Danielle Frabutt Garcia

Flute Performance and Instruction, Vocal Performance, Health & Wellness

That one student…That one teacher! — January 13, 2016

That one student…That one teacher!

As a private flute instructor, I’ve taught over 80 students in my short 12 years. I started fresh out of high school as I pursued my degree. Add in classes, clinics, ensembles and more, and I’m probably well over 200. That’s quite a stretch of personal human interaction and stimulation I get to have daily. At the end of the evening, after putting so much of myself into the lessons, I am pretty fried. I do have to say, however, that everyone of those moments is precious.

In the beginning, I was probably only helping those kids practice. I was fresh out of high school, starting my first year of college and following a suggestion from my teacher. I went to college in my hometown so I made a few calls and had over 3o students within the year. I taught 3 nights a week for 5 hours straight, 10 students each night. This was on top of taking many hours for my degree, working at a bar on the weekends and working at the multimedia center on our campus library in between classes.  This has set the structure for my life. Well, those first few years of students didn’t get the best version of me as a teacher. I didn’t even know what the best version of me as a teacher would be and I honestly don’t think I’m there, yet.  I remember being so exhausted in their lessons that I would actually feel as though I was going to fall asleep. I had expectations and very few of them met them because they wanted the lessons and I was desperately trying to motivate them but equally as desperately trying to stay awake. It was with those beginning students that I began to learn how to change my strategy for each individual and how important it was that I was the best performer I could be so that I could inspire them. That is why I received my degrees in performances; because in the long run, the better I am and the more I struggle, the more I can give back to those who are beginning their musical journey. I’m learning new things everyday.

Today’s quote from a freshman:

“Do you know the piccolo solo from Stars and Stripes”

oh if you only knew my high school experience

“I think I’ve decided it just sounds like a bunch of angry birds”

Day 8 – 22 to go — January 11, 2016

Day 8 – 22 to go

Yesterday was the last day of Week 1 and I want to recap my week –

Day 1 I was super nervous but I was ready to go. I made a mistake of working out too much (for the beginning).
Day 2 I felt like absolute garbage all day. I felt like a truck hit me. I felt like my head was going to explode. I was walking around in a fog and really wanted to nap and/or drink something with caffeine in it. Then around 7:30pm the fog lifted.
Day 3 I felt great and had lots of energy and this has continued till today. I wasn’t sure if that “awful” feeling would come back so I proceeded with caution.
Day 5  I started working out again and was getting really excited to do this.
Day 6&7, I had a working weekend, and didn’t touch the coffee or snacks that everyone kept talking about.  I’ve got this….

Honestly, I absolutely feel so great and energetic and wonderful, and there are probably  a lot of adjectives I can add here but that would be redundant. 🙂

The first observation I’m going to comment on is a problem worth having. I have so much energy and am being super productive. However, with this mass amounts of energy along with the approach of a super packed couple of months, I am having the worst time falling asleep. There are so many thoughts and scenarios running through my head when I lay down.  A goal of mine for this year is to get to bed earlier and wake up earlier.  There is nothing better than waking up early (and feeling good about it) and being alone in the dusk-light hours of the day. So I’m a little bummed I’m getting a second wind late at night because I’d like to build this up. It will happen, I hope.

The second problem I’m having is totally personal to me and my body. I do NOT digest protein very easily. A couple years ago I had a Live Blood Analysis done, which is the coolest thing ever and I highly recommend doing this -it’s like a blueprint of your body as it is in that very moment. It is not invasive and immediate, as in you are looking at your blood along with the reader in a microscope.  I discovered during this Live Blood Analysis that my red blood cells were moving along together like little caterpillars whereas our red blood cells should be free floating in our plasma and not really touching.  This isn’t a horrible analysis but definitely something to watch and understand. My blood reader told me that this is related to the fact that my body probably doesn’t make enough stomach acid to digest fats and proteins very easily.  So move back to today and this cleanse and the high amount of protein I’m intaking. This weekend I decided to start taking my Betaine HCI with every meal and Today I decided to eat 2 apples a day.  We’ll see how week three goes, which is when we add in the 7-day cleanse.  I mean, for someone wanting to be healthy and fit, the inability to digest protein easily is a bit of an ironic anomaly.

