Minnesota School Of Music - August 2018

08. 2018 (763) 432-9713 www.mnschoolofmusic.com


I f you are reading this, congratulations! You’ve just received the very first edition of our new and improved newsletter! The team and I are excited to share some fun, informative articles with our parents and students alike. Personally, having transitioned out of my role as a teacher (and my brief time spent piloting the front desk), I’m looking forward to using this publication to reconnect with you and your kids!

Long story short, you won’t find any of our records on iTunes — but that’s not to say the trip wasn’t worth it. Between the band’s struggles and misadventures on the central California coast, I had a soul-searching moment. I realized that my love of music ran deeper than a desire for fame or fortune. I wanted to be an academic and devote my life to studying the discipline. Having come to this realization, I decided to return to Minnesota to pursue a degree in guitar performance from the University of St. Thomas. Fast-forward to 2010. I was a grad student teaching music at the University of Minnesota, and my wife had just had our first child, Caleb. Along with the joys of being a new father, a lingering question began to nag at me. Where was my son going to go for music? We’d

returned to my hometown, and there were no music schools to speak of. I was worried Caleb wouldn’t get the same opportunities I had growing up. That’s when the daydreams began. Between (and maybe a little during) college lectures, I kept returning to the thought, “What if it could be me ?” What if I could bring music lessons to Circle Pines,

“Teaching college students is one thing, but getting to help the development of kids in your hometown — that’s a higher calling if ever there was one.”

With this being the relaunch of our newsletter, and since the fifth anniversary of our school is fast approaching, I find myself reflecting on what started this journey. With over 260 students enrolled today, it’s hard to believe this all began as a daydream, when a young grad student found himself wanting to bring music to his hometown. For those who don’t know, I’m about as local as they come. I grew up right here in Circle Pines, went to Centennial High School, and started my journey into higher education at Anoka-Ramsey Community College. That was, of course, before I started a band and moved to California.

not just for Caleb, but for our whole community and beyond? Teaching college students is one thing, but getting to help the development of kids in your hometown — that’s a higher calling if ever there was one. So in 2013, with my wife about to deliver our second child and no money to speak of, I resigned from my teaching position at the University of Minnesota and set out to create what would become the Minnesota School of Music.


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The early days were hard. We had no money, and few people believed in us. We even struggled to get family on board. They were understandably reluctant at first, with me leaving the ivory tower of academia to teach kids to play guitar. Thankfully, my passion eventually won them over. Within a few short months, my wife was out there with me, putting up flyers at coffee shops while grandmas and grandpas on both sides pitched in to watch the kids. What began as a solo mission quickly became a family effort. There was a bittersweet irony to these early heady days of the music school. The whole founding idea was that I could add value to the community while spending time with my wife and kids. But to make that dream a reality, I found myself working 100-hour weeks, barely seeing my family at all. From teaching lessons to cleaning bathrooms, there was a lot of work to do and only one person to do it. Thankfully, we are in a better place now. And I can say those trying times not only brought my family closer together, they gave us a sense of purpose within our community.

employing such professional staff, have such state-of-the art facilities, and be bringing quality musical education to so many families. That kind of success doesn’t come unless you’re meeting a clear need in your community. All in all, I am not sure who has gained more from this experience — our students or my family. But one thing I can say is that everybody reading this newsletter has played a role in bringing the dreams of a young idealistic grad student to life. And for that, I am eternally grateful. –Eric Nehring

Together, our family built MnSOM into the institution it is today. Not in my wildest dreams would I have imagined we’d be




PET BREED: Sheepadoodle (Old English Sheepdog / Poodle Mix)

PET AGE: 4 years old

FAVORITE THING ABOUT MY PET: She loves people and thinks she’s a 70-pound lap dog!

