John loves to entertain

John loves to entertain
No matter how large or small the event

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

On Tour

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Music for Right Now

I was sitting in church one Sunday morning, and this video came on the screens up front. The lyrics that came across the screen were awe-inspiring, but the tune really stuck in my head.

I thought, I'd share:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Let's Get Musical With JoyTunes Music App for Kids

Let’s Get Musical
Guest Post By: Yuval Kaminka, founder of JoyTunes (, the developers of award-winning interactive apps that help children and adults alike discover and enhance their love of music.
Eighty-five percent of the population wished they learned to play an instrument, but gave up from the frustration of learning the basics. Mastering an instrument takes time, dedication, discipline and concentration, so it’s no wonder getting a child interested in playing – and practicing – an instrument is no easy task.
This is especially true today, with seemingly unlimited distractions to take up attention spans. Learning a musical instrument is just not at the top of many children’s priority list of preferred activities. In order for a child to truly become interested in playing an instrument they need to be engaged, they need to be motivated and they need to have fun!

Not only is learning to play an instrument a rewarding experience, research from Brown University shows that children who play an instrument perform better on standardize tests and have overall higher IQ scores than their nonmusical counterparts. This is because learning music stimulates brain function used to understand math, science and engineering.
So how do you get your child excited about learning music? As a leader of mobile games designed to teach children skills that translate to real instruments, JoyTunes has 5 tips to help parents get their child interested in playing an instrument. 
1)     Pick Properly: Choosing the right instrument is perhaps the most important way of getting children interested in playing music. If possible, have your child test out a few instruments before they choose a final one. While your child may think a certain instrument looks cool, a difficult instrument might intimidate them at first, so try something more basic when first starting out.

2)     Get Involved: Be actively engaged in your child’s music lessons. Ask to hear what piece your child is working on, if they learned any new skills recently or if they know facts about the composer they are playing. Make sure they are staying committed to their practice time and reassure them that their hard work will pay off!

3)     Enroll an Expert: Choose a teacher that encourages and inspires your musician-in-training. A good music teacher will get kids even more interested in playing and practicing, as well as make sure that your child is receiving proper instruction needed to master their craft.

4)     Song Selection: Choose music that your child will enjoy playing. Yes,    the classics are vital, but let’s face it, your child would rather play the latest chart-topping pop song. The more they relate to a piece of music the more likely they will be driven to perfect playing that piece. JoyTunes’ two Piano apps, Piano Dust Buster and Piano Mania, both feature a wide variety of songs ranging from Beethoven to One Direction and everything in between.

5)     Be their Biggest Fan: Set aside special times for your child’s performances – even if it’s just for one song in the living room. Create a system of rewards to encourage your child. Anything to encourage more practicing will help your child improve his or her skills, which in turn will make them more excited to continue to learn.

Investing time and energy into your child’s music education takes time and patience but is most certainly worthwhile. Sticking to their lessons, improving their skills and mastering an instrument will be something your children will thank you for in the future. Even during the frustrating times, don’t let your child give up. Imagine if Mozart’s parents let him throw in the towel, we may have lost one of the greatest talents the world has ever known!

Let us know- How do you encourage your child to practice their instrument?

Friday, January 17, 2014

This Is Why The People Applaud

Today, January 17, is Benjamin Franklin's birthday. He w

as born in 1706 and is no longer living, but his quotes and inventions have lived on.

When you think of Ben Franklin, music may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, I love this quote that I put to an infographic meme:

So true...

Of course, as a musician/performer/entertainer, I admit that applause makes me feel good.  But, it does something more as well.

The quote is so true, that applause waits on success.

When I receive applause at the end of a show, and sometimes even a standing ovation, it humbles me yet at the same time inspires me to perform at my best because I realize for an audience to applaud means I have succeeded at making their day pleasurable, brought back happy memories, or just provided an hour or so of enjoyable music.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Creating Memorable Music: Easy Chord Patterns Don't Have to Sound Boring

A memorable song doesn't have to be complicated, but it also doesn't need to be boring.

On a positive note, if you want to play a lot of songs, learn the chords G, Em, C, and D.  If you want to add even more color to the sound, there is a different kind of G and C chord, and the C chord has a different name.  It's called Cadd9.

I lament that so many new songs are the same chord patterns, or they'll take a short 4 or 8-measure pattern and loop it through the entire song.  This is frustrating because these songs don't seem creative, memorable or long lasting.

In the '60's and '70's for instance, it seemed like many artists were, perhaps, given more freedom to experiment.  Within the same song, they used different tempos and sections.  It wasn't all the same beat throughout the entire song.  They used different recording techniques.

I have heard stories of rock bands putting amplifiers in an empty concrete swimming pool and then mic-ing it, etc.  Different sounds that were real creative.

So many new pop songs are just so bland.  It seems to be more of a dance beat than anything else.

An example of some good songs with the G, Em, C and D chord pattern are by Taylor Swift.  In my opinion, she has written some great songs by using those 4 chords and a capo.  Her songs are not boring.

Another famous example is Jason Mraz' I'm Yours, which uses essentially the same chord pattern throughout the whole song but provides a catchy lasting rhythm.

Also, a lot of amazing worship songs use these same chord patterns.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Today I Am Thankful For

Since it's November, I thought it would be good to jump on the bandwagon and begin to say what I'm thankful for.

The Bible.  That's right!  I'm thankful for the Bible.

Inside the Bible are many scriptures about giving thanks and keeping a thankful heart.

This scripture from Thessalonians, says to give thanks in EVERytHING!

OK, I admit it, I don't give thanks in EVERYTHING!  However, I have heard sermons that explain that this does not mean to give thanks FOR everything, but rather, IN everything.  So, in the midst of heartache, you keep a thankful attitude. You don't necessarily thank God for the heartache.

Instead, you keep your heart thankful and search for the good in all.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Review: 'Arts & Numbers' A Financial Guide For the Creative Class

I received a copy of this amazing book, Arts & Numbers A Financial Guide for Artists, Writers, Performers, and Other Members of the Creative Class, by Elaine Grogan Luttrull.  I received it in exchange only for an honest review.

First, let me say that this review took longer than it should have to post for one pure reason:  I loved the book so much that I wanted to read it cover to cover before posting what I thought.  I literally had trouble putting this book down.

Why did I like it so much?

For starters, this author is the very first person ever to explain a budget for musicians and other creative entrepreneurs.

When we went through other financial courses, I have become very frustrated because all of the suggest a budget that is based on a regular paycheck where taxes are withheld automatically and there is often an option of a 401(k).  As a self-employed musician, my family never has a regular paycheck.  It fluctuates, and we are solely responsible for not only managing the irregular paycheck, but for drumming up business, filing taxes and record keeping.

This book is written in a way that is understandable for anyone who usually hates even the word "finances" and those who don't do well with numbers.

It is available on the Agate Publishing B2 Books for $16, or less in e-book form.

It is worth every penny.  It has several charts that you can use to fill in or as a guideline for making your own.

It tells the story of several fictitious artistic entrepreneurs that makes it interesting to follow and apply to your own lifestyle.  These sections are in gray boxes, so they are easy to spot.  In between are tons of charts and forms and explanations of how the creative class really can make it, and even become numbers and financial literate in the process.  At least, become competent at managing and knowing how the financial end of the business works.