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General MacPhail

MacPhail is a national leader in music programming. We are the largest and one of the oldest community music schools in the country. Our youngest students are babies in our Sing Play Learn with MacPhail® classes and our oldest students are over 100. At MacPhail, we believe that music is for life.  

Learn more about MacPhail.

MacPhail offers private lessons, group classes, performance ensembles, and choirs.  

We also have music appreciation classes, listening clubs, and instruction on theory/composition/songwriting and so much more. Instruction is available in 35 instruments including voice. MacPhail is proud of our Community Partnership Programs. Over 8,500 students annually access music education through these partnerships. MacPhail produces over 400 performances per year. Check out our Events Calendar and Performance Archive. Please let us know if you have questions.  

Learn more about MacPhail’s Music Lessons & Classes.

MacPhail is a national leader teaching Live Online lessons. Online teaching at MacPhail began in 2011 and skyrocketed during the pandemic. We have students from all over the United States and other parts of the world. We would love to welcome you to our online MacPhail community.  

MacPhail posts all closures due to inclimate weather on our social media (facebook / twitter / instagram), the message board on the student links page of our website, and on our phone message system.  

The hours at our sites differ: 

Minneapolis 
Austin 
Apple Valley 
Chanhassen 
White Bear Lake 
Student Services is available by phone, 612.321.0100 and email from 9:00am-9:00pm Monday-Friday

Yes! We have sites in Apple ValleyAustin, ChanhassenNew Horizon AcademyWhite Bear Lake, and on Madeline Island, WI.  

MacPhail Live Online: MacPhail is a national leader teaching live online lessons. Online teaching at MacPhail began in 2011. We have students from all over the United States and other parts of the world.  

MacPhail Community Programs: MacPhail also brings music learning to people who wouldn’t otherwise have access to classes. Over 8,500 students participate in programs offered through our 92 Community Partnership locations, including preschools, schools, and nursing homes. 

Complete list of our community partnerships.

SKIP THE PARKING! Consider online lessons or classes 

MINNEAPOLIS SITE

 There are several parking ramps as well as metered street parking.

A debit card is available for purchase for MacPhail families, faculty and staff at the Student Services desk for the Portland Ave. Ramp (enter on Portland Ave) and the Depot Hotel parking (enter on 5th Ave). It is a $50 ($25 deposit + $25 card balance) reloadable debit card which locks in parking rates during events. Deposit and card balance are refundable at any time.

More information about the parking card.

An accessible drop-off and pick-up site with curb cuts is located on the east side of the building. The Depot Hotel has accessible parking for those with placards.

OTHER MACPHAIL SITES: Apple Valley, Austin, Chanhassen, and White Bear Lake have free, on-site parking. Accessible parking is available.  

MacPhail offers more than 400 events and concerts throughout the year that are open to everyone, including: MacPhail Spotlight Series, the MacPhail Free Family Music Series, and numerous faculty and student recitals.

Learn More: MacPhail Events 

One of the benefits of being a student at MacPhail is our myriad of performance opportunities, many taking place in our exciting, state-of-the-art performance spaces. There are numerous opportunities throughout the year to showcase our students as well as develop their performance skills. These include studio recitals, department recitals, recognition recitals, all school recitals, site recitals, honor recitals, and the prestigious Concerto and Aria Competition.

Learn More: Student Performances

MacPhail offers lessons and classes in the summer for all age groups. In addition, we have a robust summer camp program, Suzuki Summer Institute, and Madeline Island Chamber Music.

Find MacPhail Summer Camps

The Minneapolis location has two rooms available for MacPhail families to rent.

Please note: the practice rooms are not available at this time.

Rental availability is limited at our Minneapolis location. To inquire, please contact Program Services Assistant Bjorn Grina-Shay

Yes, see our Musician Referral list.

Yes. Thank you for considering MacPhail for your donation. You may contribute online or mail a contribution to:

MacPhail Center for Music
501 S 2nd St.
Minneapolis, MN 55401

We also accept tax-deductible donations of tangible property such as musical instruments and sheet music/musical scores/lesson books. MacPhail is required to assess each item prior to acceptance. We are happy to talk with you about an item you are considering for donation.

