The Childbloom® Guitar Program is a comprehensive musical education program through the guitar for children beginning at age five. It was developed in 1980 by Kevin Taylor, of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. The Childbloom Guitar Method is currently being used by educators throughout the nation and is the largest program of its kind in the United States.

Kevin Carlson teaches lessons in St. Cloud, Minnesota or via Zoom.

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Typical lesson times are from after school until about 7 pm., Monday-Thursday.  Weekend and daytime slots are possible as well.

We generally teach in small groups, minimum 2 kids per groups – maximum 4. These groups are great for developing ensemble skills, camaraderie and improvement of long-term motivation (as well as a competitive cost factor). We group the students according to age and experience level. 98% of all our entering students are beginners. If your child has experience with a non-Childbloom teacher we then will organize an assessment lesson to see where he or she can be placed in the curriculum.

If we don’t have a another student to start right away, there are several options available: 1) we can take your child privately for a few lessons and merge him into a class;  2) put you on a call-back list – the wait is usually just a few weeks;  3) or if you wish to start right away we may be able to schedule your child in a private lesson. Because of our small-group structure, scheduling is often the most difficult part. But a good Childbloom class, at a time convenient for your schedule, is sure worth any wait!


There is a $35 enrollment fee per family into the Childbloom / PMI Guitar Program.

When you enroll we give you 2 things: the initial enrollment materials, which includes a CD of the music, lessons, exercises that the student will be learning. This material provides a key ingredient to the Childbloom success – listening to the music before, during and after learning it. We also provide easy-to-read music for the non-musician parent to help at home. You also receive a subscription to The Childbloom Monthly Newsletter. This helps parents deal with the many ups and downs of motivation that will occur in the musical education process. The newsletter also has local events and contests your child can participate in. Contests are geared to every skill level.

Tuition is $84/month for the group class.

The lessons are scheduled on a yearly basis, with 42 lessons per year. This means some months will have 3 lessons, some months 4 and some months may have 5 lessons. It is the same tuition each month. You don’t commit a year or a semester at a time. You pay tuition the first lesson of each month. We do need notice of withdrawal by the 15th of the month prior to the month of withdrawing. The Childbloom Guitar program is one of the most affordable entrances into music education in the Central MN area. We are also one of the best.

Siblings are an additional $52 per child per month.

Private tuition for Kevin Carlson is available – contact for pricing  (students must commit to practicing a minimum of 4 hrs. per week).

Getting the Right Instrument – What you should know.

It is so very important that your child have an appropriate guitar on which to learn. Please call us for recommendations (320-237-1011) before you purchase one. We are not in the business of selling instruments (though we sometimes consign used instruments for our clients who are moving up to larger ones.) So we can give you an unbiased view of the marketplace. We try to keep abreast of what the good instruments are and where you can get them close to you. We’ve been in this business for over 30 years and know that kids learn best on an instrument that fits them. Consult with us before you buy. Its a free service!

Young children will outgrow their instrument. Count on getting a new one every two to three years until the child can use a full-sized instrument – usually around age 13-14. But an old instrument can be be sold as used. The market price (at least in Austin) for a used one is about 30-50% of the full retail value of a new one.

The best brands of guitars (as of Spring 2013) are: Cordoba (4 fractionally sized), Strunal (5 fractionally sized), Yamaha (3 fractionally sized) , & Amigo (two sizes). They are all nylon-string instruments. That is what we strongly recommend for the high-skill technique that we teach the children. Don’t know which to buy? Contact us.

The highest cost of music education

We take music education seriously. Begun in 1980, the Austin Childbloom Program is one of the longest running guitar programs for children in the world.  That is why we know that parents must be involved in their child’s musical growth. We want a parent to be present in the lesson with the child. You need to know the details of what the child is learning; the goals for the week, the technical aspects that the child can’t see from his or her viewpoint and help encourage practice in an effective way.  The quality of that involvement will change as the child matures but parental involvement has been a key ingredient to the success of the students in our program from age 5 -18. This is the highest cost – YOUR time and attention. It will provide the greatest value to your child.


A SUCCESSFUL APPROACH FOR KIDS – Through a researched and proven method, students are able to play music quickly and successfully. “We want to give the kids a learning victory in the first few lessons;’ says Taylor.”They don’t want to wait to play music. Can you blame them?”


A SPECIALLY TRAINED INSTRUCTOR – All Childbloom instructors are selected carefully and trained thoroughly. Through in-class experience, age-appropriate teaching materials, developmental profiles of our students, practice in group dynamics, fun classroom activities and methods, periodic critiques by Master Teachers, and continual education, our instructors are uniquely prepared to meet your child’s needs and be exemplary mentors for your child.

The Childbloom curriculum and group structure allows the student to gain solo and ensemble skill. Described by one child-development scholar as providing “individual attention in a low-pressure environment;’  the Childbloom class accommodates both the young child’s attention span and the adolescent’s expanding social horizon.

– Taking a lesson from music education visionary Shinichi Suzuki, parents are encouraged to attend the lesson with their child. “We have found;’ says Taylor, “that the more parents are involved, the faster the student learns, the more the student learns, and the more persistent the student will be

PARENTS RECEIVE SUPPORT – The home is the dominant learning environment. To aid the parent in their participation, each family receives “The Childbloom Monthly Newsletter” which addresses ways to meet the challenges that arise, no-nonsense practice strategies, and proven ideas to foster your child’s musical abilities and motivation.


– An important element of the Childbloom philosophy is that force is an unnecessary ingredient for artistic endeavor. Children are never forced to perform in recitals or class. The child-development pioneer Jean Piaget tells us that children learn well in the context of play. These observations constantly challenge the Childbloom teachers to communicate their love of music to the student and show how self-discipline arises more easily from freely chosen goals.


KNOWLEDGE OF THE HAND – Each instructor is also trained in basic physiology of the hand. This ensures each teacher will recognize a natural use of hand, and help prevent problems associated with incorrect playing positions.


A HIGH-SKILLED TECHNIQUE – Our program is skill based. The material is carefully chosen and laid out to help students build a solid musical and technical foundation which allows them to develop extraordinary ability. Our Instructors are knowledgeable in this technique, and are periodically evaluated to ensure that your child receives a consistent high quality of instruction.


– Your class will be scheduled with you in mind.
– Classes are 1/2 hour long. Paperwork is done in the first lesson. You will receive the first 3 to 12 months of curriculum at the first lesson.
-Tuition is due on a monthly basis.
– Students will have appropriate goals to achieve every week so that they, and you, know what to do at home. -Practice challenges? The Childbloom Company and your Instructor can help.
– We offer voluntary contests for the students to help motivate them in the process of self- improvement.


THE BEST METHOD IS NOT THE MOST EXPENSIVE – The price of Childbloom instruction is very competitive with other programs. Childbloom is an affordable introduction to music lessons. We urge you to compare prices, service and quality with anyone in your area. We think you’ll find that The Childbloom Guitar Program is designed to bring out the best in your child.


For more details call  Kevin Carlson your local Licensed Childbloom Director at 320-237-1011


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