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 ExperienceDrums.com. 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. ExperienceDrums.com 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 ExperienceDrums.com; 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.
ExperienceDrums.com 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…