music - Steven Cox | San Diego, CA

Support Zach Sobiech as He Battles Cancer Through Music

By Life Lessons, Music, Videos No Comments


Zach Sobiech is a 17yr old musician from Lakeland, MN that was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. Through surgeries, therapies, and biopsies, and months of chemo, Zach has used music to stay strong. He wrote and performed this song as a way to say goodbye to his friends and family. — You can download a free version of the song and learn more about buying his album:



Steven Cox, Enrique Platas, and Scotty B of Across the Room

Music and Songwriting

By My Music No Comments

One of the joys of life is giving birth to a song through songwriting. I think everyone should do it – at least once. Below are some of my songs.

I come from a very musical family – my grandparents cut records, my parents cut records, and my brothers (I have three) are all accomplished musicians in the Christian music genre. I’m probably the least talented out of the group, but I grew up playing and singing ever since I could remember.

My first instrument(s) were the violin and the bass guitar. I picked up the violin at age 7 and played it for quite a while in the school philharmonic. After a while, I discovered the depth and beauty of the bass guitar and fell in love with rhythm (as opposed to melody).

From age 12 up, I played in bands, wrote songs, and even won my high school talent show. In college, I studied finance, but paid my way through school by playing music and becoming a club DJ on the college circuit.

After school, I didn’t play. At all. Work got in the way. And just about once a month, I felt this gnawing to be creative and see where the road would lead me.

So, around age 29, I started taking voice lessons, bought some new music gear, started writing songs, and formed a band.

San Diego Music

I sucked pretty bad. Haha.

But – just as in everything in life – I got a bit better with each practice and each gig. A couple years later, me and a couple buddies started Across The Room – an alternative pop rock band. We weren’t pro quality, but had a ton of fun, played hundreds of gigs throughout southern California and Arizona, recorded two CD’s, and met a lot of people I still consider friends.

The band experience is also what led me to start TakeLessons.com. Our drummer was going to have to quit the band because he couldn’t make a living doing what he loved to do. I had a background in Internet startups, so I offered to help him find students online. And the rest is history.

I love songwriting. It’s therapeutic, artistic, and a change at beautiful expression of the soul. And when you get a burst of brilliance of art, emotion, and rhythm all bundled up, it’s orgasmic. Yes, orgasmic!

The Music

Written by: Me

Vocals: Me  | Backing Vox: Me and Enrique Platas

Guitars, some of the bass, keyboards: Me

Drums: Enrique  |  Some of the bass: Scotty B

Faster Songs

Slower Songs


Shimi – A Smart Musical Robot For Your iPhone

By Music, Web and Tech No Comments

I just backed Shimi 0n KickStarter.

Shimi is a new robotic music player that plays from spotify or Pandora, finds songs in your library, answers yes/no whether you have certain songs or bands, and dances with your music.

The reason I backed it is because (a) I want one for the office, and (b) I loved the innovation!

Best line from the video:

Since I was a kid, I’ve been fascinated by robotics. But, well, who isn’t.

Benjamin Zandler Persuades You to Fall in Love with Classical Music

By Motivational, Music One Comment

Benjamin Zandler, motivational speaker and conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, gives a fabulous TED talk to persuade the audience to fall in love with classical music.

He explains that everyone can hear and no one is tone deaf. He then plays a piece by Chopin and helps you identify impulses and chord progressions – ending in a final resolve.

While I don't LOVE classical music, there's nothing better to calm the mind than a classical piece in a minor chord. It just helps me chill out.

Give it a view. It's an enjoyable presentation that leads the viewer through high points and low points, ending in a call to let the music move you to understand it. He then explains how it has helped him understand the value of helping others see their own abilities and capturing the spark in their eyes.

Well worth the 20 minute watch!



Benjamin Zander of the Boston Philharmonic is ...Image via Wikipedia





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Beware Headbangers – your neck may be at risk

By Music No Comments


Medical experts in Australia have warned that headbanging is likely to be behind a silent epidemic of head- and neck-related
injuries. Dr. Andrew McIntosh, biomedical and injury expert at the University Of New South Wales, carried out research into
headbanging, and published his findings in the British Medical Journal.


Sad State of Music Education System

By Music, Politics and Social Thought No Comments

Recently, we received an email from a gentleman looking for music lessons:

“So, I am an English teacher in the Bronx and I got hired to teach music next year. Although I am a music lover, I have never played an instrument and definitely not a musician. I need to take piano and music theory lessons this summer so I can be ahead of my beginning students next school year. Can you help?”

As music budgets keep getting cut further and further, I wonder if the kids of the future will have an understanding of the joys music adds to life.


Why I started my company

By Entrepreneur Insights, Music, Start-Ups One Comment

Enrique was a top-notch musician. He had gotten a music performance degree a few years back, and followed his passion into music. He played all over San Diego, and was the drummer for our regional-touring rock band, Across The Room.

One Saturday afternoon, the band had just finished an acoustic set at a sea-side coffee house. I was the band’s very bad lead singer, and I invited him to join me for a margarita (no salt). Enrique couldn’t go because he had to quickly pack up his drums, go fill up his tank, and drive 30 minutes to another part of town. He was giving drum lessons to a 12-year old at the student’s home.

An hour later, I was sipping the margarita (Patrone) when he got the call. Enrique had driven over to the student’s home, and no one was home. He waited, tried calling, but they were a no show. Frustrated, Enrique drove back to the Mexican cantina and ordered a double.

Enrique’s Struggle

There, I talked with Enrique about the music business, and the teaching business. He explained to me how difficult it was for him to find students, and for students to find him. You see, most of us who have a passion for music, dance, or another creative outlet are just beginners, and we have no idea where to go, what to look for, and how to learn. So, what happens is we order a DVD, or try to download some guitar tabs, get frustrated, and quit without finding our true artist within.

After we calculated the marketing, the flyers (hanging up at the grocery store), gas money, the no-shows, and the wear & tear on his equipment, we found that Enrique was making less than minimum wage.

I was shocked! Here was my good friend, my band partner, and an unbelievably talented and accomplished artist making less than a Burger King drive-thru worker.  He and his wife just had a new baby, and between changing diapers, working a second job, waiting for no-show students, and rehearsing to keep up his art, he barely had time to build his own business and find his own students.

What We Do

It was this day I decided to start the business. It was started out of a genuine desire to help creative people connect with each other. We didn’t have the funds or people to blow out an entire active social network, and we would have wrestled with the cold start problem even if we did. So we built slowly – one user at a time.

Over the past 20 months, we’ve matched enough students to fill a football stadium. These people not only create online friends, but real-world connections. And while that’s all good (especially with no financial backing), we’re looking to take our business to the next level.

Most music and creative sites are chasing the artists who are really good, cut albums, and need to market themselves. This makes up 3-4% of the entire body of creative enthusiasts. What we do is give a home to the other 96%.

While it’s much more glamorous to be associated with a rock star, we feel there is a bigger unmet demand for the dude trying to figure out how to string a guitar.