Minnesota School Of Music - September 2018

09. 2018 (763) 432-9713 www.mnschoolofmusic.com


I f you’re anything like me, the past few weeks have been a whirlwind thanks to the back-to-school rush. Getting our kids set up with No. 2 pencils, backpacks, and light- up sneakers can be overwhelming. I remember when my mom was doing the same for me, and looking back, I can’t even remember what style of backpack I had or what kind of shoes she got me. It was the relationship I had with my teachers that left a lasting impact on me. I was fortunate to have many great teachers over the years. Most were extremely dedicated individuals who fostered my love of learning and my passion for music. One professor in particular took it upon himself to not just be a teacher in the classroom, but to be an outstanding mentor in life — Dr. Christopher Kachian. I met Dr. Kachian while I was pursuing my undergraduate degree from the University of St. Thomas, where he is still the advisor for the guitar studies program to this day. An established performer who has played concerts around the globe, Dr. Kachian is an excellent teacher. But where other professors simply offered guidance in the classroom, he stepped up to nurture my development as a young professional wherever he could. In fact, it was Dr. Kachian who connected me with my first teaching jobs. His references helped me earn money as a college student and helped me discover that I had a real love of teaching music. He also helped me land my first paid theater gig at none other than the Chanhassen Dinner Theaters. Then, when it came time to apply to grad school, he helped me get into the University of Minnesota. Experiencing that level of mentorship has not only shaped me as a person, but has also shaped our entire organization. Awhile back, Dr. Kachian called me out of the blue. He explained that he’d been having lunch with a fellow professor, and they’d decided to start Googling former

students to see where they were in life. That’s when he found me at the Minnesota School of Music and decided to call me right away. “Dude!” he began, “You’re the only one who’s got game!” Since reconnecting, Dr. Kachian has once again stepped up to the plate, helping to recommend several quality teachers to MnSOM’s staff. In fact, Cyrus Wolff, one of our current staff members, comes to us handpicked by Dr. Kachian! But what I am most grateful for is the fact that Dr. Kachian showed me what real mentorship looks like. Having been shown the value of guiding students’ professional development inside and outside of the classroom, I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to lend a helping hand. In 2016, one of our former students, Cali Weddle, had a dream of becoming a performer. I knew she had a special talent, so I wanted to help her by recording her first record right here at MnSOM studios. Guess who played harmonica on the title track? It was Dr. Kachian, of course. Then, when it came time to promote the record, I delved into my own performing arts contacts to get Cali in touch with a local pageant director (whom I met through — you guessed it — Dr. Kachian). Six months later, she won 2016’s “Miss Minnesota’s Most Outstanding Teen!” As parents, it’s important for us to get past the trendy backpacks and flashy sneakers and recognize the value of the relationships our children develop with their teachers. These bonds can help kids find success inside and outside the classrooms and lead to lifelong friendships. Thanks to Dr. Kachian, I’ve learned that for our school to be truly successful, we have to think beyond the classroom. We’re not just guiding students to be better musicians — we’re guiding them to reach their dreams.

Here’s to all of life’s teachers,

–Eric Nehring

(763) 432-9713 • 1

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YO HO HO, LANDLUBBERS! Celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day

Ahoy, matey! Wednesday, Sept. 19, is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Brush up on your pirate vocabulary, grab your eye patch, get your puffy shirt dry cleaned, and bring a little seafaring fun to your office or classroom.

wife’s birthday (and the only date he could remember besides Christmas and the Super Bowl). In 2002, they pitched the idea to humor columnist Dave Barry, who promoted it in his syndicated column, and the concept quickly spread internationally.

sounded more like Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow. Unfortunately, the pirates of the Golden Age didn’t leave behind any YouTube videos to confirm this.




Participating in Talk Like a Pirate Day is easy — you just need to know a few key phrases. “Ahoy, matey” means “Hello, friend!” “Blimey, that son of a biscuit-eater hornswaggled me out of me doubloons” means “Darn it, that jerk cheated me out of my money!” “Shiver me timbers, that old salt is three sheets to the wind” means “Wow, that old sailor has had too much beer.” And if a pirate (or your boss) says, “Swab the deck, ye bilge rat, or it’s Davy Jones’ locker for ye!” start mopping the floor immediately.

The holiday began as an inside joke between pals John Baur and Mark Summers in 1995. For reasons not even understood by themselves, they began speaking like pirates while playing racquetball, saying things to each other like, “That be a fine cannonade” (“Nice shot, dude”) and “Now watch as I fire a broadside straight into your yardarm” (“But watch this”). They decided Talk Like a Pirate Day needed to become official, so they chose Sept. 13, which was Summers’

The “pirate-speak” popularized in movies and Disney attractions probably sounds nothing like real pirates did in centuries

past. Today’s swashbuckling phrases delivered in a strong Southwest England accent can be traced back to Robert Newton’s 1950 portrayal of Long John Silver in the movie “Treasure Island.” Historically, English- speaking pirates probably


our customers. For a business that is primarily online, that’s almost unheard of these days. You don’t send in generic contact forms or leave messages in general voicemail and hear back from a new person each time, having to repeat yourself during each interaction. That just saves everyone a ton of time and frustration! It’s a very mom and pop approach, but with all of the benefits of a typical online store. WHAT TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR PARENTS LOOKING TO BUY SOUND EQUIPMENT FOR THEIR CHILDREN? Learning from my own mistakes as a young musician, and now as a parent, I would say don’t underbuy and don’t overbuy. Sometimes the instinct is to spend very little on a first instrument because you’re uncertain if your child

will continue with it and you don’t want to invest much in that uncertainty. If the instrument is difficult to play, difficult to keep in tune, or just sounds bad, it will be that much harder for a new musician to stay interested. Conversely, I bought my oldest daughter a guitar, an amp, and all of the trimmings way too early. It was too big, too heavy, and too complex for her to even begin to learn. For really young kids, don’t be afraid to start them out with something simple. That could be hand percussion, harmonica, or maybe a ukulele. I’d also encourage parents to ask a ton of questions and learn as much about the equipment as their children are. That will give you a common interest to discuss and also ensure that you know what they’re getting and why.

