Minnesota School Of Music - May 2019

05. 2019 763-432-9713 www.mnschoolofmusic.com



W ith Mother’s Day almost upon us, I’m sure many of our students are planning ways to surprise their moms on that special Sunday. Honestly, with everything mothers do for us, finding the right way in a single day to show these amazing women the gratitude they deserve seems almost impossible. Still, I’d like to give it my best shot. After all, Minnesota School of Music simply would not exist today if it weren’t for the efforts of three incredible mothers. My mother, grandmother, and mother- in-law have provided my family and me with an awe-inspiring amount of support over the years. To this day, they continue to inspire me with their compassion and generosity. Writing this, I can’t help but reflect on the ways each of these incredible women have changed my life for the better. I owe my patience and understanding to my grandmother. The matriarch of the family, she helped raise me and has remained a bedrock of support throughout my life. Whenever I faced challenges, I always knew my grandma would be there to listen. It didn’t matter

how late at night it was or how difficult my questions were, she always took the time to understand and give me the encouragement I needed. Being a very spiritual woman, she always prayed for me. I’m so incredibly blessed to have such a kindhearted, devout person in my life. My mother-in-law, Sue, directly helped with the creation of MnSoM. When I was still teaching at the University of Minnesota, my wife and I lived in a townhome in Club West. My in-laws were our landlords and were kind enough to keep the rent low while I was on a teacher’s salary. But their real kindness shone through when we set out to found our music school. With no income to speak of, Sue and her husband allowed our family to continue to live there, rent-free. This incredible generosity let me focus on getting my vision for MnSoM off the ground. Then there’s my mother. I owe a lot to her, from my life to the roof I currently have over my head. You see, as much as our family appreciated being able to live in that Club West townhome, it was clear in 2014 that we were outgrowing it. My wife and I had two young kids at that point in a home that was all stairs. Our children

did not have any room to play, and the thought of either of them falling and hurting themselves was a constant worry. That’s where my mom stepped in. We were out to dinner with her one night, explaining our concerns about the townhome, when my mother made an incredible offer. She would move in with my grandma, allowing our family to live in her home. We were floored by her generosity. Thanks to her, we could raise our kids in a safe, spacious home with a yard! Now that we have four kids at home, we could not be more thankful for my mother giving us the space we needed. Even today, all three of these women continue to make our day-to-day operations possible. On days when my wife and I both need to be at the school, they all pitch in to help watch our kids. Without their support and guidance, we would not have been able to grow MnSoM to what it is today.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you and Happy Mother’s Day,

–Eric Nehring

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Teacher Appreciation Week runs from May 6–10 this year, and there are plenty of ways students of all ages can thank their educators for everything they do. Being a teacher isn’t an easy job, and the people who make it their profession are passionate about helping kids learn. Depending on how old your child is, they may need a parent’s help in showing their appreciation. Here are a few ways parents and children can appreciate teachers together.

write an appreciative note and then write one yourself. Teachers often have to maintain the happiness of students, administrators, and parents. Your card could relieve some of the stress of that balancing act and let them know that you acknowledge their efforts. Making a homemade meal (or dessert) shows teachers that you went the extra mile to appreciate their hard work. You could make a favorite dish of yours or try to find a new recipe online. Either way, encourage your child to help you with the process so that the meal is truly a gift from both of you. A HOMEMADE MEAL

Many teachers use their own money to buy school supplies for their classroom. This is just one of the ways teachers go above and beyond on a daily basis, and buying some extra school supplies can help ease that cost. Take your child shopping with you and help them pick out supplies that you know their teacher will appreciate. Your children spend several hours a day with their teachers, so fostering relationships with them is vital. Use this day to help your children understand the importance of teachers, to teach them the power of gratitude, and to encourage them to show respect for everyone who helps them in life.


This gesture is simple and sweet and can be very thoughtful. Telling a teacher what makes them outstanding can often be just as valuable as a gift. Help your child



We know many of our students are excited to hit the road this summer, and we wish them a great vacation! Whether your family is planning on spending time on the lake or heading out to see relatives (or if your young musician is going to summer camp), it’s a good idea to reserve their makeup classes ahead of time! These courses give your family flexibility over the summer while ensuring your student continues to learn and develop their musical talents, but space is limited. For those new to our school, we offer free classes every month to accommodate students who may have missed their regularly scheduled lesson. That way, if your student gets sick or you go on a family vacation, they can pick up their music training right where they left off. We keep the latest schedules for these makeup classes in our front desk area. To accommodate our teachers’ busy schedules, there are a finite number of available makeup classes each month, in which an instructor will lead a group of up to six students through a lesson. WHAT IS A MAKEUP CLASS?

