Helping Students Do Better in School

The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra began its CONNECT program in 1994 for the purpose of using its artistic resources to benefit the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Public Schools. Beginning in first grade, and continuing throughout their elementary years, CONNECT students are involved in many different kinds of arts learning – from exploring musical concepts with SPCO musicians to building instruments with their teachers. The CONNECT program is offered free of charge to selected schools throughout the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area.

According to their teachers, CONNECT students show improved public behavior, more respectful attitudes and extended listening skills as a result of CONNECT. Students also identify with the SPCO and Cultural Partner role models who visit them and see new possibilities for their own futures because of that interaction. In addition, each CONNECT student attends SPCO concerts which are designed specifically for CONNECT kids and reinforce themes introduced in the CONNECT curriculum.

For more information on the CONNECT Education Program, please contact Eleanor Owens, Education Specialist at 651.292.3277 or

Where is CONNECT?

The 12 CONNECT schools were selected between 1994 and 1996 following a competitive application process. Each application was reviewed by a panel comprised of local arts and education representatives. Finalist schools were then visited by SPCO staff. Selected schools displayed strong commitment to arts education across the curriculum, a willingness to collaborate within the teaching staff and a commitment from the entire teaching staff.

Minneapolis CONNECT Schools

  • Bryn Mawr Elementary
  • Kenwood Elementary
  • Loring Community School
  • Pratt Community School
  • Seward Montessori

Saint Paul CONNECT Schools

  • Adams Spanish Immersion
  • Eastern Heights Elementary
  • Expo for Excellence
  • Groveland Park Elementary
  • Highland Park Elementary
  • Linwood Monroe Arts Plus
  • Mississippi Creative Art


The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra proudly supports Music Makes Us Whole, the initiative of several dozen Minnesota non-profit and for-profit organizations that believe every child deserves a rich music education. We advocate for this because of music’s intrinsic value in the human experience, and also for the whole-brain and whole-life benefits to the child as well as his or her community.