For absolute beginners through advanced musicians, we offer one-on-one lessons on a wide range of instruments including: guitar (acoustic and electric), fiddle, piano, voice, ukulele, mandolin, banjo, dobro, cello, upright bass, harp, flute, saxophone, clarinet, recorder, and pennywhistle. Lessons are available for 30 or 45 minutes, with the 30-minute lesson intended for our younger students. Students are matched up with teachers based on instrument, availability, personality, areas of expertise, and any other factors that may need to be considered. We do our best to ensure that the student-teacher relationship is a good match so that our students can have a rich and productive experience.
In order to tailor a program to help you meet your personal musical goals, your teacher will spend the first lesson determining your primary areas of interest and assessing your level of musicianship. Although our foundation at 317 Main is acoustic roots music, our talented faculty is fluent in many genres, including bluegrass, jazz, blues, rock, folk, Broadway, classical and contemporary/pop. No matter where your musical interests lie, we offer a supportive environment dedicated to musical discovery and personal growth.
If you have a friend you’d like to learn with, semi-private lessons are available for 45 minutes on all instruments.
Commitment to Learning Music
Becoming a good musician demands patience, perseverance and practice. In order to grow and progress musically, students are expected to practice every day. At 317 Main, we also strongly encourage our students to play in a group setting, whenever there is an opportunity, to experience the art of making and sharing music with others.
Fall, Winter and Spring Trimesters
Our academic calendar is divided into trimesters: Fall, Winter and Spring, with more flexibility offered during the months of July and August. Students register in advance for weekly (or every other week) lessons for an entire trimester with payment required in full by the first lesson. Once a trimester is underway, new students may register at any time provided there is space, and the tuition will be prorated to reflect the remaining number of lessons in the trimester.
Trial lessons are available for students who want to ensure they’re ready to commit to a full trimester. Assuming you enjoy your first lesson and wish to continue, you may register for that time slot for the remainder of the trimester. If, for any reason, it wasn’t what you expected, you are only responsible for payment for the trial lesson — and you can always arrange for a trial lesson with another instructor.
Note: Semi-private lessons are available to two students who register together. Group lessons require a minimum of three registered students.
How to Register
- Please submit the online registration form to begin the process and someone from our front desk will get back to you as possible or you can contact our front desk by phone: (207) 846-9559 to inquire about lesson availability. Please be aware that our instructors are sought after and are often fully booked, particularly during prime after school hours. If no convenient times are available we will add you to our waiting list which we review regularly. Please see our Frequently Asked Questions for more details on the waiting list and the process for scheduling private lessons.
- Once a lesson has been scheduled, print out our Fall Registration Form ’17. Please read the material thoroughly, particularly our cancellation and make-up policies; complete the front of the form; sign the release on the back; and submit it to us with payment at the time of the first lesson. If you are registering during the Early Bird period, all forms and payments must be submitted by the deadline in order to receive the discounted tuition.
- Prior to the start of the winter and spring trimesters, we offer a Save Your Spot registration period for current students wishing to continue for the upcoming trimester. This enables you to secure your lesson day and time, and Early Bird tuition rates apply. If you do not re-register during the Save Your Spot period, we assume that you will not be continuing and will make the spot available to other potential students.
Preparing for your first lesson
- Please arrive a few minutes early and check in with our registration staff at the Front Desk to take care of any paperwork or payments.
- Bring a folder to keep your music and other materials in — a three-ring binder with plastic sleeves is ideal for this. If you have been working through a particular instruction book, please bring it with you.
- Be ready to talk with your instructor about your previous musical experience, if any, and what you’d like to learn. While our instructors are always prepared with interesting and challenging material for our students at any level, learning the music you love will enhance your enjoyment and success as a player. Bringing in sheet music, a CD or flash drive of MP3s of the music that interests you will help your instructor guide you in a direction that is exciting and satisfying to you.
Tips for getting the most out of your lessons
- Regular practice: it is more beneficial to practice for a shorter period every day than one long session the day before your lesson. We highly recommend taking notes and/or using a recording device in order to review your material between lessons.
- After warming up, focus on the most challenging aspects first while your energy and concentration are at their peak. Reward yourself at the end of your practice time by reviewing your old favorite material.
- We have found that you are much more likely to pick up your instrument and play if it’s ready at hand, so keep your instrument in an easily accessible spot in your home. A sturdy instrument stand or wall hooks will prominently display your instrument and may lead to more frequent practice sessions.
- Communicate with your instructor to let him or her know what is working well or what you might wish to do differently. At 317 Main, we know there is no single “correct” path to learning, and while we have a core curriculum to draw upon, we believe it is ultimately the student who’s in the driver’s seat when it comes to private instruction.