This weekend we bought the Week 2 grocery list and made some quinoa and black bean burgers for a few friends. They were very delicious but we forgot to make the quinoa ahead of time so they were more like, quinoa and black bean fall-apart bites on salad. Still, absolutely delicious.

Last night we went to our gym and soaked in the spa and I felt like I was getting  a good night’s rest. That was until Guinness woke up scratching and flapping his ears. I had to address some of his issues but was feeling good still about my sleep. Until I had to wake up 2 hours later.

Today I was supposed to weigh-in and measure up.  I’ve lost 4lbs this week and not much in inches but I can feel things changing up inside of me. That’s pretty cool especially with my issue.  I’m starting to get my groove in my workout and have found that being on the bike/stairmaster is the best time to be listening to some webinars and Arbonne training materials.  It’s thrilling to think that I’m making strides to get myself back on track to where I’d like to see  future me being happy, healthy, fit and successful.


On to Week 2!! ❤

Day 5 – 25 to go — January 8, 2016

Day 5 – 25 to go

MPE and I have been reading from the book “Rumi Day by Day” by Maryam Mafi. In the book there are 365 entries, each no longer than a couple sentences but evoking some inner thought. Yesterday’s reminded me how much we just keep trading our precious time here on earth for money…

7. “How can I reach for the heavenly skies when all day long I am bound up in the pursuit of earthly profits, fearful of losing everything, unable to let joy into my life?”

and for the reminder we all need to hear sometimes:

8. “Speech is both fire and nourishment an endless bounty and at the same time a ravaging pestilence. Be wary of your speech.”

Really, shouldn’t we all?

Today I woke up cranky. Now, I’ve been feeling great the last two days and really full of energy (especially in the evenings); however, I really wanted to wake up in my own time this morning but the weather had some other plans.  It was cold, and snowy, and icy, and the doorhandles on the car MPE were totally frozen and Mr. California doesn’t know how to de-ice like those of us who had to deal with it all winter long. Since he woke me up asking for a ride all I wanted the who drive there was a cup of coffee. And when I got home, I still wanted that cup of coffee. Well, when I decide to do something I go all in and guess what?  I stood strong. I was not about to break to that cup of coffee, but man was I grumpy about it.

In the 30 day challenge FB group there had been a few postings about having the chocolate shake hot -like a hot chocolate.  I had yet to try this so I decided to grab one of my favorite mugs, fill it up half way with almond milk, heat it up in two 15 second increments and use my little frothing wand (a wand I bought from world market a few years ago to make milk froth for like 1.99),  I added one scoop of the chocolate protein powder, (the wand still stirring and frothing), and topped it off with hot water. I had 2 of these this morning and it was just like a normal morning. No, it didn’t taste like coffee, it tasted like extra creamy hot chocolate and I felt like the adult I always dreamed I’d be when I was a kid and my mom was serving me Cream of Wheat for breakfast. Ok, that one is kind of a lie, I loved Cream of Wheat growing up.

After I stopped being grumpy about not having coffee and moved on with my day, I felt great. I had lots of energy and enjoyed some time at the gym and even made another dinner this week. I know at some point in the near future dinner and food will be harder to manage, but that is my resolution as well: Take care of myself by ensuring I eat well throughout the day, no matter how crazy it gets.

 You see, hot chocolate for breakfast!

These protein shakes are for EVERYONE! and I mean EVERYONE when I say EVERYONE. Just for starters, they are vegan/plant-based, Gluten Free, Soy Free, GMO Free and delicious! I also tried the Vanilla one today with just water and I was much happier with it’s taste and texture.  If you want to know more about this message me. Arbonne is the company, I’ve been looking for and I’m excited to join this fantastic group of people around the world!


Day 3 -27 to go — January 6, 2016

Day 3 -27 to go

 I went to bed last night full of energy from the training session I had with my Executive Area Manager with Arbonne. I met Mari yesterday and her energy is absolutely infectious so when I went to bed last night feeling great, I thought it had to have been the adrenaline. I believed the awful way I felt in the beginning of day two would most certainly come back today. I waited. It didn’t. That was a wonderful surprise. In fact I had a lot of energy, almost to the unfocusable limit.  I met with a group of us doing the 30day cleanse in the morning. Pretty much all of us felt awful yesterday but today seemed to be doing better. I will chalk it up to the fact that I cold-turkey cut the caffeine out. 

