Hello Everyone!

Wanted to send an update after our final Red Cross concert. We set a goal of $1000 per show to raise $300o per show.

April 10th show  $687

April 16th show $221

April 17th show $3197!

Total donations received 4105.78  YAHOO! Great job and thank you to everyone that contributed to the fund raiser.

Big thank you to Lulu Cerone and her Lemonade Warriors. They came to every show and helped collect the donations for the Red Cross. They did a great job and we look forward to working with them again very soon. You all rocked!

Special note to our biggest contributor. Jake Greenspan (Sax and Piano) collected close to $1700 in donations for the Red Cross and brought them to our fund raiser on April 17th. Great job Jake! You donations definitely put us over our goal.


Overall the shows went well and we continue to see great growth with our Band Members.

We did have some sound issues with the shows on the 16th and 17th. These were mostly due to inexperienced sound engineers and in some cases lack of experience with our Band Members. The biggest challenge we face with the concerts is the sound. Besides all the logistic issues of putting on a show, the competence and experience of the sound engineer can make or break the experience. Good or bad it is always a learning experience. Of course we would prefer to always have great sound for every band and every show. In the real world of working in clubs and sound engineers that will not always happen.  I’ve done many shows with awesome sound and I’ve done many shows with awful sound.

We need to also remember that all the kids are learning how to play live and make adjustments. This in itself can be a challenge for  sound engineers. A great engineer can’t make up for lack of experience on stage. Sometimes (not on our approval) our Band Members turn up the amps or turn them down. Sometimes they sing to loud, to soft or way off the microphone. All these level changes make it hard for an engineer to make adjustments on the fly. A guitarist that turns up the stage volume on his amp has to be taken out of the “house mix”, and at the same time he is drowning out the singer. A sound engineer can’t fix that. That is on the performers to create a good balance on stage as they play, and that takes years of experience playing many different clubs, with different bands and different stage equipment. A great way to learn more about this is to watch a professional band do a sound check. You could also come to your  JTB show early and watch the Band Leaders set the stage volume level, work with the engineer, run through a song and make adjustments.

Playing on stage takes years of practice to master. Everyone will experience the good and bad. Enjoy the ride and make every gig a learning experience.

See you next time!

John Mizenko

Join the Band

Join the Band Holiday Jam 2010 Concert Review

What a fun weekend! Harper’s on Friday and The Mint on Sunday!

This was our 75th concert weekend and as expected it was a very fun experience. The preparation everyone put in really showed. The  Harper’s show featured our Adult rockers, a blues band and a special appearance by one of our kids bands. We may mix this up a bit more (Adult band with a couple kids bands) in the future as the response to the whole evening was very positive.

The Mint on Sunday was also a great day. From set up to tear down, everyone had a very good day. We flipped the schedule around this time so the younger bands got a chance to see  the advanced teen bands perform. This also turned into a plus. I received a lot of great feedback regarding the schedule. Everyone at the show heard bands of different ages and levels perform.Very inspiring for everyone.

Of course we had a few hiccups but everything worked out in the end. One band had a drummer that couldn’t make the show due to a bad ankle sprain. Kudos to Rosh for learning the drums on short notice and Ryan on bass to shore up the band. They kids had a great set. Remember, stuff happens when you play live. People are late, don’t show up, get sick, injured, etc… you name it, most experienced performers have seen it all. You just find a way. Dwelling on what when wrong and reacting to situations never solves anything. You have to focus on the solution and not the problem.


The past year was very fun for JTB. We made a lot of new friends and are looking forward to seeing everyone in the new year. We really enjoy watching the growth of our Band Members. As stated in previous posts, we strongly believe that steady growth comes from the inside out. We want our students to understand the core of what they are learning. From there they can accomplish anything!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

John Mizenko

Join the Band


Hello Everyone

Great shows over the weekend! Overall Harper’s and The Mint worked out very well for our bands and we look forward to returning.

Adult Concert – Harper’s – Friday, October 15th.

Our first Friday evening gig was a lot of fun. We may look into continuing the time slot.  As usual Trent, Scott and myself showed up early (4pm) to set up. First thing we noticed was a much improved sound system with an engineer that really takes pride in his work. When he (Rob) tested the monitors while we were setting up we knew we had the right guy.

