Hi Dom, I do hope this gets to you, as I have been meaning to message you for a while, and would like to pass on my thanks to you for writing your wonderful book, The cycle of self empowerment. I Haven’t actually finished it yet, for two reasons, (I’m about just over half way through) Firstly I think that that kind of book, to have the most effect, needs to be read at a slow pace, and digested, as the idea is to ingest, educate and be inspired, rather than a book which is just telling a story? And my second reason is, I don’t want it to end!!! Ha ha. I find it very inspiring when I feel a bit down or negative about things, I am too a professional drummer, so its very easy to relate to many of the anecdotes or story’s you include. I am a naturally positive person but feel myself drawn to the the lures of negativity from time to time, and find that if I implement the ideas and thought processes from your book, one can always be lifted, or even redirected before the dark clouds of pessimism draw in. Its amazing to see how many people do have a negative outlook on things, and don’t even know it, I find it a real challenge to be around those people sometimes, because they can wear me out with their downbeat approach. Lastly, isn’t it funny how, our happiness, really can be affected by our outlooks, and perspectives on everything we do and encounter on a daily basis? , So thank you once again for you terrific work, and inspiration, not to mention your great drumming! Excuse me now, while I reach for my pair of those rose tinted glasses…
Hey Dom! What a terrific book! The Cycle of Self-Empowerment definitively changed my life. I’m studying with Stephane Chamberland in Quebec City and we’re talking together about your book. While reading it, I passed through a myriad of emotions and feelings; I sometimes cried with your stories, laughed alone on the bus like a crazy man (but feeling good about it too!!!), and concentrate more than ever to understand some concepts and so on!
To tell you the truth, I needed to read some pages everyday. It became a drug to me. I AM NOW A ”CYCLE OF SELF-EMPOWERMENT ADDICT”!!! Every page was so good and so inspiring!!! Now, the way I see life is different. I’m running head first toward challenges and trying to apply all the things I’ve learned. It’s not easy but I’m deeply convinced that it is worth the effort.
By the way, I already noticed the positive effects it has on my life, in my relationships with people, etc. I’m at peace with myself; wearing those ”rose colored glasses”. And the biggest thing in that story is that it’s still new to me. I’m walking on sunshine since only few weeks ago now. I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE AND FEEL ALL THE EFFECTS ON A LONG TERM PERIOD!!!
The only and unique goal of this message is to say THANK YOU. THANK YOU, THANK YOU and THANK YOU AGAIN!
We have to meet someday (and we will I’m sure!!! (positive thinking!!)) I feel like I have so many things to learn from you (both on the drumset and in life!)
With all my gratitude,
Hey Dom! It’s Andy McNeilly here from Fenelon Falls Ontario. It’s been a while but nonetheless, I have had this past two years or so to really think about the words of wisdom that you first shared with me in Halifax at the Atlantic Band Festival.
At that point in my life I was at a crossroad, neck and neck with a lifestyle that many have fallen into drug abuse and alcohol abuse. I didn’t really think about it because it was just “what you do” in a socially deprived rural setting. It was “all you can do”. But when I first heard you speak, as a rebellious young lad I was a sceptic I’ll admit. I said to myself “Oh the sales pitch” you know he’s going to talk and try and get our money using the drums as a flashy medium.
When I heard you speak I realized you were selling something. But it was free, it was inspiring, empowering. It was One Thought. It was the idea that I had choice. It was the idea that through my choices, I paved my destined road. The only one that could go off course is me. There is no such word as can’t. Only can. Nothing you can’t do, only things you can.
I realized that I hadn’t a problem. I had a challenge. Things became a bit more clear to me after that first encounter, but not quite as clear as things are now (if you can even call it “clear” maybe “translucent”) and as time went on I thought more and more about the power of one. The power of one idea, one thought, one person, and most importantly, one action. I took on an astounding interest in the world of music when I arrived home from that school trip. I became an addict. Not to a fifty-bucks-a-pop substance that ruined my appetite for life, but to something you feel inside of you when you reach a higher plain of thinking. To be honest I didn’t know what it was. I thought it was just the music. So I dedicated my life to the music. Every hour of my free time was spent driving my parents, neighbors and siblings nuts with repetitive parradiddles, polyrhythm and practice.
About a year later I learned that you were coming to our school. “Dom Famularo in Fenelon Falls?!” was my reaction. Then I was told that you wanted me to call you! Ha! Was I ever awe struck!? “What do I say?” I said to myself repeatedly. At that time I was working in a grocery store and had a lot of time to think about this phone call during the repetitive task of stocking shelves. “Do I say Hi?” or “Hey” or “How ya doin’? Dom hows aboot ya come to Canada in the middle of nowhere during the tail end of a harsh winter and have a nice warm cup of Tim Horton’s Coffee?” I didn’t know what to say. So, I put it off. I called once and to my secretive relief you weren’t there. But you called back and to my secretive relief I wasn’t there.