Please contact Individual Gifts Manager Lisa Salzl.

Yes! To purchase a gift certificate, please contact Student Services or call us at 612.321.0100.

Getting Started

MacPhail welcomes students of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. Our students range from absolute beginners to conservatory-bound students and pre-professional musicians. Whatever their level, all our students have one thing in common – a love of music.

We recommend starting by speaking with a Student Services representative. They are trained to listen to your goals and preferences and will then be able to discuss your options. Want to start now? Fill out a Student Placement Form and we will contact you. Or call Student Services at 612.321.0100.

There are a variety of ways for new students to get started. Please contact Student Services at any time for assistance, call 612.321.0100 or email.

Individual Lessons: Fill out the brief Student Placement Form to let us know about your experience and preference. Student Services will follow-up with you to help match you with a MacPhail teaching artist.  

Sing Play Learn with MacPhail®, Group Classes, Ensembles, CampsYou can complete your registration online today. Simply select your favorite offering and submit your registration. 

Suzuki Talent Education: Learn more about the Suzuki process.

Music Therapy: Submit the online Intake Form or contact the Music Therapy Manager at 612.767.5596 to schedule an intake interview. 

 Please call us if you have any questions at 612.321.0100 or email

We want to help you find the best fit for your instruction at MacPhail. Follow these links to the placement forms for Individual Instruction/EMRA, Suzuki Talent Education, and Music Therapy. Our staff will contact you to discuss your interests and goals. We take care in matching each student with the instructor who will best suit their needs. If you are not satisfied and would like to request to switch instructors, please contact the program director so we may assist you.

MacPhail Program Leaders: 
Director of Individual Instruction, Timothy De Prey 
Director of Group Instruction, Melissa Falb 
Music Therapy Administrator, Jessical Nagel 
Director of Sing Play Learn with MacPhail®, Dianna Babcock
Director of MacPhail Austin, Cheryl Berglund 
Director of EMRA, Michael Cain
Director of Suzuki Talent Education, Beth Turco
MacPhail Music for Life™ Manager, Kristyn Rupp
Director of Global Music Initiative, Christopher Rochester
Director of School Partnerships, Roque Diaz
MacPhail President and Chief Operations Offices, Paul Babcock 

We take pride in our process of selecting a teacher for our students and have confidence in our ability to create an excellent student/teacher match. Students who wish to meet their selected teacher and assess teaching style and fit may request a trial lesson. At times our faculty may request a trial lesson for the same reason. The cost of a trial lesson is the same as any other lesson. Please refer to MacPhail’s tuition rates

If you are new to MacPhail, we offer new students JumpStart. The JumpStart package offers 4 classes for the price of 3 with no other commitments. This gives a new student a thorough opportunity to see if lessons at MacPhail are a good fit. To get started, fill out the Student Placement Form to let us know about your experience and preference. Student Services will follow-up with you to help match you with a MacPhail teaching artist.  

Group classes: If you register for a class with tuition payment and are not happy with the first class, per our refund policy you can receive a full tuition refund. Further questions? Contact Melissa Falb, Director of Group Instruction by email or phone at 612.767.5438 or for Sing Play Learn with MacPhail®­, contact Allison Akins.

The JumpStart package offers new students 4 classes for the price of 3 with no other commitments. This gives a new student a thorough opportunity to see if lessons at MacPhail are a good fit. To get started, fill out the Student Placement Form to let us know about your experience and preference. Student services will follow-up with you to help match you with a MacPhail teaching artist.  

We strive to ensure a positive experience for all students and will look to correct any issue that arises no matter how large or small. The first thing we recommend is to speak with your teacher directly. Often times open and honest communication can bring the desired results. If that discussion does not resolve your concern you may contact the programs administrator to listen and assist with next steps. 

