04. 2019 763-432-9713 www.mnschoolofmusic.com
THE MONTHLY MUSICIAN
MY JOURNEY AS AN AUTHOR FROM MUSIC TO MANUSCRIPTS
I was certain the essay was 100 percent my own. “I want to see you in my office,” Dr. Painter replied. Despite everything I’d been through in the last few hours, I was not prepared for what happened next. Dr. Painter began by apologizing for the plagiarism notice. She explained that she’d “never seen that kind of writing from a performance major before” and assumed I couldn’t have been the author. Sure, it was a backhanded compliment, but after the night I’d had, I was just glad to know my grade wasn’t on the line. That’s when my professor told me I should consider a career as a writer. Now, I was already knee-deep in preparation for my master’s performance of Bach’s “Lute Suite in E Minor” — which is not exactly an easy performance. That a professor who had authored research papers was so visibly floored by something I’d written was incredibly motivating. So, against my better judgment, I walked into the office of the university’s Minnesota Daily — which is one of the oldest school newspapers in the United States — and got a job. I’d hold a few writing positions over the years, including one where I got to cover the 2012 presidential race. A dude from the tunnels of the west bank got to stand shoulder to shoulder with the media elite on the press riser in Washington, D.C. To this day, I still can’t believe it. Now, with the upcoming release of my first book, I can’t help but think back to that wild, scary night and the professor who helped show me a talent I didn’t even know I had.
I f you’ve read your fair share of these newsletters, it will probably come as no surprise to learn that I’ve always wanted to author a book of my own. Not to dismiss the humble publication on your screen, but getting to organize my thoughts into full chapters and delve into my personal philosophy page by page has long been a dream of mine. I’m excited to announce that it’s about to become a reality. “More Than Music: How Choosing the Right Music School Will Develop Skills, Build Character, and Prepare Your Child for a Successful Life” is my first step into the authorial big leagues, and I couldn’t be more excited to share it with you. You’ll find more information about the book on Page 3 of this newsletter. But while you’re here, I may as well give you an abbreviated version of the story I share in Chapter 1. After all, it explains how a guitar student first got it in his head that he could be a writer one day. The night I learned I could write was the scariest of my life. I’d woken up to my baby boy Caleb choking in his crib. He’d come down with croup, an infection common enough in infants that normally clears up in a few days, but this was different. Caleb’s face was
covered in blood, and his lips were blue. I scooped him up and drove to the hospital as fast as I could. After an agonizing wait, the doctors were able to get my son breathing normally again, and his symptoms began to clear. Slumping in the hospital waiting room as the adrenaline drained out of me, a different kind of dread took its place. I had a paper to write for class the next day, and I hadn’t done all the reading. As a guitar student at the University of Minnesota, I couldn’t exactly afford to call it quits on an important musicology assignment. So, as much as I wanted to spend time with my recovering son and get some rest, I had to drag myself to the library and try to type up something presentable. I summarized what I remembered from the readings as best I could from memory and sent it off to my professor, Dr. Karen Painter. She responded almost immediately with a sternly worded reminder of the school’s policy on plagiarism. I was being accused of cheating. Confused and more than a little dazed, I wrote back asking if there had been some kind of mistake. I explained the late-night hospitalization of my son and that the assignment had been a rushed job, but
Thanks, Dr. Painter,
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Whether you were the star player or the kid who picked flowers in the middle of the field all game, almost everyone has memories of being on a sports team when they were young. Some lose interest over time and pursue other activities, while others find they really enjoy their sport, maybe have a real talent for it, and continue playing until they are young adults. Whatever the case, parents should take a couple of factors into consideration when determining if their child is ready for sports. If they begin playing too early, it might turn them off to the sport before they really understand it. It could also result in premature wear on muscles and bones that prevents them from playing their sport later on. ACTIVE SEARCHING FOR ACTIVE PASTIMES FINDING THE RIGHT TIME TO GET YOUR CHILDREN INTO SPORTS
Some children might not show interest in organized sports at all. If your child does not seem interested in any sports, even though they are old enough to understand the rules and are coordinated enough to play, you might want to consider other activities, like art or music classes. Still, it is essential that they are active for at least an hour every day, no matter their interests. Sometimes kids will get frustrated with the sports they play (even if they like playing them), and they might want to quit. If your child doesn’t seem to like the sport you signed them up for, encourage them to at least finish out the season. They might just need a little more time to warm up to it. However, if they still aren’t
Most experts believe that the proper age for introducing your child to sports is somewhere between 6 and 9 years old. When they are younger than 6, it is important for them to be active, but their motor skills are not yet developed enough to play most competitive sports. Trying to get them to understand this fact at that age might only make them frustrated with the sport and make them dislike it before they can even give it a try. Even when children are between the ages of 6 and 9, they might not be ready for sports that require higher forms of coordination, like
football or hockey. Instead, try sports like T-ball, soccer, or karate. They won’t be ready for more intensive sports until they are 10–12 years old.
If your child does not seem to enjoy team sports, you might see if they may like more individual sports, like running or swimming. Their personality can be just as significant as their age when it comes to choosing the right sport.
enjoying it at the end of the season, help them find other activities that they might like better. Ultimately, when a child is ready to play sports, it is important to stay in tune with what brings them joy and what keeps them mentally and physically healthy.
