Disruptive Violin

It was almost two decades ago, my band was hired to play at an event for a group called ‘Forever Friends.’ During the concert a young man (named Josh) was walking around the audience loudly & passionately playing an out of tune violin that someone had given him. At the time, I found it very disruptive & offensive to say the least. As my frustration grew to a tipping point during the show, I realized this young man had Down Syndrome & wasn’t trying to offend anyone at all. He was sincerely enjoying our music, desperately wanting to play along, and was happy, living his best life. In the moment, it felt like my bad attitude was struck with a bolt of lightning once I realized what was really going on. So I pivoted.

I stopped the concert in the middle of a song & apologized with deep regret to our audience that the band had enountered a very serious problem. Our normal violinist for night was late & I just found out he wouldn’t be unavailable for our show. I told the crowd that the only way we could continue was to find someone else, maybe from the audience, to rescue us & take his spot. Everyone was surprised & seemed disappointed… until I asked Josh to join us on center stage. Words can not describe the expression on Josh’s face when the crowd roared with excitement for him. Josh was a total rockstar for the entire show & one of the most inspiring & passionate performers I’ve seen. Of the hundreds of concerts I’ve done in my life, this was one of the most unforgettable, inspirational, & unscripted moments from a concert that left a lasting impression on me.

Fast forward almost 20 years later to this last Thursday. I was back, this time as a volunteer as the ‘Guest Entertainer.’ I brought an extra guitar and rockstar Josh was the first person to join me on stage. It was amazing.

People that have Down Syndrome are an integral part of our society, and I’ve learned that no matter how busy we are, it’s important to come together to support them and their families. While they may face unique challenges, they are no different from anyone else in their desire to live happy and fulfilling lives.

One of the most powerful ways we can help and encourage them is by providing opportunities to learn, grow, and connect with others. This can be through programs and activities that focus on their individual strengths and interests, such as music, art, sports, or community service. By giving them a chance to explore their passions and connect with others who share their interests, we can help them build self-confidence and a sense of purpose.

‘Forever Friends’ is an amazing organization. They create a welcoming environment where families and people with disabilities feel valued and respected, and where their unique abilities and perspectives are celebrated. They do a great job of breaking down incorrect stereotypes and help others see the incredible potential and contributions of people with this condition. Families are often the primary caregivers and advocates, and their love and support can make all the difference. By offering support and resources to these families, we help them navigate the challenges that come with raising a child with Down Syndrome and ensure that they have the tools they need to provide the best possible care.

Being able to share music each year as a volunteer has been an opportunity that has enriched my own life and given me a new perspective of gratitude and appreciation. When we embrace our differences, share our challenges, and celebrate our rich diversity, we create a more compassionate and vibrant world for all.

If you ever struggle with having a bad attitude, feelings of bitterness, isolation, or even depression, I highly encourage stepping outside your normal routine. Start helping someone else in their challenges and you’ll gain a whole new perspective and appreciation for your own.

David Olson

“Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt. And live like it’s heaven on Earth.” – Anonymous

Stream on Spotify

Welcome to DavidOlsonMusic.com, where music meets inspiration!

When I was a kid, I’ll admit I wasn’t always thrilled about music. My parents made me take lessons starting at three and half and it felt like more or a chore at first. But as I grew older, I realized the value of practice and spent hours upon hours mastering different instruments and styles. I played in bands from middle school all the way to getting a degree in it at college and later touring all over the world by using it.

Fast forward to now, as a dad, I’m passing on my love of music to my own kiddos. Seeing their faces light up as they strum their first chords or hit the right notes on the piano brings me so much joy. And let’s be real, it’s pretty cute watching them sing their hearts out. Teaching my kids music has brought back memories of my own childhood, of the frustration of not getting a song right the first time and the thrill of finally nailing a difficult piece. But it’s also reminded me that music is more than just notes on a page or chords on an instrument. It’s a way of expressing ourselves, connecting with others, and bringing beauty into the world.

That’s why I’m so excited to share my collection of songs inspired from different seasons Ane experiences in my life. From folk to rock, pop to instrumental, I’m hoping there’s something for everyone on my website. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, I want to provide you with unique insights and perspectives on how music can influence us in this crazy journey we call life. So come join me on this adventure and let’s discover more of the power of music together! 

Stay in tune and keep on grooving, David Olson

ps. All my music is here

Ever since I was three and a half, my parents forced me to take music lessons. First it was the violin where they had me play at nursing homes, church recitals, and school events. Before I went through puberty, I played the trumpet in the local marching band and participated  in the Twin Cities Youth Symphony (GTCYS). Looking back, I’m not sure if my parents were trying to help me foster a love for music or just prevent me from having a social life.  Luckily in high school it all changed once I bought a guitar at a garage sale, and I was hooked. I was a guitarist in a variety of bands, church groups, and eventually went to the University of Northwestern St. Paul to study guitar.  It was never meant to be a career, just something I loved and was passionate about learning.  After college I started my own band and worked in a local church as a music director for around five years. I recorded and released two albums titled ‘Beloved’ in 2007 and a sophomore album titled ‘Change’ in 2008. After being a worship director at a large church in Eden Prairie and finishing my master degree at Bethel University, I somehow found myself in a talented group from the East Coast called ‘Sacred Road.’ At the time, it was an incredible experience performing, recording, & traveling with other amazing professional musicians through a record label. It opened a whole new world for me of songwriting, producing, and storytelling.
Once I was married and had kids life changed, and so did the priority of creating and performing music. Through a series of random events (and a lot of hard work), I found myself working for the last 15+ years in a flourishing career with my wife as a realtor/broker in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Florida. And more importantly, raising three beautiful daughters. It’s been a wonderful, wild, and all consuming experience that I could have never dreamed of and wouldn’t trade for anything. Now that my beautiful kiddos are past the ‘infant baby’ stage, I’m ready to dive into some new music ventures again and share some of the experiences and music I’ve been holding onto for the last couple years. Thanks for your patience and joining me in this next chapter of life. I hope to add a lot more original content, experiences, and songs in the future that will inspire and lift you up, no matter where you’re at in life! -David Olson

About me

After taking a break from writing and performing music for a couple years, I’m official back! Not because I’m trying to be cool, sell stuff, or impress anyone (I’m too old for that kind of thing and honesty, just don’t care). Instead, I’m just one of those creative ‘artsy’ people who loves writing, performing great music, and sharing good stories. It’s in my blood, it’s like medicine for my soul, and like an escape from some of the chaos of life. I write about what inspires and matters to me most. I create all this nerd music/video stuff from my home studio in my basement. I’m a husband and father of three beautiful kiddos. My day job is being a realtor here in Minnesota and I love it!
If you’re interested in having this 40+ year old dad guitarist guy named David perform at your next event? Reach out at DavidOlsonMusic@gmail.com.