MacPhail Program Leaders: 
Director of Individual Instruction, Timothy De Prey 
Director of Group Instruction, Melissa Falb 
Music Therapy Administrator, Jessica Nagel 
Director of Sing Play Learn with MacPhail®, Dianna Babcock
Director of MacPhail Austin, Cheryl Berglund 
Director of EMRA, Michael Cain
Director of Suzuki Talent Education, Beth Turco
MacPhail Music for Life™ Manager, Kristyn Rupp
Director of Global Music Initiative, Christopher Rochester
Director of School Partnerships, Roque Diaz
MacPhail President and Chief Operations Offices, Paul Babcock 

Absolutely, you can start Individual Lessons or Music Therapy at any time during a semester.  It is harder to start Group lessons or Suzuki lessons midway through due to the sequential nature of these programs. Call 612.321.0100 for more information.

If you do not own or rent an instrument, you will need to have access to an instrument on a daily basis to practice and prepare for the weekly lessons. String students, guitar students, woodwind and brass students will need to bring their own instruments to their lessons. Learning to play an instrument involves sight, sound, movement, and mental processes that need daily repetition and practice. It is very important to have access to the instrument as often as possible.  

Instrument sales and rentals, repairs, parts, music and lesson books.  

Your instructor is also a good resource for instruments, repairs, music, and other suggestions. 

MacPhail’s Suzuki Talent Education program begins as early as 3 years old.  

Individual lessons may begin as early as 5 years of age, depending upon the child’s learning style, maturity, and instrument choice.  

As soon as the child takes interest in music or exhibits musical talent they may be ready for lessons! Since beginning lessons typically last 30 minutes, it would be ideal if your child can focus on a task for at least 15 – 20 minutes. In addition, parents should ask themselves if they are ready to make the time, inititally, to work with the child during in-home practice. This assistance may help keep a child on the right path. 

Read: Director of Individual Instruction, Timothy DePrey’s favorite article about getting your child ready for lessons.

Registration

Current students: do NOT create a new account to log in, as we already have an account for you.

To access your account or if you forgot your password, go to this link to sign in. The login name is the email that is on file for your account.

To create or update a password, select “Forgot Password” and you will be sent an email link to access your account.  

Please call 612-321-0100 or email the Student Services team to update or verify the email address on file or to assist you with any problems that you are having.

Payment Plan Options

To set up a payment plan, you can enroll online and select the split or monthly payment plans, or call our Student Services team at 612-321-0100 and we’d be glad to help you.

The annual payment plan is available for Individual Instruction and Suzuki only and must be set up with Student Services staff in the fall semester.  

Payment is required to complete your registration for each new semester. Registrations must be completed by the first day of each semester.  Remember to confirm your lesson schedule directly with your instructor. Please contact your teacher to confirm your lesson day and time.

IndividuaI Instruction, Suzuki, and Music Therapy students will receive a registration reminder notice in the mail approximately 4-5 weeks before each semester.

To register, complete your enrollment with full payment or the first payment of a payment plan option. For assistance, call 612-321-0100 or email Student Services. 

NEW! Online registration is available. Directions for online registration.

Tuition/Policies/Payments/Fees

The cost varies depending on your program and your instructor. Call 612-321-0100 or email Student Services if you have any questions. 

Yes, to enroll with a payment plan, you select the Split or Monthly payment plans online, or call our Student Services team at 612-321-0100 (or email) and we’ll be glad to help you. The Annual payment plan is available for Individual Instruction and Suzuki only and must be set up with Student Services staff in the fall semester. 

Music Plus! discount 
A 15% discount is available for select classes when you or anyone in your family is enrolled for at least 5 hours of Individual lessons, Music Therapy, or Suzuki Talent Education during the same semester as the discounted class. Just look for the words “Music Plus Discount” on the select offering.  

Sing Play Learn with MacPhail® Sibling Discount Policy   
When you register one child for Sing Play Learn with MacPhail® classes at MacPhail for full tuition, each additional child in your immediate family will receive a 10% discount for Sing Play Learn with MacPhail® classes for the same semester. This discount does not apply to the Family Music Class. 