You arrived in Fenelon Falls on April 20th and when we all sat down for dinner I realized “Wow this guys a really nice down to Earth person and probably would’ve loved a cup of Timmy’s coffee”. We talked, ate and walked and after that everyone that you spoke
with and met left with a little extra in their night. Something different for each, but a little something more to their lives. And I’d like to thank you for that.
On behalf of the whole McNeilly Family. Thank You. You spoke and played at our school the following day. And once again I felt that everybody left with a little something extra in their lives. Everyone. Maybe to some it meant being able to see such an accomplished player at our school, maybe to others it meant seeing such an inspiring person in Fenelon Falls. To me it meant seeing a philosopher, a man who, doesn’t have all the answers but doesn’t mind giving up his time to help some people in a small town find some, a man who wants the world to be a better place. A man who wants to bend our world a bit. And I’ll tell you Dom, you sure have bent the world in your own way.
After your performance, as you were receiving a standing ovation, as I was standing up I found myself on one knee with you standing above me. I’ll never forget these words as you handed me your Vic Firth HD9’s warm on the handle you said: “Andy, you have a mission. I want you to first empower yourself, then go out into the world and empower as many people as you can. You can do this”.
Those words have resonated in my ears since every day. And every day I give it one more thought. I have had much time to think about what you requested of me. Much time for self empowerment. I soon after discovered that the Zen-like feeling that I feel playing the drums can be felt in everything I do. What is that feeling? It’s positivist. More and more, as time goes on I am realizing that our world needs change. I am not able to change the whole world, but by changing myself and the way I approach others I can form a positive example, just as you have for me, and not change the world but at least bend it a bit. now am graduated from high school, still living in Fenelon Falls, but I live everyday in a constant cycle of self empowerment and I constantly work to empower all of those around me. Even If it means playing a song for a friend who needs some time.
Which leads me to where I am now. I now teach drum lessons in town and play in a band. We call ourselves BOB ANONYMOUS. The Idea behind our band is that we want to empower. We want to show that music is not only accessible to those who have the time and money- Music is for everyone. Music is for the world, and yet, it’s just music. It would be an honor for me if you could listen to some of our music. In my opinion, if it weren’t for your words of wisdom, your words of empowerment, I could never have, discovered the happiness with myself and my world that I now possess today. Our songs are in the process of recording right now. But, hopefully when we are finished you can do us all the honor of hearing our music. We may not be able to change the world, but were all going to bend it a bit. And maybe, if we can pass the same example on to the world that you have passed on to so many in this the world we live in, it will change.
And in the words of Sheri Brennemen: Dom, You truly are a Wave maker
I doubt you will remember me but I am the “reserved” [tall, dark and handsome] fellow whom shyly approached you on stage at your clinic on Friday 3rd August 2007 in the Hale School auditorium, Perth, Western Australia.
I FELT THE POWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It was liberating, a natural high, an uninhibited – I screamed with joy!!!! The realization I am not alone, seeing a deep passion for music, the moment and life before my eyes, wow……..WOW!!!!!] Screw embarrassment, let it all hang out! That’s what I did, sitting in my seat, playing every note, tasting/smelling/feeling every beat; AWESOME MAN.
[STOP!!!!!!!!! This is not idol worship, I am not into that, cool. I believe every human being has the capacity to uplift and love, it’s about choices.]
I am not a musician though my mom introduced me to Soul, Jazz, Brazilian at a very early age and music has enveloped my soul ever since it [keeps me warm]. I was overwhelmed to the point of crying at your clinic [I hid it well] as I felt as one with you on the “POWER of Music” especially when you played your ballad. Very moving experience for me.
I have a pair of two way active monitors and four way “giant” active speakers as my “instruments” of empowerment. I lose/immerse myself into the music with these babies as they are the closest thing to reality I know. Fate lead me to their creator at prototype stage and my destiny was that I contributed “my ear” to them, they make people cry too.
Anyway my friend, thank you for the experience and hope to see you in Perth again.
NB. I also meant to say, you are a great musician mate, you are able to let your [musical] instrument express your feelings and emotionally touch others, that’s what makes you great. I think you are a better human being than drummer though [can you dig that] as your philosophy on life is where the power comes from. [man to man] you impress me.
Hi I’m Lisa Faithfull. I am a music student at Box Hill Institute in Melbourne, which you visited today and am writing to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the inspiration in your talk!
