Minnesota School Of Music - June 2019

06. 2019 763-432-9713 www.mnschoolofmusic.com


honest — I was not excited to be there. But I knew my grandmother would be waiting for me afterward and that the music I was learning to play would make her smile. I was very nervous during my very first recital and made my fair share of mistakes, but she was right there to tell me everything was okay. I’ve tried to pass on that same nurturing spirit through our school. My grandmother didn’t just plant the musical seed that would one day grow into MnSOM; she also nurtured it from the moment it sprouted. She was the first person to wholeheartedly support me when I set out to make this school a reality. When I began to doubt myself, she would speak life into me. At times, she would even give more than words. Like any small business, our music school had some hiccups in the beginning. One particularly bad month, I simply didn’t have the funds to process payroll. I mentioned this to my grandmother, who was always curious about MnSOM, and expected her to offer some words of advice. Instead, she opened her bank account and ensured our employees were paid on time. To say I was speechless is an understatement. But that’s just how much my grandmother cared about MnSOM. While I visited her in the nursing home up until her final days, she’d ask me: “How’s the music school?” From beginning to end, she was the heart and soul of MnSOM, and I want to carry her spirit forward. That’s why we’re announcing the Norma J. Nehring Scholarship Fund. We hope this scholarship will help other children find the same love of learning an instrument that my grandmother gave me. I can think of no better way to honor her memory than to pass on the joy of music.


I t is with a heavy heart that I share the news of my grandmother’s passing. I shared a bit about her kindness, wisdom, and generosity in last month’s Mother’s Day article. Sadly, cancer took her before she was able to read it herself. I’m grateful I could be by her side in her final days and that she’s now at peace. I’m also thankful for the friends who supported me during the grieving process. Now, as my family and I move forward, I feel compelled to share her story with you and celebrate her incredible kindness. Norma J. Nehring was one of those people you always want to be around. She was jovial, compassionate, and a great listener. She only got fierce when people badmouthed her family or the Minnesota Twins. She was quick to laugh and had more friends than anyone I’ve ever met. And, of course, she loved to sing.

School of Music a reality. But my grandmother gets the credit for helping me discover my love of music in the first place. As a devout member of Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, my grandmother sang in the church choir for over 60 years. When I was just 5 years old, she enrolled me in the kid’s choir, introducing me to the joys of singing. When she saw how much I enjoyed myself, she looked for more ways for me to explore my musical talents. It’s important to note that my grandmother was a primary caregiver during this point in my life. In a single parent household, my mother had to work long hours as a nurse to support us. So, I was raised, in part, by my grandparents. My grandfather was a truck driver and would be away for long periods, so my grandmother and I spent a lot of time bonding. Seeing what a positive difference the choir had made in my life, she later got me started in piano lessons. Every week she’d drive me to the church for my lessons. They were held in a dimly lit basement, down a long dark hallway. I’ll be

–Eric Nehring

In past articles, I’ve thanked people who’ve helped me make Minnesota

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On June 16, 1884, the first roller coaster in the nation opened to eager and brave participants at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York. In the years since the first riders climbed aboard the Switchback Railway 135 years ago, roller coasters and the amusement parks that house them have changed dramatically. But the thrill that attracted all those first participants still remains. HOLD ON TIGHT! PREPARE FOR FAMILY FUN AT AN AMUSEMENT PARK THIS SUMMER

blisters and aching heels. You’ll have more fun if you know you’ll be prepared for anything. WATER COSTS HOW MUCH!? Amusement parks are expensive, and when you spend a whole day seeking thrills, you’re eventually going to need sustenance. Check the park’s rules before you leave, but most will allow your family to bring in a few snacks, like fruits or granola bars, and a reusable, empty water bottle. Many parks will have a drinking fountain near the entrance where you can fill up before exploring. If you plan to eat or drink at one of the establishments in the park, peruse the food options on the park’s website ahead of time to get an idea of what is available and how much money you should bring. Adventure awaits this summer! Don’t let a lack of preparedness keep you from enjoying a 135-year-old tradition.

Celebrate the nation’s love of heart- stopping adventure by visiting an amusement park this summer. Follow these tips to make the most out of your trip. I’M LOST! Before you head out, review park maps and ride descriptions. Create a list of the attractions everyone in your group wants to see and plan out your route ahead of time. While some spontaneity can be fun — it’s a vacation, after all — the sheer size of many parks coupled with high anticipation can be overwhelming if you

aren’t prepared. Planning ahead will save you a few headaches and disappointed family members. PACK THE ESSENTIALS Find an over-the-shoulder bag or strap on a fanny pack to carry your cash, keys, snacks, water bottles, sunscreen, lip balm, and sunglasses. You’re spending the whole day outside, so make sure you’re considering the weather when you head out and always slather on a generous amount of sunscreen. Lastly, wear comfortable walking shoes to prevent


