01. 2020 763-432-9713 www.mnschoolofmusic.com
THE MONTHLY MUSICIAN
MY ALTERNATIVE TO RESOLUTIONS DEFINE WHAT YOU’RE ABOUT
I ’ve never really been one for New Year’s resolutions. They have such a bad rap for being unfulfilled or outright abandoned that I don’t feel like I’m missing much. But I do see some value in revisiting priorities and goals at the top of the year. After all, if my time as a business owner has taught me anything, it’s that you need a clear vision of what you’re trying to achieve. I did not know what I was doing when I first set out to make this school a reality. I’d spent basically my entire adult life in academia — music professors don’t worry about articles of incorporation, revenue streams, and search engine optimization. So, ironically, when I left teaching to make MnSOM a reality, I had to hit the books. What helped most were works written by successful entrepreneurs. Getting their perspectives and learning from their experiences helped me better grasp what I needed to do to make this school a success. Indeed, the lessons I picked up from Dave Ramsey had a particular impact on my jump into the small business world.
Most people probably know Dave Ramsey’s name at least in passing. He’s mostly famous for money management, though that’s not the most valuable lesson I learned from him. In his excellent book “EntreLeadership,” Ramsey lays out the need to have a vision and a purpose behind what you’re doing as an individual. Before you can strive toward your goals, in Ramsey’s opinion, “you have to define what you are about.” It sounds simple, but this advice made a huge difference in the way I approached founding MnSOM. I spent a long time looking inside myself, asking how I wanted to live my life and then tried to distill the answer into a single phrase. I landed on “guided by Christ in service of others.” What this meant on a practical level is that I knew I had to become a servant leader. Anything I wanted others to do, I had to do first. From teaching to custodial work, I was the first member of our school to take on a job. After all, how could I ask anyone else to do it if I hadn’t walked that path myself?
teachers. As I’ve mentioned in the past, any perspective MnSOM teacher has to first give a music lesson to my children. Before I bring on anyone to mentor other people’s children, I need to know I trust them in mentoring my own. From that one foundational principle, this school was born. As we grew as an organization, we added a purpose statement to help guide us in the right direction: At MnSOM, we are a passionate team of mentors committed to building value into the lives of kids and teens. Our strategies on how to deliver on that commitment may shift as we continue to grow, but it will always remain our underlying reason for doing the work we do. Speaking of growth, our family is growing! As we welcome in the new year, we’re excited to announce we’ll be welcoming another Nehring into the world. Baby Eli is expected this March!
Here’s to all the ways we grow,
This guiding principle has even influenced our method of hiring
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HELP YOUR KIDS ACHIEVE MORE THIS YEAR WITH SIMPLE AND ACTIONABLE GOALS KEEP THINGS SIMPLE AND ACHIEVABLE.
With every new year comes an opportunity to reinvent ourselves or start down a new path toward self- improvement. Making resolutions is a big part of many families’ New Year’s traditions, and parents often have a desire for their kids to take part in that tradition when they’re old enough. Following through on resolutions is tough, especially for young children, but with your help, they can achieve their goals. PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH. You are your children’s role model for almost everything, including following through on New Year’s resolutions. So, ask yourself if you follow through on your own resolutions. When you proclaim that you will read more books or finally get a gym membership, do you actually try to do it? Your kids will assign as much importance to New Year’s resolutions as you do, so by sticking to your own commitments, you can help them stay on track, too.
OUR NEW SHOWCASE IS AMPED UP CALLING ALL ROCK STARS When your kids are forming their resolutions, their first attempts will probably be very broad. Statements like “I want to be more kind” or “I will try to help more around the house” incorporate good values but don’t include any actionable steps. Help your kids think of tangible ways to act on those goals. For example, if they want to be tidier, a good resolution might be for them to clean their room once a week or take responsibility for one household chore every day. DON’T DO ALL THE WORK FOR THEM. While it’s important for you to help your kids formulate their goals, be sure that you aren’t taking over. If they’re ultimately responsible for their resolutions, they’ll feel more compelled to keep them. Instead, suggest different goal areas they could improve, such as home, school, or sports, and let them elaborate. When it comes to creating habits, nobody is perfect, so even if your kids falter on their goals in the middle of February, don’t worry. The important thing is that you continue to encourage them every step of the way.
For years, our concert series has given students a chance to shine. The red- carpet photo shoots and sweeping stage of the Sundin Music Hall will continue to provide our aspiring musicians a true classical experience. But not all music performances are about formal attire, box seats, and grand pianos. Sometimes you just want to rock. This spring, we’re turning our amps up to 11 and putting on a show like no other. Students will take center stage with their guitar, piano, and vocal skills with a full band of MnSOM faculty to back them up. From old-school hits to new favorites, this
is a chance for kids to jam in front of a live audience in a real rock ‘n’ roll venue.
This Student Showcase aims to reimagine what a recital can be, giving students the experience of a modern live music performance. Forget stuffy symphony halls — we’re breaking out the light shows and smoke machines in a real club-style venue. We hope you and your rock star will join us on May 17 for a show embracing all the energy and fun of modern music. We’ve yet to announce the venue, but we know space will be limited. Contact Mr. Nehring for more information!
