Danielle Frabutt Garcia

Flute Performance and Instruction, Vocal Performance, Health & Wellness

The Power of Positive — February 24, 2016

The Power of Positive

I have to be honest, the last 7 days of my life have been a whirlwind of up and down emotions. The best moments included seeing my cousin while she was here visiting friends and sharing my house with one of my best friends. One of the nights included MPE cooking an amazing meal.

The last couple days have been one relentless beating of life challenges after another. Today, I about cried 3 different times and the tears rolled down my face at least twice. Yes, I am a very sensitive female, yes the moon is full, yes I want everyone to just get along, and yes, even at 30, I want to feel love, value, and appreciation and seek it in the validation of others.  I am human and I love myself and 90% of the time I am kicking butt at moving forward, but some days I just want a hug.

I’ve been pushing for positive interactions at YMI (Young Musician Initiative) and helping kids recognize how to be nicer to each other.  I am also trying to emulate this for them. Knowing that I have had a bad day but I take a moment to tell a kid that I love their sparkly sweater or shoes, or their noticing their haircut connects me with them. It also makes leading them in music that much better. It also makes them want to talk to me and trust me and that above all is priceless.

In order to keep our number up in the spring time, I’ve offered to have a YMI Run for the Zoo training program. It started at the school, without warning on Monday, so we started on Tuesday and really ran our first mile today. We have about 15 min (give or take a few on any given day) to get our run in 4 days a week. Knowing that good rehearsals lead to early recess mean we may have more time to get more miles in. It is definitely a great accountability moment when (8) 3-5th graders know you are training for a marathon while helping them train for a 5k!

I am also taking a few kids to the ABQ Flute Fiesta . They had to submit an essay to me about WHY they want to go. An essay for some elementary school kids includes lines like:

“Playing the flute makes me really happy”

” I want to meet other people who enjoy playing the flute as much as I do”

“My flute teacher’s name is Ms. Danielle and she’s nice and sweet.”

“I want to be better at my flute and play my solo”

These moments melt my heart and are exactly what I need for days like these.

My night of teaching ended with a rehearsal of a freshman and her pianist (a junior) on the Presto section of Enesco’s Cantabile et Presto.  First rehearsal can be rough, but these two ladies capped my night of with a smile. I could not believe how prepared they both were. They made piecing together moments that can be quite disastrous painless and I LEARNED from them.

Thank the universe for the harmonious creation we get to experience. While dodging stress on our little ball of a planet, the moments that matter most are the ones we share in kindness and love.

Love is in the air — February 15, 2016

Love is in the air

Happy Valentine’s Day! Or, I guess I should say happy day after Valentine’s Day and happy Presidents’ Day! I was really hoping to update yesterday on our weekend and the first 5K that I have run in quite some time. However, that 5K are really kicked me while I was down so today it is. 

Saturday I hosted a pre-Valentine’s Day weekend event that included mud masks and mimosas! It was pretty awesome, we also indulged in some delicious berry and chocolate breakfast goodness. All vegan, and everyone seemed to really enjoy the pampering! The more Arbonne product I test out the more I’m really loving getting to share these products with everyone else. Send me a message to learn how I can set you up with getting some free product of your own to try!

Our next 30 day challenge has started, today! So that means our countdown is also starting. Day 1, 29 to go! This time around, I’m coaching a great group of people through their 30 day challenge while embarking on it again myself. One of them being my own boyfriend, who watched in first degree the changes that took place with me. This morning, I sent him on his way with his goodies for the day. Unfortunately this weekend really took a toll on our schedule so we need to do some grocery shopping for the rest of the week.  The 2 weeks in between were a little rough on me, too. I am for sure back at it with a vengeance!

There are 5 of us in this group this and each person has the drive and motivation to really rock it. I’m so thrilled to be their coach on this because I can’t wait to see their changes!

