Workshops, Classes and Individual Coaching
For fifteen years I have quietly taught classes, given workshops, and coached many individuals on the finer points of Performance Skills, Songwriting and Career Development. I have grown increasingly less enchanted with airplanes and rental cars of late and have subsequently decided to focus a bit more on teaching in the hope that it will allow me to travel a little less than I have had to in the past few years. If you see something here that intrigues you please feel free to contact me directly and I will be glad to provide you with more information.
Performance Skills with Don White
It is easy to think that certain great performers are just simply born with an extraordinary God-given talent for engaging an audience and that there is nothing that a mere mortal man or woman can do to acquire these skills. This is, in my humble opinion, simply not true. I have been teaching people how to command a stage and how to captivate an audience for fifteen years. Picturing yourself grabbing the attention of a group of people and holding them in the palm of your hand for the entire duration of your performance becomes a lot easier to do after we have demystified and taken the illusion of magic out of the process.
I know how to own a stage and I can teach you how to do it.
If becoming more confident and comfortable in front of people is something you would like to learn to do, let’s talk: 781-595-5827 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out some of my concert videos here:
There is only one rule. Respect your audience. They are giving you their only night out of the week. You can not put a price on that. They could do a thousand other things with that night but they have chosen to be here with you. What do they want in return? Not much really. They just want you to change their lives. People have very difficult problems, struggles and challenges. There is a very good chance that every audience you perform for has among its members someone with a sick child, a parent in a nursing home, an alcoholic spouse, or a teenage son or daughter with significant problems. How fortunate are you that they have all decided to set their world aside for a few hours to let you entertain them.
My goal has always been to send every audience out of the building better than they came in. I am determined to make them laugh until their faces hurt, to make them cry like babies and to put on a show that sends them back into their worlds with their emotional batteries completely recharged. That’s how I see my job and any thing short of that is unacceptable to me.
If I perform to the best of my ability they should be talking about me all the way home, the next morning at breakfast, and they should be grabbing their co workers by the shoulders on Monday morning and saying “I had the most amazing weekend – the next time this Don White guy comes around you just have to come see him with me!
There is a lot that goes into putting on a performance that lives up to these lofty goals. I have taught many groups and individuals on this subject. I can do it for you.
Whether in a formal classroom/workshop setting or in a one on one tutoring session we will take the illusion of magic out of the following subjects by studying in detail the methods by which great performers from different genres maximize the performer/audience connection with their mastery of: story telling, comedy, timing, momentum, dynamics, commitment to the piece, confidence, body language, vocal inflection, and facial expressions.
I will teach you how to deal with fear and remove it from your performance. And how to deliver each song and/or story with commitment and conviction every single time.
Accomplished or novice musicians, poets, comedians, public speakers or anyone who wants to be more confident in front of people are welcome.
Phone 781-595-5827 or email email@example.com
A lot of people teach this. To be honest, I’m not sure it can really be taught. If there are a billion songwriters, there are a billion different ways to write songs. Sometimes I think that each song I write finds its’ own unique birth canal. So, I don’t think I can teach you how to write songs. And if I were you I would be at least cautiously skeptical of people who claim they can. (This is turning out to be a pretty ineffective solicitation for my songwriting class.)
“So Don White if, as you claim, songwriting can not be taught, wouldn’t my hard earned money be better spent on lottery tickets than in your songwriting workshop”, you observantly ask?
“Yes”, I humbly reply.
Wait a minute! Not so fast there Sparky. I’m not quite ready to move on from the songwriting thing just yet….
Yes, it is true that teaching someone how to write songs is like teaching them how to create miracles. BUT helping a person to channel their muse, guiding someone through the many mine fields of songwriting, nurturing and cultivating a person’s unique creative voice, and creating a space where that voice can develop are all things that I can do for you.
Bring me your songs. I will treat them gently and with respect. We will look at how great songwriters approach ideas, challenges, and issues of style, form and structure. I will teach you all the songwriting skills, tricks and slight of hand maneuvers I have picked up in 30 years of songwriting.
I can not teach you how to write songs. But I can teach you the difference between a good song and a great one. And I can teach you how to articulate your thoughts and ideas using a variety of songwriting skills in order to maximize their potential impact.
Ok, now let’s go to
I started offering this to students because it would invariably come up in conversation no matter what class I was teaching. It only makes sense that a student who was studying performance skills or songwriting would be interested in learning how to build a career through which they might showcase these talents.
I built my career to accommodate my life. Not, as is so often the case, the other way around. I was raising a family and maintaining a marriage while this career was taking shape so the typical roads to success (be on the road for months at a time, take every rotten gig that comes along etc) were not available or particularly desirable to me.
As a result I have always had to think completely out of the box. I have taken a unique and interesting road to get where I am. I have a lot of knowledge about what makes fans and what does not, what makes money and what does not, what gets air play and what does not etc, etc.
Again, everyone’s, needs, goals, time constraints and abilities are unique. The road to your ultimate career will be yours alone but I am a savvy old veteran now and I know a hell of a lot about this business.
I’m happy to share it with you.
If you live within driving distance of scenic Lynn, Mass. And you would like to have me help you develop your stage presence, songwriting, or to help you focus on moving your career forward, contact me directly.
781-595-5827 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have a friend who is a performer or songwriter who could use a little help? A session with Don makes a very special gift.
Classes and Workshops
I will be doing more of these in conjunction with concert performances. But I am also starting to do what I call private classes. It works like this: You put together a group of your friends who are interested in attending a class and I show up at your house to teach it. It could be in the afternoon before an evening concert or if you live in New England I could possibly do it on an off day.
I have always believed that you shouldn’t have to wait for your local venue to bring you what you want. I’ll come directly to you. Think about it.
“Don White is one of my musical heroes. He has an amazing ability to win audiences over through humor and then speak right to their souls with his perspective on life.
I am honored to call Don White a mentor, and I highly value his advice. He has been an incredibly supportive teacher who recognizes that not every performer is the same. I would never claim to have mastered his ability to captivate a crowd with both laughter and thoughtful reflection – but I’m working towards being the best performer I can be. Don has helped me to understand the role of a performer: the need to understand what motivates people to attend shows, how to pace a show to keep people engaged, and how as a performer I can work towards reaching out to an audience to make them want to come back.
I would highly recommend working with Don White!”
“Back in the late 1990s, I worked with Don for about a half dozen sessions which included viewing and critiquing videos of a couple of gigs. His approach is always kind, specific and helpful and the feedback he gave me then still helps me. Those sessions gave me specific information that I could use immediately but also helped me get focused on the most important part of being an entertainer: creating the best performance possible so I can offer an optimal experience for my audiences. Don ROCKS!”
“Don White is truly a gifted and spontaneous master teacher of performance skills. He is gently forthright while strongly encouraging and hugely insightful in offering his performance feedback and suggestions. Every tutoring session is not only individually tailored and educational , but Don makes the learning experience very exciting and very fun. ”