So Toronto, you lovely mistress. You are my jam. The minute I landed, I felt something. Albeit, I didn’t sleep: kept up by the turbines of the plane and the anticipation of the panel… not knowing what to expect, but knowing that when you lower your expectations, you allow yourself to rise to greater heights. I was a part of a really powerful experience at the Tune Up Toronto: Focus on Jazz! panel, as put on by TD, CIMA and MusicOntario. We were in a great room at Hugh’s Room Live, Larnell Lewis was the Keynote, the G.O.A.T., there was food, the attendance was high and most importantly – engaged. Seven hours engaged. Take note Alberta…

It’s reaffirming. We are drawn to scenarios that we are supposed to be in. I’m meant to be here. It’s a great feeling and I really feel valued, understood and respected. I can connect with the individuals that want to listen and I have met some truly amazing people that are masters of their destiny. I want to be amongst that, fighting to change mindsets, lives and help others reach the next level.

You’re not a prophet in your own backyard.

Here are the three common points I took away from today:

1. Kindness rules

2. Authenticity rules

3. You have to want to love the music a disgustingly, unadulterated amount in order to succeed.

Here are some shots from the my first day in Toronto for the Tune Up Toronto Panel.

The eagle has landed…

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My new BFF, Midget.
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My AirBnB has great taste. Same record player. And she’s rad… #sigh
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Told you she’s rad.
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What a privilege to be on a panel with such amazing minds. Thanks Doc. Thanks Teresa. Thanks Rosalyn.
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I’ve been living a paradoxical lifestyle for the past 10 years. Musicians get a bad rap as far as their attention to health and wellness. Maybe it’s a fair argument. But maybe it’s not. It doesn’t matter. In my reality  as a drummer myself and a health coach that has had the privilege of working with clients that have overcome the obstacles presented by conditions such as MS (multiple sclerosis), fibromyalgia, strokes, mental illness, post-operation rehabilitation and various other barriers to general wellbeing,  I understand the message from Billy Talent’s drummer Aaron Solowoniuk better than most of my musical colleagues.

I am on a mission to communicate the absolute importance of health and wellness in the musical community. I have a wellness initiative I am implementing in March that will see a study of my specialized restorative strength training, known as energizers and the effect it has on quality of life of the participants.

I am now extending my study into a branch of preventative care and recovery from chronic injuries common to the working musician. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to not have any ailments that would keep my from my passion behind the drums. When I first learned of Aaron’s story a couple years after I graduated high school, when I was really starting to pave my future as a drummer I thought “holy shit, how is he still playing?” But now I know, no matter what the obstacle, you can overcome it with the proper mindset. That starts with attention to your health, no matter what you are trying to beat. I’m inspired by Aaron – I’ve always enjoyed his playing, I’ve been a big fan of Billy Talent and now with his recent news that he’s stepping away from the kit in order to ensure he’s healthy just speaks volumes to his character.

While it’s unfortunate he can’t be on the road or in the studio for a bit, he’s made the right decision here. Please fellow musicians, take notes. It’d be a dream come true for me to be a part of Aaron’s story, but for now I will do what I can and offer my services and my education to my colleagues… Please contact me at mike@armyofharmony.com or 403 797-3853 or on Twitter at @coach_schwartzy for more information about how you can be part of a movement to inspiring musicians and artists to pay more attention to their health. I have a great program to work with you one in one regardless of your location, so get in touch if you want to keep doing what you love.

Big thank you to Aaron for his leadership on the movement.

After watching Aaron’s message here, I really hope you consider taking better care of yourself. Especially if you have no external “limitations”. Don’t take for granted what you have. You only have one body and even if you’re a musician, that’s all you get.
Follow Aaron at @AaronSolowoniuk and join him in support of conquering MS. Aaron, if you happen to come across this – please do contact me. I would like the opportunity to help you on your way back behind the kit. Check the video below. Get inspired. Be awesome.

https://youtu.be/50cuvTXp8M0