As far as marathon training goes: Today started week 3 of training! I had to swap yesterday’s long run for today as I did my first 5k in a few years, probably ran too hard, and didn’t rehydrate well enough and BAM, dehydration migraine. When I got home yesterday, I did recognize the symptoms and forwent running the extra 4 miles. Now, I’m wondering had I decided to do keep hydrating with water and my phytosport would I have made it through the 4. Today, I ran 7 miles and it was beautiful. I feel fantastic! So far my mileage building is going well and nutrition building is making so much sense.

Tomorrow will be a nice easy swim day and Wednesday will be its usual rest for the body but not for the mind. My working day endurance is certainly dwindling, too.  The sun is rising earlier here in NM and I think that is going to be VERY helpful to kicking some of the  rut.
My stepfather is a Dolly Parton  fanatic. I’d like to share with you the card I made for him for Valentine’s Day. Even if it’s a day late, I hope you were able to spend it surrounded with those that you love the most!


Performance reflections on Traditional Ceremonies — February 7, 2016

Performance reflections on Traditional Ceremonies

Yesterday I had the opportunity of performing at a Funeral-Memorial Service at French Funeral homes in Rio Rancho, NM. This opportunity has been presented to me through a series of networking moments and is shared with my best friend of many years, Therese. This was our 4th funeral since July.

I consider this opportunity an honor as I perform for families in their various ceremonial or traditional moments. During this particular funeral, I was extremely touched by the many stories of the deceased and his love for his family and religion. It was inspiring and touched my soul.  I was also reflective in my own spiritual beliefs and desires to be a servant of the people as a musician. Let me describe:

I am a musician. Music is my career and ultimately every gig is a job in which I trade my time and talent for money. I can go on to say that the pay goes towards years of development in my musicality and professionalism, as well as to a knowledge of such ceremonious events. This is very true, yes, this is a job, but what I am proud to bring to the table is not the trade of talent for money. It is truly an honor to bring peace, comfort, joy, reflection, and more to these families with little-to-no-stress on whether the musician will know what they are doing, show up, and when to perform.  Therese and I both have a long history of church service, funeral, wedding and other service performances.

The widow at this particular funeral, touched my heart when she smiled at me after we finished playing the prelude.  Being able to sing two hymns that she chose brought me closer to my servitude to humanity.

Day 29 – 1 to go — February 1, 2016

Day 29 – 1 to go

Healthy .... happy

I’m going to start with the stats, because I feel like that is really what everyone wants to know:

  • -8lbs in 4 weeks
  • -3″ from the belly/core (with 3 different measurements)
  • -3.5″ from various measurements throughout the body
  • increased energy
  • better sleep
  • clarity in my mind
  • positive energy over negative energy
  • approaching everyday stressors with positive energy and outlook
  • motivation
  • we saved double the amount of the program this month on groceries and food (by not going out to eat, getting a coffee or quick lunch out, etc).

AND, to celebrate the end of my first 30 day challenge – I signed up to run the San Diego Rock n’ Roll Marathon. Training started TODAY.

As I’ve said before, I didn’t go into this with the goal of quick loss of lbs. My general philosophy is that good change takes time, and I was ready to get going with establishing my health goals more solidly.  The results are phenomenal not only physically, BUT mentally and emotionally. I want to talk about that a bit more, so this is about to get personal.

I have had some battles with my mind throughout my life. I have had some battles with depression with the latest one being the last couple of years. The first diagnosis was when I was a teenager but I’ve always worked really hard to maintain this and not take medications to treat it but look for long term healthy answers. Needless to say after a decade or more of really great work, one event really spiraled me down.  I’ve been in therapy working through a lot of this, therapy has been wonderful, but through that process I decided to take a step back from running. I was not finding the enjoyment or help in running that I used to, and I found that running was a huge trigger point to a lot of my inner battles. So I stopped and focused on building my inner strength. Then, Arbonne and 30 days to Healthy Living entered my life.

When I signed on, it had been a good 10 years since I had done a detox like program. I believe in the reset of your insides to really power you through some life moments. I went for it, jumped right in, and here I am at the other end raving about how great it made me feel. Those inner battles have dwindled down to petty spats that I can typically work through pretty quickly. I have goals, I have motivation, and I am dreaming.  This is what the detox benefit was for me: the ability to fight my inner battles with a clear mind and really hold onto my identity of being a lover and a fighter, a runner and a musician, and a supporter of all things beautiful.

