Workshop Week is coming up Dec. 6-10

Step 1
Step 2
Sign up for workshop(s) in the lobby or give us a call and we'll sign you up.
Step 3
Repeat step 2 as many times as you like.
Unlimited signups at no additional cost for current students. $20 for newcomers. ALL ARE WELCOME!

Warm Up Your Winter with Music!
Winter Session Starts December 12th

March 31st - April 2nd

This audition-only music festival is a showcase for some of the finest middle and high school acoustic musicians in the state. 
Please support the next generation of players by attending their performance at USM's   Hannaford Hall in Portland on Sunday, April 2nd.

Back By Popular Demand!
Friday, April 7th, 7pm
First Parish Congregational Church Yarmouth
Details TBA

317 Main Hires Little Roots Early Education Director

Amanda Parkhurst has joined the 317 Main
staff as the Little Roots Early Education Director. Amanda will lead our efforts to expand programming for the youngest musicians, ages birth-6.
Amanda, who is known by many families in southern Maine as Amanda "Panda,"  comes to us with years of experience as a music educator, performer, program director and founder of Music and Magic Maine, a charity that puts instruments into the hands of children at no cost.
Amanda will lead our first open to children ages birth-4 and parents or caregivers, starting in January. 

Welcome New Teaching Artists!

Jeff Christmas
Teaches Voice

We are pleased to welcome
Jeff Christmas to the 317 Main teaching staff.  Jeff has been working with our Partnership Programs at the Boys & Girls Club in South Portland and at the Baxter Academy for Technology and Science since last spring. Starting this Winter, he'll join us in Yarmouth teaching voice lessons on Fridays.   Jeff has a Masters Degree in  music from the Boston Conservatory. He loves writing songs, playing music, hiking, biking, and hanging out with his family. 
Emmett Harrity Teaches Piano

Emmett Harrity is an active pianist in southern Maine who plays with the  Fogcutters and other musical projects .
A 2012  graduate cum laude of the University of Southern Maine School of Music, Emmett  enjoys playing and teaching a range of music styles. He hopes to instill in his students, the same excitement he feels for making music.

Give The Music Lover In Your Life The Gift Of 317 Main This Season!

Mugs, Hats, Shirts, Stickers and Magnets available at the front desk and at Holiday Open House!

317 MAIN:
Executive Director, John Williams

John participating in an all-ages music jam on a recent trip to The Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago.

I am currently reading Adam Grant's New York Times Bestseller Give and Take, in which he writes about different approaches to achieving success. 

He argues that, in today's world, how we interact with others is every bit as important as the focus on individual characteristics such as personal drive, skill, and talent.  

In the work environment, Grant suggests that most people operate as takers, matchers, or givers. Broadly speaking, takers strive to get as much as possible from others and matchers aim to trade evenly.  Givers are the rare breed of people who give to others freely without necessarily expecting anything in return.  Though there is some risk in "giving it all away," givers have demonstrated widespread success.

When thinking about this concept and its application, I feel reassured by the mission of 317 Main.  Every day here, I observe an outpouring of "giving" that comes in so many different forms:

  • teaching music in the classroom with the focus on the student
  • encouraging human connection and the opportunity to make a new friend in common spaces
  • providing music education opportunities via our Partnership Programs for those who otherwise might not have access
  • volunteering at a 317 Main event 
  • supporting the organization financially and otherwise
317 Main works because it is a community of "givers."

Thank you all for making it work. 

The Nature of Creativity: Are we born with it or is it acquired?


For teaching artist Lincoln Meyers, a musical life seemed inevitable. He grew up surrounded by music and musicians. 

Lincoln recalls that his parents, Bob and Norma, met in Florida, where Bob was serving in the Navy, and Norma was touring in a USO show as one of
Lincoln's mother Norma, aka "Butchie" on the left posing with the Calvert Sisters
the three Calvert Sisters. 

Lincoln says jazz and swing were always on the radio or turntable growing up, his mother sang around the house and Bob worked as a Jazz DJ. 

Lincoln remembers his father often instructed the kids on what to listen for in music.    

While research indicates that talent or aptitude for music is often inherited, that aptitude has to be nurtured. Lincoln thinks those listening sessions were important. 

"I think it helped develop my ear early on," said Lincoln.

And just like learning any language, it helped to be try it at a young age. 

It was older brother, Glenn, who gave Lincoln his first guitar when he was 7 or 8. Lincoln says he remembers watching his brother's band from the sidelines and  teaching himself the guitar parts until he finally got good enough to join them.

From that time on, Lincoln said he always had a guitar in hand, playing in bands during college and beyond. But it may have been his years in the military that set him on his career path-- or at least the certainty that music would always play a central role in his life. 

