A contemporary publishing industry equivalent of a boutique indie record label, Prashanti Press, LLC (http://prashantipress.com) is a recently launched small publishing house dedicated to producing and distributing various types of thoughtfully developed media. Driven by the passion and vision of its founder Wendy Lipp—whose brush with a life threatening illness sparked her desire to bring people’s stories and technical expertise to life—the Pound Ridge, NY company is inspired by creativity and committed to showcasing works that are rooted in, and reflect a sense of, truth.
Though not specifically a music book publisher, Lipp’s good fortune in knowing and working with Juilliard educated veteran drummer and drum instructor Mike Shapiro led to the publication of Prashanti Press’ debut title, an instructional book cleverly called Beat This.
The first in a series of books, Shapiro’s Beat This is a comprehensive, step-by-step Drums Set Method for both the beginner who’s picking up sticks for the first time and the skilled percussionist who needs to learn to read music. The book describes the basic beats and is geared toward helping beginning to intermediate drummers eventually master the rudiments, gain coordination and facility, build up their “chops” and begin to play more complex beats and fills.
Shapiro brings a diverse resume to his work. His studies include every genre of percussion from rock to jazz to classical and world music, and he has developed his own teaching method from 20 years of teaching experience in private studio, classroom and ensemble settings—including the Amadeus Conservatory of Music in Westchester. He has played with everyone from Todd Rundgren to Wynton Marsalis to Leonard Bernstein, and recently finished an off-Broadway run as the drummer for the musical Forever Dusty, based on the life and music of Dusty Springfield.
“I originally met Mike through some local gigs I did as a singer,” says Lipp, “and the stories I heard about his career really moved me. I knew he had something great going with all of his endeavors. At one point he told me that when he first began studying drums, he was happily going along in his instructional manual when a huge change took place and suddenly the exercises jumped to a harder level of technical skills without any real transition. He never understood why.
“Years later as a professional musician and drum instructor, he browsed the shelves at music stores to see if that gap had ever been corrected by anyone,” she continues. “He found the same problem in every instructional book he looked at. Writing this book is his way of correcting that important error. The method of playing he describes is that there are certain things that don’t change in music, and that every student learns differently, with a different technical progression. Beat This gets readers on the drums immediately, and it’s the kind of book that doesn’t lose anyone along the way. He’s a technical guy, but he wants to make sure that students don’t fall through the cracks that almost lost him.”
Prashanti Press’ other initial offerings are Vena Cava, a book of poetry (available now) by multi-cultural teacher and author Jerome Lawton, and Rock Angel, a romance novel set in the rock music world set for publication in September. The company is also in the development phase with different authors to produce a guitar instructional book and a vocal instruction book (that may emerge in a unique comic book/graphic form).
Excited about developing her publishing house as an “open, growing company,” Lipp says that Prashanti Press’ output is not limited by genre —and encourages writers of all types (including, of course, musicians and music instructors) to submit selectively to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“When I am helping someone bring his or her creativity to a higher level, I feel as though I am nurturing their spirit and life while also fostering the development of my own creativity,” she says.
Contact Prashanti Press, 413-441-2165