When I was in college earning my first music degree, I was also in the Marine Corps Reserves. After September 11th, I was activated and spent considerable time on active duty, including a tour in Iraq in 2003 in the infantry. Despite the war, I had an incredibly rich experience with the local musicians and artists. I even studied the ‘ud with Ali-Hussein Jabir, a famous musician in Al-Kut whom I now count as a close friend. Unfortunately, during my time there I also suffered a brain injury that was caused by being struck in the head with a brick. Because of this and an explosion that was a little too close I had some small fractures in my skull and bleeding in my brain.
On top of this, I caught a parasitic infection which in turn caused a severe heart arrhythmia. I was 26 years old passing out on the streets. I’d found myself in the emergency room with cardiac issues at least once a month, accompanied by an incredible amount of medical bills that I did not have the insurance to pay, or health needed to work them off. The parasites also caused me to drop to a ridiculously low 130 pounds from my former 185. I was a ghastly sight, unable to even climb a single flight of stairs without needing to sit and rest before going on. I was not quite the warrior I was only a few short months before.
The parasites were an easy fix, several weeks of antiobiotics and antifungals seemed to do the trick even though it would be years before I regained most of my weight. The TBI was not such an easy fix. My health was still terribly poor. I was slurring my speech; I was forgetting my thoughts mid-sentence; my thinking and concentration were shot; my anxiety level was through the roof; I had trouble remembering the names of family and friends; and I was totally unable to learn things as quickly or as easily as before. It was very frustrating. The hardest of all was comparing my frail state to who I was before the war. I knew who I had been before, but I was lost to my current self.
It took years of therapy – neuropsychologists, cardiologists, electrophysiologists, speech therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, and tons of discipline and hard work to keep going in getting better. But despite all of the efforts of the doctors and therapists at the Veterans Hopsitals, there was really not a lot of help for me. They taught me how to make a grocery list before going to the store, they taught me tricks for remembering simple things when I was having conversations with others. My ability to function on a day to day basis was improving, but there was no help at all in getting me back on my feet as a musician, as a professor of music, or to restore me to my pre-war abilities and health. I had to do that on my own.
I read everything that I could on the science and psychology of learning, on brain function, neuroscience, anxiety management, and on performing to be able to become a fully functioning human being (and musician) again. I had to become my own therapist and apply the latest research to myself to see what would actually work. …and I still do, there is still much to learn.
Through my studies of these topics I have developed a deep understanding of how people learn. I’ve also learned how to teach in such a way that supports the way we learn. These techniques are validated by my own relearning, and by the fantastic progress of my students as they begin to adapt these strategies, too. It is with these scientifically proven, classroom-tested methods that will guarantee your fast and efficient progress. I spend much time teaching the other instructors here in these methods, so that everyone benefits from this important knowledge. I don’t know of any other school in NY that offers this level of music education.
The bottom line is this, no matter if you aspire to be a professional or are just learning for your own enjoyment, no matter if you want to play popular or classical music, you have found the right place: Artisound’s Long Island City Music School. I offer you the best methods and teachers in an encouraging and supportive environment, and will teach you the skills to become the finest musician that you are able. Though I am interested in helping you be a great musician, I am more interested in helping you become the greatest person you are able. That is what art is really about.
I am very proud to have opened the Long Island City Music School as the flagship of my music education and performance company Artisound and look forward to getting to know you soon.
We are looking forward to helping you along your musical and life journey.
Jason E. Sagebiel
Founder of Artisound and Long Island City Music School
MTNA Nationally Certified Teacher of Music, 2010
Master of Arts in Music, Queens College, 2007
Bachelor of Music, Magna Cum Laude, Loyola University, 2001
Sergeant, United States Marine Corps, Retired.