Minnesota School Of Music - October 2018

10. 2018 (763) 432-9713 www.mnschoolofmusic.com


I love this time of year — the weather is cool without being freezing, and the autumn colors are coming out in full force. If you’re like me, watching this transition from summer to fall can give you a lot to think about. I find myself spacing out about the past and the passage of time — the ways we all grow and change over the years. As I sit down to write this fall edition, one formative memory in particular runs circles around my mind: trucking down to St. Louis with my grandpa. I spent a good chunk of my childhood in the passenger’s seat of my grandfather’s green and white Peterbilt cabover semi. As a trucker, he would venture as far as Dallas delivering baked goods from the Twin Cities, and sometimes I was lucky enough to ride along with him. One of the very first long hauls I got to do with him was to Missouri, and I still remember the excitement I felt to this day. The drive itself was long and tedious. There wasn’t much else besides corn, soybeans, and cattle between here and St. Louis, especially back in the ‘80s. I must have been around 4 years old on this trip, and the monotony of the journey soon overtook my excitement about the road. Thankfully, my granddad was good at keeping me entertained. As he drove, my grandfather explained to me what the different lights and switches on the dashboard did, and sometimes he reached up and tooted the big horn when I asked him to. He kept the CB radio truckers use to communicate with each other on, and he taught me to listen for his call sign, “double-headed eagle.” As you might imagine, spending the drive listening to truckers talk to one another expanded my childhood vocabulary in some colorful ways.

an impact on me. I was already a baseball fan at that age, and staring up at the big brick archways of the Cardinals’ home field took my breath away. In fact, as I got older, I began planning entire trips around getting to see baseball parks around the country. I even took my son down to St. Louis for a Cardinals game! Reflecting on that first journey down to St. Louis, I realize that the real highlight was simply the time I got to spend with my grandpa. He was my father figure and one of the best role models a boy could ask for. He was kind and jovial, making a point to learn the name of everyone he met. As a boy traveling with him, I marveled at the way his charm put people at ease and how easily he could win friends, whether he was doing business or ordering a sandwich. I’m not sure if this was a lesson he was trying to teach me or not, but watching the way my grandfather conducted himself around others was one of the most valuable things I picked up from him. In business and in my personal life, I’ve seen the value of approaching people with the same genuine, down- to-earth manner my granddad did. Without his influence, it’s safe to say our school would not have the feeling of interconnectedness that it does with our community today.

Thanks for everything, Gramps!

At the time, I was most excited to be driving in a new city and seeing all the sites. Busch Stadium in particular made

–Eric Nehring

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As the weather cools down, finding ways to spend quality time as a family can become challenging. It’s too cold to camp or barbecue, and money may be tight with the holidays coming up. So why not turn learning a new skill into a bonding experience this fall? You can do it inside, it’s free, and it will open doors around the world for the rest of your children’s lives. WHY LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE? Speaking multiple languages creates opportunities for your child. Being bilingual makes you more qualified for a variety of exciting careers and can improve your competitiveness in the job market. Knowing a second language also allows you to travel with greater ease and become more culturally well-rounded. There are some studies that claim learning languages is even good for your health. Research shows that our language acquisition skills peak in childhood or adolescence, so starting young is the best way to become fluent. If your child is in school, they probably already know classmates who speak another language. WHICH LANGUAGE SHOULD YOU LEARN? Did you know that 40 million Americans currently speak Spanish at home? The U.S. is the second-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, and we border the largest, so learning this language is a great way for children to communicate with more people in

their community, and they’ll be more hirable as adults. Bonus : It’s commonly considered one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn. Mandarin is the most-spoken language on the planet, and China’s growth as an economic powerhouse has made this language even more useful around the world. German, Arabic, and Japanese speakers are also highly sought-after in the job market. Of course, you can always let your wanderlust or passions decide for you! Is your child obsessed with K-Pop? Have them learn Korean. Want to take them to Paris someday? Enroll them in French classes. THE LANGUAGES OF THE WORLD ARE AT YOUR FINGERTIPS. Learning a new skill has never been easier! While there’s no substitute for a full-time class or moving to another country, there are countless ways to teach yourself a new language right at home, usually for free. YouTube tutorials, podcasts, and audiobooks let you rewind and listen to the lessons as many times as needed to master pronunciations. Can’t tear your child away from their cellphone? Download Duolingo, rated by PCMag.com as the best free language-learning app of 2018.

