Our Mission

Our welcoming community and faculty of teaching artists nurture the joy of learning music in people of all ages, abilities, and aspirations.

Director's WelcomE 2023-2024

Dear Students, Families, and Friends,


St. Joseph’s School of Music faculty and staff invite you to a new season and the empowering study of music. By bringing the community together in our historic and inspiring space, we strive to spark creativity in music students of all ages.

At SJSM, you can expect
-excellence in music instruction from accomplished and caring teaching artists,
-support and individual attention to reach your goals,
-an abundance of performance opportunities for all ages and all levels,
-exposure to new topics, new people, and new music to challenge and delight you,
-an accessible location in the heart of St. Paul,
-easy, free parking,
-inviting, gracious spaces for lessons, recitals, and connection.

We hope to see you at Exploration classes!
The unique Exploration series invites students and their families to challenge themselves in new ways, learn about new subjects, participate in pop-up ensembles, and develop skills and knowledge that they would not otherwise gain in the private lesson setting. All will have the chance to discover new interests and benefit from a better understanding of themselves as musicians and their place in the community. All Exploration offerings are included in tuition. These classes are available to not only SJSM students - but to their entire family - with a design to develop well-rounded musicians, enrich families, and build community.

Thank you for being a part of the SJSM community.
St. Joseph’s School of Music began over fifty years ago, with a mission to serve and educate through high quality music instruction. We are passionate about providing lessons and enrichment, knowing it is an essential part of a community's health and well-being.

We look forward to seeing you at lessons, concerts, and events this year; and with you, writing the next chapter in our work to enrich our community with music education and performances that uplift, sustain, and empower.


Madeline Cieslak
Executive Director


As an organization with a long legacy of work in social justice and equity, St. Joseph's School of Music renews our commitment to be steadfast in identifying, discussing, and challenging issues of race and color and the impact they have on our organization and its people.

  • We reaffirm our commitment to equity and inclusion.
  • We are resolved that our anti-racism commitment be reflected in the life and culture of the school through our policies, programs, personnel, and practices.
  • As we continue to learn, and with the help of our community, we will challenge ourselves to continue the ongoing work to further this goal.
  • We embrace our role as musicians and teachers to help our community heal and grow. We proceed with gentleness and compassion, and resolve to listen and respond to what our community needs.
  • We remain committed to making SJSM a place where everyone can flourish.


A proud nonprofit organization with strong roots in community outreach and accessible education, St. Joseph's School of Music positively impacts lives through the study, exploration, and love of music. Providing musical and educational experiences for every person who wants them is our priority, and we truly have something for everyone—from babies to retirees.

St. Joseph’s School of Music was founded in 1970 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet through the merger of the St. Joseph’s Academy Music Department and St. Agatha’s Conservatory. Our CSJ legacy connects us deeply to our community, with a history of providing music education to the Twin Cities for 140 years. Initially resident in the Carondelet Center adjacent to St. Catherine University, the School’s growth in enrollment and faculty necessitated more spacious accommodation in the historic Brown and Bigelow Building at University Avenue and Syndicate Street. In early 2022, the school moved to 1619 Dayton Avenue, into the historic Richards Gordon School in the heart of St. Paul.

Today we are a vibrant organization serving a diverse community of students of every age, background, and income-level with excellent music education.

Our students, from beginner to advanced, in instrumental and vocal music, have the advantage of one-on-one instruction from highly-trained and accomplished faculty. Students enjoy participation in early childhood music, our dynamic Suzuki program, and they excel in school and area student orchestras, bands, and in state and national competitions.

We perform all over the Twin Cities, offering abundant performance opportunities to our students at community venues, churches, and senior residences, as well as premier concert spaces.

Get Started!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a lesson and a class?

How often do I take a lesson and how does scheduling of private lessons work?

How do I choose an instrument for my child?

What is a good age for a child to start private music lessons?

How do I choose between Suzuki and traditional lessons for my child?

How often should a child practice?

Any tips on motivating a child to practice?

What can you try before you allow a child to quit music lessons?

1619 Dayton Ave.
Suite 200
St. Paul, MN 55104
(651) 690-4364