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DREAMS, VISIONS, GOALS CREATE YOUR FUTURE WITH THE VISION FUNNEL
WELCOME NEW STUDENTS
At the end of each lesson, our teachers ask their students a very important question: “What would you like to achieve next lesson?”
Elizabeth B. Noah N. Lydia W. Maxine K. Aubrey K. Marissa M. Alexa H. Kayla G. Kevin B. Everett H.
Haven F. Hudson S. Oscar B. Clara B. Blake H. Sydney T. Chloe B. Claire D. Sawyer C. Rocco R.
This isn’t just a habit; it’s part of the goal-setting process at MnSOM. Setting goals is key to success in any part of our lives, especially in music. Setting strong goals drives us to keep moving forward and growing. At MnSOM, we help our students set goals with a Vision Funnel, a goal-setting strategy inspired by Dave Ramsey. START WITH A DREAM Everything we do in life starts with a dream like “I want to play piano,” or “I want to be an author.” That dream motivates us to look into music lessons or take creative writing classes. We want to achieve something, so we have to put in the work to make it a reality. DISTILL YOUR DREAM INTO A VISION While dreams can inspire us, they’re often too vague. When you have a dream, it’s important to distill it into a clear vision so you can create a plan. Give your dream details. For example, “I want to play piano,” can become “I want to be a classical pianist.” When you recognize the specifics of your dream, making decisions to help you pursue it is easier. WRITE DOWN TANGIBLE GOALS
TASTY, CHEWY CAT TREATS Inspired by Joy the Baker
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1 large egg
2 tbsp water
Once you identify your vision, break it into smaller, tangible
4 oz canned, wet cat food 1/4 cup parsley, coarsely chopped
1 cup brown rice flour 1/2 cup cooked brown rice 1 tbsp dried catnip
goals you can pursue to achieve that vision. These goals need to be specific and measurable. For example, “I want to write a book,” isn’t tangible. A tangible goal would be: “I will write a YA short story and
2 tsp olive oil
1. Heat oven to 325 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 2. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, cat food, parsley, olive oil, and water. Add rice flour, cooked rice, and catnip. Mix until dough is thick but spreadable. 3. On the baking sheet, spread dough to 1/3-inch thickness. Place on middle rack in oven and bake for 12–15 minutes. 4. Carefully remove from oven and let sit until cool enough to touch. Dough will still be undercooked. Slice dough into bite-sized treats and return to the oven. Cook for 8 more minutes. 5. Remove treats from oven and let them cool completely before serving. Treats can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
submit it to publications before December 2020.” Once you determine your tangible goals, physically write them down and put them somewhere you’ll see every day. Regularly remind yourself of your goals so you’re always working toward them. The start of the new year is a time to look ahead and ask, “Where do I want to be 12 months from now?” Dream about the future, then distill those dreams into visions and tangible goals. Setting worthwhile goals now is the best way to create a future you’re proud of.
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3533 88th Ave. NE, Blaine, MN 55014 763-432-9713 www.mnschoolofmusic.com
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
My Alternative to Resolutions
Helping Your Kids Make New Year’s Resolutions Student Rock Band Showcase
Welcome New Students The Best Way to Set Successful Goals
Real Winter Wonderlands
CHILL OUT IN THESE FROSTY DESTINATIONS ESCAPE TO A WINTER WONDERLAND
THE DOLOMITES, SOUTH TYROL, ITALY If you want the feel of a ski trip to the Alps without the packed slopes and ritzy resorts, the Dolomites are just for you. Located in northeastern Italy, this stunning mountain range is home to some of the best skiing in Europe, as well as many historical sites. The secluded villages that dot the mountain valleys are an attraction in their own right, especially for the rustic cuisine you’ll find there. Don’t expect pasta though. This region is a melting pot of flavors from Austria, northern Italy, and the local Ladin people. Ricotta and sauerkraut pancakes, anyone? THE ANTARCTIC This is the one entry on this list that is best enjoyed during the summer months, which is December–February in the Southern Hemisphere, because that’s when the freezing temperatures of the southernmost continent are at their most hospitable. The Antarctic has become an increasingly popular tourist destination, with cruises taking adventure seekers through the vast, untouched beauty of this far-flung destination. Some tourists even enjoy kayaking or cross-country skiing through this icy paradise.
Snow is magical and gorgeous — unless you have to commute in it. If you want to enjoy all the wonder that winter has to offer without the hassle, why not turn it into a vacation? Here are a few breathtaking, snow-covered destinations that any winter lover can enjoy.
BULGUKSA TEMPLE, SOUTH KOREA Above the city of Gyeongju, this ancient Buddhist temple has stood on the slopes of Tohamsan Mountain since the eighth century. Bulguksa, or “Temple of the Buddha Land,” is South Korea’s No. 1 UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it a popular attraction for domestic and international tourism. The crowds and school tours die down during the winter, however, which also happens to be when Bulguksa is at its most pristine. The iced-over lotus ponds and snow-dusted pagodas add to the sense of tranquility this site naturally exudes.
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