Experience Drums

Experience Drums... Music... Life!

evan pollack

Something About Jane

Posted on: June 2nd, 2016 by julianne

After working all day for Experience Drums, I have been working more night shifts than usual at the convenience store, where music is not allowed, and I could never understand why. Our assistant manager, Lyla, moved on to a better position, so our workloads became heavier and more tedious. All you can hear are complaining customers and the clicking of the registers. I thought about Lyla a lot on these evenings and the way she often sang to herself as she helped us with our workloads. Without music, the boredom and moodiness would set in, but the way she sang to herself as we worked made the night go by quickly and less painful. We all missed her, and we knew she would be very hard to replace.

The candidates for Lyla’s position came and went, but it was taking quite a long time to find the right fit. Work was getting done with dragging heels and lack of motivation.

All this changed when Jane, a pretty and friendly young woman, came into the store to apply for our new store manager. I remember introducing myself to her, and feeling a warmth in my heart. There was something different about her. She reminded me of Lyla.

As Jane and I trudged through the night shifts together, we worked in silence and fought the moodiness as we cleaned the shelves, aisles and helped the customers. I wondered what Jane was doing in this sluggish environment to make her tasks go smoothly with a smile. Through the next week as we worked together, I noticed that she was quick stepping down the aisles of the store, cleaning and putting back lost merchandise. Boy was she fast and accurate. As I continued to watch her closely. I noticed headphones in her ears. When I inquired about it, she took them out and with a laugh put them to my ears. Music flowed through my head, and I suddenly got the lift I desperately needed. The hours went fast and our work was complimented the next day by our head store manager. We did not tell him our secret in fear he would get angry, because music was definitely not allowed during work hours. All of us decided to sneak our music while we worked, and it was noticed by all! Our jobs became easier and fun as we compared music, work and laughter. So much more got done, and a once boring job became a lot less work. We even drew in more customers because of our happy personalities making them feel more welcome.

One year has gone by, and Jane has since moved on to another job. She introduced a new way to inspire us, giving us more energy at a somewhat tedious and boring environment. She figured out a way for us to use our phones, strapped to our waists as we work to listen to the music of our choice. You should see the morale of the employees now, and even the crabby customers leave our store with a smile.

As we now are in the search for another store manager, we will never forget the vigor Jane brought to the store. We will always remember that something about Jane.

Sad To Glad

Posted on: January 26th, 2016 by julianne

This morning I received a most disturbing phone call from my best friend. With anticipation of the approaching New Year, she really was in a bad way, as her holiday wound up being a combination of her losing her job and her lover at the same time. I did not know what to do for her so, I decided to meet her for lunch to help sort out her problems. Blasting some heavy metal, I was ready to rock her problems out for at least one hour of my day.
As my irritation at my own issues started to pump up, I banged out my house cleaning and wrote a couple of e-mails to Evan asking for some speedy responses. I felt angry for her, and really wanted to have a good resourceful day with nobody ruining my mood.
When she pulled up in front of my house, I heard her car radio blasting a soft rock station. As I got into her car, her tears seemed to glow on her face. As we drove away, I tried to change the station, but she stopped me and only made the radio louder. I was really getting quite nervous because her phone call surely convinced me that some angry music should have been in order here. I guess I was mistaken, for as she cried she told me that this music was helping her get her emotions out and like in all of the sad lyrics, not only could she relate, but also was leading to peace and a start to a new beginning in her healing process.
As I thought about what she said, I remembered my own music blasting just before I met her. I was determined to bash out her problems while having a sympathetic ear, and the music of my choice was angry. I was angry that she was so unhappy, and matching music to my mood helped me get the anger out before I met up with her to try to help. I was able to replace it with compassion by the time I was ready to see her. Matching music to mood really makes a difference. It enhances your feelings and helps you release mental as well as physical tension. You can really start a healing process with this method. Ok, so I now understood, and decided we should forget lunch and have coffee at my house instead. As we sat and chatted, I turned on the music of “her” choice. I noticed that her mood was changing from tears to laughter. By the time she left my house, she felt better and I felt better by being able to help her.
Here’s to the New Year, my friend. Only Peace and happiness to come!

A Very Special Saint

Posted on: January 3rd, 2015 by julianne

In a world where a musician’s gifts are often scrutinized by others, there is one special person that stands out in my mind, a man who puts on quite a show of faith in God and the human race.  This is the story of my friend, Gary Revolution.

