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My name is Julie Berninghaus and I am the owner and teacher of Lionheart. I am deeply passionate about seeing each one of my students succeed and discover their inner courage.

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My Story

My earliest music memories are with friends.

As an elementary student, I attended "Junior Church" at my family's church. In a drafty classroom, teenagers held up poster boards with handwritten lyrics while us kids jumped, clapped and sang at the top of our lungs.

When my parents enrolled me in private music lessons, I was introduced to the daily discipline of practicing. It was a slow and isolating process, but it laid the groundwork for the positive daily habits I now keep and value.

I graduated from Northwestern University-St. Paul, then taught choir and music lessons for three years with the Home Educators Resource Organization (H.E.R.O).  While there, I was able to start a new music ensemble there for students who wanted to invest in a higher level of musicianship and performance. ​ I followed my passions for music and community by becoming the Director of Music and Worship at a church for eight years where I directed all aspects of the music program and conducted choirs and orchestras for special events.

I started Brillante Music Studio in 2015. Watching my students advance in their skills and confidence was so inspiring! When the world and our studio were forced into quarantine in 2020, I was overwhelmed with their resilience. We made a committment in the fall of 2021 that despite being online and living in uncertain times, we would make this the best year of growth they had ever had. The students continued boldly striving toward their goals, not only fulfilling that commitment, but pushing themselves to new levels in technique, performance and dedication to practicing. Their courage inspired me to change our studio name to Lionheart Music Studio, a fun and safe place where students can learn and engage with music both individually and as a group. Learning a new skill takes boldness and vulnerability and sharing music with others takes sharing your heart. The students continue to embody these sentiments.

I am a member of the Minnesota Music Teacher's Association (MMTA), Music Teacher's National Association (MTNA) and the South Suburban Music Teacher's Association (SSMTA) and conduct the Velvet Tones Choir in Apple Valley.

My favorite things are kayaking, digging in my garden, finding adventures with my husband Andrew and my daughter Violet, hanging out with my super cool family and friends and everything about the MN State Fair.

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Why Music?

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My Teaching Philosophy

As a music educator, my role is to provide a safe and welcoming environment for students to learn and grow. It is important for learning to take place in such an environment so that students are not only free to be themselves, but free to make mistakes. Our classroom regards wrong notes played and cracking voices as giving effort to a new skill. 

My goal to create the kind of environment that is rooted in the notion that without trust, there is no risk. If there is not risk, there is no exploration. No experimentation or exploration means no advancement as a society on the whole. (Sinek 2009)

I encourage curiosity over procedure and recognize that all students learn and process information differently. 


 Let's connect!


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