Another thing that happened today, was the fact that I didn’t feel as hungry. I didn’t feel depleted and defeated. I actually felt like I was consuming too often but in fact when I looked, hours had gone by in between. 
I do need to tell you about our dinner…. We had enchiladas. I mean we made some modifications to the recipe included in the week 1 vegan recipe BUT we had spinach, black bean, zucchini tamales and man they were delicious. The sauce I made had a lot of spice and my lips are still on fire.  

One of the best perks of this detox/cleanse is the support system. Not only do you get the products from Arbonne but you join a group of people participating, they send you a shopping list and meal plan for the week. They share shake recipes if you want to try them. I am obsessed with the recipes and shopping list because someone else did the thinking for me, and sometimes I really need that. I’ve got a lot going on in my life and with a little prepping I’ve been able to make 2 amazing dinners this week. 1 with enough soup for days!  

What a wonderful way to get over the hump of the week! 

Day 2 – 28 to go — January 5, 2016

Day 2 – 28 to go

I am so glad I moved all my students from today to yesterday; yet after teaching them yesterday and receiving a 4-legged furry friend and waiting up for 2 2-legged friends, I was exhausted most of the morning! So exhausted and so drained from my detox and my long day yesterday, I experienced “the symptoms”.  

I had my first shake this morning and decided not to but extra veggies/fruits and then went to my staff meeting.  By the end of the 2 hour long meeting, I was pretty much just staring, having a slight headache and not able to see past the clouds in my mind. I came home and ate a salad with, had another shake and snacked on my brown rice crackers and hummus. Slightly averting the headache and cloudiness.  After Arbonne launch/presentation 1, I picked up MPE had some dinner and went back to the 2nd presentation. By the time we got 1/2way through the 2nd presentation/training, I turned to MPE and exclaimed, “I feel amazing”. Who knows? Was it the toxins ridding themselves or my adrenaline rushing through, but I felt better and excited for the future!  

This detox is about ridding your body of foods and chemicals that cause it to work less efficiently. This chart, compiled by an Arbonne detox coach, includes the avoid and the approved list: 

 I really can’t wait to keep sharing this journey. 

Day 1 — January 4, 2016

Day 1

1 down 29 to go.

Well I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t craving more than a reasonable portion of apple and almond butter for my afternoon snack, but Day 1 is in the books.  Today I had to step on the dreaded scale, something I haven’t done in over year, and the numbers were high for me and painful to see, but not totally off the charts. I had to take measurements today and even though the scale number was higher than I’d like the measurements didn’t totally shock me. I’m not doing this detox to lose weight, but I’m doing it because I miss that healthier me who had the drive to train for a marathon even in the midst of strife.  I made a tomato soup and had a vegan/gf cheese quesadilla for dinner – the recipe said grilled cheese (still vegan/gf, but the bread the suggested was not vegan. Not that I am a strict vegan – MPE will tell you all day long the truth in that. The dinner was delicious. Actually everything today was delicious.

Breakfast was 1 vanilla shake with 1/2 bag of frozen veggies, daily fiber, and almond milk.

snack was apple and almond butter

Lunch was a chocolate shake with water and digestion plus

snack was a handful of raw pumpkin seeds

Dinner was the tomato soup and quesadilla.

I’ve had more tea than I’ve had in a while with some lemon, lots of water, and more of a mental game with not having coffee.

I won’t do this everyday. Really, I’m not one for sharing every detail but the gist of what I’m doing is laid out now.  Dishwasher is loaded and waiting for our company to arrive. We have a dog pal over for G for the next 4 days and 2 of my dearest friends are making their way through the ABQ.   I taught for 7 hours today, but have tomorrow off of lessons while I learn more about my venture with Arbonne and have my first launch.  I’m ready to sleep and learn more.

Happy Monday!

