Minnesota School Of Music - August 2021

08.2021 763-432-9713 www.mnschoolofmusic.com




W hen the COVID-19 think about themselves and how they were living. I was no exception. That time really forced me to think deeply about who I am, what I’m doing, and why I’m doing it. I was feeling some self-doubt, but taking a look at the facts, I also saw that we are the No. 2 rated music school in the county. We have amazing teachers. We have dedicated students with wonderful family support. Basically, we were doing something right. shutdowns happened last year, it caused many people to tune in and really As I sorted through these thoughts, something hit me. It almost felt like a matter of divine providence: I need to share what’s happening at the school with the world. So, while I ran my business during a time of real uncertainty and tended to a new baby with my wife as well as my other four kids, I decided to write a book to share that story. The book is called “Beyond Theory: The Making of a Music Teacher,” and it’ll launch this fall. “Beyond Theory” includes autobiographical details about my life as a music teacher through my college years up until I started MnSOM. Then, it gets into some of the challenges and opportunities I had when I first opened

the school that ultimately led me to create processes to hire, train, and support music teachers. Those processes and the values that drive them are really what helps MnSOM hire great teachers and subsequently provide the quality instruction we’re known for. The book looks a lot at what makes a good music teacher, and the answer that I came up with might surprise you. It’s not having a degree in music education or performance. In fact, many of our teachers have degrees in other fields. It’s not even about having a background in teaching music. A great teacher is someone who has humility, who is a lifelong learner, who works hard, has passion that will push them through the challenges of teaching, and who is service-minded. Individuals with those five values are the ones we look to hire at MnSOM and that’s where we’ve seen a lot of success. We tend to focus a lot on qualifications and experience, but some of the best music teachers I know come with interesting backgrounds outside of music. What I’ve learned through the years is that the values and personal traits we have matter so much more than the qualifications on a resume for creating good teachers. And those values are a lot harder to teach or instill

than teaching music theory or good instruction principles are!

My hope is that this book will help make things easier for young music teachers or those who may not even realize they’d be great music teachers! I’ve learned so much throughout the years as I built MnSOM. There was no book like this on the market at the time, so the lessons contained in this book were all hard-won. And I think they can be of great benefit to the next generation of music educators. If you’d like to get a copy for yourself, I’d be so grateful for the support! There’s going to be a Kindle version available, and you can learn more about the launch details in the coming months’ newsletter and on our Facebook page at Facebook.com/mnschoolofmusic. And thanks so much to all of you. Without your support, MnSOM wouldn’t be possible, and neither would this book!

–Eric Nehring

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A few months ago, USA Today ran an article titled “Leni Klum, Lori Harvey, Lourdes Leon, and more celebrity kids becoming fashion trendsetters.” The article shared how the Gen Z children of big-name celebrities such as Steve Harvey, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, and Madonna have sought to create their own fame through their fashion choices. Children of celebrities often have to work hard to leave their parents’ shadows, and in the age of social media, that means a lot of posts, tweets, snaps, and videos. None of that may shock you. Members of Gen Z are on their phones and other electronic devices watching videos, viewing posts, and commenting on and discussing the ones they like and don’t like. Why wouldn’t Gen Z celebrities’ main avenue for bolstering their fame be their social media accounts? Still, that phenomenon has downsides. The pressure of fame has been exacerbated by social media, especially among minors. Today, one of the most popular answers to the question “What do you want to be when you

grow up?” among children ages 7–14 is to be an influencer, a comedian, a vlogger, or an entertainer. As more young people make money (some enough to live quite lavishly) by posting pictures and videos online, more of their viewers aspire to do the same without understanding the pressures or consequences that can come with that lifestyle. The more public you make your life, the more public your mistakes and flaws become along with it. Just as many children of celebrities are starting to come into their own fame, many other celebrities have kept their children out of social media, at least until they themselves consent to be on it. Celebrities like Ryan Gosling, Ashton Kutcher, and Adele understand better than most the pitfalls of a social media presence, especially when famous, which is why they’ve all elected to keep their kids off it for as long as they can. Perhaps many other parents and children would do well to follow suit. In a world where avenues to becoming famous are multiplying online, it’s best to understand the pressures of internet fame before pursuing it.