About 7 years ago, I moved from New York to Florida, and I had to go to a doctor for an annual checkup. I did not know where to go so I took my chances at a public health facility. In the stifling heat, I was alone in a crowd of people filled with rage due to the long lines in front of the medical buildings.  As I joined the others’ arguing on the outside benches, I came across a young man who was strumming a guitar. He was laughing and smiling at everyone who walked by, making light of this most annoying situation.  Out of boredom I started to watch him, and my angry face turned into a relaxed smile.  When he noticed me, he came over and introduced himself as Gary Revolution.

I joked with him, asking if he was there to entertain the pissed off crowds. He laughed and told me that he wished that was the case. It turns out that Gary was fighting a terminal illness which left him weak and often bed ridden.   Of course I got upset at his answer, but he told me to “smile” and that his music was the peace to his soul. Awesome, I thought. What a positive guy! As he headed for the medical building, I thought to myself, Maybe I would be able to get an interview with him on our Community Saint Radio podcast in the future.

During the next year, I kept meeting up with Gary, at local hang outs, libraries, and coffee shops. He was often looking tired, but still laughing, singing and encouraging others to be happy with the gifts of health and life that they had.  Some just looked away ignoring his presence, but I, along with some other followers sat and spoke with him while he strummed his guitar. His faith shined on with his music, and touched my heart. What gifts of hope he could bring to those who suffered, but despite his wonderful attitude, I felt sad. It would be yet another year before I saw him again.

Recently on my night shift, I was surprised to see him walk into the store. He was with a friend who appeared in a rush and in a foul mood. With his guitar still hanging on his back, Gary looked drawn and thin as he tried to look at the various items at his own pace.  As he approached my register, I quietly said hello to him, and he managed a smile. He struggled to shake my hand and told me he would love to talk to me, but had to go and would be in touch.  I remember his face as he left the store; tired and sad. He wanted to play and sing for everyone. That made him happy…that made him well.  I wondered whether I would see him again. I wondered if he was feeling OK.I wanted to hear about how many others’ lives he touched with his music since I last sat with him. He could be such an inspiration to those who suffer, so I prayed for him to keep playing and laughing away his illness.

Since then, I have looked for him in the neighborhood, but without much luck. I am hoping that I will run into him again, healthy, happy and ready to share his gifts of music to the world. Wherever you are, Rock on, Gary Revolution! Let your music be the peace to your soul.


Party Mix

Posted on: September 1st, 2014 by julianne

Oh to feel energetic again! Experience Drums by day and cashier by night! Boy was I tired and hardly personable these days. This is why it surprised me when an employee on my night shift handed me a birthday party invitation. Since it had been a year since I had a night out, I decided to prepare myself for some much needed fun. On my way to this party, my stomach turned as I pulled up to the. house. I wondered if I looked OK and if I would fit in. If anything, I would pass as a parent hired to chaperone all of the kids. I stood outside the house, and was reluctant to go inside. I could hear the mix of percussion from the back yard, and after what seemed like a lifetime, I finally made my grand entrance. All of these young people were dancing and singing to the songs blaring through the house. I made my way to a quiet corner of the yard and just watched the party mix enjoying themselves. Although I started to feel better, I was not comfortable with the age gap. As I contemplated leaving before anyone noticed me, a young man and a much older woman swept by me to join the dancers in the yard. The woman was much older than him, and I figured that she might have been another parent trying to blend into the crowd. As I watched some of their crazy acrobatics, my self- consciousness turned to jealousy. How could she feel so sure of herself? Was the music hypnotizing everyone getting lost in all the fun? As I watched the dancing couple, I started to bounce to the music in my secluded spot. I felt the percussion through my body and I slowly started to forget about my age. Some of the guests started to acknowledge me. Suddenly I wasn’t invisible anymore, but I still did not leave my corner. After about two hours, I decided it was time to go home. I had a busy day ahead of me, and as I bounced my way to the front door, something strange happened. That same couple grabbed my arm, and led me right back into the back yard. We started to dance together, moving to the music and laughing like we were 20 years younger. I finally felt a part of things with lots of energy and a lust for life. Three hours later, I finally left and was not sorry I went. This party was just another example of how you’re never too old to dance, play music and have fun. Music, youth and energy are ageless!

Another Birthday

Posted on: May 1st, 2014 by julianne

Last month my birthday was buried because it was at the same time as Passover. That wonderful Happy Birthday song was turning around in my head along with all the fuss and preparation it took to make Passover a festive time.

