Many of you have known Dominic E. for years as the dynamic, fun-loving, and patient bass and guitar instructor who’s been with B&B since the very beginning. But when he hits the stage at his local College Park Potbelly, fans simply know him as the Dominator. And for good reason. Whether he’s performing Bach, Rihanna, or one of his original tunes, Dominic never fails to engage the crowd and add his own brand of energy and ambiance to the neighborhood sandwich shop.
But what his fans don’t know is that he’s been dominating the guitar since before he even owned one. At thirteen, Dominic start
ed tinkering around with his brother’s guitar and immediately fell in love with it, ultimately teaching himself how to play by practicing on his own and getting pointers from friends who were taking lessons. By the time he got his own guitar, he was so enchanted with it that he frequently fell asleep with the guitar right in his bed.
That same dedication drives Dominic today as a teacher. One of the most rewarding parts of his job is helping kids improve and learn to play songs on their own, so they can share his passion and enthusiasm for learning music. He urges new students to get to know their instruments and suggests that they play around with their guitars in their laps, even while watching TV, as a great way to get familiar with them.
It’s solid advice considering how accomplished Dominic has become by doing just that. He’s played and toured across the country — from the Viper Room in Los Angeles and festivals in Colorado to the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan. And these days, Dominic stays busy teaching, giving solo performances, writing songs, working on an album, and playing with three different bands — GO MOD GO, a 60’s mod era band; Treehouse, a rock trio; and A Different Animal, a two-piece experimental group.
Interested in catching him live and in action? You can stop by the Potbelly in North College Park on Friday afternoons or their Downtown College Park location on Thursdays. Or, better yet, sign up for lessons with the Dominator himself, and let him bring the music to you. Just don’t expect him to come with sandwiches.
When should my child start taking private music lessons?
Parents eager to expose their children to music education often wonder how old little ones should be before enrolling in private music lessons. While there’s no definitive answer, B&B generally starts students at the age of 5 or above. Here are some indicators that your child is ready for one-on-one music instruction.
If your child can remain attentive and follow directions for 20 – 30 minutes, he may be ready for individual music lessons. Being able to stay on task is also essential, since kids will need to be able to focus during regular practice sessions at home.
Reading and comprehension
Sheet music generally contains musical directions, like fast, slow, soft, or loud, in addition to song titles and lyrics that students may struggle with if they’re not yet reading. So, younger kids may want to hold off on lessons until they can read and understand the information written on their music and in any practice workbooks they are given.
It’s important that students have instruments that they can use for practicing at home. Inexpensive or shared instruments are fine, especially for beginning students. But it’s important that students have regular access to an instrument, instead of just relying on weekly lessons.
If you can commit to driving your child to lessons, buying an instrument and instructional materials, paying for lessons, and helping your child stick to a practice schedule, your child already has a great foundation to start! (And of course, with lessons from B&B, you can leave the driving to us.)
By making sure your child is ready before starting music lessons, you can help learning an instrument be a rich and rewarding experience, the benefits of which will last a lifetime.
B&B Music Lessons. Making the world a better place, one lesson at a time!
B&B owners Brad Clements and Bhagwan Khalsa will be joining forces this Tuesday April 2nd with the Eric Byrd Trio.
Well not just the EBT, but the Brother Ray Band as well. The Ray Charles inspired horn section will comprise of Paul Carr, Chris Watling, Lyle Link and Brad Clements. Yep, that’s a pretty heavy-weight group of horns. In fact one might go out on a limb and say that they are the very best in the entire universe!
So take advantage of this universally acclaimed group of musicians and listen to some swingin’ jazz and blues. Oh yeah, gospel too.
Tuesday night April 2, 2013
Battle the Beltway with B&B
In D.C., if chatter isn’t about politics, it’s about traffic – and rightly so in a town with more traffic disruptions than Starbucks. Only a horn-blasting, brake squealing, siren-flashing, bumper-to-bumper kind of town would give their traffic writer a lofty pen name like Dr. Gridlock and regularly celebrate him as regional hero.
