Kat DaVille | Musician, Blogger, Consultant | Central NJ | NJ Music Lessons
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NJ Music Lessons

I’m Done… (A Love Story)

  Brace yourself, my friend.  This is about to get real personal.   Hands down, my family is the most important thing to me.  Without them, I do not know where I would be or how I would behave, react or adapt in these uncertain modern times.  As a young single mother, these individuals were my world.  Now that my children are older, these invaluable human beings integrated into our already huge latin family.   The concept of family, however, is not only bound by blood.  More on that, later...

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6 Ways to Get More “Me” Time

  Practice time = "Me" Time.   "Me" time is the most important asset you possess.  Protect it, regardless of your atmosphere.  I go into depth about making the most of your practice time here.   All cards on the table: I knew what I signed up for when I decided to have children and evolve into motherhood: clean the house, dirty diapers, dirty dishes, help with homework, work to keep food on the table, work to keep the lights on, work to pay for extracurricular activities, work to save up for a vacation.  Your time is used up to maintain your family, yet people forget to value their own time in the process.   As a drummer, timing is my life.  Without honoring the tempo, I lose my place in the song and the band suffers....

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6 Ways to Prepare for a Last Minute Gig

Last minute gig??  No problem!   So you're cramming the weeks of preparation into several hours before you're about to perform with people you may or may not have played with.  EVER.  These things happen, and you're gonna own it!   Here's a few things you'll need to make sure your last minute performance goes as smoothly as possible. 1. Listen to the Songs Endlessly   You're most likely rushing around like crazy at this point: gathering your gear, preparing your gig bag, going over logistics, etc.  This is the perfect time to start listening to the songs while you're in the process of assembling your A team.  While you're packing the car, place your head phones in your ears and put the songs on repeat from the beginning of the set list to the end.  Then,...

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Need Time to Practice? 6 Ways to Maximize Family Time Without Sacrificing Practice Time

  As a mother, it's incredibly easy to get overwhelmed.  As a working musician, making the time to practice, gig, teach, clean the house, make dinner, etc. offers it's own different set challenges.   Thankfully, people like you and me are not alone.  Lots of musicians raising children struggle with the same obstacles and adventures as the average American family.  Hopefully, this list will help you improve how you spend your time while protecting it at the same time.   1. Include the Children in Household Chores   Mom and Dad, encouraging your children to help with maintaining the house provides your children with valuable life skills.  I meet a lot of parents who dislike giving their kids specific tasks due to many reasons.  Perhaps, the child will refuse to some capacity and conflict arises.  Maybe the...

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5 Ways to Improve Performance Speed

  Back in the day when I was starting out as a green and fledgling NJ drummer for hire, my friends and I had a silly inside joke relating amazing drumming to the Highlander movies.  For anyone who isn't familiar with the Highlander movies, a group of immortals must fight each other to the death in order to win the prize, or "Quickening."  Each time an opponent wins a battle against their immortal foe, they behead the fallen warrior and absorb their power.  They repeat this process and eliminate each other one by one, until the last person is standing.  After all, "there can be only one."   [caption id="attachment_51089" align="alignnone" width="860"] ***FILE PHOTO*** Pantera co-founder Vinnie Paul has passed away at age 54Hellyeah performing at The House of Blues in Chicago, Illinois.June...

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Adventures During Drum Lessons

  [*Editor's note: the names of the individuals and places expressed in this post have been changed to honor their privacy].   The most heartwarming interaction with a student happened to me recently.  It was an extremely personal moment for the student as it was educational and eye opening for me.   I believe opening up to anyone takes an enormous amount of courage.  As an individual who suffers from anxiety, getting anything off my chest is often like pulling teeth.  Like many sufferers of mental ailments, individuals find very little solace in confiding with their peers.  Personally, I'm reluctant to disclose any secret because I'm afraid (there, I said it) that my business will be gossip fodder for opinionated talking heads around the water cooler.  Eventually, thanks to the positive influence of my beloved...

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6 Ways to Perform Better Under Pressure

  Pressure.  We all face it at serval points points in our lives.   As musicians, the constant pressure to stay on your A game during a gig is relentless.  The better you perform, the more the audience expects the next time you're in town.   However, we can use that stress to our advantage by changing our mindset toward more positive and quantifiable goals. Recalibrating our brains may sound daunting, but not impossible.  Many people re-evaulate how they approach stressful situations and figure out a way to come out on top.  There is absolutely no difference between you and them.   "When it's Us versus Them, you can always count on me." - Sick of It All, "Us vs. Them," Busted   God Bless New York Hardcore Punk Rock.   Anyway, as easy as it is to loose your grip, it's...

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5 Mental Health Benefits of Playing Music

  Music possess the capacity to impact all of us emotionally, physiologically, and spiritually.  But what about music affecting us cognitively?  How does music affect our mood?  Can music change our physiology simply through the timbre, groove pattern and pitch?   Thankfully, scientists are currently providing more concrete evidence that supports how music contributes to healing depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.  A number of credible scholarly resources illustrates the benefits music devotes to listeners of all genres.  How music makes us feel possess a direct correlation towards our productivity, performance and overall mental and physical health.   One Good Thing About Music, When It Hits, You Feel No Pain. Bob Marley 1. Music helps reduce stress.   [caption id="attachment_51006" align="alignnone" width="527"] Courtesy of Reel Urban News[/caption]   The topic of Mental Health provides insight to overall general brain function...

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