Inspire and be Inspired


Inspiration is a two-way street. In order to inspire others, you have to be inspired yourself.

I was recently catching up with a good friend of mine, Vicki Jackson, who I had not seen in several months. We have known each other for about 5 years and have shared some unexpected parallel life experiences. There is a definite chemistry that is underlined by the simple fact that we just get each other. No pretense, no bull shit (pardon the French), just mutual respect and support.. Randomly, she also shares the same birthday as my BFF Cheryl Howe.

Anyway, when you have a friendship like that, it is like therapy. You can talk about almost anything and there is no judgment. Instead, there are often new ideas and a renewed sense that what you are doing with your life is pretty cool. It’s validating and it’s inspiring.

It was just about this time last year, when I told Vicki that I was going to take drum lessons. With typical enthusiasm, she told me how cool she thought that was, and continued to ask me for updates, and even encouraged me to post a video on my Facebook Page. I was very nervous about doing that, but Vicki just kept telling me that it was really great, especially considering that I had only been playing for about 3 or 4 months at the time.

Then, when I posted my most recent video, she posted this comment on my wall: “Michelle says ‘I’ve decided to take drum lessons’ –Follow through is an awesome things! You definitely ROCK!” I loved that so much that I took a photo of her comment, and I look at it periodically when I feel like I need a little inspiration and encouragement.

Much to my surprise, I receive a lot of comments on this blog, my Facebook Page, as well as email messages and even phone calls from people simply saying that they find what I am doing to be inspiring. Sometimes it’s about my drumming, and sometimes it’s about my writing, and sometimes it’s about something else entirely. I never dreamed that anyone would be inspired by me. That is a heavy responsibility, but one with a very cool factor attached to it.

So, who inspires me, you ask? There is no easy way of answering that, as I find inspiration from so many different people, events, situations and sources. I have been inspired by family, friends, colleagues, industry leaders, innovators, musicians…you name it. You may recall earlier posts that I wrote about being inspired by Bruce Springsteen and Chrissie Hynde. I am also inspired by less famous musicians.

YouTube has been a great resource for me as a beginning drummer. I spend countless hours watching videos of drum covers and instructional videos. The two people that I like to watch the most are: Meytal Cohen and Jeremy Brinling.

Meytal Cohen has a great style and passion for drumming. When I watch her videos I feel inspired to take my drumming to a much higher level. She has this great smile that tells you that this girl is having a good time and loving what she is doing. She is not afraid of self-expression, which is something that I have recently discovered about myself too. If you are not familiar with her, check out this video of her “Misery Business” by Paramore drum cover.


As for Jeremy Brinling, he makes playing the drums look so effortless. He seems to have a natural talent, and I love his signature move, which he does at the beginning of each video as soon as he arrives on camera. I am not going to tell you what it is, because I really want you to watch his videos and see it for yourself. This is one of my favorites, because it inspired me to try and play this song too. It is “Headlights” by Morning Parade. His version is a lot better than mine, but I am getting there.


If you haven’t seen my version yet from January, here you go. I can play it much better now, but remember, I am still learning.


I am not afraid to put myself out there. I know that this video is full of flaws and that my timing is a bit off. But, I still see it as an accomplishment and a work in progress. I am also a perfectionist, so it is a little ironic that I would put anything out there that wasn’t absolutely perfect. Even I find that to be shocking! So, anyway, I hope that you will find some inspiration in my blog, and that you will leave comments and let me know who and what inspires you.


  1. I like his trademark salute too, you need to come up with some fancy signature. With all of your skills and pizzaz Michelle your videos are just going to get better and better…

    Many Facets and Layers to Michelle Sandlin.

    I find inspiration in the most random places. Quick go to places for inspiration Conversations, Photos, Songs, Paintings, Nature, Movies, Kids Shows! Personal Growth and Development. Those who see what they want and go for it, not only going for it but informing others of the useful information they have gathered along the way.

    One of the most inspirational people in my life these days is my Good Friend Les Godfrey. He has been building instruments and playing them for many years. His past experience, wisdom and thirst for knowledge is something rare and very inspirational. Much like yours Michelle. You Reach for the Moon and only stop when you have planted your Flag!

    Happy to Read and Share 🙂

  2. As always, thank you Bon! I have come up with my own signature move already, but you will have to wait until my next video to see what it is.

    Keep reading, and I will keep writing!

    Thanks for your all of your support and encouragement!
    – M

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