From the blues bands to rock bands everyone did a great job. The most important part of any gig is just showing up (besides being prepared) and this was our best show with our adult jammers. We actually ran early for the first time. (-:

Last time we played at Harper’s the amps were not miked up. This time everything was miked and you all adjusted very well to lower stage volume. Harper’s is very typical of the type of gigs most bands play. If you can make it sound good there you doing your part.

Kids and Teens – The Mint – Sunday, October 17th.

Big thanks to the JTB Crew. Ryan, Rosh, Gene, Tom, Perk, and Scott. The 8am call time in The Mint parking lot was an early wake up for all us, but the show ran very well. Another thanks to Scott for helping with 3 shows over the weekend!

Great show!

We had a few bumps in the beginning and the AIDS Walk was a minor issue regarding traffic and getting to the club, but everyone made it on time. Our apologies for the late door time. There was mix up with the club regarding our start time and door time but we managed to get it going by 10am.

The kids did great. Playing an intimate room like The Mint is very exciting. Everyone is close to the stage and you can easily see everyone. We noticed some of our Band Members were a bit nervous with the audience so close. In that environment it’s easy to lose focus, but overall we had a lot of great performances throughout the day in all age groups.

Our major sound challenge was vocalists not singing directly into the microphones. We do coach them all the time on this… We like to tell them to sing into the mic so if someone is standing right in from of them they (the audience) would not be able to see their teeth. (-:

Singers need to sing very close to microphones in clubs. Almost to the point of touching the mic with their lips. Even and inch away will dramatically change the volume level. This is especially apparent with very young singers that don’t have the lung power to fully project their voice. Singing guitarists and keyboardists very often look at their hands when singing and move their mouth away from the mic resulting in poor volume levels for their voice in the house mix.


This was our 74th concert weekend over the last 12 years and it was a blast to see and hear everyone perform. There were quite a few break out performances as we continue to see our Band Members raise the bar. There were also a few mistakes during the shows but that’s what playing live is all about.

Many of you have heard me comment on this before so please bare with me… (-: Playing live is the hardest thing to do as a musician. There are no 2nd takes or do overs. You get one shot. So preparation and experience is the key to having a successful show. I wasn’t playing clubs until my late teens but in JTB we have many Band Members getting stage experience at a very young age. Many of them have had great gigs and some that were not so great. But the not so great shows is were they are learning how to do better next time. If every gig was “perfect” they wouldn’t be learning anything. We all had to fall on our butts many times before we could walk. Nothing teaches you how to do something like learning from mistakes. You learn what doesn’t work and move on.

JTB Stage comfort and Inside Out : Being on stage can really get into a performers head. That’s why we don’t try to fill our Band Members up with nonsensical poses and posturing. That comes naturally with confidence and more stage time. We believe that working on the inside first will make a musician stronger in the long term. Knowing the music to the best of their ability is the best way to build confidence. Filling their head up with stage posturing before they understand the music can be “cute” and fun to watch but it can also be very distracting to the what they are trying to play and result in a poor overall performance. We prefer to hear music with our ears not our eyes.

Having said all that…Once the music skills are solid, performance (the outside) comes much more naturally to all students. I’ve been teaching guitar and coaching bands for over 30 years and can say that great performances are the product of solid music skills. I’ve seen students/pros stalk the stage that have minimal skills receive varied levels of response. But I’ve also seen/heard  brilliant performances from students/pros where the music pours out of their bodies while hardly moving a muscle and bring the house to their feet. Music will also reach the heart if it’s heart felt.

Look forward to seeing you all next time!

Call now to get in for our Holiday Concert weekend. 818-345-8950

Keep on jammin’

John Mizenko

Join the Band – Program Director

Hello Everyone

Great shows on Saturday and Sunday.

Adult concert at Harper’s. Join the Band returns to the new Harper’s. We had eight bands perform for a lunch time crowd and everything went very well except for a tardy sound man. (30 minutes late) John wasn’t impressed with that. (I sound like Bob Dole). Harper’s is a very typical room for a gigging club band. The relaxed atmosphere was a great fit for our adult Band Members. I received a lot of positive feed back from our Band Members. For myself I would like to see them improve a bit more on the sound. Since the club just opened they are tweaking and making adjustments to really get it right.