I am definitely looking to build my February 15th, 2016 30 Day to Healthy Living team! I would LOVE if you would join me! Message me for more details!

30 day breakdown

Day 25 -5 left — January 28, 2016

Day 25 -5 left

 Wait… Ok what? yes, I meant to write again but time is FLYING by. It is a bit insane how crazy my days get in the middle of the Symphony Season and Spring School semester. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE everything I do, but when I look at a calendar and go wait it’s the **th day? oh, well then I guess I need to really try and schedule that downtime.

I wanted to take about Week 3.  Week 3 was the 7-day Body Cleanse. It was highly anticipated and for a good reason. This is a packet of liquid cleansing ingredients and is added to about 33 oz of water. (I used the smart water bottle method and just added it to that so I didn’t have to think about how much water I was supposed to add). It is considered gentle because you drink it throughout the day rather than chugging the whole   supplement. The first day was on our drive back from Truth or Consequences, NM so I drank it VERY slowly…Just. In. Case.

The rest of the week I became braver. They say, the more acidic you are the more bitter it tastes at the beginning and then it should mellow out in a couple days. I didn’t mind the flavor at all from the beginning but I definitely felt it changing flavor. It isn’t like the packets are labeled day 1 – 7, and I’m pretty sure I grabbed from all over, so I believe it.

I felt detox-y again. That is how my other friend doing this 30 day challenge and I classify it. The achey-ness, some of the cloudiness and some of the tiredness. It wasn’t as unbearable as Day 2, though – I mentioned that, right? Day 2 was awful!  These came in waves as I drank more or less at a time. I still got up and went to the gym and would get that burst of energy.  And there was nothing unbearable about the mid-month more intense detox.

Up next, I’m thinking about what am I going to do next week when I don’t have this plan. When my eating isn’t all spelled out for me? I still feel the stressors of my extremely full day making me want to come home and eat all the food, even though all the food is on the  healthy side of things.  I definitely want more of my Chocolate protein, the vanilla has grown on me as long as I mix it in, and then I started mixing Chocolate and Vanilla and that was like a Chai drink -without the spiciness.  I guess we have 5 days before I tell you the end results of the entire 30 days. I’m excited!

Who’s up for the challenge? Who wants that extra energy and that control in their life? I know I loved it and would love to help you, too!


Day 15 -15 to go — January 18, 2016

Day 15 -15 to go

Halfway there!! And I survived not being at my home for 4 days. Friday thru Saturday I was up at Hummingbird music camp mixing my shakes and teaching for 15 hours. Then Sunday till today MPE and I went on a mini-vacation in Truth or Consequences, NM. We stayed at Blackstone Hotsprings where we had a hotspring tub in our room. It was definitely worth it even if it was brief. We spent an hour in the “wet room” which had a steam room (heat and water provided by a hotspring waterfall) and a 4′ tub with waterfall. I think we spent 70% of our time in water and drinking water. 

I survived my shakes on the road and bringing food with me! Would it have been nice to have champagne with our berry-dessert?  Yes, yes it would have been, but I am totally committed to doing this right.  

Today started week 3, which means 2 things -there are only 2 weeks left (or one after this one ha!) and I started the 7-day cleanse portion. I made the cleanse as we prepared to check-out (very sadly) and drive around New Mexico. You add the cleanse to about 32oz of water and I was expecting it to not taste too great. I was definitely surprised when it wasn’t awful to down. I downed it probably more slowly than I will over the week since we were driving in the middle of nowhere to towns that had population averages of 13 people 🙂  We also took a drive on a dirt road around 60milee long through some of the most beautiful New Mexico scenery you could imagine! 
I completed all my workouts for the week and feel overall energetic and in a positive mindset. I am looking forward to starting YMI (young musician initiative) this week and making some pretty big strides in my life! 

Kryptonite from our superman room


The hanging tree in the middle of Chloride,NM population: 11


Dirt road home

Stopping at the Very Large Array our way back home 

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 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! 

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