As our school approaches its fifth anniversary, a lot has changed. Beginning as the Minnesota Guitar Academy, with no actual building to call our own, it’s fair to say we’ve grown quite a bit! Today, Minnesota School of Music offers expanded state-of-the-art facilities that help hundreds of kids discover the joy of music. We couldn’t have gotten where we are today without the support of amazing families like yours, which is why we’re inviting you to celebrate with us! You see, in all our years of operation, MnSOM has never actually had a grand opening. But with the recent expansion of

our building, adding classrooms and a more spacious lobby, the time feels right to commemorate the school and the community we’ve built together. That’s why on June 10 at 4 p.m., we’ll be holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony as part of our grand reopening! The Metro North Chamber of Commerce will be in attendance, along with many families from the MnSOM community. We’ll have food, prizes, and face painting, so be sure to bring the kids! To add to the excitement and celebrate five fantastic years, we’ll also be holding a drawing for $500! Mark your calendar — you don’t want to miss this. As much as our school has grown over the years, we’ve never outgrown our roots as an organization dedicated to uniting families and helping kids gain confidence through music. At the end of the day, parents and their children will always remain at the heart of what we do. So, whether you have a long-time student, or one who’s just begun taking lessons at MnSOM, we hope to see you on June 10 for this amazing milestone!

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As many readers know, our director Eric Nehring recently published his book “More Than Music: How Choosing the Right Music School Will Develop Skills, Build Character, and Prepare Your Child for a Successful Life.” For those who haven’t picked up a copy, the book is available on Amazon! But for those who have too much on their reading list already or just prefer to listen to nuanced conversations, we’re announcing the “More Than Music” podcast! Hosted by Eric himself, this monthly series will feature guests that cover the full spectrum of music education. There will be interviews with educators, parents, musicians, collegiate music program directors, and other professionals connected to the ways learning an instrument can change a child’s life. Each episode delves into a different area of how lessons teach more than music — the ways kids can build confidence, learn better organizational skills, bond with their parents, and find new means LIVE FROM MNSOM STUDIOS IT’S THE ‘MORE THAN MUSIC’ PODCAST!


Noah C.

Isan G.

Marisol G.

Amelia L.

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?

of self-expression. If you’ve ever wondered what defines a good musical education, this podcast has the answers. Is music practice valuable even if my child doesn’t become a famous musician? How do I tell a good music teacher from a bad one? Are there ways for me to be a part of my child’s practices? These are the kinds of questions “More Than Music” sets out to answer. With the help of

industry veterans, Eric delves into the concepts covered in his book in an entertaining and insightful way.

“More Than Music” will launch on popular podcasting platforms this August, and we’ll be releasing new episodes every month. All sessions are recorded right here at Minnesota School of Music Studios. We’re always looking for feedback and ideas for future episodes. If you have a pressing question about your child’s music education, please let us know!

Mrs. Gagnon: SOLD OUT

Mrs. O’Neill: SOLD OUT

Mrs. Lehner: SOLD OUT

Miss Schwefel: SOLD OUT

Mrs. Morris: SOLD OUT

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



Remembering Norma J. Nehring

Amusement Park Trip Tips You’re Invited to MnSOM’s Grand Reopening!

Welcome New Students Tune In to Our New Podcast!

Exploring the River of No Return


RAFTING ISN’T FOR ME. WHAT ELSE YOU GOT? If crashing down 300 Class III rapids isn’t your speed, the Frank Church Wilderness has plenty of other ways to enjoy the wild mountain country. There are several lodges that were grandfathered in to the wilderness area, most of which are only accessible by jet boat, light aircraft, or good old-fashioned hiking. Some, like the Middle Fork Lodge, offer five-star accommodations, located conveniently close to one of the area’s many natural hot springs. Those with the right permits will find the rivers and lakes full of fishing opportunities, and the surrounding pine forests are teeming with game. LODGES? I JUST WANT TO GET AWAY FROM IT ALL. For those looking for a truly unplugged experience, backpacking to the many campsites scattered throughout the region can be an incredible journey. If you spend a night beside the crystal-clear waters of Langer Lake, hundreds of miles away from any light pollution, you’ll find peace, quiet, and a sky bursting with stars. If you’ve ever wanted to experience a truly untamed part of the United States, Idaho is the hidden gem you’ve been looking for.

There’s more to Idaho than potatoes. Sitting square in the center of the Gem State is one of the largest contiguous areas of protected wilderness in the U.S. While the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area may not roll off the tongue as easy as Yellowstone or Yosemite, this 2 million-acre swath of mountains, gorges, and alpine lakes offers something for outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes.

RIVER OF NO WHAT, NOW? The name of the wilderness may sound a little ominous at first — who wants to travel down a river of no return? — but in truth, it’s a title from times gone by when canoes and small watercraft could travel down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River swiftly but couldn’t fight the current going back up. Today, those same rapids make the Middle Fork a wildly popular whitewater rafting destination, with plenty of local and out-of-state enthusiasts making a return journey every summer.

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