About Cadek

About Us


Cadek Conservatory of Music is an organization committed to the study of classical music with an ongoing mission to celebrate, support, and create musical residencies for artists in Chattanooga and the surrounding region. Private instruction, ensemble experience, and performance opportunities are offered for musicians of all ages in the greater Chattanooga region. 

What We Do

About Cadek Students

One-on-one private music lessons are available for people of all ages, generally starting around 6 years old for piano and string instruments. Lessons for band instruments begin at 7 years old. Vocal instruction is available to students beginning in middle school. Adult students, regardless of musical experience, are always welcome. Cadek staff members are willing to answer questions and help connect students with the right level of instruction. 


Scholarship applications for the following year are typically available in January. Please see your instructor or contact the Cadek Coordinator at Cadek@GPS.edu for more information.

Cadek History

Since its founding in 1904, the Cadek Conservatory of Music has been dedicated to training individuals in the fine arts and fostering musical awareness in the entire community.

Through a modern day partnership with the Girls Preparatory School, Cadek explores the boundaries of music education, performance, and appreciation. Our history overlaps with the history of GPS: The founders of both schools shared a commitment to music education and furthering the arts in the great Chattanooga community—a belief that lives on today. Cadek at GPS strives to blend the conservatory’s rich history of music education and performance in concert with the school’s legacy of increasing accessibility to the best available education.

Founded by Joseph Ottokar Cadek, a violinist originally from Prague, Cadek brought the highest quality of musical study and performance to Chattanooga. According to Chattanooga historian and former Cadek instructor Deanne Werner Irvine, Joseph Cadek established the Cadek Subscription Concert Series to bring established artists to perform in Chattanooga. Two years later, three women founded Girls Preparatory School down the street from Cadek’s original school on McCallie Avenue. Tommie Payne Duffy, Eula Lea Jarnigan, and Grace McCallie resolved to change history for girls. These institutions ran parallel to each other, in mission and physical location, for more than a century before converging on the GPS campus in 2017. 

By 1927, Cadek’s ideals in teaching and his courageous efforts in developing the community’s interest in music had resulted in a level of artistic growth not yet achieved in the South at the time. The Conservatory became affiliated with the University of Chattanooga in 1935, forming the university’s music department and establishing the degrees of bachelor of music and bachelor of arts with a music major. In 1945, Harold J. Cadek was appointed director of the Conservatory as chair of the University of Chattanooga Music Department. After more than 90 years on the UTC campus, Cadek in 2017 began a new era through a partnership with Girls Preparatory School, where its esteemed instructors continue to provide a robust program of musical instruction to all members of the community.

Today, Cadek instructors, students, parents, and the greater community celebrate, support, and further the arts on campus at GPS and its satellite locations at The Bright School and McCallie.