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Bringing music back to the Casco Bay Islands

Portland Conservatory of Music went remote and lost a large percentage of students during the pandemic. Live music is coming back, and so are the students.

PORTLAND, Maine — Portland Conservatory of Music is a nonprofit that works with kids and adults, bringing music classes to all who want them. As classes went remote, the pandemic really limited the work the instructors could do. 

In fact, Executive Director Jean Murachanian says student enrollment dropped by nearly 50-percent when COVID-19 hit, "Our faculty and our families, everyone shifted online really quickly, like within two weeks we were up and running again."

She admits, it wasn't the same and it was a struggle for many. One happy side effect was that instructors finally saw the set up students had at home. "Our piano faculty, for example, were really surprised to learn that some of our students were using keyboards rather than real pianos," says Murachanian. "They didn’t realize that. So it was interesting for the teachers to learn some new things by looking into the students homes, they were noticing different things."

RELATED: Music is for everyone at the Portland Conservatory of Music

With restrictions loosening, weather warming, and live music coming back Portland Conservatory of Music has brought its own concerts back to the outdoors. 

"Concerts are an important part of what we do, it’s how we engage the community.," says board president, Steve Clayman. "Most of our concerts are free and open to the public and have become sort of a mainstay of Portland life."

The next outdoor concert is scheduled July 22nd on Long Island. To learn more, click here.

To learn more about programs offered or how you can support Portland Conservatory of Music, click here

More good news for Portland Conservatory of Music: the non-profit will be moving into a new location with more space in Portland's West End. That move will happen in the fall, Murachanian says, thanks to major donations.  

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