Beginnings

Carlson Music Center was founded by Sidney E. Carlson in Alexandria Minnesota in 1948. Sid was a native of the Douglas County area, having graduated from Alexandria High School in 1937. After graduation from high school, Sid obtained a B.S. in Music Education from the University of Minnesota in 1943.

After college Sid went into military service in the Air Force as a bombardier. During flight training, he met his wife, Chris, whom he married before going overseas. Once overseas and during one mission his plane was shot down. Sid spent some 9 months as a P.O.W. in a prison camp. After military service he went into his chosen profession of music education as a band director in Central Minnesota. He and Chris went on to have 3 children, two daughters and son Ron. Sid worked for two years as Band Director at the Osakis High School.

In 1948 Sid formed Carlson Music Center in downtown Alexandria and continued to work for some years in area high schools as a part time band director. During these years Carlson Music continued to grow and become more established in the regional music business throughout the Central Minnesota area.

In 1959 a new store was built at the location of 630 Broadway in downtown Alexandria. This remained the familiar location of Carlson Music for many decades as Carlson Music operated as a full-line music store specializing in band instruments, music, pianos and organs.

Recent Happenings

In 1979, Sid's son Ron came back into the music business after some years of living away from the Alexandria area. With Ron's energetic involvement now at Carlson Music, the store continued to prosper and grow as a premier outlet for fine musical instruments, whether for band and orchestra, pop combo equipment, and pianos and organs.

In 1991, Ron became the sole owner of Carlson Music, and in 1998, after the purchase of a new building, Carlson Music moved to its present location at 901 Broadway. Carlson Music remains a premier location for band instruments, sheet music, guitar and combo equipment and works hard at being the number one location for pianos, organs for the Church along with the full array of digital pianos, ensembles and portable keyboards.

In the Summer of 2002, plans got underway for the opening of Carlson's Piano World to serve the greater Metropolitan area of Minneapolis, Saint Paul and the surrounding communities with a new store in Crystal. With a beautiful showroom and warehouse facility at that location, Carlson's PIANO WORLD for the next three years furnished artists, musicians, parents, teachers, schools and churches with great world-class acoustic and digital pianos!

In 2005 Carlson’s PIANO WORLD moved to their current location in Plymouth with easy access off I-494 and the S.E. corner of Hwy 55, Carlson’s PIANO WORLD then began taking it to the next level; the largest piano store in the State of Minnesota dedicated solely to pianos! There piano shoppers will find a stunning showroom of elegant and private room settings where you can really hear what a piano in a home sounds like; to a spacious warehouse complete with piano shop all under one roof!

Beginning in 2012 PIANO WORLD put another ‘feather’ in its figurative cap by becoming the area’s YAMAHA acoustic and digital piano dealer with all Yamaha piano products and the popular Clavinova lineup of digital pianos! Yamaha is remaining the pioneer with its new HYBRID line of both Grand and Veritcal pianos.

Further, in November 2013 Carlson’s PIANO WORLD opened a new location in Woodbury to serve the entire east Metro and Wisconsin. Featuring Yamaha pianos in another stunning showroom setting with an easy-access location right on I-94 just east of the 494/694 exchange, Carlson’s PIANO WORLD is streaming forward to fulfill the dream of its visionary owner; THE ONE AND ONLY PLACE where parents who are shopping for their first piano; experienced musicians and Institutions will get the BEST PIANOS for the BEST PRICES anywhere!!