Music is an indispensable aspect of the human experience. The benefits of music education for people of all ages are well documented —socially, emotionally, intellectually and physically, the practice of making music helps us lead richer and more fulfilling lives. At the Portland Conservatory of Music, we help students get where they want to go, whether that’s being able to play along with friends on the ukulele, or pursue a prestigious education and lifelong career in music. We are proud to serve to serve Southern Maine as your non-profit community music school, striving to make music education accessible to all.
Music Education for Kids
Music education has been shown to accelerate and support brain development in children, particularly language development, speech perception and reading skills. The “Mozart Effect” is a term used by researchers to describe the many ways regular, sustained music education leads to enhanced academic performance in other disciplines such as math. In addition to the individual benefits, music helps kids learn to collaborate and succeed in group settings. Research suggests that kids who engage in music education at a young age become lifelong patrons and performers in the arts, helping the arts to thrive in our communities.
At PCM, we offer a wide variety of opportunities for kids to study and make music together. We offer private lessons in over 30 instruments, as well as group classes, ensembles, youth choirs, and summer camps. It is never too young to start a music education! Lessons in violin and piano can start as young as 3. For older kids, our Jazz Studies Division offers courses in jazz history, as well as ensemble courses where students learn improvisation and jazz performance. The Karger College Prep program, the premier program of its kind in the state, provides a comprehensive education with a classical foundation for students looking to pursue higher education or a career in music. Our youth choirs Boy Singers of Maine and Sisters in Song bring youth together in the joyful act of singing, and provide performance opportunities throughout the year.
Music Education for Adults
Research shows that learning music can improve physical health and emotional well-being for adults, but there are often limited options for those looking to take up an instrument later in life. Portland Conservatory of Music works hard to fill the gap! Our private lessons are open to all ages and all abilities— we strive to meet people where they are. Students who feel ready to play with others can apply to join an ensemble and be matched with musical peers at a similar level of learning. Our newest program, the New Horizons Adult Concert Band welcomes both adults with experience and those learning music for the first time to join in a fun and rewarding music community.
At PCM, music education does not end in the classroom. We provide opportunities for students to perform throughout the year, including recitals at the end of every semester. We also provide students with opportunities to experience performances by local and traveling world-class musicians. Every fall, our Early Music Festival offers performances, workshops and lectures by leading musicians in the field of Early Music. Our springtime Back Cove Contemporary Music Festival features New England’s top composers and performers, often showcasing world-premieres of original works. Throughout the academic year, our Noonday Concert Series provides Southern Maine with FREE weekly performances by Maine’s most talented musicians, advancing our mission to make high quality music accessible to all. Our Dimensions in Jazz series brings esteemed performers from around the world to Portland stages.
With arts funding threatened in our public schools and in our communities, PCM seeks to complement and enhance music opportunities for people at every stage of life. Thank you for being part of the PCM community, and supporting a thriving arts and cultural life in Southern Maine!