You came as a breath of fresh air and a positive influence in a time when I have been doubting my place and future as a Musician, like you mentioned today my parents doubt I can make singing a career and do not take it seriously. But i cannot think of ever doing anything else with my life! I love every aspect of music and people just don’t seem to understand that burning passion, so it was lovely that you did! And you have reaffirmed that the passion I have is shared by some people! I want to be the best singer I can be, and make a career from my passion!
And for the first time in a long time my dream has returned (I want to stand in front of an audience and have them sing along to one of my original songs and know the words! and at that point I will have reached my dream!) because I met you, and even though we do not know each other you have opened my eyes and given me hope!
To hear your words of wisdom not just about music but life in general, was a real blessing and I am so very glad that I got out of bed this morning because I am going to bed a different person, thanks to your inspiring talk!
It was wonderful to meet someone who is living the dream and still has that burning passion for music, and I thank you for taking the time to speak to me after the official talk, it was wonderful that you take time to share your love for music with people, even just a student like myself.
I hope we cross paths again some day
Kind regards and best wishes to you and your family
I am so excited every time when I receive your email? You are the great power teacher!
I’ve translated your article from your web site I received into Chinese to share with my drum teacher and some of my friends (“to share” as you mentioned….) they enjoyed it very much and learned a lot from you too. They ask me to thank you.
I read a book named “Tuesdays with Morrie”. on the first page it reads,” maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague. someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it.” we are lucky to have found you, Dom, a great wise educator, to guide us!
Distance may be a problem, but as the old Chinese saying says “scarcity makes things valuable.” every word of yours have become more important and priceless added by the thousands of miles over the pacific ocean. We do cherish the opportunity. We do cherish you!
Wish everything goes fine! Have a good day every day!
Beibei from China
I owe you much thanks. You inspired me as a musician in incredible ways and even more so as a boy eagerly becoming a man. Hard to believe someone can have such profound impact on another in such a short span of time. I changed a lot as person after that. I became nicer, more headstrong, open minded, etc. Ultimately, you taught me to help myself which has given me the world. I ended up meating a beautiful woman from a tragic environment. She has loved and supported me for the past five years and has been my wife for the past three. We have a two year old daughter named Lillian Elizabeth Sullivan. We are both now full time college students with the long term goal of obtaining our law degrees. We take all our classes together, do everything together, it’s insanely perfect for us. I am 15-20 hours short of getting my private pilot’s license and I soloed (Went up alone) for the first time several months ago. I also applied for a patent two and a half years ago. It was a way of leaving an audible message on your grave. The problem was power source and vandalism, at which point i realized a small pin number on the grave for a database that can be reached via cell phone would be perfect. The patent was denied due to another patent focused on obtaining digital information in inaccessible locations and had nothing to do with the intent of my patent, but oh well, there might be others. Basically, i had a hard time as a child and consider myself now(I’ll be 21 next month) to be one of the happiest guys on the planet. I attribute some of this to the impact you had on me. I’ll never forget you saying, “Watch your thoughts for they become your words, and watch your words for they become your actions,” as well as other great advice you laid upon me. You are a great and noble man. Thanks!
A few years ago I had seen your drum clinic in Marshall Music in Lansing Michigan. I had written you about what a profound impact it had been on me. What you had said that night was exactly what I needed to hear at that point in my life.
I used to say that “I dream to be a filmmaker”, but now I am able to say “I am a filmmaker”. You gave me the inspiration to write my first feature length screenplay, which I then went on to direct and produce. I never would have guessed that it would have been a drum clinic that pushed me over the top of the hill in following my dreams. I produced the film on a shoestring budget with the help of so many people that were generous enough to put so much hard work on this film, with out any money. They did this for experience and to see someone take a step toward their dream. I consider this film I made to be sort of astudent film in which I learned an unmeasurable amount about filmmaking and life. It is a step to greater things and my next film.
I just wanted to thank you for how you live your life in helping others understand theirs.
I don’t make my living making films yet, but I know I will soon. I don’t know how, but I know it will happen.
If your interested, I would be more than happy to send you a copy of my film to view.
Just a quick note to tell you how much I enjoyed your latest visit. You are always an inspiration to me, and I really appreciate your “above and beyond” efforts. The appearance on the FOX news telecast was just another example of your selfless willingness to support the cause in any way you can. THANKS!
The whole store staff and audience were raving about you throughout the day, you just keep getting better and your messages about life, art and expression is a valuable one. You really set the stage for the entire event!
Dom, after 20 years and a dozen visits, once again I say THANK YOU!
I have to say that when you play the drums, you are as visually fascinating as you are with the sounds you create. I also love how you use humor in your playing! I would never have thought it was possible to play the drum with humour. Yesterday, for me, you were a feast for my ears, a feast for my eyes and a feast for my heart!
