MusicWorks is a comprehensive program of music instruction for all ages. Students learn to read music, proper playing techniques, and the fundamentals of music theory. Our experienced teaching artists share their passion and enthusiasm for music with nearly 200 students yearly.

Individual Lessons

For younger students, MusicWorks provides a solid music education foundation. For middle school and older students it leads toward the mastery of an instrument and exposure to standard repertoire written for their particular instrument. Individual lessons are offered in: Saxophone, Violin, Viola, Harp, Tuba, French Horn, Flute, Clarinet, Recorder, Piano, Trumpet, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Voice, Trombone, and Percussion. 

Group Lessons

Group lessons introduce young children to playing an instrument in a comfortable small group setting. Group guitar and group piano is available at the Blackford County Arts Center once a week. Students must be in grades 4 – 6 to be eligible for group guitar, and in grades 2 – 4 to be eligible for group piano. Group Piano is held on Wednesdays, beginning September 15th and there are two sessions available. Beginner Session 1 is from  4:30 PM – 5:15 PM and Beginner Session 2 is from 5:15 PM – 6:00 PM. The cost to participate is  $30 for the whole 10-week session, and rental electric keyboards are available. Group Guitar is held on Mondays, beginning September 13th, and there are also two sessions available. Beginner Session 1 is from 5:00 PM – 5:45 PM and Beginner Session 2 is 5:45 PM – 6:30 PM. The cost for Group Guitar is $30 for the whole 10-week session, and rental guitars are available.


Ensemble students learn to perform in small groups, a skill quite different from playing in large ensembles. These groups require the student to play their part independently of the others in the ensemble, a skill necessary for all musicians. Ensembles also give students more performance opportunities and expose them to repertoire written specifically for their instrument. The opportunity to participate in small ensembles is less common in public education, so the ensemble program of MusicWorks is particularly beneficial. 

Fall MusicWorks 2021

Lessons for the Fall semester of MusicWorks is open now! Lessons begin the week of August 30th. Enrollment in the Fall semester of MusicWorks enrolls you for the entire year (33 weeks) of instruction, however, we also have a separate sign-up period in the Spring. Enrollment in the MusicWorks program can happen at any point in the year, and your tuition will be adjusted to reflect the lessons already passed.

Registrations for MusicWorks can be completed online until the Fall deadline, however, scholarship applicants must register in person either at the Portland Center or the Blackford County Arts Center. Please visit the center to collect or drop-off your registration forms and scholarship applications. 

Registering after the Semester Begins

To avoid being charged the full amount up-front with online registration, students who wish to join MusicWorks after the semester has begun should visit the center they’d like to take lessons at to register in person or call 260-726-4809 to register over the phone. MusicWorks tuition is prorated to adjust for lessons already passed!

MusicWorks FAQ’s

How do I register?

To register for MusicWorks classes, click the button that says “Register for MusicWorks here!” If you are a scholarship student, please bring your scholarship materials to the Portland Center of Arts Place and register at the front desk. The Portland Center of Arts Place is located at:

Arts Place
131 East Walnut Street
P.O. Box 804
Portland, IN 47371

Where are classes offered?

MusicWorks lessons are available at both the Portland Center and Blackford County Arts Center. Ensembles are only available at the Portland Center, while group lessons are only offered at the Blackford County Arts Center this season.

What does it cost?

The yearly cost of adult lessons is $570 and student lessons are $476. We have two payment options: Monthly payments or you can save $50 with a one-time payment (cutting the cost to $520 and $446, respectively). Scholarship opportunities are also available. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Arts Place if cost is an issue. Summer lessons are $75 for students and $85 for adults.

Can I enroll anytime?

Yes! We encourage students to take the full 33 weeks of lessons however, we understand if you are not able to.

Who is eligible for MusicWorks?

MusicWorks lessons are for students or adults of any skill level. Ensemble participants should be experienced players.