MnSoM STUDENTS SWEEP THE COMPETITION CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNERS! Lucy Hadsall
In February’s newsletter, we announced that three of our star pupils were competing in the prestigious Twin Cities Preliminary Piano Competition. Lucy Hadsall, Caleb Nehring, and Maxine Pagaduan competed against thousands of other aspiring pianists in front of a panel of judges selected by the Minnesota Music Teachers Association. It is now our pleasure to announce that all three of these amazing young musicians passed this preliminary stage with flying colors!
With over 1,700 kids competing here locally, this isn’t a contest with room for participation trophies. Despite fierce competition, Lucy, Caleb, and Maxine scored well enough to compete at regionals! This is an amazing achievement, and every one of them should be incredibly proud of their hard work. As teachers and mentors, we are overjoyed by their success and can’t wait for all of their incredible performances in the future! Congratulations!
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‘MORE THAN MUSIC’ ERIC SHARES HIS PHILOSOPHY IN A NEW BOOK!
WELCOME NEW STUDENTS
Violet K. Harrison F. Eva L. FEBRUARY
Jackson F. Cristian W.
As Eric mentions on this month’s cover, he has a book coming out! Based on his experiences founding MnSoM, this work represents a distillation of our philosophy as a school. The title says it all — “More Than Music: How Choosing the Right Music School Will Develop Skills, Build Character, and Prepare Your Child for a Successful Life” is about the big-picture impact a proper musical education can have on a child’s life. This conversation is more important today than ever before. In a world where parents face a deluge of choices when it comes to music instruction — from church basements to YouTube videos — it’s understandable why many ask, “Why enroll in a music school?” The answer is simple: A good music school provides students with, well, “More Than Music.” Partnering with good friend and mentor Marty Fort, Eric delves into the unique value music schools can provide parents and students alike. Often, learning an instrument can be an isolating experience, especially when compared to other activities students could be doing, such as sports. Unlike other avenues for learning an instrument, schools can foster a sense of community, providing a supportive learning environment beyond the encouragement of a single teacher or disembodied YouTube personality. Of course, not all schools are created equal. Some institutions act as little more than a hub for one-on-one lessons. When Eric founded MnSoM, he knew we had to go above and beyond simply connecting students to teachers. That’s why we invite parents into the classroom, set milestones using the Musical Ladder™ system, and plan performances where students can let their hard work shine. “More Than Music” was written to help families find those schools that go the extra mile. Whether you’re looking for music lessons here in the Twin Cities or know a family involved in the same search out of state, this book can help. If you’d like to give it a read, you can order a copy from our website (mnschoolofmusic.com) or just swing by the office!
IS YOUR TEACHER If you’ve tried to make a schedule change recently, you’ve seen firsthand how full our teachers’ schedules are. If you are looking to make an upcoming schedule change, please read below to see if your teacher is sold out. Note: Teacher availability is subject to change based on enrollment. Please contact the front desk at 763-432-9713 for up-to-date schedule information. SOLD OUT?
Mrs. Gagnon - SOLD OUT
Mr. Norell - SOLD OUT
Mrs. Lehner - SOLD OUT
Mrs. O’Neill - SOLD OUT
Mrs. Morris - SOLD OUT
Miss Pliam - SOLD OUT
Mr. Nistler - SOLD OUT
Miss Schwefel - SOLD OUT
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Eric’s Hidden Talent Letting Your Kids Have Fun With Some Healthy Competition Announcing Our Winners
Welcome New Students Getting ‘More Than Music’
The Importance of Rain to the Survival of Cultures
THE HISTORY AND CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE OF NATIVE AMERICAN RAIN DANCES DANCING TO BRING THE RAIN
While traditions and dances vary between Native American
spirits or gods to send rain for the crops. Tribes such as the Hopi, Navajo, Pueblo, and Mojave perform rain dances often. An old Cherokee legend says that the rain is filled with the spirits of past chiefs, and the rain is an indication of their battle with evil spirits beyond the natural world. One fact about rain dances is that both men and women — not just men — participate in the ceremony. Dancers wear special regalia, sometimes including headdresses, masks, body paints, and jewelry. What is worn varies from tribe to tribe, but turquoise is very important in rain dances for many tribes and is often incorporated into the jewelry. The rain dance regalia is not worn at any other point or for any other purpose
during the year, and participants dance in a zigzag pattern, unlike all other dances, which feature a circular motion. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, when the U.S. government was relocating Native Americans all over the country, they banned the practice of many ceremonial dances on reservations, undercover: Native Americans simply performed the ritual as a different, unbanned ceremony. The dances and the traditions continued, and today many tribes still perform rain dances, even if only in reverence for their heritage. sometimes including rain dances. However, rain dances continued
tribes, many of them feature rain dances. Because water is
essential to life, and because many tribes lived in agrarian societies, these dances were important rituals, pleas for the survival of the tribe for another season. These dances have existed for hundreds of years, and many tribes still perform them today. Rain dances are notably common in the Southwestern U.S., where the dry climate means water is scarce and every bit of rainfall is essential for survival. Generally, rain dances are performed to ask the
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