By providing free classical music education, 240 Strings cultivates young minds and hearts, while building community along the way.


Programs and Partnerships

*Free private and ensemble lessons: 30 weeks per year in violin, cello and piano; instrument and books provided.

*School classroom visits with Interactive Instrument Playground: Children experience chamber music and “meet” the violin, cello and piano up close.

*Written support of Portland Public School District leadership.

*Weekly Group Classes with LearningWorks After School.

*Lessons and classes with Portland Recreation Before and After School.

*Community Concerts: four per year; partnership with Maine Charitable Mechanic Association to house and use our baby grand piano and provide performance space; Most recent audience: 85-100 people.

Outcomes and Impact

*Strengthens listening, focus and persistence, which can help shrink the academic achievement gap faced by low-income youth.

*Develops capabilities that help students excel in school and beyond:

  • Literacy and language development are enhanced by improved listening skills.

  • Concentration improves the ability to focus attention in large, busy classrooms.

  • Creativity provides children a means to express themselves beyond language.

*Develops Social-Emotional skills (SES):

  • Self-awareness - Students gain confidence through recognizing their strengths and capacity for personal growth.

  • Self-management - Studying music is inherently rewarding and shows students the direct impact of their own hard work; this builds motivation, goal setting skills, and perseverance. Regular performances develop patience and the ability to manage stress.

  • Social awareness and Relationship skills - Working closely with their instructor and in ensemble with other students develops communication and teamwork skills, empathy and respect for others.


Funding Needs

*240 Strings is entirely supported by private donors, foundation funding and corporate sponsors.

*Resident Musicians perform several concerts each year as friend- and fundraisers.

*Ongoing expenses include administrative costs for scheduling, grant writing and coordinating partnerships, and operational expenses such as printing, website hosting, cloud-based software and postage.


Specific needs:

*Cost per Community Concert = $2,000

*A year of lessons + supplies for one student = $1,775

*Six-week group class = $2,000-$3,500

*Contributions towards general expenses

*Instrument donations are always welcome.

I have one piano student who still says “I’m so scared” before every performance, but then nails it with poise every time.
— Annie, 240 Strings teacher