A PIANO TRIO, CONSISTING OF A PIANO, A VIOLIN AND A CELLO, USES 240 STRINGS TO MAKE MUSIC.
240 strings works to build community and life skills for Portland, Maine youth by providing SUBSIDIZED music lessons, chamber music workshops, and affordable concerts.
Founders Annie Antonacos, Tracey Jasas-Hardel and Ben Noyes developed the idea of a subsidized private music lesson program over a year of meetings. In July of 2016, 240 Strings was launched as a 501c3 nonprofit organization. That fall, we started teaching our first students and immediately realized just how important our work is to the community. With a growing waiting list and parents "reserving" spots for their youngsters in the future, we are working to expand and reach as many kids as possible.
"...most of them were on hand on Monday to give enthusiastic performances of a couple of short ensemble pieces, and revel in an audience’s applause. They clearly enjoyed showing off their budding talents, which is as it should be."
— Allan Kozinn, Portland Press Herald
Portland is one of the most severely underserved communities in Maine. To combat this adversity, 240 Strings seeks to provide comprehensive and in-depth music study at the most fundamental level with quality instruments/supplies and a strong support network. Our students receive the best instruction from the area's finest private music teachers. We are proud to support children who otherwise wouldn't have access to classical music lessons.
Music education has been shown to positively affect academic performance and to enhance capacities such as focus and self-esteem. The impact of excelling at classical music lasts a lifetime - not only do accomplished musicians have extremely sophisticated communication between the right and left sides of the brain, but success at classical music has been shown to be a consistent indicator of success at college and beyond. 240 Strings seeks to fill the void felt by students financially unable to supplement the limited music education provided by public schools.
the percentage of Portland students who qualify for free or reduced lunch, and therefore qualify for 240 Strings music lessons
45 minutes per week:
the amount of time elementary students in Portland have music class
the number of strings used in the combination of a violin, cello and piano
In our inaugural year, 240 Strings provided regular weekly private lessons in violin, cello and piano to nine amazing and interested Portland students. We added one group lesson a week as well, with the idea that playing music together builds community. The Portland Piano Trio presented one full-length community concert, free of charge, and included the students in the performance. We strive to increase our reach every year, adding students and performances. Each student receives an hour of instruction every single week during the school year. We go to the schools to teach, eliminating the need for extra transportation and time.