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Energetics, Cleansing, and Awareness

If there’s one thing that spiritualists, and scientists can agree on, it’s the fact that various energies exist.  Some may call them good or bad “vibes”, or they can also be described as “feelings” or energetic “signatures”.

Take a moment to explore your own experiences… Can you recall a time when, a particular place, person, or thing gave you a strong sense of comfort, security, or relaxation?.. Can you remember times when you felt the opposite, where you felt unease, discomfort, or even unwell?.. What do you suppose is at the root of that?

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The Old Woman- Family Support Story #2

Story #2: The Old Woman

Many years ago, I couldn’t even begin to guess when, but I got a call from an elderly gentleman who inquired about lessons for his eighty-five year old wife who had always wanted to play music but surprisingly never had.  So this was a special type of lesson, and my first of its kind at that time.

In total I think I met with her maybe five times before she called it quits, which is still incredible.  I recall those lessons being unique in the challenges that were presented. He would set us up in the living room.It seemed like a nice little break for him, as I got the impression that with her somewhat rocky state of health was a lot for him. So I was able to provide her some entertainment and exploration, while providing him a bit of a bubble to relax in for a while. In this aspect, the sessions seemed to be beneficial to all.

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Collaborating With People From Other Professions

A sometimes overlooked element of collaboration is the practice of merging ideas and energy with from totally different walks of life professionally.  Not only does this expand the knowledge and experience of all parties involved with new concepts, but it also brings about fresh perspectives that one cannot usually discover when working with people within the same field.  

For example, if a musician / singer-songwriter writes songs for a living, then that is something that can be applied to almost anything.  Humans love adding the element of music to their projects. Whether it is a movie that would be far more impactful with a score, a charity gala where some light music would set the mood, or even a grocery store that has its own radio playing store-wide on constant rotation to help shoppers feel more relaxation for when they are standing in line, one thing is true across all these settings; people, humans... we all love music.

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