The thought of becoming another year older was making me feel washed out and I was hardly in the mood to change dishes and help do all the necessary work. I really felt like I had no purpose. But Evan and his family were coming to visit and Mom and I had to prepare. While we worked, the image of a bass drum came into my mind. Boy did I want to bang it, so in my mind I did. I thought I might be on to something, so I began stomping my cool beats on the floor. Mom asked me why I was so angry. I had to laugh at that one. As we waited for Evan’s arrival, I started to feel a little better.

When my niece and nephew walked into Mom’s house, I barely recognized them. They were so grown up, and I was feeling older by the minute. I looked at them with tears in my eyes as Mom and I prepared the table. I wondered if things would ever be different. There just was no time for family anymore, and I really prayed for change. I watched everyone eating and laughing and I joined in, feeling a contentment I had not felt in a long time. My niece presented me with a handmade birthday card which made me feel like I was more than just the hired help. I was her aunt. My nephew told me about how he was trying to find the proper college. What a feeling it was to be included. For a nice change, Evan and I put work aside and just enjoyed the togetherness.

When I went home, I retreated into my office and looked at my pot and pan drum set. I hummed “It’s Your Birthday” by The Beatles and happily banged away. My imaginary bass drum beat had become a reality.

I decided then that my creation would be a beat to reflect the time we had all shared during these very special days. This memory will stay in my mind as I try my hardest to perfect my beat for submission to Evan. Hopefully next year will be as wonderful as this year was.


Family Peace

Posted on: April 1st, 2014 by julianne

For the past few months I’ve hardly been living the dream. My Mom took a bad fall in her bedroom, which landed her at a rehabilitation center for one month.
When she came home to recuperate, I was desperately needed to act as maid,
helper, and whatever else you could think of. Although I was glad to help out,
every spare minute of my time was in demand. Running back and forth from my home to Mom’s left me edgy. It was hard to have any kind of productive schedule and I was missing my spontaneity. I needed a break from all the drama!

When Evan informed me that he was coming to Florida, I got excited. His inspiration and faith would lift us all up and I was shamelessly looking forward to squeezing in some Experience Drums time. At the local library we would be assured to have a steady internet connection with no interruptions from Mom. I had it all planned out. As our conversation continued, Evan dropped the bomb that he was only visiting for three days. He needed to prepare for the VA/DC Annual Day of Percussion event!
Now that my game plan was out the window, I
had to prepare to play musical computers at Mom’s house, using my cell phone’s hot spot as our only connection to the outside world.

Evan arrived late on a Monday afternoon and we greeted each other with love! It was refreshing to actually speak with him in person instead of over our abundance of daily e-mails. On that first evening we sat and talked about family and how important it was to appreciate what we had. As Mom did her best to prepare us dinner, she cracked a smile, and for the first time since her fall she seemed happy and full of life.

The next day was filled with trips to the grocery store and
household chores for Mom. With limited time, we managed to prepare for Evan’s upcoming event by using Mom’s little kitchen table as our work space. To spare Mom and her neighbors a headache, Evan and I decided to bang on our knees to test out his program, which was all about being able to “listen  and hear” your individual rhythm. With so many people giving their advice on how to handle our situation, this release was just what I needed. We laughed as our knees became bruised, and I felt my spirit lift. It beat the blues right out of our systems.

On Evan’s last day in Florida we got a chance to talk about all
of the new ideas which were being incorporated into Experience Drums. My spirits lifted even higher as we discussed new articles, interviews, and a new Community Voices page. We could not have felt any better about our mission of helping others through the medium of music.

What could have been a stressful visit turned into quite a fascinating experience for all of us. In just three days we found not only time for work, but a family peace that we will never forget. Thank you, Evan!