The Minnesota School of Music has fostered a great relationship with the online music store Sweetwater Sound, giving parents access to exclusive deals on high-quality equipment. We sat down with Luke Herian, a sales engineer with Sweetwater Sound who has sold music equipment to Eric over the years, to get his take on the company as well as some personal tips for how to find the right instrument for your child.


The biggest difference is the fact that we always work one-on-one with

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With the freedoms of summer coming to a close, students will be settling into the rhythms of the school year. From homework schedules to sports practice, there are plenty of new routines to get used to. But if you’re the parent of an aspiring musician, you should ensure that their practice fits into this new schedule. Establishing or re-establishing routines can be difficult, even for adults. To lend you a hand (and lean into our love of alliteration), we’ve provided these handy tips to help practice feel as natural to your child as brushing their teeth! REPEAT The most important element of any routine is repetition. This means building a schedule for your student that is consistent. Having the same schedule from week to week will make practice feel like a normal part of your student’s routine, just like going to school and doing homework. REACH Help your student set attainable milestones to strive for. Having goals to reach for, such as mastering a piece of music, will keep practices focused and engaging. As your student reaches these milestones, they’ll have a sense of accomplishment and progress. Rather than feeling boring or repetitive, music practice can be something to actively look forward to when proper goals are set. Your student’s instructor here at the Minnesota School of Music can be a great resource to help you set these goals! REWARD A sense of accomplishment is nice, but positive reinforcement never goes amiss. This can be as simple as saying “Congratulations” after a good practice session, or it could be something bigger to celebrate, like an important milestone. Maybe if your student masters a particularly difficult piece, they get to choose dessert that night. RELAX As important as it is to stick to a consistent schedule, this regimen should never become overwhelming. If your student pushes themselves too hard to practice, they will only end up feeling frustrated and burned out. Having rest days and keeping practice to a reasonable timeframe is vital. At the end of the day, practicing an instrument should be enjoyable, not a chore, so always make sure there is room for relaxation! THE 4 R’s OF ROUTINE HOW TO ESTABLISH A CONSISTENT MUSIC PRACTICE SCHEDULE


Eli M. Sienna H. Brenna S. Deanna A. Claire F. Hannah L. Matthew H.

William K. Pooja P. William S. Evan S. Tim N. Emily S. Kiana F.

Daniel G. Lucy L. Reese O. Justin S. Maria R. Gianna R. Hannah Z.

Che Y. Samuel K. Conner C. Neil N.

Liam B. Olivia D. Cullen S. Bryce S. Matt S. JULY

Kye A. Mario R.

Emma A. Carl K. Weston M. Lexington S. Alex N.

Amelia V. Macy O. Natalia R. Cassady C.

Lincoln J. Isabel H. Dorothy B.

IS YOUR TEACHER SOLD OUT? 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.

Miss Busse - SOLD OUT

Mr. Norell - SOLD OUT

Miss Gagnon - SOLD OUT

Miss Schwefel - SOLD OUT

Mrs. Johnson - SOLD OUT

Mr. Wolff - SOLD OUT

Mr. Nehring - SOLD OUT

(763) 432-9713 • 3

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



A Mentor Who Shaped Me

Talk Like a Pirate Day MnSOM’s Music Equipment Connection

Is Your Teacher Sold Out? The 4 R’s of Routine

Have You Heard About Mauritius?


Just over 1,000 miles off the southeastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean lies the small island of Mauritius. The island is often

WALK THROUGH HISTORY More than a tropical escape, Mauritius is an island full of history and culture, so there are plenty of opportunities to learn about the island’s layered past. You can visit one of the historical rummeries or explore Mauritius’ two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You can also check out Aapravasi Ghat, the Immigration Depot, and Le Mourne Brabant. TASTE THE MEMORIES A day spent playing on an island is always better with great food. Influenced by its French, Creole, Indian, and Chinese heritage, Mauritius offers a vast menu of delicious dishes to try, from curry to dim sum. And the rich soil and bountiful ocean provide more than enough fresh fruit and seafood to go around. Despite its amazing vacation potential, Mauritius is all but unheard of to people in the United States. This means travelers can find amazing five-star resorts at unbeatable prices! With this in mind, isn’t it time you got to know the island of Mauritius?

overlooked by the rest of the world. Most people are more likely to have heard of the island’s most famous extinct

occupant, the dodo bird, than the island itself. This is shocking when you discover how much fun there is to be had in this tropical wonderland. ADVENTURE AWAITS Looking for fun in the sun? Start your trip to Mauritius with a hike up the lush Lion Mountain, or take time to snap a photo of the Seven Coloured Earths, where volcanic soil has created sand dunes of seven distinct colors. And what’s a trip to an island without the beach? Beautiful coral reefs surround Mauritius, keeping sharks away from the pristine beaches. Island guests and locals can fearlessly scuba dive around the brilliant reefs, swim with dolphins, kite surf, and find lots of other ways to enjoy the warm ocean waters.

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