On Church Street School – Church Street School is a not-for-profit arts school and community center in Lower Manhattan. They are a creative centerpiece of the neighborhood where students of all ages and backgrounds come to learn, play music, make art and connect with one another. Church Street School is located in Tribeca and has been in existence since 1990. They have been teaching music and art classes at the school since that time. Their alumni have gone on to become successful musicians, artists, actors, photographers, university professors and poets. At the core of Church Street Schools teaching practice is a fundamental responsibility they take upon themselves to continue cultivating creative minds, self expression and confidence.

Recently flood damage from a fire in their building destroyed their offices. The classrooms were unharmed but the school needs help rebuilding so they can keep serving the community. I recently met with school teacher, official, and team member of Church Street School, Abigail Levin. She shared the history of Church Street School and it’s value to the community. She shared that this isn’t the first time that they’ve gone through a very tough and challenging time period- During the aftermath of 9/11 school enrollment was dramatically impacted and it took over 1 year to get back on track. They had to endure the 2008 recession, Hurricane Sandy, and a continued intense competition from for-profit educational centers. This time, post building fire, their insurance will cover a small portion of what was destroyed, but that leaves the school responsible to raise the money to fix the rest.

They are hoping to raise $30,000 to replace office furniture, 10 staff computers, replace internet/technical infrastructure, replace damaged musical equipment, replace destroyed office supplies/marketing materials, replace/restore damaged artwork.

The good news is – you can help this Non-Profit Community Arts School rebuild. They have put an enormous effort into setting up an Indiegogo campaign to inspire the New York Community to help.

You can read more detail on why support for this campaign is essential to continue providing the best music and art education to the families of New York City.  Please do and contribute what you can-

