The Center for Irish Music (CIM) is a thriving nonprofit community music school based in St. Paul’s Hamline-Midway neighborhood inside the Celtic Junction building. The CIM is dedicated to handing down traditional Irish music to the next generation of musicians in our community. Through private lessons, group classes, sessions and events featuring world-class artists, the CIM aims to inspire and support the traditional Irish music community in the Twin Cities, throughout the Midwest, and Canada.


To hand down the tradition to the next generation of musicians in our community.


To grow and support the traditional Irish music community in Minnesota and inspire a love for music and lifelong learning.


  • Joy: We believe that Irish music is fun, creative, social, and uplifting.
  • Challenge and Artistry: We equip students with the skills to be original and humble musicians.
  • Irish Tradition: We share a passion for Irish culture, history and the living traditions of song and instrumental dance music.
  • Community: We build community through music programs for all ages.
  • Inclusion: We foster an environment that is welcoming, supportive, and intergenerational.

Our History

The CIM has grown into Minnesota’s leading gathering place for professional artists, students dedicated to learning the music, and community volunteers who are passionate about traditional Irish arts. Founded by Kate and Jode Dowling in 2004, the school was originally hosted by the St. Paul Conservatory of Music. Due to overwhelming interest and community support, it quickly evolved into its own music school, becoming a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 2008.

In 2009, the CIM moved to its permanent home at the Celtic Junction, a building that hosts a consortium of Irish cultural groups. Our beautiful permanent space inside the Celtic Junction has helped to make our programs more accessible to a core audience of Irish music lovers and has enabled us to grow and engage a wider audience across the region.

We invite you to join the CIM community by becoming a volunteer, a donor or fellow musician! Enjoy your journey through the website and we hope to meet you soon!