Shop Local And Socially Conscious Via MPA Alums

Mounds Park Academy boasts more than 1,600 accomplished alumni who have gone on to pursue all types of careers, including a disproportionate number who have founded their own companies that directly advance social causes.

Our impressive entrepreneurs demonstrate how MPA students make their mark on the world as dreamers and doers, turning big dreams into unique businesses that do right socially and economically for their communities.

For MPA’s inaugural Alumni Holiday Gift List, we’ve compiled a list of five alumni who represent the many MPA graduates who have built businesses from the ground up—and, they’re offering some exciting discounts and special offers to the MPA community this season. Please consider putting these companies at the top of your shopping list, today and all year round! Read More

Coming Together To Create The MPA Alma Mater

Upper school choir practicing the alma materMPA Music Teachers, Mari Espeland and John Habermann, have been wanting to create an Alma Mater for MPA for years. But as the 2019-20 school year began, our campus went through many changes, Mr. Habermann gained more experience composing music, and MPA entered its 38th year; the timing just felt right.

As a founding faculty member and renowned English teacher, John believed Anne Atchison was the perfect candidate to write the lyrics. From the heart, she wrote and drafted the words to perfection, leaving the rhythmic lines comprehensible enough for our Alma Mater to be sung by everyone, from our littlest Panthers in PreK to our entire alumni community. Mr. Habermann said that the song’s tune came quickly after the lyrics were written. The arrangement was basically finished after an inspiring MPA Homecoming. Read More

MPA Students Selected For State Honor Choir

Elissa and jackCongratulations to MPA sophomore Elissa Frankel and freshman Jack Peterson, who auditioned and were selected to be members of the ACDA-MN 9-10 State Honor Choir! Elissa will sing in the Soprano-Alto Choir under the direction of Brandon Dean from Gustavus Adolphus College while Jack will sing in the Mixed Choir conducted by Aimee Beckmann-Collier from Drake University.

Elissa and Jack will prepare their Honor Choir music for a day long festival in February culminating with a performance at Central Lutheran Church. Jack is a member of the MPA Varsity Choir while Elissa sings in the MPA Concert Choir and Madrigals Singers. Best wishes to our musicians!

Meet Joan and Kevin Frankel!

the frankel familyWhat do you love about MPA?
We love the small class sizes and the individual attention our children get from their teachers. Because of the small class sizes, the teachers really get to know our kids’ strengths and weaknesses and focus on improvement. We also love the fact that our kids are encouraged to participate in arts and athletics and not solely focus on academics. We believe this is important for a well rounded education.

How is your child encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
At MPA, our children have been encouraged to try new activities they might not have tried if they were at a bigger school. The block schedule in Upper School has also allowed our daughter to take many more electives. This diversity in activities and classes allows them to realize the joy of learning something they may have never thought they could do. Read More

Enriching Our Lives, Starting With One Monday At A Time

lower school warming up at the Monday morning meaningby Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

Although Mondays can often be tough, attending the Lower School Monday Morning Meeting is a great start for my week. This past Monday was no exception. As I walked into the new Family Commons, I was greeted by the music of Trombone Shorty and the entire Lower School dancing and practicing their body percussion moves for Grandparents and Special Friends Day. It was pure joy and much more effective in waking me up than the third or fourth cup of coffee I was drinking. It had the same effect on other adults in the building as many poked their heads into the Commons as they walked by, leaving with big smiles on their faces. There is something about music that can transform our mood and lift our spirits instantly.

In an era when many schools are cutting their music programs in favor of more time for STEM-related classes, you may wonder why MPA places so much emphasis on music. In Lower School, students have approximately 90 minutes of music class a week. All Middle School students have year-long music or choir, are required play an instrument, and have either band or orchestra. Upper School students are required to have three credits in the fine arts, which includes instrumental and vocal music.