Broken Promises

Posted on: March 1st, 2014 by julianne

2014 started out with a bang.  Not only was I struggling to pay off some forgotten bills, but my roommate of five years suddenly became unemployed.   I had to take on a second job in the evenings to meet our financial needs until she got on her feet.  I guess my heart is bigger than my troubles for while I toyed with the idea of looking for a new roommate, an inner voice was stopping me from doing this. Her promises of obtaining gainful employment were frequently being broken, and I had to find out what was going on with her. She was asleep during the day while I worked in my office and disappearing at night when I returned home from my long evenings. This seemed like unacceptable behavior for someone who was supposed to be job hunting.   One evening, we sat in the living room and talked about our situation.  She was hesitant in answering any of my questions regarding her whereabouts.  I felt my anger rise in my throat. Being that I am not a heartless person,  I was determined to try to understand any problems she was having, but allowing her to keep up her avoidance was out of the question.  I proceeded with my  interrogation.  With tears in her eyes and a deep breath she finally told me what was going on.  As I listened, I could not believe my ears.  While I was working at night, she was exploring her creativity with my makeshift drum set in my office.  You can imagine how I felt, lied to, angry and unforgiving. As I got up off the couch, I walked into my office to inspect what damage she could have done to my prized pots and pans, and found nothing out of place. With a sigh of relief, I resumed our heated conversation.   She explained to me that due to her current circumstances her confidence was faltering. After weeks of phone calls and resume sending, no one had responded. The feeling of failure was overwhelming her and she was afraid that if she told me, I would be angry.   She had watched me many times use drum exercises to help myself overcome my anxieties and fears and decided to give it a try and that it was working for her. Every day she got a little stronger with her drum beats.   I cannot say that I did not understand what was happening. I found that rhythm has transformed so many heartsick people into vehicles of talent and purpose.  It was at that moment that my voice quieted down to a warm simmer.  As I felt her pain as my own, I tried not to cry. I lead her into my office and told her that any time she needed encouragement, she was welcome to pick up those drumsticks and bang away those fears which was holding her back from being productive.  She hugged me and thanked me for my forgiveness, and once again promised that she would resume her job search immediately.  I told her to have patience in herself. Her new found enthusiasm for drumming would help her to succeed in her mission.   “You really can never change a person”, but I found that you can change judgment calls to actual suggestions for somebody in trouble. The weeks that followed were filled with loud  and cheerful noises coming from my office, and a promising interview for my roommate. With her confidence booming, she is optimistic that she will land the job of her dreams.  Her broken promises will finally become whole.

Here’s to a bright future.

A Rockin’ Resolution

Posted on: January 1st, 2014 by julianne

One of my closest friends has been struggling with depression for the past five years. Life has not been kind to her. Lots of fears and anxiety have sent her down a dark path of despair. Just the thought of leaving the sanctity of her comfort zone and meeting new people has seemed intolerable to her. This past year she was overcome with sadness, self-pity, and loneliness due to a family tragedy. She alienated most of her friends, and my heart cried out to help her in any way that I could. I remembered that at every year’s end we would get together and speak about our New Year’s resolutions, hoping to make more positive changes in our lives. This year I had some trouble figuring out what mine would be, but I decided not to give it much thought and I concentrated on helping my friend.

Her weekly phone call asking me to visit her came on a day that I was very busy at work. I knew that asking her to come over on my lunch hour would be easier as it wouldn’t take too much time out of my day. At first she declined my offer, but with some encouragement, she finally agreed to take the plunge and visit me. When she arrived, she was filled with tears. She desperately needed to vent her sadness. I listened to her latest tales of woe and tried to console her.  

After a while, I asked her to join me in my office so I could check my e-mail. When she walked into the room, her sadness suddenly turned into amazement as she spotted my pot and pan drum set in the corner. My drum sticks were on my desk just waiting to be picked up and played. I noticed her immediate interest and excitingly told her that if she tried them out, it would surely help ease her anxiety, lower her blood pressure, and transport her to a more positive mindset. She laughed at this thought but curiosity got the better of her. She walked over and picked up the drum sticks. An expression of shock hit her face as I told her to beat one pan as hard as she could to demonstrate her mood. I could tell that she felt embarrassed by my request, but with some coaxing, she finally did it.   

At first the sound was quite loud and incomprehensible, but she laughed and continued to beat the pans with reckless abandon. And then her beats got softer and she started to keep a cool rhythm. It was clear to me that she was starting to have fun. As the day wore on, I watched my friend transform from a hopeless little girl into a woman filled with a motivation to live. It seemed that with every beat she felt a weight lifted from her body. She wound up laughing and rockin’ away for the rest of her visit. 

The next day she made it a point to tell me that she was grateful for how much our visit had inspired her. I asked her if she had figured out what her New Year’s resolution would be. With a familiar laugh, she informed me that she most certainly did. She decided on rearranging her own pots and pans to bang out her own special song every day. It was at that moment that I was filled with an indescribable happiness and peace for my friend. And it was then that I decided that for my New Years’ resolution, I would make it a point to try to touch someone’s life every day for many years to come.