A New Adventure —

A New Adventure



It has been a long while since I’ve shared much of my life with you but it is a new year and I’m going to be venturing into some scary uncharted territory. I am creating a few new blog categories because along the way of creating my Studio and developing my professional footprint, I’ve always believed that our minds and bodies need to be healthy in order to better execute our life pursuits.This past year for me has been about developing my mental health. Some drastic, emotionally/mentally damaging changes happened prior to this year and I took the time to really hone in on healing those wounds. I’m not much for talking about my emotions publicly, but I’m very happy to share stories of overcoming battles. That was exactly what 2015 was for me. Through that journey, I was lucky enough to have a companion and a strong family and friend support, and I must not forget my loyal student families. I am overwhelmed with how wonderful the people I have near to me really are to me.

This year I am embarking to up my physical health back to where it was before the demise of my ability to cope with my emotions and use this as a way of helping others reach those milestones as well.

I want to share with you 15 things I have learned through this journey:

1. You have felt no pain like one to come in your future.
2. You have felt no disappointment like one to come in your future.
3. You have felt no joy like one to come in your future.
4. You have felt no love like one to come in your future.
5. You will lose someone and it will hurt worse than anything you have ever felt.
6. You will miss that someone for the rest of your living existence.
7. You will meet someone that brings great satisfaction to your life.
8. You may lose that person, too.
9. or they may be the one to help you through some of your darkest moments.
10. You can accomplish more than you believe you can.
11. You can accomplish  more with an open mind, willingness to learn, and kindness than you ever will be able to with a closed mind or a mean spirit.
12. You are worth every breath you take.
13. You’re work isn’t done here on this earth until the universe, God, or whatever drive you have inside of you decides it is.
14. So perhaps it’s time to slow down, smell the roses, and listen to your heart.
15. If someone outside of you can see deeper into your heart and soul than you can, you need to spend some time alone looking that deeply into yourself.

 With all this in mind here are a few of the things I’m doing that I will share with you:
1. Starting tomorrow January 4th, 2016 – I am starting a 30 day cleanse with Arbonne’s 30days to a healthier you.
2. I have become an Arbonne Independent Consultant and will be launching my business with them here in Albuquerque over the next week. http://DanielleFrabutt.Arbonne.com
3. I joined a wonderful Gym with My Prince (we’re going to call him MPE from now on)  with a 12 month contract so there is no backing out now.
4. MPE bought me a fitbit  for Christmas and I’m obsessed with it -he may be regretting this currently and I swear I’ll become less obsessed with it, soon.
5.I have run 2 times this year (pretty good for only being 3 days in), this also means I’m planning on training for some longer distance races, something I haven’t done in about 2 years.
5. I will blog all of these things, along with my studio accomplishments, performance accomplishments and more, if only for myself.

This kitchen has been prepped for this week of shakes and clean eating and the alarm has been set. Let’s not forget that launch a new business, start studio lessons this week and  I have a 4-legged guest and a couple of 2-leggers visiting. 

 Cheers! and Happy 2016



Carrizozo Music Presents the Altura Winds — July 30, 2014

Carrizozo Music Presents the Altura Winds

I love performing Chamber Music. This will ring true in my heart for as long as I live. There is something special about sharing the stage with friends and family that cannot be found in the spotlight.  Believe me, I am a spotlight performer, too!

The Pops Music series in Carrizozo, NM, formerly known as the “Music in the Parks” is the summer portion of the Carrizozo Music Series. This beautiful little town of approximately 1000 people really knows how to put on a fantastic evening of music and community.  I had the opportunity to perform as a Woodwind Quintet this past fall and got to come back with Altura Winds this past Friday, July 25th.   Our bassoonist Stefanie Przybylska asked me towards the end of the spring semester if I had the date available and I absolutely could not wait to return!  The performances take place at Trinity United Methodist church and a community potluck reception is held afterwards for patrons and musicians.

We prepared well over an hours worth of music including Rags by Joplin, a Mexican Suite,  and some light classical tunes sure to be recognized by most.  The day was a hot one and the church took awhile to cool down. We rehearsed briefly before dinner at a quaint little cafe run by a husband and wife pair. The husband really enjoyed talking with the patrons and the wife’s cooking was fantastic. They customized a vegan dish for me and my guest, and boasted only using “real food”. When we got our salad we could see that they meant a real assortment of veggies including squash and broccoli …just the way I like my salad!

