We’ve had amazing and magical moments at 317 Main this year. Will you help us continue sharing music for the next 150? Please donate this holiday season to show your support of music in our community.

In honor of our 15th Anniversary, a generous group of former board members and foundations has raised $15,000 to match our donations. Will you give a gift to celebrate our 15th anniversary and help us raise an additional $15,000? (Gifts must be received by December 31st.)

Donate Here

Reason #1: COLLABORATION: 317’s Teaching Artists inspire their students and each other
One of the hallmarks of our music community is COLLABORATION and our Songs of the Season concert is a beautiful example of how it plays out. Five of our vocal instructors come together once a year, each bringing their unique talents to the mix. The evening showcases their individual talents, but it’s true beauty is in how they generously support each other.
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This year Sorcha Cribben-Merrill wrote a song “Cold” (see video) specifically for the concert, knowing her collaborators, Diana Hansen, Mesa Schubeck, Kathy Slack and Jeff Christmas would add the lush harmonies and instrumentation to give it even more depth and character.
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317 Main currently has more than 30 teaching artists who teach 15 instruments. You can often find them collaborating in our studios, the hallways, the deck and out in the community at Blue, Lenny’s, Frontier, Portland House of Music and other venues.
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Reason #2: Intergenerational Music Making
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Because 317 Main offers music experiences for all ages, we sometimes have multiple generations of the same family making music with us.[su_spacer size=”30″]
Dick Merrick and his wife Toni have 4 kids and 7 grandchildren.Dick rekindled his passion for music in retirement playing guitar and singing with Unspent Youth, 317 Main’s Deep Roots Ambassador band. Because of his connection to 317 Main, two of his 4 children have  brought their kids here for Little Roots classes.[su_spacer size=”30″]
“My grandson Bay showed up at an Unspent Youth practice and we just started playing Wheels on the Bus and making up lyrics where we didn’t know them . We also worked up a mean rendition of Itsy Bitsy Spider. Bay even picked up  some of the lyrics to one of our Irish Drinking Songs which is pretty funny.”[su_spacer size=”30″]
“This morning Bay broke into Bah Bah Blacksheep and I joined him. Now we can sing any song together.”

“What a joy it has been to sing songs with the grandkids around the house!  317 Main helped create this tradition for us.”

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“It’s a way I can be a good grandparent and it gives us something to do that’s special to us.”

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Reason #3: Digital Music for the Curious

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When you hear  “317 Main”, you may immediately think of acoustic, fiddling, or private lessons. Did you know that 317 Main also has a healthy and robust Digital Music program as well? Beginning with digital music at East End Community School, our digital music workshops have grown and evolved, allowing even more curious students to participate and try their hand at creating new and interesting compositions with our software, Ableton. Recent programs include Drop the Beat at Portland Public Library, Digital Music at East End Community School, and Drop-in workshops at 317 Main. We are also excited to announce a new Digital Music summer camp coming in 2020!

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“I feel like a lot of the music establishments discredits computer based music because they think people pressing buttons and ta-da here comes music, but  it’s more multifaceted than that,” says Digital Music Educator Patrick Jones.  

“I don’t think it will replace a band or an  instrument, it supplements it because it allows people to think outside a certain instrument and think of the entire piece.  My job is to help students compose what they hear in their head.”

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This one-of-a-kind program is unique to 317 Main and we couldn’t share this program without your help! Please consider giving a gift this holiday season to support curiosity and diversity of music in Maine.

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Reason #4: Fresh, Local Food Hub in Our Community 


Between June and October, Maine farmers, food trucks operators other small business owners converge outside 317 Main on Thursdays to create the Yarmouth Farmers Market. Our campus becomes a bustling marketplace, made all the more lively by the steady stream of music  provided by our teaching artists, students and campers.

“I would say that our market has benefited from 317 Main’s robust community of musicians since year one. Music and food are great unifiers and I love the diversity of ages and backgrounds that both have attracted to market over the years.” –Mike Perisho/Andrews Farm

“Food and Music are natural partners,” said market manager Amy Sinclair.  “I love how the market brings theses two communities together.


Your donation allows us to present music at the market every week from June – October!


Reason #5: Holiday Music for All

Today, our Teaching Artists, Monique Barrett and Ahmadeus played holiday tunes for friends from
Composition Studio and Listen Up! Music. Playing mouth trumpet and bells, 317 Main was FILLED with holiday music and joy!

In 2020, our TA’s will visit both of these programs in Portland to share their music and songwriting expertise. These wonderful musical collaborations, unique to 317 Main make for a thriving and unique organization but we can’t do it without your help.

Reason #6: Songwriting in Maine  

The Songwriting Intensive with Casco Bay High School is 317 Main’s longest-running partnership. Twice a year these high school students spend the week with a team of our Teaching Artists learning to write, arrange and perform their original music. Students to tap into their own creative process and learn to communicate in a new way. It takes courage. “I’ve shared music before but never presented it to an audience that was there solely to critique and support me. It was really scary, but also super helpful,” said Thomas Shadis, a teen songwriter.

