Monday, June 25, 2012

Julianne's Voice - by Julianne Stewart

 Julianne’s Voice

Hi, I’m Julianne! As you may have noticed on our Meet The Staff page, I am the Office Manager for I'm excited to have the chance to use my own voice to describe my adventures while working with Evan. Being a rebel at heart, I was never allowed to use my own creative voice on any job I ever had.

Talk about a ball of confusion: the creation of this website was wacky. My job as the Office Manager came with a lot of duties. Through these couple of months, Evan and I shared opinions and just struggled to meet our target date of May, and we knew we were running behind. My laptop, Harvey, had to be upgraded to Evan’s system so we could correspond by e-mail. That was rough, too. You would think all computers do the same thing, but Harvey doesn’t – he has a mind of his own! That made it frustrating as hell.

In addition, I had to do a lot of research on drumming. I had to learn how drumming could create peace within your soul as you play on your drum set. You see, I am not a musician, so this took a lot of reading and researching. I had to read about how the mind, body, and spirit can help the music flow through your body as you play on the drum set.

I finally had the opportunity to actually play the drums and see for myself.  Evan told me to just play what you feel and it will be to your fullest potential at this time. Well... I found out that I was not that bad, and my drumming certainly banged out my frustrations and broke down those barriers that held me back from even attempting to hold a drumstick properly. I found out through Evan’s methods that actually banging out those frustrations not only relieved my stress but actually allowed me to play to my fullest potential. My voice came out on that drum set. Evan was definitely showing me the ropes.

I have to admit, however, that my favorite job duty Evan gave to me at this time was researching for the Community Saints section. Every month, Evan will be featuring the beautiful teachers, clinicians, and organizations that use their God-given talents to actually make a difference in the world. They hold clinics, workshops, and concerts for all good and worthy causes to help their communities. I am searching for Community Saints right now, so I’ll be on the lookout. 

I know that with mind, body and spirit, the possibilities are endless. is finally here, a place for you to get started and get that confidence you need to play without fear and to create your own voice on your drum set. Take it from me, the non-drummer. Using mind, body, and spirit will allow you to play to your fullest potential. So go ahead and find out for yourself! Get ready to PLAY!

Its a Family Affair - Evan Pollack

June 21, 2012                          

Did you ever have a song stuck in your head? You know, one that you just couldn’t shake all day? Well, I’ve got a Sly and the Family Stone song that has been on repeat for almost two days now. Sing along with me if you recognize the tune:

It’s a family affair... It’s a family affair...

I doubt the original words of the tune had anything to do with what I’m about to say. But the title of the song and the chorus I’ve been singing both sum up how I feel about It truly is a family affair.

Although I knew that God blessed me with the ability to teach drummers about creativity behind the kit, I knew very little about how to do this on a website. I can assure you that I’m one of the most technologically challenged people you will ever meet.  But God knows what He is doing; and He brought together a true family to help me with this endeavor.

Here are some incredible examples.

I needed a logo. I can’t even draw a stick figure. Guess who created the logo you see on the site?  Leah, my eleven-year old daughter.

I needed to have someone look over my writing. Wouldn’t you know it - Cathy, my wonderful wife, happens to be an excellent editor.

I needed someone to help teach me what those keys really do on my computer. Jesse, my son, was the man who taught me how to work my laptop.

See what I mean? It’s a family affair!

And the family gets bigger. Old friends came along exactly at the right time to help out. Jeff Cosgrove, who studied drumset with me before he grew the beard and had the kids, hooked me up with our wonderful web designer. Lloyd Wolf, the best professional photographer in Virginia actually said yes to taking the pictures for ExperienceDrums, knowing full well that my ugly mug could quite possibly break his camera. Dave and Justine Spingberg graciously allowed me to use their home for many of the photos you see on the site.  My bandmate, Grahame Davies, generously agreed to edit and record all the site’s audio productions. (He also allowed me to name his studio, much to his chagrin, Grahame Central Station!)

Sheryl Stein, my good friend and tour guide to the world of professional writing, showed me how to make a bigger impact with my words. Nick Ruggieri, my drumming buddy and a terrific graphics artist, never lost his cool, no matter how many times I asked him to tweak the graphics for the site. (And boy, I asked him a lot!) And of course, Gus Hebner, one of my current drumming students, has turned out to be a video guru! He is the site’s official videographer.

New friends came into my life as well! Dwayne Brooke, our web designer, taught me about how patient a person could be with someone who knows nothing about web design.  Larry Rodbell, the amazing clinician for Vic Firth sticks and Remo drumheads, taught me how to think things through... then act! The people I’ve interviewed for our Community Saints feature taught me how to give even more to everyone I meet. And what about my friends over at Restoration Anglican Church and Congregation Etz Hayim? They collectively taught me what it looks like to live with integrity. (And they still do!)

If this seems like a long list of acknowledgements, then you are quite right. would not be here today if it were not for this incredible family!  From God, to my colleagues, to my students, I thank you all for teaching me and helping me to grow as a person.

The list is almost done. However, there is one more person I need to thank: Julianne Stewart. She’s so much more than the office manager, research assistant and Community Saints coordinator of the site. She’s my full partner in; she keeps all my trains running on time; and she gives me the most honest counsel I could ever receive. I might have the vision, but she's got the heart! Check out her monthly blogs – you'll see what I mean. Thanks, J! You are the greatest!!

Wow. I just have to stop and reflect on the list of thank-yous that I’ve just written.  I’m so fortunate. My list is long! I’ll bet that if you stop for a second and think about your life, you too, would be able to create a long list of people who have made a difference in your life.  At least, that’s my prayer for all of you. welcomes you to the family! We hope to actually get to know you though our site, at conventions, clinics, and other drumming events in your community. Why? Because that’s what families do. They look for ways to help each other out.

So before you move on to the rest of your day, think about your family. Think about your friends – old ones and the new ones that you’re sure to meet.  And sing the last refrain with as much feeling and soul as your heart will allow.

It’s a family affair... It’s a family affair…