20% Higher in Math
Music strengthens the same part of the brain used for complex math skills. Students in top quality music programs score 20% higher in math.

22% Higher in English
Students in high quality music programs score 22% higher in English and language skills.

Decrease Drug Use
Students who participate in a school music ensemble, such as band or orchestra, have the lowest levels of current and lifelong use of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs among any group in our society.

Increase Graduation Rates
Students who study music are five times less likely to drop out of school and three times more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree.


National Leader
For more than 25 years, MacPhail has created sustainable, sequential music partnerships with community organizations and schools. The customized programs combine expertise in music learning with the unique cultures and established practices of the partner. Of MacPhail’s 104 Community Programs, 78 are Early Childhood and School Partnerships.

Proven results
MacPhail students at Whittier International Elementary School in South Minneapolis performed at higher levels in attendance, social skills and academic achievement. These benefits increased with each successive year of MacPhail instruction.

Strong Support System
Since MacPhail teaching artists work with each student every week in both partnerships and in classes & lessons, they form close relationships as mentors and adult role models. During the 2014-15 school year, 96% of students reported feeling that their instructors cared about them.

Financial Aid
MacPhail gives out more than $1.2 MM in financial aid, scholarships and community partnership subsidy, providing access to music for over 9,000 students.

WE HAVE A PLAN – We want you to play a part.

Help close the achievement gap! Ensure that students of all ages and abilities reach their potential and are performing at the highest level possible.

Give Music

Give music to a child in your life.  Learn more!

For Youth


How it Works

School Partnerships
Ascension Catholic School in North Minneapolis has been a partner since 1989. Dorwatha Woods, recently retired principal of Ascension comments about the impact of the partnership with MacPhail.

“Scholars across the Ascension Catholic School have demonstrated a remarkable proclivity towards math and a wealth of talent in hearing the nuances of voices in literature. These can be attributed to the formal music instruction from MacPhail Center for Music. The music making has a significant and lasting impact on our scholars.”

Individual Lessons
Sarah, a Chanhassen high school student, says it’s sometimes hard to juggle everything. Studying music has taught her how to divide her time in a “smart way” so she is able to enjoy everything she loves to do. Sarah began her violin studies in the Suzuki Talent Education program at MacPhail when she was 3 years old, and thanks to financial support from MacPhail, she is able to continue taking traditional lessons today.

The MacPhail Community Youth Choir (MCYC) brings together youth in grades 8-12 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. Mary McGowan, mom of an MCYC member, says it best. “You can feel it. …a feeling of togetherness. There are children who have been saved in the net of MacPhail. There isn’t a child in MCYC who hasn’t been impacted by the work of MacPhail and JD.”

Every day for 19 years MacPhail has helped close the achievement gap at FAIR School by providing high-quality music learning to the diverse student population. Learn more…


A Place to Belong

William, Age 17

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Building Confidence through Music

Laela, 11 years old

Laela is an out-going 7th grader who loves...