Here’s to a rockin’ New Year!

My New Addition

Posted on: December 1st, 2013 by julianne

It’s holiday time again, and the upcoming weeks will feel like I have another job in addition to my already crazy schedule. Trying to think of the perfect gift for friends, family and neighbors can take the fun out of the holidays. With some practical thinking, however, I did come up with “one” universal gift that would make the holidays very special for myself and all on my list – a practice pad. It could not be just any practice pad, it had to be one which was unique and would really compliment my style.

Just getting to a music store can be quite a hassle for me so I decided to start my venture to the mall early. When I got there, all I could find was one music store, which seemed to only sell MP3 players, computers and CDs. But I did notice that there were a few instruments hidden in the back of the store. The store was so crowded that looking for someone to help me seemed impossible, but I was determined.

The sales girl that was standing in the back of the store looked stressed, and as I started making my way towards her she started tapping her foot. Her attitude was none other than fear and stress. You can imagine how I felt. It was almost like I might be bothering her if I asked her a question, so I started to tap my foot as well, while smiling at her. She started to smile back and we started to tap together. I noticed that her attitude changed from fear to warm and welcoming. We created a beat together that turned heads in the crowded aisles. I attempted to tell her what I was looking for, but she seemed to know already. I was led into a back room where there were numerous percussion instruments, including drums, cymbals and just about anything else you could think of. I asked her if this store carried any practice pads. She looked at me curiously and asked, “Practice pad? I thought you were a drummer!” I laughed and told her that I just needed something to beat on, and her face dropped as she shook her head.

Disappointed as I was, I still was determined to buy something that would help me complete my mission. I thought long and hard about what I should do, and then the idea came to me. Being the proud owner of a microwave, I had thrown out my old dingy pots and pans a long time ago. Excited, I walked into a department store and purchased a really nice set of the shiniest silver pots and pans I’ve seen in a long time. I knew that I had some old bed sheets so once I got home, I covered a few of the pots with them. I had some crates that were hollow and I painted them in grey.  After drying, I glued the pots onto the crates. As funky as this looked, I must admit that the sounds they made all together were quite unique and I knew that this makeshift drum set would serve its purpose for the time being. My spirits lifted and now I not only had the perfect gift, but also some new cooking ideas for the holidays. My boyfriend was the first to see this, and told me that this was one of the best presents he could possibly get. He showed the neighbors next door and they smiled and said “thank you.” Their windows will now be open.

Here’s to a little creativity for the holidays! It’s amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it.

Happy Holidays and Happy Drumming to all!

Project Drum Beat

Posted on: November 1st, 2013 by julianne

For the past few months I’ve been ­­toying with the idea of submitting a “Drum Beat of the Month” to add to the Experience Drums submissions, but I have stopped short. I would think to myself, what could my drum beat possibly have to offer anyone with a musical background? An eight-year-old has more musical talent than me!  I would have to be fearless to even think that my contribution could measure up, but I wanted to at least try to see if I could do it.

I told myself that everything you wish to achieve in life starts with a simple thought. So one evening I got up my courage, put away my computer, and took out my drum sticks. I was eager to see if I could play a beat which might make some sense. My soon-to-be stump of a desk was in for a beating! I still don’t own a practice pad, and I am still playing on any surface that I can find (including my thighs, which are already bruised).

What started out as something simple got so complicated because of the self-doubt that started creeping in. My beat got really fast and I was hitting my desk with enough force to wake up the dead! I wondered if well-known drummers started off like this, full of fear about expressing themselves well. The more I thought about it, the harder I played. After many attempts to create a unique beat, I sort of gave up for the evening. Even if I did finish it, I didn’t think I would be able to explain it to Evan. And it seemed like if I attempted to transcribe it onto paper, it would just sound like a bunch of noise.

A few days later, I was feeling down and needed to reach out to someone. To my dismay, no one was available. The only thing I could think of doing was to get those drum sticks out and let them bring me some comfort. If I needed to be heard, this was the way to do it. It was at that point that I decided to resume my little beat. The days flew by and every night I hit the sticks.

I realized that I could create quite an interesting drum beat after all. I would say that mine is a little on the hard rock side, but it sounds like me. Today I am still trying to perfect my beat, and with a little help from Evan, I will eventually put it down on paper. 

There is nothing like expressing yourself through drumming. Using my drum beat as my voice, that will be my submission.  No matter what you are feeling, let your voice be heard!