On Rue7 Social Club…Music’s East Village Revival. Rue7 Social Club at the Klimat Lounge in the heart of E. Village New York City is a monthly music/dance/performance art event curated by local performance artists. The event shines a spotlight on rising and established talent from the New York community. Rue7 Social Club takes place on the second Tuesday of every month and includes a performance line up of 5 – 6 acts. The performances cover the spectrum of music – singer songwriters, instrumentalists, bands, spoken word, hip hop, and rap artists. Experimental Music… The line up is not limited to music. Every Rue7 will have a dance act-performance group and comedy. The host. Well the host is a rotating cast of comedians, actors, personalities that blend humor as an attentive audience blends drinks- in a nutshell the night is a hoot. Fun. Real fun. Yours truly will be hosting the Tue May 13th night. Come out for it, you’ll surely enjoy! 8pm. Free.
Brian Tracy on The Original Psychology of Achievement-
I played high school tennis. After 3 years of playing Junior Varsity, I was selected to play Varsity Tennis my Senior Year. I played for a perennial powerhouse high school tennis team from northeastern Indiana. We were consistently ranked in the top 5 of high school tennis teams in Indiana. I had decided to quit the tennis team after my Junior year after not being selected to be on the alternate team for the state championships. Coach Jim Clark came to the high school to speak with me about my decision and convinced me that the upcoming season would be different and that I was a strong contender to grab the #3 singles spot on the Varsity team. He was right. I played #3 singles for a very gritty and overachieving team my senior year. We ultimately made it to the state championships that year. My journey individually took me through many ups and downs. In Northeastern Indiana we dominated the scene. We would play teams that had players that came from farming communities. They would almost always have a major disadvantage to our amply trained affluent suburban tennis team. It was a given that we would sweep the match with all individual single and doubles teams dominating our opponents. I was 8 wins and 3 losses during the regular season that year. I helped our team win critical matches during sectional, regional, and semi-state tournament play. I did not lose a match through the semi-state tournament leading into the state finals, where we placed 3rd. The 3 losses during the regular season, though, came at the hands of guys playing for farming community teams. Guys that were much less trained and prepared to play a guy like me who had been training and playing with the best players in Northeastern Indiana since age 12. Why? I was inconsistent. I remember a weekend match where I had dominated my opponent in the first set and was ahead by 2 games in the second set. Coach Clark was watching. I lost the second set and then easily lost the third set to lose the match to a much less trained opponent. Coach threw 2 tennis balls into the school parking lot and walked away in utter frustration at my collapse. There were other days like this for me during that regular season. I was eventually benched. My attitude went south and I had a few weeks of being unplugged from the core momentum our team was shaping as we headed to the post season. As I look back Coach Clark was giving me time to step back and take a moment to observe myself, my teammates, and the game. I had been overwhelmed with frustration during the middle part of our regular season. I had lost confidence. In retrospect I needed this time to quietly sit and reflect while still being encouraged by Coach Clark and my teammates to stay involved as a fan of the team and the game. It felt in hindsight like a good dose of tough love. As our regular season wound down it became clear from Coach Clark that I would rejoin the team and the #3 singles spot to begin our post season. It was a few days before our first sectional post season tournament match and Coach Clark came to me after a practice and handed me a few tapes. He said in a few words to spend some time listening to the tapes at night before going to bed. They were sports psychology tapes. I remember nodding. Repeatedly nodding as he spoke with me. I have nodded a lot since that time, but what was clear as I look back on that moment was that I wasn’t really going to spend quality time with those tapes. I refused to view myself as needing that “kind” of support. I also now see that he had exposed something in me that I have carried with me from that point forward- I have challenges maintaining mental toughness. I need encouragement when entering rougher waters. I get easily frustrated and lose motivation when I face difficult hurdles in my life. Coach Clark was a very perceptive man. He understood the game and he understood the mind even better. He knew how to intervene when necessary and to help keep a person engaged while being firm. He knew when to back off and allow his player to find his strength from within. Though I only listened to the tapes for 20 minutes before our first sectional tournament match- I believe that his action of encouraging me and giving me those tapes had awoken a self awareness that motivated me to work to succeed within the parameters of my capability at that point in my development as a sportsman, teenager, and simple human being. I won my first 6 matches on that journey to the state championships. My contribution helped our team land in the state tournament and finish third. We were not as strong a team for our school as in previous years. We became overachievers after a lackluster regular season. I think now that it is very likely that Coach Clark was taking a very case by case approach with each player on our team and helping them also shape their maximum mental toughness as we entered the last leg of our season. It is clear to me now that he knew how to work with an individuals psychology towards achievement. It’s been many years since that fall of my senior year in high school. It’s taken me a long time to realize the importance of the relationship I had with Coach Clark. My fundamental belief is that we as human beings should seek out individuals like Coach Clark at critical junctures in life as we work towards personal achievement. Coaches, mentors, motivators, spiritual leaders, etc. I recently discovered a gentlemen named Brian Tracy. He is a life coach. He enables through to his teachings to help his students harness their psychology towards achieving personal goals. He, in fact, has a program called, “The Original Psychology of Achievement.” I definitely spend more time with these cds then the tapes I was once given by my tennis coach, Jim Clark, many years ago. I am much more self aware and open to constructive feedback as I work on my life’s personal and professional goals. The course, my commitment to utilizing the tools offered- is helping me build momentum towards achieving the goals I have set for myself at this juncture of my life. If you have an opportunity you can read up on Brian Tracy here-

My belief is that there are many paths to achievement. There are many Brian Tracy’s – these mentors, coaches, gurus, motivators are all around us. To me it is the effort one makes to seek them out and to be open and committed to receiving and applying the value of that interaction and time. It is about who and what connects with you at a deep personal level. There’s a great John Lennon quote that I reflect on from time to time-

“There’s nothing new under the sun. All the roads lead to Rome. And people cannot provide it for you. I can’t wake you up. You can wake you up. I can’t cure you. You can cure you.” John Lennon

I hope the story above is of value wherever you are in your life pursuits.


On “Rockethub Tuesdays” – come out to Spike Hill on Tuesday nights. Williamsburg, Brooklyn has for 15 years been a strong artists community. As I walk through the community and scene these days it reminds me of the E. Village circa late 80s/early 90s. There’s an energy of creativity happening there. In the heart of this scene you can find a music lovers haven in a rock and roll venue called, “Spike Hill.” On Tuesday nights in particular there is an open mic and three performing acts playing from 7pm – midnight. All varieties of music find home to this joint. People who love music attend the performances, many just show up without even knowing any of the bands / performers on the bill. The night is billed, “Rockethub Tuesdays” and curated by Musician and Singer Gus Rodriguez and can be read up on here:

Join “Gandhi” Email List & Download Exclusive “Gandhi” Pre-release Song, “Ming, Ming”

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *