Our Mission

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


St. Joseph’s School of Music was founded in 1870 by the Sisters of St. Joseph Carondelet through the merger of the St. Joseph’s Academy Music Department and St. Agatha’s Conservatory. Our provenance of providing music education will soon mark 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.

Today we are a vibrant, non-denominational, non-profit 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.

Director's Welcome

Dear Students, Parents, Families, and Educators,

Welcome to St. Joseph’s School of Music!  We are thrilled to be celebrating our 49th year serving the Twin Cities community.

From a humble beginning in the basement of the Carondelet Center near St. Catherine’s University, we re-invented ourselves in 1970 as St. Joseph’s School of Music. We have since grown into a school of over 800 students and 40 musician-educators, making our home in St. Paul’s vibrant Midway neighborhood.

Our learning community includes infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school-aged children, college students and adults. Every day we strive to educate, inspire, and enrich lives through music education and performances. We have doubled the number of students receiving scholarships in the past five years, guided by our values of excellence, affordability, and accessibility.

We look forward to another year of music-making with you, and announce the following events and programs that are taking shape now:

  • 3rd Annual Showcase Gala in May 2019
  • Enhanced Suzuki Strings program
  • More Care Concerts in the Community than ever
  • Online music lessons via Skype and Facetime
  • Musical Storytime for ages 3-7 throughout the year
  • More events for adult learners
  • Automatic payment enrollment – take the hassle out of paying tuition

We are proud of the community we have built at St. Joseph's School of Music, and the opportunities we give students and families to explore and express their love of music. If you are new to us, we invite you to take a tour, attend a concert, or try a class or new musical instrument. Come make music with us!


Madeline Cieslak
Executive Director

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?

450 North Syndicate St.
Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55104
(651) 690-4364