I missed most of the festival this past weekend, then got a free ticket for Sunday and ended up getting there at 6pm. I was very impressed and surprised at the talent and passion that I saw in Marco Minnemann, and then there was you. Your words, passion and motivation was exactly the kick in the butt that I needed. I had been in the rutt for a while and I was trying to figure out what was going on with me, and realized that excuses will only last for so long. I have studied Choice Theory and try my best to apply it to my daily life; however, I feel that I lost sight of the choices I have and chose to ignore them. I am a passionate person; I am passionate about my work with youth, my family, my friends, and my life…and I lost sight of it for a while…until I listened to you. I want to thank you Dom for sharing your stories, your passion, you motivation and your energy. It was a great start to my week, and to the next chapter of my life. Thank you.
I’m almost finished reading your self empowerment book and it’s incredible. It’s truly changed my life already. It’s helped me to re-evaluate my entire life and think about my inner flame. All my problems have become challenges and I see life in a much more positive view. I’ve read it every page slowly so far in detail and thought about each point, it truly is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I think everyone should have a copy.
I was moved at many points of reading your book, to tears. At the same time, I was also motivated to continue on in my voyage as a drummer. After some years of set backs I wondered if I would be able to carry on as a drummer. I realize now, that, “It’s never over till the fat lady sings,”.”Laughing”. Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us who read that book. Your journey has caused many others to continue on in their journey’s and I would say it may have even caused those who decided there was no journey for them, to realize there was one……WOW that paragraph was a journey…*Laughing*
My name is Garett Heinz and I am a 21 year old senior percussion major at Northern State Universtity in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Before I read your book I had very specific goals. I also had a strong feeling of direction and purpose in my life. But your book helped me to be even more inspired and guided to do great things. The path that you have traveled is so similar to the path that I have begun. So, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the example and experiences you portrayed in your book. I sincerely hope that our paths will cross again. I feel confident that they will. Peace to you and your family, Garett Heinz Aberdeen, South Dakota”
– Student, Teacher, Player
Thank you for the CSE Seminar held yesterday!! I had a wonderful time, lots of laughs, and tools that I know will help me become a more effective person. I”ve always been thankful to you for your inspiration and kind words, and yesterday was even more special. Now I know I can accomplish all that I set out to do!!!
– Marc Grieco
“Having read so many inspirational books over the years, I can truly say that your writing is by far the most heart-felt, honest, useful and inspirational. I cannot express how much I have enjoyed reading it and I know I shall draw upon it time and time again.
– Evelyn Glennie
Your motivational speech, in my eyes, changed the views of a lot of people on life, especially my own. I too am a musician and what you said really made me think about my future and what I can do with it. I’m sure that I am saying this on behalf of everyone at RHS when I say that your presence was more than welcome and that we wish we could have more people like yourself come in and tal to us.
Riverview High School, Cape Breton, Canada
I first saw Dom in 1997 at a clinic… correction, musical event. When Dom took the stage and started speaking he captured my attention immediately. The man hadn’t even played a note and I was already impressed. As a Marine Corps veteran of four years, I’ve heard my share of “motivational” speeches. I’ve been moved by some, even inspired. An effective motivator is very necessary in life. I discovered this in 1997 through Dom, when I needed motivation most in my music and my life. Call it a slump, but Dom’s ability to make things plain and simple was just what I needed. I had the pleasure of seeing Dom again last night, and he continues to inspire me to keep playing – just for the love and passion of playing drums and living life!
Thank you, Dom. Thank you for your words of motivation. Semper Fi.
– John Sisson
Grand Rapids, Michigan USA
Reading your book made all the difference in how I made the hardest moments in my life some of the most positive as well.
– Janeatt Hogan
You know, whenever I achieve something in my life, I not only think of the wonderful tools you have given me, I thank God that you taught me how to use them! What a foundation for success. Thank You!
– Joe Fallacara
East Hampton, Long Island, NY USA
From Vancouver, Canada…
I am not sure that you remember me, but I was at one of your clinics and I tell the story about that night at least once a week. Not only were you an inspiration to me because of your incredible talent, but you also shared intrinsic values about humanity and yourself. It was 1995 I think, but it could have been ’96. It was in Victoria B.C., Canada, and the clinic was at Camosun College. Now I know that you probably get hunderds of e-mails a day but this might tweek your memory. You were practising before the clinic and a professor (it was at a college) asked you “how much longer you intended on playing”?, and you said “hopefully for the rest of my life.” I always talk of that night, your incredible playing, and your obvious love of not only the drums, but of life. You were and are awesome. I actually appreciated the clinic and especially enjoyed the soloing off of your glasses. Mr. Famularo, you must come back to Victoria, you are the best clinician i have seen in my twenty five years of playing and loving the drums.