As much as we love watching our MnSOM students perform outdoors in the sunshine, there’s nothing quite like the perfect acoustics of an indoor concert hall. That’s why we’re excited to announce that this October we’ll once again host indoor performances at Sundin Music Hall on the campus of Hamline University in St. Paul! MnSOM has held events at Sundin Music Hall since 2017. Lyra Baroque, The Minnesota Guitar Society, and The Bach Society of Minnesota have all played there. It’s a cozy, intimate venue with 325 seats, and every one of them has a great view of the stage. Our last concert at Sundin Music Hall took place on March 1, 2020, and we’re thrilled to finally be back after a long COVID-19 hiatus. It will feel like coming home! Our official return to the indoor concert stage is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 10. Our Bravo Concert Series will include performances at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 3:30 p.m., and 5:00 p.m.

audience! Registration is open to all students and will run from Monday, Aug. 30, through Friday, Sept. 17. To register, simply talk to your child’s teacher and stop by the front desk. We’ll take it from there!

We would love to have your student join us on stage for the Bravo Concert Series and to see you smiling from the

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Marina T. Adelina G.

Ambreyah M. Brianna K. Eva L. Elizabeth L. Madeline C. Marecelo Z. Esther Z. Kassidy R. Shea K. Harrison G. Jeremiah D.

Pranshi S. Anandi D. Monica M. Mackenzie M. Jivin R. Addison L. Claire S.

Here at the Minnesota School of Music, we’re committed to providing the best possible music education for kids from kindergarten through 12th grade. After being in business for many years, we finally asked ourselves an important question: What is a school without a mascot?

Aaliyah B. Conner C.

My son and I started brainstorming ideas for a school mascot a few months ago. We envisioned the mascot being a sunglasses- wearing, guitar-playing dog. We sketched up a rough image, which my wife (who’s much more artistic than me!) improved on, then sent it off to our talented graphic designer. We absolutely love the result!

But then came a conundrum: What would we name him?

I put the task out to my staff, who provided some amazing ideas. Some notable ones were Eddie VanHowlin’, a take on the famous 1980s musician who recently passed, and Charlie Barker, in honor of the famous jazz musician. But the name that ultimately won the vote at my family dinner table was Paws McCartney. Paws’ namesake is The Beatles’ bassist and vocalist Paul McCartney.

What is a lion‘s favorite Disney princess? Aurora! Mia Volk

Do you consider yourself a budding comedian? Are you known for your sense of humor? Now Introducing CALEB’S COMEDY CLUB We will select a winner each month to have their joke printed in our newsletter! Winners will receive a Caleb’s Comedy Club T-shirt and sticker. For your chance to be featured in our monthly newsletter, send us your funniest kid-friendly joke to office@mnschoolofmusic.com.

Thanks to Hopewell Hodges — our office manager, John’s wife — for coming up with the perfect name for our new mascot.

You’ll be seeing Paws McCartney around the school in various ways, starting with coloring sheets that your kids can color in as their siblings are in lessons. And we plan to incorporate Paws into a lot of future fun here at the school. In the meantime, he’s here to cheer on all our musicians and keep up the spirit of the school while playing music and looking cool.

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



Learn About Eric’s New Book!

Internet Fame and Lessons From Celebrity Children Indoor Concerts Are Back!

Welcome New Students Meet Our Mascot, Paws McCartney

Meet Odin, the Fireproof Dog


In October 2017, California was in flames. One of those blazes was the Tubbs Fire, which charred its way through 36,800 miles of forests and vineyards in both Napa and Sonoma County. More than 5,600 buildings were destroyed, and 22 people were killed. But when the flames finally died, a four-legged hero emerged from the ashes: Odin, the Great Pyrenees dog. Odin belonged to Ariel and Roland Hendel, two farmers in Sonoma County. When the Tubbs Fire threatened to char their home, they packed up as many of their animals and precious items as they could. Unfortunately, their flock of goats wouldn’t fit in the getaway vehicle — and their goat-herding dog, Odin, refused to abandon them. Great Pyrenees are prized livestock guardian dogs that will do anything to protect their charges, and Odin lived up to his breed.

their home had burned down completely. But on a trip back to examine the ashes, something amazing happened. “In the distance, I saw Odin’s tail,” Roland told ABC. “Sure enough, there was Odin coming at the head of all his goats.”

Not only did Odin survive the fire and run right up to the Hendels for belly rubs, but he also kept every single one of his goats safe! A few

wild deer even joined the goats, and he shepherded them through unscathed. The incredible story made the news, and Odin became a local legend. Unfortunately, even legends don’t live forever. This April, Odin passed away after a long life of tail-wagging, treat-eating, and goat-saving. In his honor, Great Pyrenees Rescue of Missouri gifted the Hendels two new Great Pyrenees pups: Buddy and Snowflake. They’re following in Odin’s pawsteps, protecting the goats he loved so much.

“I said, ‘Okay, Odin, take care of the goats. You’ll be fine,’” Roland Hendel told ABC News.

Both Hendels were sure they were seeing their dog for the last time. Their hearts sank even further when they heard

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