Kids and Teens concert at the Roxy: Another great concert. Well attended and everyone did a great job. 28 bands! Whew! Thanks to my staff of teachers and stage managers. Tom, Scott, Perk, Rosh, Ryan, Julie, October. We also had a big improvement in the sound this time. We requested a different sound crew for this show and the Roxy obliged  us. The result was much better that  last time. It makes a difference when somebody cares about the job they do. (-:

Note regarding kids and teens show: We did have to stop allowing cameras backstage. It was creating a lot confusion and we couldn’t get the kids focused on getting ready to play. For the next concert we will prefer to only have the kids backstage with our Band Leaders unless there is a medical reason why they should be escorted by a parent. If any parents want to volunteer to help us manage the backstage area that would be great too.

Also. Parents. Refrain from lifting the curtain up at the shows to talk to your kids while we are getting them ready to play.

  • One. It is dangerous if you somehow get snagged on it while it is raised.
  • Two. If the Roxy staff see’s you doing it they will throw you out of the club.
  • Three. It is very distracting to what we are doing to get the kids ready. We know what we are doing. Let us do our job. (-:


Once again our Band Members delivered great performances. Band Members  from 6-60 years old performed on our JTB stage. Was everyone perfect? Not really. Mistakes happen and everyone handled the glitches quite well. Did everyone try their best? I believe so. And at the end of the day that is what matters.  The stage experience everyone receives from these shows will only create more confident musicians. Our goal at JTB has always been to teach our Band Members about setting goals, teamwork, supporting each other and having fun. Having said that, you also need to be realistic about songs you want to play and learn in a seven week period. (-:

JTB Etiquette. I was also glad to see that we had good attendance at the end of both shows. All of our Band Members deserve the same support. Thank you for making that happen.


We featured our JTB Teenstars at the Roxy Show and they delivered a great set. We traditionally haven’t singled out any one band in JTB but felt it would be fun to showcase some of our top teenage musicians with some very challenging material to inspire our younger Band Members. I hope everyone enjoyed their set. Special thanks to Joanne Paratore for working with our singers on Bohemian Rhapsody. It was a tall order but all the work and time paid off with a great performance.


We look forward to seeing you all in our next session!

Schools Out session starts April 26th

Schools Out concert weekend is June 12th and Jun 13th.

Music lessons. Remember Join the Band has an excellent staff of university trained and experience private lesson teachers. Call us to reach you music goals. 818-345-8950

Lessons for Guitar, Piano, Voice, Drums, Bass Guitar and more! Serving Los Angeles area. Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Studio City and Encino areas.

Keep on jammin’

Jammin’ John Mizenko

Program Director

Join the Band

Hello Band Members

Marathon Jam 2010 – Saturday Feb 20th and Sunday Feb 21st, 2010

70th Join the Band Session Concerts- Wow!

We will be posting photos on our face book page very soon.

Don’t forget our next session starts March 1st. Concerts April 17th and 18th.
Call us now to register. 818-345-8950

Awesome concerts! A big thank you to our Band Members and Parents that supported the show over the weekend. We couldn’t put on these concerts without the help of our JTB staff.  Ryan Gelber, Trent Stroh, John Marx, Rosh Roslin, Tom Neely, Scott Gilbertson, Perk, and all of our  private lesson teachers.

I would say this concert weekend was one of the best ever. We saw a lot of improvement from many of our Band Members and the support was great.

Our blues workshop bands set the tone for the show with great performances all around. We also had a band of new Band Members that did very well on their first gig! Welcome to JTB! Our veteran Band Members had fun sets as did our jazz fusion teen band.

The only drag on the show was the lack of support for the last two bands. Please remember that the final bands are there to see and support your set. Make plans to stay and support all of our Band Members so they share in the experience.

What can say about this show? Absolutely great! The show opened with our youngest ever JTB band (6 year olds) and they were just awesome. (We are starting a new “kinder-rock” program for toddlers through kindergarten. Call us at 8181-345-8950)

The day progressed from kids/early teens to our teenage performers and we heard great sets  from everyone. The attendance was strong all day and it created a lot of energy in the room.