Your support funds the Songwriting Intensive and other partnership programs.

Reason #7: All Comers Band


The “All Comers Band” that comes together for our seasonal Contra Dances epitomizes the 317 experience.  We invite musicians of all ages and abilities to learn a shared repertoire of dance tunes and share in the special joy of playing for a live, dancing audience. It’s an ideal way to mentor young musicians.   The group is led by Teaching Artist Ellen Gawler.

What a wonderful, wholesome way for absolutely everyone, including the greater community beyond 317 Main,  to experience the joy of playing and dancing together. It’s intergenerational, affordable, inclusive, and fabulously fun! -Ellen Gawler/Fiddler and Band Leader

Reason #8:  Ensembles Create Community Through Music

317 Main currently has 16 ensembles (a new record!) making music together every week, playing everything from Girl Power ballads to Cajun music.  What these musicians have in common is a shared love of a particular genre and a desire to communicate with others through music. “People from all different walks of life and philosophical spectrums get together because  you have this commonality,” says Art Davis, a guitar player in Steve Roy’s Beatles Ensemble. “ Music makes people smile and brings joy to everyone.”


Reason #9: Private Lessons to Hone Your Craft  

317 Main is fortunate to have more than 30 teaching artists with expertise in 14 instruments and each week, between 250-300 students are engaged in private lessons. Private lessons give students critical one-on-one time with teachers and offer the best opportunity to improve technique.

“Chris pushes me to work harder than I would on my own and I can’t hide behind the  other musicians,” says Barbara Atherton, a mandolin student with Teaching Artist Chris Moore.  “He’s a stickler for technique and I often hear his advice in my head, even when I’m practicing at home.”

Reason #10:  Deep (Roots) Bonds

You may have heard about or even seen 317 Main’s ambassador band, Unspent Youth, perform around Maine. While these Deep Root musicians love playing and performing together, their bond goes deeper than just performing. After years of weekly rehearsals and shows, these musicians see each other as family.


However, this bond is not unique to Unspent Youth. We have nine different Deep Roots ensembles this winter semester and it’s not too late to join a Deep Roots ensemble. Your support allows us to continue to offer these options at 317 Main. About 60% of our $1,000,000 annual budget comes from tuition and program fees. As a nonprofit, we rely on your donations for the remaining 40%. No matter the amount, by donation this holiday season, you become an essential supporter of our community.


Reason #11: Little Roots, Big Impact

Early childhood music education nourishes both body and mind allowing child to learn pattern, body awareness, and emotional and social development. That’s why 317 Main offers 17 classes for children birth-6 from Monday-Saturday. Our classes implement basic rhythm, note recognition, and pattern play.  Join us for a music class to create a nurturing and musical environment for the child in your life.


Reason #12 : Open Mic Night

317 Main continues to bring musical opportunities into the community. Whether you want to perform or just listen, we want to engage everyone with music! Every last Tuesday of the month, we play at Owl & Elm from 8-10pm. Here, students are able to perform in front of peers and friends in a casual performance setting. This is a great way to get the performance nerves out of the system. The more you perform, the less jittery you are. Open mic nights are free to listen to and free for all students to sign up and perform at. We couldn’t have these opportunities without your support and help! Thank you for creating these opportunities to bring music into our community.


Reason #13: East End Elementary School 

Rise and shine! 317 Main brings music in all forms to East End Community School’s Rise & Shine program. Currently, we join sometimes sleepy, always creative elementary students on both Wednesday and Thursdays for Ukulele and Digital Music classes.

“I know it sounds corny, but it’s amazing to see the students grow over the course of the session!” Monique Barrett, the ukulele Teaching Artist reflects.


Reason #14: Our unique, family-friendly music festival

Every September, 317 Main organizes a music festival equipt with food trucks, an instrument discovery tent and countless hours of folk music. What makes this particular Maine music festival special?

Set on beautiful Skyline Farm, a few miles down the road, families are able to bring picnic blankets and lounge in the sun, listening to folk and jazz music. If you need a break from the music, there’s miles and miles of trails that wind its way through the fields and into the woods behind the farm. Food trucks of different cuisines are lined up to serve you delicious fries, sushi, falafel. How about a slice or two of pie from our pie tent? This is a family- friendly day of music focused on a community of individuals that love music.


Reason #15:  Gaining Confidence at Music Camp 

In the summer of 2020, 317 Main will offer 5 weeks of music camp for kids age 4 to 18. Our camps are designed to help kids build confidence through the experience of shared music creation and most importantly, they provide a week of summer fun!

“I just love getting to play music all day with friends. It’s such a happy place and it definitely took my playing up a notch,” said Isabel Cox-Faxon,  a former camper who is now a teen counselor.

Your donation allows us to offer financial aid so that everyone who wants to attend camp can.