Last month brought another one of our school’s semiannual photo days, and we love the results! Here are just a few of our rock star students who showed up to be immortalized in the Minnesota School of Music Hall of Fame. Thank you to all who participated; we love preserving the memories of these young musicians who make our school awesome. We’ll be announcing our next photo day for 2019 in this newsletter and on social media, so keep an eye out. OUR PHOTO DAY WAS A HUGE SUCCESS! SAY CHEESE

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Last month, we featured the “4 R’s of Routine” (repeat, reach, reward, relax) and how each is a vital element in keeping your music student engaged in their practice schedule. While parents certainly play a role in reinforcing each of these 4 R’s in their children, you don’t have to do it alone. Here’s a look at how our teachers and programs help your students reach their musical goals and reward them for doing so! CLIMBING THE LADDER HOW WE KEEP MUSIC FUN AND EDUCATIONAL Remaining motivated to practice inside and outside the classroom is the key to musical success, but encouraging this in students can be difficult. As music lovers, we want students to be excited to pick up an instrument and play. But as teachers, we also need to ensure a student is pushing themselves to develop the technical skills and theoretical understanding to be an accomplished musician. To strike the balance between fun and discipline, we progressively reward students in a way that keeps their eyes focused on the next big step. We do this through a series of musical tests that earn students tangible awards they can use to show friends and family how far they’ve come. This method of positive reinforcement is called The Musical Ladder System®. The Musical Ladder System® is a patent-pending system of progression for music students. It was developed by former music professor Marty Fort for teaching his own students. The system uses a series of tests meant to gauge a student’s mastery while rewarding them for each rung of the “ladder” they reach. As they pass tests, these students earn colored wristbands noting their progress as a musician. Think of them like the colored belts used in Karate classes. As students pass tests for advancement, they may also earn extra rewards like certificates or trophies to mark especially significant milestones or notable achievements. Wristbands and trophies are great in their own right; they provide kids with a tangible sense of accomplishment and push them to keep striving for the next rank. But some of our longtime families like to take things a step further by making the evening of their student’s test an event. Parents might go out for tacos or pizza afterward to celebrate another advancement. Taking the time to turn these tests into events is a great way to keep kids engaged and having fun! TAKING IT HOME POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT THE MUSICAL LADDER SYSTEM®


Alisa N. Christian G. Alisiah V. Brayden T. William M. El’ Jay V. Joseph D. Vladimir D. Juliet P. William A. AUGUST

Corinne C. Jadon G. Caia G. Sam L. Cora D. Emerson F. Sydney B. Alex R. Sam G. Caden W.

Clara K. Isaac M. Eli M. Tyler H. Grace L. Lily P.

Ashley O. Maxine P. Gigi S. Hannah G.

Justin G. Kayla D.

Justin N. Violet K.

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?

Mr. Barrett - SOLD OUT

Mr. Norell - SOLD OUT

Mrs. Gagnon - SOLD OUT

Miss Pliam - SOLD OUT

Miss Matejcek - SOLD OUT

Miss Schwefel - SOLD OUT

Mr. Nehring - SOLD OUT

Miss Taft - SOLD OUT

(763) 432-9713 • 3

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



What I Learned Trucking With My Grandfather

Learn a New Language as a Family Check Out Our Awesome Students!

Welcome New Students How We Keep Music Fun and Educational

The Birthplace of Halloween


through the centuries and inspired Halloween traditions that are still practiced today.

Fans of Halloween don’t need to look far to find somewhere to celebrate their favorite

holiday. There are festive parties all over the world, from New Orleans to London, but if you really want to embrace the spirit of Halloween, there’s no better destination than the birthplace of the holiday: County Meath, Ireland. Every year in Boyne Valley, the residents of County Meath throw a month-long Halloween celebration. The Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival attracts thousands of guests from all over the world, and while this festival has only been celebrated since 2009, the traditions observed here date back to ancient times. The ancient Irish weren’t trick-or-treating or visiting haunted houses on Oct. 31, but they were celebrating the pagan holiday Samhain. Over 3,000 years ago, this Celtic festival was born in Meath and marked the end of the harvest. Samhain was celebrated with bonfires, offerings to fairies, and other rituals meant to keep evil spirits away. Many of these customs carried

Today, Meath celebrates Oct. 31 with a blend of spooky thrills and traditional Samhain practices. The Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival starts with the lighting of the first torch fire of Samhain in Athboy, which kicks off a month of fun activities. If you like your Halloween extra spooky, the scream park, Farmaphobia, awaits. And if you’re not a fan of screaming your head off, you can check out the Halloween-themed Spookling Afternoon Tea for fresh-baked treats and spirited conversation. The motto of this all-ages festival is “Fun by Day; Frights by Night,” meaning all the really scary ghosts wait until after sunset to come out. There are plenty of ways to celebrate Halloween, from carving jack-o’-lanterns and eating chocolate to running for your life through a haunted corn maze. And in County Meath, you can celebrate Halloween in every possible way. For more info, visit www.discoverboynevalley.ie/whats-on/spirits-meath- halloween-festival-2018.

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