When he enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1988, Lincoln didn't take his guitar to Okinawa. During his time off, he often went to guitar store on the island that had instruments on hand. His playing on a borrowed guitar in that shop caught the attention of a fellow bluegrass musician - an officer who played the banjo.
And that's how Lincoln landed  in Okinawa's only bluegrass band.
Lincoln's Band while serving in USMC in Okinawa.

"After that, when I wasn't out on maneuvers I was playing music," said Lincoln.  

The foursome, who went by the name " The High and Tight Bluegrass Band" performed for the troops, at cultural exchange festivals, and at a luxury hotel.

Lincoln says some of the friendships formed in that group survive to this day.  

When Lincoln muses on his own musical upbringing, he says that while music runs in his family, students shouldn't make too much of the genetic link. 

"If you can learn the mechanics and a few chords that's enough to have fun making acoustic music," he said. 

He says learning to play music is really about putting in the time. He encourages students to "keep playing until the light goes on."

And for the record, 317 Main is populated by many musicians who are the only players in their family. 

At a recent Noon Tunes performance, teaching artist Steve Roy joked that his father, an electrical engineer, was mystified by his son's passion for music because for him,  "music just got in the way of trying to think about things." 

Suffice to say, there were no Roy family jamborees.  

Molly Burk, Director of Development
Every day at 317 Main, we see the restorative and empowering effect that music has on people. Music has the power to inspire and bring community members together. Each year, 317 Main touches the lives of thousands of people through music education and cultural enrichment opportunities ranging from lessons to free concerts to community art shows to hosting the Yarmouth Farmers' Market.

Student musicians served yearly:  1,000+
Instruments taught (including voice): 15
Communities served: 40
Teaching artists employed: 24
Volunteers engaged: 100
Age of students: 3-88

We need your help to: 
  • Support our free  partnership programs
    with nine schools and other nonprofits in southern Maine
  • Offer financial aid 
    for lessons at our studios, and
  • Fill the gap 
    between our tuition and the true cost of the 317 Main experience. 
About 60% of our $900,000 annual budget comes from tuition and program fees. As a nonprofit, we rely on your donations for the remaining 40%.

Our annual appeal letter is on its way to you in the mail. Please watch for it!

Many thanks to all of our loyal donors!

Baxter Academy Instrumental Ensemble

Baxter Instrumental Ensemble L-R Oli Tangen, Matt Farrar, Alice Staples, Onare Blazer playing First Friday Gig

"It's the class I look forward to and the best part of my day,"
s aid Oli Tangen, senior, reflecting on the Instrumental Ensemble at Baxter Academy.

This fall, 317 Main Teaching Artist Jeff Christmas is leading the five-student ensemble, showing them how to arrange, write and perform songs.

Anyone with an interest in music and some playing ability was allowed to join the group. Some students have years of formal training while others are mostly self taught.

"I started with music theory to assess where they're at musically and from there we build a common language," said Christmas. 

The small group experience and inclusivity are hallmarks of 317 partnerships.

"We're all different people and our paths don't normally cross at school except in here," said Onare Blazer. "It's a really fun, creative break in my day."

Christmas says making music is about learning to be comfortable taking risks. So when the musicians start relying on him too much for inspiration, he steps out for a few minutes instructing them to "create something" in his absence.

That strategy paid off. The ensemble performed for the first time recently during First Friday Art Walk in Portland and the students' set list included a mix of covers and original tunes. 

The students admitted to some pre-performance jitters, but on stage they seemed to relax and enjoy themselves.  For parents in the audience, that was the best part.

"I just loved seeing him having fun and smiling," said Sandy Farrar as she watched her son Matt, a sophomore, play guitar.  

The collaboration with Baxter is one of nine Partnerships 317 Main is building with area schools and non-profits this year. 

Partnerships are offered free of charge to students and their families and paid for through grants, contributions from partner schools, and your generous support.   

October 29, First Parish Church

317 Main Teaching Artist Kelly Muse came to us this fall with an intriguing concept for a show based on his years playing weddings with long-time collaborator vocalist Susie Pepper - An evening devoted to First Dance requests.

After they culled through a long list of love songs,  Kelly  landed on a set list that included a mix of classic, poignant, surprising,  and yes, silly love songs. 

Kelly brought in a string quartet that included teaching artist Robin Jellis to round out the sound and the result was a highly entertaining evening at First Parish Congregational Church in Yarmouth. 

Here they are performing Hozier's "Like Real People Do."

317 Main Community Music Center, 317 Main Street, Yarmouth, Maine 04096 / www.317main.org / 207-846-9559