Music Education & Enrichment

Support Community Music Education & Enrichment in St. Paul

“As a child, you made me feel possible. You encouraged me and showed me that it was safe to dream. Thank you for the safe haven and second home that is Walker West.” – Professional songwriter and recording artist Nikki Jean

Is supporting local music and education in the performing arts important to you? Do you believe in the well-documented, pivotal role that involvement in music often plays in young people’s academic success?

It’s no secret that school-based programs in “noncore” subjects such as music have suffered major cuts in recent years – St. Paul and other Twin Cities schools are no exception. Music lovers and believers must unite, and Walker West Music Academy is a community school that has been making a difference for more than 25 years. Each year, hundreds of students make great use of their out-of-school time by learning and performing with our dedicated, immensely talented group of teaching artists.

Music Mentorship on Selby Avenue Has Thrived and Shaped Lives for Decades

 “Music education is so important because it provides focus. It provides an outlet for your emotions, and it’s a way to focus your energy on one thing and really practice learning and communication.” – Former Walker West student Amber Woodhouse, who graduated from the Berklee College of Music

We invite you to explore other student success stories and watch videos reflective of what our music school and community are all about. Participate in our programs and contribute today to help support Walker West Music Academy’s unique style of music education:

  • Learning music by playing and performing are at the heart of all of our programs, with our music garden and other student performances throughout the year regarded as Summit-University neighborhood highlights. We operate a well-attended summer program for young kids and provide more than 3,000 hours of individual and group instruction each year.
  • Each year, our youth jazz ensembles perform live on the main stage at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival – the same stage graced by dozens of international headliners. These amazing groups are also invited to perform at many other public and private events.
  • Walker West has hosted performances and clinics featuring international jazz legends such as trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis, bassist Christian McBride, trumpeter Sean Jones, alto saxophonist Wessell “Warmdaddy” Anderson and bassist Steve Kirby.

“Everything here is oriented one way … that you’re going to play. It doesn’t matter what level it is that you come in at; we’ve got the highest level and the beginner. It doesn’t matter your age; what matters is the music.” – Academy co-founder Grant West