Early Registration Discount  
Annually, a discount is offered in the amount of $30 for early registration. The deadline for early registration is scheduled each year on a specific date in mid-August.

Ticket Discounts 
MacPhail Spotlight Series:  MacPhail students are eligible to buy two tickets for $5 each to the concert of their choice. Discounts may not be combined with a subscription. Please redeem student rate by phone or in person.   
Master Classes: MacPhail students enjoy free admission to all master classes.  

MacPhail’s Make-Up/Missed Lesson Policies 

Please call or email your instructor in advance of any absence or leave a message with Student Services at 612.321.0100. This notification does not exempt students from payment. Students are charged for all the lessons for which they register, including those missed through student absence. 

Please ask your teacher to discuss their make up policy with you. In the event the instructor cancels a lesson, a makeup lesson will be offered at a mutually convenient time. 

The decision to close due to weather is determined by safety conditions and is based on state advisories. MacPhail does not guarantee make up lessons or refunds for dates closed due to an emergency, including weather cancellations. We are committed to remaining open whenever possible.

In the rare case that MacPhail’s server or hardware fails, preventing video calling for more than 20 percent of the scheduled lesson, the lesson will be made up by the MacPhail instructor at a later date with no additional cost to the student.  

Unfortunately, due to the nature of our lesson schedules, if the technical issue is generated from the student side, the lesson will not be able to be made up. 

Withdrawal Policies

For group classes and Sing Play Learn with MacPhail® classes, a 100% refund will be given if written notice is received within two business days following the first class. A 75% refund will be given if written notice is received within two business days following the second class.

For Individual & Suzuki Instruction, withdrawal requests must be received in writing within before the 4th lesson in order to receive a refund for the remaining paid lessons. If written notice is received after the 4th lesson, students are responsible for payment of four lessons after the date of the withdrawal notice and the remaining paid lessons will be refunded.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Yes. We offer financial aid to qualifying students in the form of reduced tuition. Applications are made available on April 1 and are due by the middle of July. We do accept financial aid requests throughout the year. Financial assistance awards cover both the fall and spring semesters. Summer financial aid awards may be available if resources allow. 

Yes. There are 39 merit-based performance scholarships awarded annually to current and potential students based on performance excellence. Awards range from $175 – $1,500 and must be used for lessons at MacPhail. Applications are available in March with auditions in June. 

Financial Aid is reduced tuition for qualifying students, regardless of age, skill level or other factors.  

Scholarships are either need or merit-based. Merit-based scholarships are for students who demonstrate a high level of skill in an audition or exhibit passion for their music learning.

To learn more, go to: Financial Aid & Scholarships

Program Questions

Early Childhood Education: Sing Play Learn with MacPhail®

Our Sing Play Learn with MacPhail® program is built on 50 years of experience. The program is a national forerunner in the field of early childhood music education. SPL has classes for babies as young as 6 weeks and runs through 8 years old. Some classes are designed for the child with a participating adult. Others are for the child to attend class without a participating adult. Our teachers are all early childhood and music specialists and undergo the most extensive training of any early childhood and music programs in the nation. Find Sing Play Learn with MacPhail® classes 

Studies have shown that exposure to music at an early age increases brain development, which can lead to an overall improvement in cognitive functions beginning from birth throughout childhood. Our Sing Play Learn with MacPhail® classes are a great way to bond with your baby, learn songs, and games and connect with other parents. Listen to this podcast for more information.

If you register for a class with tuition payment and are not happy with the first class, per our refund policy, you can receive a full tuition refund. If you prefer to discuss a sample class first, please contact Allison Akins.

Suzuki Talent Education

In the Suzuki method, children as young as 3 or 4 learn to play a musical instrument with a language-learning approach. Children, with the support of their parents or a care-giver, learn to play pieces by ear first.  Music note-reading is taught later, after tone, technique, and playing by ear is developed. More on Suzuki Talent Education.  
  

Individual (traditional) lessons typically begin at age 5 or later. Lessons emphasize concurrent development of technique, note reading, and general musicianship. More on Individual Lessons 

MacPhail’s Suzuki Talent Program is the oldest in the region and one of the oldest and largest in the nation, giving us the longest history of delivering the unique Suzuki method.