Sure, we’re stuck behind your usual roadway time-consuming stalled cars or minor finder-binders. But we also get our share of, well, special traffic situations. Either you’re stuck in a major jam near I-270 because an 18-wheeler crammed with 70,000 pounds of pineapples overturned right in time for rush hour. Or on a Monday when you’re already running late, you get slammed with sixty minutes worth of detours and delays due to a measly 27-car presidential motorcade. Or maybe you end up late getting the kids because two or three snowflakes have made themselves visible, and area motorists, notoriously skittish when it comes to snow, have started to panic and drop down to 20 miles per hour on the Beltway.
No matter the issue – and there’s always an issue – traffic here stinks. And we didn’t really need the latest transportation institute study to confirm what we’ve known for years – D.C. has the worst traffic in America. Especially during rush hour. Compared to off-peak times, it takes District drivers nearly six times as long to travel during rush hour. Got a quick 10-minute trip to the office? Better set aside an hour for travel if you want to get there by 9. And, as if you needed another downer, traffic here is only expected to get worse.
Luckily, with B&B at least there’s one thing you don’t have to fight traffic for – music lessons! Since we give all of our lessons in students’ homes, we do the driving you so you don’t have to. Just sit back and relax in the warm comfort of home. All you have to do is open the door when we get there. And instead of battling the Beltway for one more thing every week, you can treat yourself to a long bath, or slip your shoes off and read the paper, or start working on that model plane collection you fantasize about every morning during your commute.
We’ve got the music lessons covered. Rest easy, and enjoy the beauty of a B&B traffic-free extracurricular today; I doubt the soccer coach will be quite as accommodating tomorrow.
Maryland Summer Jazz Camp: July 24-26, 2013
Maryland Summer Jazz is a festival of workshops, jams and concerts approaching its ninth season. The heart of the event is a three day jazz camp for adults and students aged 16 and over. The camp has received a high rating from students and faculty every year since inception. Useful and innovative curriculum, good organization and exceptional faculty make it among the finest jazz camps in the U.S.
The goal of the camp is to get musicians “out of the basement and onto the bandstand.” It seems to be working well; many participants go on to form bands, perform often and even record albums.
The camp helps music teachers brush up on their technique and teaching methods and helps musicians improve their chops. Whether jazz is your hobby, avocation or career, there is something for you at Maryland Summer Jazz. Combo classes are grouped by ability level and provide plenty of opportunity for playing and improvising. Stellar faculty plays with students.
This year the camp meets July 24 – 26. Participants may also attend an optional session on July 13 to become familiar with the music they’ll be playing at camp.
Faculty includes international jazz artists and professors from many universities.
This year it includes pianist Wade Beach, trumpeter John D’ earth, bassists Leonardo Lucini and Amy Shook, trombonist Jim McFalls, guitarist Steve Rochinski and drummer Harold Summey. Jeff Antoniuk is artistic director.
The location is cool and comfortable with easy free parking. 10701 Old Georgetown Rd, Rockville, MD 20852, near Washington, D.C.
Early Bird Registration (before May 1, 2013)
3 days tuition, catered lunch & jams – $470.00
Regular Registration (before June 30, 2013)
3 days tuition, catered lunch & jams – $564.00
Auditor (non-playing student) per day - $175.00
To attend the July 13 Music Theory & Prep, add $99 for one workshop and
$175 for two
For more information and registration, contact: Artistic Director, Jeff Antoniuk, 410-295-5591 and visit www.marylandsummerjazz.com
The good folks at NPR don’t just go bestowing praise with reckless abandon. So when they extoled B&B’s own Laura Tsaggaris (It’s “suh-GAIR-iss.”) as “a soothing rocker,” music fans everywhere took notice. And now, you can too.
You’re invited to celebrate the completion of Laura’s third album, EVERYMAN, at a special CD release show at The Hamilton on February 2nd. Enjoy a live performance of the entire album, which is currently available on iTunes, with the added bonus of a five-piece rock band, a horn section including B&B co-owner and trumpet extraordinaire Brad Clements, and guest appearances from local music legends Justin Jones and Bobby Thompson.