While we would love to be able to schedule individualized makeup lessons to accommodate our students, it just isn’t feasible, because our teachers are in such high demand. These classes are instrument- and age-specific, however, and offer great opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, something not possible in individual lessons or large groups. Most importantly, these classes ensure your child stays on a regular schedule of musical instruction, so they can get the most out of their MnSoM experience!


Thanks to the growth of our school, we’ve increased the number of makeup classes we offer to six per month. However, with many families going on vacation, we expect these lessons will fill up quickly. If you already have travel plans scheduled that will cause your child to miss out on a lesson, be sure to sign up today!

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With Summer vacation rolling in, it’s a good time to revisit the last “R” in our “4 Rs of Routine,” Relax. We’re sure your student will enjoy some much-needed time off from the daily grind of schooling, and that’s a good thing. Life is seasonal; we shouldn’t expect to keep up with our routines 365 days a year! Still, there can be too much of a good thing. A student who goes a whole summer without practicing their instrument will lose much of the progress they’ve made during the spring. After all, music is a lot like exercise — you don’t want to overdo it, but if you leave it for too long, your muscles will atrophy. With this in mind, here are some ways to keep your child practicing and improving over the summer! MAKING SUMMER PRACTICE FUN DON’T LET THE LONG BREAK BE A SETBACK Part of the reason music practice dwindles in the summer is because much of a student’s extracurricular schedule is tied to school work. If your child is used to practicing for a half- hour after they finish their homework, they no longer have that day-to-day rhythm. However, if they have daily or weekly activities like summer chores or sports, these can provide a perfect framework for making practice feel natural. TIE PRACTICE TO ANOTHER SUMMER ROUTINE



Isabelle R. Anna M. Max M. Manny P. Annabel P. Maxwell P. Yaretzi V. Isabelle V. Marissa V. Kaitlyn T.

Eva A. Jason A.

Marshal N. Lindsay B. Blake B. Daniel M. Luke P. Veronica H. Lydia S.

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?


The summer can be a great time for kids to show extended relatives just how much their talents have grown. If you have a trip planned to visit family, ask your child if they’d like to perform during the visit! Having an upcoming event to prepare for will help give their summer practices focus, and the performance itself will help them get used to playing for an audience.


Having time off from school can make sticking to other routines feel “less fun” for kids. Practices may feel more frustrating than normal when they want to be playing with their siblings and friends. That’s why it’s good to emphasize what your child is already good at during the summertime. Sit in on their lessons, encourage them to play the songs they love, and provide the positive feedback they need to be able to remember the joy in playing music!

Mrs. Gagnon: SOLD OUT

Mrs. O’Neill: SOLD OUT

Mrs. Lehner: SOLD OUT

Miss Pliam: SOLD OUT

Mr. Norell: SOLD OUT

Miss Schwefel: SOLD OUT

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



The Mothers of MnSoM

Teacher Appreciation Week Is Here! Summer Makeup Lessons Are Going Fast!

Welcome New Students Making Summer Practice Fun

How to Travel Sustainably


Vacations can come with great expense, and not just for your bank account. According to a 2018 study published in Nature Climate Change, travel accounts for 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Cut through the greenwashing and do your part to lessen these emissions by traveling sustainably. TRAVEL GREEN When possible, trains, hybrid buses, and carpooling are great alternatives to larger, more environmentally intrusive travel methods. Large cruise liners are detrimental to oceans, and airplanes emit large amounts of toxins into the air. However, you can cruise and fly with the earth in mind. Some cruise lines are working to

reduce their impact by installing more eco- friendly lighting and materials, and flight experts recommend using “green” airports, choosing fuel-efficient airlines, staying longer, and traveling less. If anything, it’s an excuse to extend your European vacation! STAY GREEN Where you stay impacts the environment as much as how you get there. Hotels use copious amounts of water for bathing and laundry, and they struggle to reduce energy because guests leave their lights and televisions on. However, many luxury resorts, woodsy cabins, and even entire countries have opted to make eco-tourism easier. If you’re looking for a region of the world committed to preserving nature, look no further than Iceland, Finland, and Sweden, which are ranked the three most environmentally friendly places in the world.

DO GREEN Man-made attractions like the Egyptian pyramids and Machu Picchu are some of the world’s greatest wonders, but Earth itself is pretty breathtaking. Check out natural attractions while hiking or camping in preserved forests, or soak up all the Caribbean has to offer by snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding. When you’re mindful of your surroundings and remain unobtrusive, there are endless outdoor activities you can explore. Some locations even partner with environmentally conscious organizations you can donate to or volunteer with. Opt for a green vacation and know that while you relax, the earth is getting a little relief too.

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