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Often, the rewards for learning to play an instrument are obvious. Music is fun, and being able to play and perform feels great! But research shows that musical education is more than just fun and games. Kids in effective music programs are picking up valuable skills they can use for the rest of their lives on and off the stage. BEYOND FUN THE BIG-PICTURE BENEFITS OF MUSIC EDUCATION Music programs have been linked to higher performance in nearly every academic subject, from reading to mathematics. Multiple studies have shown an association between the study of music and advanced linguistic abilities in kids. In 2010, the National Academy of Sciences published a report that found young kids who study music develop bigger vocabularies and better grammar. On the mathematics side of the equation, the Journal for Research in Music Education found that even students with low-quality music programs consistently scored better in math than peers who had no musical education. In general, students who study music have higher SAT scores overall. Learning to sing or play an instrument effectively takes a great deal of dedication and discipline. From maintaining proper form while strumming a guitar to reading sheet music, the only way to get better is practice, practice, practice. Thankfully, music shows kids that staying focused and on task is fun and rewarding! The skills they develop to memorize a song or master an instrument can be translated to any other endeavor. At the end of the day, music is about self-expression. Discovering new genres and styles helps develop our identity. Getting up to perform a piece, whether in front of friends and family or an auditorium of over 400 people, builds our confidence. Playing in a band, choir, or symphony teaches us to collaborate with others to do something creative. Those are powerful social skills for a child to develop. While we here at the Minnesota School of Music believe in the study of music for music’s sake, we think it’s important to step back and look at the big picture from time to time. Will all of our students go on to be famed musicians in adulthood? Probably not. But regardless of what they choose to do, they’ll have skills they can apply to their success for the rest of their lives. MUSIC MAKES YOU FOCUSED MUSIC MAKES YOU, WELL, YOU! MUSIC MAKES YOU SMART



• 1 teaspoon kosher salt • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed • 1 large egg yolk • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract • 4 pints ice cream (any flavor) 4. Add egg mixture to food processor while spinning on low. Once integrated, slowly add browned butter; blend until dough forms a solid mass around blades. 5. Form dough into 26 balls and place 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten balls and bake 12–15 minutes or until edges begin to brown. 6. Let cool, then spread ice cream between cookies to make sandwiches. 7. Freeze for up to 5 days — or enjoy today!

INGREDIENTS • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter • 1 1/2 ounces store-bought waffle cones, lightly crushed • 1 1/2 cups oats • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour INSTRUCTIONS 1. Heat oven to 350 F. While oven is heating, cook butter in saucepan over medium heat until browned, 5–8 minutes. Scrape browned butter into a heatproof measuring glass. 2. Pulse waffle cones, oats, flour, and salt in a food processor or blender. Once cones are finely ground, add brown sugar and pulse again. 3. Whisk egg yolk, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl.

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3533 88th Ave. NE, Blaine, MN 55014 (763) 432-9713 www.mnschoolofmusic.com



The MnSOM Origin Story

Pet of the Month

Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches 3 Big-Picture Benefits to Musical Learning

Safe Sailing This Hurricane Season


After last year’s devastating storm season, would- be tropical travelers are undoubtedly hesitant about purchasing those discounted plane tickets to the Caribbean Basin. No one wants to face a possible evacuation during their vacation — or worse, be forced to weather

storm’s path with ease. For all their ferocity, hurricanes move slowly across the Atlantic and have relatively predictable trajectories. Meanwhile, modern cruise ships carry the most sophisticated weather-tracking instruments, allowing them to bypass even small storms and inclement weather. FLEXIBILITY IS A MUST The flipside of this ability to dodge storms is the fact that your ship may not be able to stick to its original itinerary. You may have to anchor at an island you weren’t expecting to or miss out on seeing a port you were supposed to visit. If you have your heart set on seeing a specific location, cruise travel this time of year may not be for you. But if you are simply looking for a safe, affordable vacation to a beautiful region, then it doesn’t much matter which white-sanded beach you wake up to next. While unpredictable weather will always be a concern for any vacation, the safety and variety cruises offer make them great options for anyone looking for a Caribbean getaway before the holiday season. So if you have a flexible schedule and a healthy sense of adventure, it’s time to call your travel agent, pack your sunscreen and bathing suit, and head to paradise!

a hurricane at a beachfront resort. If you want the most bang for your buck while enjoying the turquoise waters of the Caribbean this fall, consider booking a cruise. Cruise-ship travel is a fun and adventurous way to explore any time of year. After all, what could be more magical than a floating hotel room where you fall asleep in one country and wake up in another? This charming mobility is also what makes cruise travel the safest option for visiting the Caribbean and the coast of Mexico this time of year. SAFETY AND SAVINGS Much like resorts and airfare, cruise lines discount their Caribbean fares significantly during peak hurricane season, from August to October. However, unlike a traditional hotel, these massive ships have the luxury of navigating out of a

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