By the time we returned for the performances the church had only slightly cooled. Luckily the air was left on because I am sure I have not sweat like that since the Louisiana Bayou Tours of my AWSO days (2006-2008).  Those days sure prepared me to remember how to wipe my face on every 2-measure rest opportunity that arose! My flute was sliding around my face constantly!

After the concert we spoke with the attendees and had some lovely refreshments. This is my favorite part of any gig. I love getting to hear the stories of the people who took the time out to hear me perform. There were people from all over the country in attendance.  The farthest traveler we had was from New York City.

On the way home, my friend and I stopped off of State Route 380 to stargaze. The Milky Way popped out of the sky as soon as a stepped out of the car and the stars literally took my breath away. We watched a few satellites and a few shooting stars before driving back to Albuquerque. All in all, we made music, we had a wonderful time, and we had fun: a perfect recipe for a great memory! Altura Winds

Liz Madden, Art in the Afternoon at the Albuquerque Museum — April 28, 2014

Liz Madden, Art in the Afternoon at the Albuquerque Museum

This is a little later than I would have liked to post something in regards to this performance, but has constantly been on my mind. As I’m trying to write more about the experiences I have in performing with some of the finest musicians in the world (literally), I finally get to write about the amazing experience I have performing along side Irish/Folk Singer, Liz Madden.

Liz Madden came into Apple Mountain Music last summer, when I was manning the store for Debra Fortess, who had left to visit her family in Washington. Debra is a wonderful friend and mentor of mine and with whom I’ve had the pleasure of becoming apart of her community at Apple Mountain Music. More about the beautiful circle that encompasses Apple Mountain Music, later.  Anyway, Liz came in and by chance happenstance, I was there as well. She was just new to the area and wanted to make some connections and start performing around town. As usual, I referred her to some of the best Irish Musicians I know in town and sent her many loving thoughts as she left.

Later in the year, I hear she is giving a concert at Apple and I clear out the date so that I can see this lovely person perform her music. Little did I know that I would be taking on a bigger task in a few short weeks. I received an email requesting my musical talent to accompany her. After I agreed, I received my first ever performance packet of music that had no music written at all – just lyric sheets and chord charts. Well, I got to work listening and learning and I got to perform an amazing, well-received concert around my favorite people. A wonderful musical bond was born between Liz, guitarist Chris Nolan, Bodhràn player, Dain Forsythe and Myself.


So back to Arts in the Afternoon at the Albuquerque Museum… This 3 hour long concert was given by Liz, Chris and Me.  The space reminded me much of the Wednesday noon series from my undergrad days at the Butler Museum of Art. The Marble floors and stone walls provided a very live atmosphere with lots of bouncing points for the sound to travel. The high ceilings made it tougher for people sitting farther away to focus on the music and not the museum noise behind them. This is all part of the experience of performing in this venue, I believe. Watching the workers wheel carts of chairs behind the audience and people leaving to go to the cafe. That was quite a lovely addition to the experience, the cafe provided not only the typical cafe food and drink, but wine and beer for those who wished to imbibe to our folk music!

We had plenty of music for our three hour long session but we repeated some of our favorites as some of our favorite people joined us later in the afternoon.  We performed a few new pieces that were hits with us (me) and the audience!  Count on Me  is a happy tune  about friendship in which I get to sing along an octave higher than Liz and brings a huge smile to everyone’s face. Sea of Glass is a beautiful piece in which I get to play a beautiful line, originally scored for an oboe, on my alto flute. It is so easy to embellish the music with my alto on this piece.   We will for sure be bringing these pieces back at the Folk Festival!

I did play, what I called, transition pieces for a latin-irish fusion piece: the Piazzolla Tango Etudes No. 4 & 3. This allowed me to show off the alto flute a bit and give a lead in to our piece I Know My Love.   During a break, I had a moment to speak with a gentleman who was a Korean War Vet. My heart immediately swelled as he asked about the beautiful flute I played with the deep tone. He had never seen an alto flute and felt so grateful to have heard its beautiful tone. I told him how happy I was that he had been there and that I could share that gift with him. I thanked him very much for all he had done in his life and it took every bit of my willpower to not cry and hug him.

