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MacPhail Center for Music is a community resource for music education, events and community partnerships. With several locations in the Twin Cities, their main location is in downtown Minneapolis, near the riverfront. MacPhail offers a variety of parent-child and family classes from baby through preschool aged. Some classes are long term commitments while others you can select and pay by the class.

Articles Related to MacPhail Center for Music

Girl with percussion instruments at a MacPhail Center for Music "Sing, Play, Learn!" event
Sing, Play, Learn! with MacPhail

Sing, Play, Learn! with MacPhail

Sing, Play, Learn! with MacPhail™ is the name of MacPhail’s early childhood music program. The hope is the logo will reflect their commitment to the enrichment and growth of children through music. Components of the early childhood program have included free Sing, Play, Learn sample classes as libraries throughout the Twin Cities. Music is a wonderful tool that can be used in early childhood to enhance literacy. Please check your local library’s website to see if MacPhail is currently offering these sample classes. Advance registration has been required at most locations and strongly suggested at others. Make sure to call ahead.

MacPhail Center for Music’s Free Family Music Series
A great indoor outing for young children

MacPhail Center for Music’s firm belief that the youngest musicians should be taught through play-based activities and instrument exploration shines through in their engaging Free Family Music Series. I took my three daughters to one of their concerts last winter and I think you would find – as I did – that it’s a splendid way to spend a chilly Saturday.

First and foremost, there’s no pressure. Sure, they’d be happy to sign you up for one of their early childhood music classes, but you needn’t fear a sales pitch. Simply feel free to experiment on the instruments (my girls went straight for the drums) and post any questions you have to the available professional staff.

After the warmup, the early childhood musicians deliver a set guaranteed to have the kids dancing along. Singing along, too, if you’ve been exposed to one of MacPhail’s “Sing, Play, Learn” CDs (we picked up a free copy at the State Fair one year.). The target age group for the kids in the audience is probably about six years and under. My daughters were 5, 3, and 1 at the time and were completely immersed the full 40 minutes — so don’t let the term “concert” deter you!

Between the 10 and 11am shows, crafts and snacks are typically available outside Antonello Hall.

We feature the MacPhail Free Family Music Series events on our Family Fun Calendar. Be sure to check it out the next time you’re planning a family outing.

Tips for visiting MacPhail Center for Music – Downtown Minneapolis

There are several parking ramps nearby which range in price from $4 on weekdays to $3 on weekends, as well as metered street parking. If you plan to bus, the walk from Hennepin or Nicollet may not seem long to an adult, but it becomes a hike with small kids. You may want to bring an umbrella stroller. And, since you are making the trip and they are so close together, you may want to consider pairing this outing with a quick visit to the super kid-friendly Mill City Museum.


This article was originally written by Anne on November 7, 2013.

Birthday Parties at MacPhail Center for Music

MacPhail has traditionally offered Sing, Play, Learn birthday parties. These parties are filled with sing-alongs, instrument exploration, and musical play activities at your home or a venue of your choice. These are not currently offered, but may be again in the future. In the meantime, find Twin Cities Creative Arts Birthday Parties Here.

Call 612.767.5271 for information on current offerings.

Summer Camps at MacPhail Center for Music

MacPhail summer camps are featured in our annual Summer Camps Guide, where we update annual information, such as dates and prices.


MacPhail Center for Music is the nation’s largest center for music learning and performance and one of Minnesota’s top ten arts organizations. Since 1907, MacPhail Center for Music has been providing meaningful opportunities for people and is committed to transforming lives and strengthening communities through music learning experiences that inspire. Each year, MacPhail offers programming to 15,000 students of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities, at locations in Minneapolis, White Bear Lake, Chanhassen, Apple Valley, Austin, and Madeline Island, WI., as well as 103 community partnerships across the Twin Cities. An industry leader in online music education, MacPhail’s Live Online and Online School Partnerships programs have reached students for the past ten years. MacPhail has a 115-year history of excellence, promoting life-long learning and building long-term relationships between students and teachers. For more information, visit macphail.org.

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