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The MPA Theatre Department’s 2019-2020 Season

Haroun and the sea of storiesThe Theatre Department is proud to announce its 2019-2020 Season. Everyone is welcome to join us for any and all of our productions. Information will go out via Panther Posts as tickets become available for each show throughout the year. Please know, we are happy to help you with accessibility needs for any of our productions.

Students, remember, our department’s goal is to immerse you completely in the creation of theatre–from top to bottom and back to front. You are our technicians, performers, designers, musicians, and writers. If you’d like to get involved, please check out the dates below for auditions and crew sign-ups. Remember, Upper School classes also help with the production side of things, so if that’s of interest to you. Feel free to contact any of your theatre teachers with any and all questions. Read More

Science Shows You Can’t Go Wrong With A Song

lower school girls dancing to the music
Music And The Brain
Music isn’t just something that’s good for your brain—it practically is your brain. Studying music is intrinsically tied to better hearing, speech, memory, reasoning, and emotional development. It lifts mood, builds community, and strengthens confidence. Music matters for long-term physical and psychological wellbeing, and to preserve brain health as we age. In terms of academic success, music education is directly connected to overall student achievement and personal growth, and it plays an essential role in Mounds Park Academy’s whole child, progressive, college preparatory curriculum, PreK through grade 12.

Building Social, Intellectual Capacity
According to recent research conducted by neuroscientists at the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute, early education in music was shown to accelerate brain development in young children, especially in the parts of the brain that manage sound, language, speech perception, and reading skills. As described by neuropsychologist Catherine Loveday of the University of Westminster, “music reaches parts of the brain that other things can’t … it’s a strong cognitive stimulus that grows the brain in a way that nothing else does, and the evidence that musical training enhances things like working memory and language is very robust.” Read More

Helping Students Set Goals

middle school student studies a sheet of music in orchestra
Charting A Path In A New Academic Year
In school and in life, goal setting is good. Goals serve as essential mileposts, helping to define pathways and measure progress, and leading to a greater sense of personal accomplishment and satisfaction. Meaningful goal setting is particularly important as students start a new academic year, and as they reflect on their priorities, their values, and their signals of success.

Practical Goal Setting and Resiliency
“To narrow and pinpoint reasonable, achievable, and admirable goals for a new year requires both big-picture thinking and ground-level planning,” writes Matt Levinson in Edutopia. He shares a favorite illustration of the multifaceted components for goal setting, explaining that good goals need “boulders (big picture thinking), rocks (the translation of those big ideas), and sand (the execution of the details). Goals that don’t contain all three components are doomed to fall short.” Read More

Welcome To The Family, Ms. Gifford!

Gia giffordMeet Gia Gifford, who will be our new K-4 art teacher. Gia comes to us from Clara Barton Open School, which is a K-8 magnet school in Minneapolis Public Schools. She holds two degrees from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, including a Bachelor of Arts in studio art and art history and a Master of Education in visual arts K-12. Gia has a deep passion for teaching art to elementary and middle school learners. And along with a variety of teaching experiences in diverse environments, Gia is a silversmith who is active in the Minneapolis arts community.

What did you love about MPA right away?
I really enjoyed the MPA staff and the warm welcome I received. I also loved how much the school appreciates the fine arts! Read More

Welcome To The Family, Ms. Lawson!

Hannah LawsonMeet Hannah Lawson, who has been selected as the new director of orchestras and music teacher. Ms. Lawson will join our community and the Twin Cities after eight years of public and private school teaching in the United States and abroad. Most recently, she has been teaching orchestra and general music in Saudi Arabia! She holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Music Education from Boston University. We are excited about Hannah’s passion for music, her deep and thorough knowledge of composition and music theory, and her excitement to lead MPA’s orchestras to continued excellence.

What did you love about MPA right away?
How kind and welcoming the faculty was. The progressive mission of the school. I loved that the students had a voice and were able to be apart of the process. I was treated with respect and was not judged for interviewing over Skype for a performance position, which can be difficult.

What’s your big dream?
To be the back up violinist for Dave Matthews Band! Read More