Through EVERYMAN, Laura strives to connect listeners using universal themes of love, loss, fear, frustration, courage, and growth. And with Laura’s dynamic and eclectic sound – a unique fusion of rock, blues, pop, jazz, and soul – she has the ability to do just that. Shaped by Grammy-nominated music producer Jamie Candiloro and highlighting world-renowned instrumentalists and vocal talent, EVERYMAN promises to delight and unite audiences with the rallying cry, “We are all Everyman.”
But don’t take my word for it. Come check Laura out for yourself. Doors open at 7. Show starts at 8:30.
Jill M is on the scene!
Get ready to be blown away, Virginia! Jill M., drum and percussion extraordinaire, is the newest teacher to explode on the B&B scene. And with years of experience, she’ll make an incredible instructor for any of you future drum masters out there.
Dedicated to giving each student a perfect experience and understanding that each student learns differently, Jill creates individual lesson plans for each of her drummers. And her enthusiasm is contagious. Jill’s passion, patience, and relatability keep students motivated and eager to play lesson after lesson.
When Jill’s not busy teaching new drummers how to hold sticks or bang the bass, you can find her at the Guitar Center, where she was hired as a member of the drum department. And for any worrywarts out there, rest easy when you’re with Jill. She’s also a licensed EMT.
Jill also teaches guitar which is an excellent asset to families with multiple children.
Learn more about Jill by visiting her B&B profile here.
Matt B. moves to Frederick!
Many of you may already know Matt B. He’s been one of our trusty, expert guitar instructors for years. And now, for all of you lucky Frederick County folks out there, we’re pleased to announce that he’s made the move to your area!
Matt’s spent close to twenty years playing the guitar and electric bass, and he’s been playing the stand-up bass for nearly a decade. So if your child is ready to start strumming, Matt’s your guy. He’s a native Italian who studied jazz and music technology at George Mason. And with over a decade of professional teaching experience under his belt, he’s a perfect pick for any prospective guitar student out there.
When he’s not teaching students, Matt keeps busy with his own original music project, a power-pop, power-trio called Classified Frequency. To check out what his band’s been up to, just visit Classifiedfrequency.com. And to learn even more about Matt’s passion for music and his energetic teaching style, make sure you stop by his B&B profile.
Meet Jonathan, King of the Blues
Look out B. B. King. B&B officially has its very own resident “King of the Blues.” Jonathan Sloane is not only B&B’s newest all-star instructor, but he’s also winner of the Guitar Center’s 2011 Washington regional “King of the Blues” competition. And as a guitar instructor well-versed on teaching students how to read music notation, build chords, play scales, and learn rock and blues progressions, we couldn’t have asked for a better addition to the B&B team!
But if you think Jonathan’s only into Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan, think again. He’s also plays lead guitar for Yellow Dubmarine, a reggae/dub Beatles tribute band that’s toured extensively throughout Canada and the U.S. The group, which also includes B&B’s own Robbie Cooper on drums, has even opened for the Wailers, Burning Spear, and Sonny Landreth. The band recently released their first recorded album, “Abbey Dub,” an imaginative interpretation of the Beatle’s classic, “Abbey Road.” To hear a few tracks from the album, check out their Web site: http://yellowdubmarine.com/
And then, be sure to take a look at Jonathan’s B&B teacher’s profile to see all of the other cool projects he’s been working on. If you’ve been thinking about guitar lessons for your child, he may just be the perfect teacher for you. After all, who better to teach students how to play guitar than the king?
A Charlie Brown Christmas with the Eric Byrd Trio
The Eric Byrd Trio will be performing the music of Vince Guaraldi this Christmas season. The jazz trio will perform your favorite Charlie Brown classics once again at venues such as the Carroll County Arts Council and Blackrock Center For the Arts. The Washington Post recommended this as one of the top twenty events to attend this winter!
You can buy the Charlie Brown Christmas CD on CD Baby at this link.