Of course with all the energy comes a few “hiccups”,  but learning how react to anything on stage is what creates great performers. The more preparation and stage time you have the better you are able to handle situations as they arise. Remember, it’s not what happens as much as how you react to it. Preparation is key but things happen. Your guitar string breaks, your fingers freeze and you forget a part, you drop your drum stick, you forget the words, your amp sounds wierd, your singer comes in to early or late etc… You can choose to be upset, flustered, worried etc.. Or you can take a mishap for what it is, learn from it and make the best of it. “What did you learn from the experience?” At the end of the day most people won’t even recognize a mistake unless it is a total “train wreck” or you telegraphed it to the audience.

Playing live is the most challenging part of playing music. There are no 2nd, 3rd, 4th, takes, no “copy and paste” performances, no pitch correction etc… It’s you, your instrument, your band and the audience. At the end of the day that’s what it’s all about. Sharing your music with others. And if you should make a mistake along the way, so be it. It does happen, Most musicians I’ve talked with are never totally satisfied with their performances. Like most artists we are all striving for a perfect take, perfect solo, and we dedicate our time practicing to achieve that goal. Before the kids in my sons karate school exit the mat. The sensei asks, “Did you try your best today?” The kids respond with a “yes”. That’s all we can ask for. Do your best.

All of our Band Members put it out there and they can be very proud of what they accomplished over the course of this last session. We also noticed higher comfort levels on stage, and as performers the only place you can learn that is by being on stage in front of an audience. At JTB we don’t try to “coach” kids into awkward stage moves. There are techniques we share with the kids but overall we have found that the kids and adult Band Members do much better when they are given time to grow into their stage personalities. It produces a more natural stage performer that is comfortable in their own skin.

In the middle of “Full Counts” set at the Whisky, smoke started to appear on the stage. I actually thought something was burning on stage and a few parents showed their concern too. YIKES! It turned out to be a fog machine gone awry. I must say for a moment there it was freaking me out.

See you at the next show!

John Mizenko
Program Director
Join the Band

Welcome to our new Join the Band Blog page.

We will be using this page to update you with news on our Music lessons program and our Join the Band band classes which have become very popular in Los Angeles.

Next session news – Sign up now for the next session. 818-345-8950. Classes start January 4th, 2010

Concert dates are Saturday, February 20th and Sunday February 21st.


Our Holiday Jam concert on Sunday, December 13th was our 69th concert and our first show at the famous Roxy Theatre. Though we did have a few bumps during the day our show ran well.

We also received nice gifts for our Toys for Tots drive. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

Thank you for all the support our Band Members received at the concert from family and friends. We had a great turnout throughout the day and it really makes the day exciting for everyone.

I hope everyone had a fun experience. The energy level in the room was high all day and we had great performances from our bands. Playing on a new stage at any level of your playing can be tricky. The sound is different, the club staff has their own way of “doing things” and everything feels different.

Performing live is one of the most challenging parts of being a musician. There are so many variables and you are performing in the moment.  Unlike recording music and/or writing there are no “do overs’ or re-writes. What you play in the moment on stage is the keeper. The more shows you play the better you will get at adjusting to live performance. There is no substitute for playing live. You can rehearse four hours a day, buy all kinds of cool equipment, and get coached by great teachers, but the moment you get on stage it’s just you, your instrument, the audience and all the “unknowns” that may come your way. How you react to the “unknowns”  is what makes you grow as a musician and performer.

Those of you that know me have heard me say/write this before… There are doers and there are those that talk about doing. I am very proud to say that our Join the Band, Band Members are doers. Being an “arm chair quarterback”  is one thing… but actually taking a snap from center and staring down a middle linebacker that wants the football is a totally different experience. (-:

Thank you to our Join the Band team. It was a long day and everyone held together. Without them our shows would not run as smoothly as they do. You were all awesome at the show.

We are splitting the show next time and having bands play on Saturday and Sunday. The marathon concerts are fun but they do take  a lot out of our staff.

Next session starts January 4th. Concert weekend is February 20th and 21st.

Sign up now! 818-345-8950 email

All the best!

John Mizenko

Join the Band