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 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 roots with the CSJs connect 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.

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.  

2019-2020 marks our 50th year serving the Twin Cities community! To celebrate this significant milestone, we look forward to sharing stories about our history, mission, and community members past and present, and to hosting many special concerts and events.

St. Joseph’s School of Music began in 1970.  Since then, more than 500 faculty members have taught over 25,000 students. St. Joe’s musicians have performed thousands of concerts in countless venues, and logged tens of thousands of hours of music-making. Our impact has ripples across the world.

Today, our learning community spans all ages-- from infants and toddlers, preschoolers, K-12 children, and adults. Everyday we strive to educate, inspire, and enrich lives through music education and performances. In the past five years, guided by our values of excellence, affordability, and accessibility, the school has tripled the number of students receiving scholarships.

We look forward to a very special year of music-making with you.  Watch for more details about the following 50th anniversary events and programs that are taking shape now:

  • 50 RECITALS challenge! Care Concerts, Musicales, studio recitals, faculty concerts, Honors Concert, Showcase Gala, community concerts, salons, and more. 
  • 50 day practice challenge
  • 50 musician flashmob at Showcase 2020!
  • Musical Storytime out-and-about
  • Salon nights for adult learners! Themefor 2019-2020: “Around the world in 50 days” with flights of wine and music
  • Chamber music, jazz ensembles, jam sessions for faculty-student combos
  • New partnerships and collaborations

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.

Happy 50th Anniversary to St. Joseph’s School of Music!
I look forward to a wonderful year of growth for our community, our students, and our friendships.

Come make music! 


Madeline Cieslak
Executive Director

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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