Furthering your personal education

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January 20, 2003 // UPDATED 12:04 pm - April 30, 2007
By: Where you can go for non-credit learning in and around Downtown
Where you can go for non-credit learning in and around Downtown </I>

MacPhail Center for the Arts Whether you're terminally off-key and terrified by guitars or a spotlight-seasoned vox master ready to take on your fifth instrument, MacPhail Center for the Arts offers accessible, relaxed courses and lessons that could be music to your ears.

MacPhail offers hands-on intro-level courses on instruments and genres, one-on-one lessons, and informal and formal recitals for people with musical skills of all levels. With over 100 teachers on staff, you can pretty much name your style, pace and instrument (including your voice).

Spring semester starts Jan. 27 and ends June 8. You can register until the first session meets. Classes, which can run from eight hours in one day to 100 hours or more over several months, range from $78 to $340. The average class costs about $200. The cost of lessons varies between teachers but is typically $25.50 per half hour. On average, people sign up for one half-hour lesson per week for 16 weeks for a total of $408.

Financial aid applications for the '03-'04 academic year will be available in April. 1128 LaSalle Ave., 349-.9723, www.macphail.org

OpenU Whether you wish to achieve corporate gain or a higher plane, there's bound to be something to pique your interest at OpenU. This downtown institution offers 250 new non-credit courses every 60 days. Courses range from "Expanding Your Circle of Good Touch" to "How To Build A PC" or "How to Start Your Own Web-design Company."

On average, the typical one- or two- session six-hour course costs $30. The occasional more extensive or specialized course or trip can run up to $125. Financial aid is not available. However, discounts are available through the Frequent Learner program, and currently if you sign up for three classes the fourth is free. 760 N. 1st St., 349-9273, www.openuinc.com

Minneapolis Continuing Education Started in 1974 as a way to utilize excess space in public school buildings, Minneapolis Community Education now serves thousands of students each semester through its extensive offerings for adult learners.

Class categories include: Academic Enrichment, Cooking, Online Classes, Classes for Older Adults, Family & Youth, Personal Development, Arts & Crafts, Health & Fitness, Music, Dance & The Performing Arts, Computers, Hobby & Leisure, Trips & Tours, Consumer & Business and Home Improvement.

Just flipping through the course catalog, whether the print version or the amazingly easy to surf website, http://mpls.k12.mn.us/commed, can instill a real appreciation for both the program and our community. To offer so many courses of so many varieties, each city block must have at least one aficionado of some sort living on it.

Classes range in price from $0 to $100 (for trips). The average class includes several two-hour sessions and costs $25.

Classes are held throughout the city at public schools and, occasionally, in private homes or businesses.

Locations convenient for Downtowners include:

  • Just off the Penn exit from I-394:
  • Anwatin Community Education 256 Upton Ave. S. 668-2470

  • Close to North Loop, the southeast side of North Commons: North Community Education 1500 James Ave. N. 668-2890
  • Just east of 35th and 36th streets exit from I-35: Wilder Community Education 3345 Chicago Ave. S. 668-4111

  • Just off highway 280 at University Ave.: Pratt Community Education 66 Malcolm Ave. S. 668-1122