Minnesota School Of Music - April 2020

04. 2020 763-432-9713 www.mnschoolofmusic.com



I was in a master’s class for guitar at the University of St. Thomas, watching my fellow classmate, Cory, play his way through a challenging piece. He was getting all the notes, working his fingers frenetically up and down the fretboard — but something felt off. Our instructor hit the nail on the head when the piece came to an end, gently teasing Cory, “In the beginning, there was rhythm.” This biblical-sounding advice stayed in the back of my mind all these years, but it suddenly came rushing to the forefront. Over the years at MnSOM, I couldn’t help but feel a void in our programming. Something was missing from our school that made the whole experience incomplete. Much like Cory’s performance, we were hitting all the right notes for a music school, but had left out a foundational part of the musical world. Drums. We needed drums. That’s why I’m pleased to announce we are finally making this dream a reality, adding drum lessons to our school’s programming. You can find more details on how to sign up for one of these percussion courses inside this newsletter. But for right now, I want to take a moment to address why this addition took this long and what it means for our school.

From its very earliest roots, MnSOM has been based in my capacity as a music teacher. We began as the Minnesota Guitar Academy, focused solely on the instrument I’d worked with in academia for years. Then we became the school you know today, adding piano and voice — two areas of music I’ve been immersed in since childhood. The idea was that, with such a small school, I had to be able to pitch in and teach any of our classes on offer. And let me tell you, I can’t drum. That didn’t stop me from owning a drum kit at some point in my younger years. But try as I might, I never really got past making a lot of noise with it. It was fun, to be sure, but without a teacher, I didn’t make any progress and, ultimately, didn’t stick with it. But now that our school has grown, we’re at an exciting point where we can step beyond my own musical expertise. Being able to bring on drummers to our professional teaching staff is an exciting milestone in the growth of this school. My own kids are excited to learn to drum, and to be honest, I’m thinking of taking a few lessons myself. “... to be honest, I’m thinking of taking a few lessons myself.”

know about drumming, as well as the benefits drumming has to offer, but I’ll close here on a personal observation: The drums are just a lot of fun. Something about crashing cymbals and kicking a bass drum brings out the kid in all of us. The drums are an exciting instrument to pick up, especially for those who may find the more minute, dexterous work of piano and guitar playing isn’t for them. So, it’s with great joy that I can now quote “The Go-Go’s” when talking about our school: We’ve got the beat.

Inside this edition, we go into more detail on what parents and students need to

–Eric Nehring

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It’s hard to imagine kids as anything but carefree, happy, and eager to explore the world around them. However, children experience stress just like adults do, which can severely impact their typically cheerful dispositions. Since April is National Stress Awareness Month, now is an opportune time to familiarize yourself with tools and information that can help you alleviate your child’s stress. WHAT ARE THEIR STRESSORS? Any number of everyday factors can lead to stress, and stress can plague anyone who feels overwhelmed. Toddlers and young children going to day care or school for the first time may experience separation anxiety due to being apart from their parents. Older kids and teenagers may feel mounting social and academic pressure. Even something as simple as overhearing loved ones arguing or seeing a sad news report can add to a child’s stress levels. HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILD IS STRESSED? When a kid is stressed, they will exhibit odd behavior and even undergo physical changes. Depending on your child’s age,

watch for mood swings, changes in sleep patterns, headaches, trouble focusing, or withdrawal from the people around them. According to KidsHealth.org, younger children may also pick up habits like twirling their hair or sucking their thumb, while older kids may start to bully others, lie, or rebel. CAN I HELP REDUCE THEIR STRESS?

According to KidsHealth.org, good nutrition, proper rest, and healthy attention are great ways to help kids manage their stress. Set time aside each day to talk and spend time with your children; talking about worries will reduce or relieve anxieties. If you know about an upcoming stressful situation, like a school exam or a health checkup, prepare your child by studying with them or talking to them about what to expect.

Don’t stop here. For more tools and information regarding stress reduction in children, visit KidsHealth.org or contact your doctor.


TOOLS OF THE TRADE In addition to learning from professionally trained drummers, students will have access to a mix of percussion tools to help them learn stick patterns, grips, drum patterns, and more! These tools include a range of practice pads and, of course, a full-blown Yamaha drum kit designed for student use. This allows students to get the full experience of working a kick drum, playing high- hat licks, and crashing cymbals — without waking the neighbors. We’re looking forward to welcoming aspiring young drummers to our school and helping give them tools they need to master this incredibly fun, demanding area of music. Of course, lessons from MnSOM are only half the picture. Read on to learn how your student can safely (and quietly) practice their drum skills at home!