This concert was extremely emotional for me as my life is taking a hard turn. I did almost choke while singing Bring on the Rain with Liz. Especially during ” another day has almost come and gone, I can’t imagine what else could go wrong” considering everything seems to be falling apart around me. Fear not, life will always turn itself back around!


Performing with Liz has been one of the best gifts life has given me in quite some time. I’m looking forward to continuing this bond for years to come.


Alto Flute  Photo courtesy of Jeanne Dyke and Liz Madden
Alto Flute Photo courtesy of Jeanne Dyke and Liz Madden
Photo Courtesy of Jeannie Dyke and Liz Madden
Photo Courtesy of Jeannie Dyke and Liz Madden
The Liz Madden Trio, Photo Courtesy of Jeannie Dyke and Liz Madden
The Liz Madden Trio, Photo Courtesy of Jeannie Dyke and Liz Madden
Performing Albuquerque — March 10, 2014

Performing Albuquerque

I am a very busy person. My students know this, my colleagues know this, and my running community knows this. Working for the Philharmonic has been an absolute joy and I have poured myself into creating a job full of organization and knowledge. Being hired as Artistic Coordinator meant filling a position that had not yet been created for the New Mexico Philharmonic. There was no job aide to help me figure out what I needed to be doing or when I needed to be doing it. I’ve spent this season really trying to formulate a schedule and methodology that could potentially be passed down if I ever need to leave this position.  This is how I operate in all of my management and teaching roles.

So, with working for the Young Musician Initiative as a head instructor, working for the Philharmonic as the Artistic Coordinator, maintaining my full studio, (oh and that training thing I seem to have acquired over the last 3 years) I’ve been having less performance time on my card.  When I get the phone call to perform, if it fits in my schedule (even BARELY, like this past weekend), I pretty much say yes and have my music performance ready a week out because I’m so eager to be on stage!

This past weekend I had the opportunity to perform with Quintessence – Choral Arts of the Southwest on their A Sense of Place program(www.quintessence-abq.org). What a fantastic program this vibrant group of musicians put on! Congratulations to the whole group and the Artistic Director, Matt Greer. His programing makes the audience excited and leaves them anticipating the next concert. I was thrilled to be apart of such a fantastic group.

This weekend we performed Alice Parkers: Kentucky Psalms, a beautiful 4 movement piece for String Quintet and Flute (along with the Choir -but of course I just assumed you knew that). The piece was fun and featured the flute in some very noodle-y passages that outlined the melody of the voices.  I prepared the piece at its suggested tempi and was lucky to find out that the last movement was performed at a perfectly energetic tempo , which made the flute line pop out with ease!

I also made my Native American Flute debut in Judith Clouds: Mesa Songs. Now I love playing around on my very basic NA Flute, but I’ve never performed on it. When preparing to play this piece, my NA flute was a bit pitchy (I actually hate that word, but I watched the voice last night and can’t think of anything else – I mean it is their go to phrase for bad intonation and lack of training…I digress). Being an opportunist and lover of ethnic flutes, I took this as a sign that I needed to have a new flute added to my collection. Off to Apple Mountain Music I went and I’m now the owner of a beautiful sycamore High Spirit D-Flute!  I thought it sounded like the wind playing in both sanctuaries. Oh! Matt’s brilliant artistic decision to have me perform at the back of the sanctuary behind the audience was a hit. When I spoke to patrons, post concert, many of them hadn’t a clue I was behind them. They figured I was in the wings or balcony (respectively to both church venues) and were surprised to find me right behind them during the applause!  I have to say, playing the NA flute was such a great experience.

Although on Saturday I had to dash off immediately following my performance portion of the program, I did get to enjoy the rest of the concert on Sunday. Cello soloist with the NM Phil this weekend, Lynn Harrell, said during his enthusiastic applause to guest conductor Joshua Weilerstein (Assistant conductor of the NYPhil), “We really do have the best career” and I couldn’t agree more. I think being involved in this career in every possible way, I am most definitely the lucky one.

Be sure to check out the upcoming concerts of Quintessence at http://www.quintessence-abq.org.
Also St John’s Choir will be performing Mozart’s Requiem with the NM Phil in a couple weeks , as always check out, http://www.nmphil.org.


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