Individual Instruction & Group Classes

We have many opportunities to further your learning at MacPhail!

We offer group classes and ensembles, some of which are eligible for the Music Plus Discount (see below). You can participate in master classes, recitals, and performance opportunities, including a school-wide Performance Festival, honors recitals and the Concerto and Aria competition. Other opportunities include Achievement Day, and the Crescendo Program for Piano and Strings.

Music Plus! discount 
A 15% discount is available for select classes when you or anyone in your family is enrolled for at least 5 hours of Individual lessons, Music Therapy or Suzuki during the same semester as the discounted class. Just look for the words “Music Plus Discount” on the select offering.  

We recommend that students have access to an acoustic piano for regular daily practice. If that is not possible, our faculty recommend using a full sized keyboard with 88 touch sensitive keys (must be able to make loud/soft sounds with finger pressure) and to have a pedal mechanism, either attached to keyboard or with an attachable pedal (sold separately).

Article: Best Digital Pianos and Keyboards

The MacPhail Northside Youth Orchestra (MNYO) is a tuition-free symphonic orchestra program in North Minneapolis. We believe in the transformational power of music, and strive to create a welcoming space that encourages musical growth and development. 

Prelude Singer Actor Performance Lab is an academic yearlong program (September – May) for high school students ages 14-18 who seek an environment where they can experiment and discover new possibilities as performing artists. 

The MacPhail Community Youth Choir (MCYC) brings together youth in grades 9-12 throughout the Twin Cities area for music and friendship. The choir is led by Twin Cities’ artist J.D. Steele, of the famous Steele Family, who brings his dynamic style and passion for music to the group, which is free and open to students of all skill levels and talents. This group of energetic young people performs many styles of music including jazz, gospel, pop, and East African. 

Italian for “growing”, the Crescendo for Piano and Strings program aims to develop well-rounded musicians, recognize students’ progress, and set benchmarks for the advancement of musical skills. It is a year-long program, September through June.

Electronic Music Recording Arts (EMRA)

The equipment and software you need will depend on what you’d like to learn! There are many paid and free options for all kinds of tools. Feel free to reach out to EMRA for advice on acquiring whatever gear you might need to get started with us.

No prior music lessons or experience are required to start learning with EMRA. Please reach out to us if you have any questions about what lessons could look like for you!

You do not need to be able to read music to participate in electronic music and recording arts focused music. The tools used are unique and have intuitive ways of writing and sharing music built into them. You can create great music without ever being able to read it!

Madeline Island Chamber Music

Madeline Island Chamber Music is devoted to educating and nurturing the next generation of musicians through concentrated study and performance of chamber music on verdant, historic Madeline Island. Established in 1985 by Thomas M. George with substantial financial support from Mary Hulings Rice as a one-week camp for 20 high school musicians, the program has evolved to its current six-week structure serving over 70 extraordinarily talented high school, college, and graduate school string and woodwind musicians. The program also provides a residency program in the Twin Cities, public performances, and community education programs. The program is a nationally recognized model for education in chamber music. 

Visit Madeline Island Chamber Music

Madeline Island is the largest of the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior. The Island is accessible via a short ferry ride from Bayfield, Wisconsin which is 90 miles east of Duluth, MN and is 210 miles northeast of Minneapolis, MN. 

See Map

The facilities are spread over 12 acres. Students are housed in three student lodges. The lodges have screened porches, lounges, and kitchenettes. The practice facilities are adjacent to the lodges. They consist of 12 solo practice rooms and 9 ensemble rehearsal studios. The Mary Lange Campus Center houses the organization’s dining hall, administrative offices, box office, student lounge, and music library. The Clubhouse (performance hall) overlooks a golf course and a marina and is used for performances and rehearsals. It is a stunningly beautiful campus. 

Visit Madeline Island Chamber Music Facilities

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The health and safety of all members of the MacPhail Center for Music community is our top priority.

COVID 19 information, safety policies, and practices

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