A Rare Girl

I’ve been working with Colleen for several years. At first I didn’t exactly knock it out of the park in terms of popularity. Although she doesn’t use words, Colleen has very effective methods of communication. In my case it was the growl and the grimace that she used to let me know that my music … Read more

57 Years of Music and Friendship

Steve and John at St. Clare's 1963

CHP volunteer Steve Pavis and I have a long history. We’ve known each other since kindergarten and for most of our 57 years of friendship Steve has been my music “guru”. As kids, Steve’s musical knowledge and tastes were much more sophisticated than mine, (I remember him talking about Hendrix when we were in 6th … Read more

Getting to Know Steve

Steve Pavis and John have been friends since they were five years old, growing up together on Staten Island, NY. Steve’s several older siblings made him a very hip music fan from a young age and he has been John’s music guru since the 6th grade. During the punk rock era of the late ‘70s … Read more

Getting to Know Marilyn

Marilyn

Marilyn Tuzzo, Volunteer Extraordinaire, started working with The Coffeehouse Project after observing the effect the music had on her mother during one of John’s Somerset County Senior Wellness Center programs. With her background in teaching and peer leadership facilitation and her fancy dance moves, it made all kinds of sense for her to join the … Read more

What’s the Point?

Our goal is to improve lives through music making. When I reflect on this goal, I sometimes wonder if an hour of smiling, singing and dancing is “enough”. I keep coming back to the conviction that it is – and, also, that it isn’t. The research scientist in me wants to make sure that the … Read more

My Guitar, Myself

Once, when the Italian actress Anna Magnani was having her portrait taken she told the photographer, “Please don’t retouch my wrinkles. It took me so long to earn them.” I used to be the kind of person who was so struck by the visual beauty of a Fender Stratocaster guitar that when I finally owned … Read more

In the Groove!

I want you to try something right now. Put on a pair of headphones if you’ve got them nearby.  Click here to play “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes on YouTube. Bring up the volume. Listen for 30 seconds, then pause the video. I’ll wait …. Now here’s a question for you: by the … Read more

Gig Mode

I was recently talking with Ryan, a college student who, as a middle schooler was one of the charter members of The Coffeehouse Project, back when it was an after school program. We were discussing the annual end of the school year rock concerts we staged and how I would be particularly hyped up and … Read more