As Eric announced on this month’s cover, we’re rolling out a drum program here at MnSOM! We’re excited to welcome students who have an interest in percussion to our school and give them the perfect soundproof space to get the most out of the experience. Here are the details on this exciting new lesson plan. DAYS OF THE WEEK Due to the percussive nature of drums and not wanting to interrupt other students, we’re opening up MnSOM on the weekend exclusively for our drum students. Hours will be the same as they are during the week, and we’ll continue to have a front desk attendant on hand. Give us a call at 763-432-9713 or come speak to us to schedule your first lesson!

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It’s true that playing the drums comes with some unique challenges other musicians don’t have to face. The size and volume of the drum kits themselves can be daunting, especially to a young drummer’s parents. But don’t worry, you don’t have to surrender half your garage to bangs and crashes just yet. In fact, the instrument may have fewer drawbacks and far more benefits than you might think. DOES MY STUDENT NEED A KIT? Not for a long while. If your student loves to drum, is excelling in their classes, and wants to take the next step in becoming a serious percussionist, having a kit to practice with at home is invaluable. But for the first few years at least, there’s no need to make such an investment. Practice pads exist to help give students a quiet, space-saving way to grow their skills at home. WHAT ABOUT THE NOISE? Drums aren’t exactly known for being subtle, and the noise level they produce can be a legitimate concern, especially for the drummer. Thankfully, there are ways to protect their eardrums and minimize how far the sound carries, using the right equipment. We take our students’ safety very seriously at MnSOM, which is why our Yamaha drum kit is equipped with specialty heads and cymbals designed to cut noise to safe decibel levels. WHAT SKILLS DOES DRUMMING TEACH? Like all musical disciplines, playing percussion prepares a young musician for far more than their next recital. Regardless of whether a drum student sticks with percussion their whole life or picks up other instruments, the fundamental understanding of rhythm and tempo will be invaluable. Drumming also teaches a great deal of discipline and coordination — both important life skills. Lastly, drums are a great outlet. The instrument is perfect for reducing stress, releasing negative feelings, and helping the drummer focus. HOW OLD CAN STUDENTS START? Generally, 5 years and up is the perfect time to start learning! WHAT KIND OF COMMITMENT IS THIS? At MnSOM, we offer month-to-month lessons, so you’re not locked into any long-term commitments. That way, your child can try a few lessons and see if drumming is for them! DRUMMING: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS WHAT PARENTS NEED TO KNOW



Eric T. Ivy O.

Noah N. Barb S. Matt S. Shaurya G. Dan F. Tim R. Sean S. Carmani A.

Brynn K. Henry H. Grace K. Adelyn D. Elinore D. Charlotte 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 Mrs. Bunish - SOLD OUT Miss Ferbuyt - SOLD OUT Miss Hayes - SOLD OUT Miss Hoops - SOLD OUT Mrs. Lehner: SOLD OUT Mr. Membrez - SOLD OUT

Mrs. Morris - SOLD OUT Mr. Nehring - SOLD OUT Mr. Nistler - SOLD OUT Mr. Norell - SOLD OUT Miss Pliam - SOLD OUT Mr. Root - SOLD OUT Miss Schwefel - SOLD OUT

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



New Lessons Crashing In

Helping Your Child Manage Stress About Our New Drum Lessons

Welcome New Students Drumming FAQs

The Best Locations for Spring Blooms


Spring is here, which means beautiful flowers are finally showing themselves after a long winter.

even inspired the creation of the annual Wildflower Festival in midsummer, which features nature walks, art, photography, culinary experiences, and more. For a truly unique experience, you can even ascend the town’s titular Crested Butte to spot some rare alpine sunflowers next to the picturesque West Elk Mountains. ANTELOPE VALLEY The California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster, California, is a 1,780-acre park that features sloping hills covered with fields of vibrant orange, yellow, and red poppies in the spring. Warm temperatures and heavy rainfall across Southern California during this time of year create a brief period of thick blooms as far as the eye can see. And while the poppies can be enjoyed from the comfort of your car, the best way to experience them is to walk the leisurely Antelope Loop Trail for a breathtaking, up-close adventure. Spring flora is gorgeous and naturally attracts large crowds of people every year. If you plan to visit any of these destinations, just remember that their ecosystems are delicate. Respect park signs, stay on designated trails, and do your part to make sure these flowers return year after year for future generations to enjoy.

Here are some of the best places in the U.S. to see flower blossoms and welcome the season.

GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS The Great Smoky Mountains National Park stretches across North Carolina and Tennessee, and while its scenery is beautiful year- round, the park is especially alluring to nature enthusiasts during the spring. Through this season, miles of lady’s-slipper orchids, irises, cardinal flowers, and lilies dot its lush green landscape. It’s dubbed “Wildflower National Park” throughout this time of year, and you can experience it by car or on foot. The park also offers expert-led tours that weave through the flowers during their peak bloom. CRESTED BUTTE Crested Butte, Colorado, is best known for its winter sports and summer hikes. But recently it has drawn the attention of flower enthusiasts for its unique pink, orange, and gold alpine wildflowers that appear in the spring. This natural phenomenon

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