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, Base Guitar, Voice, Trombone, and Percussion. 

Group Lessons

Group lessons introduce young children to playing an instrument in a comfortable small group setting. Students in 4th – 6th grade can take group guitar at the Blackford County Arts Center once a week. 


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. Small ensembles are not typical within the context of public education.

Please note – Ensembles are only available at the Portland Center of Arts Place.

Summer MusicWorks 2021

Lessons for the Summer semester of MusicWorks will begin on June 14th and run through the week of July 19th.

Registrations for MusicWorks can be completed online, 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. 

First Steps in Music 2021

First Steps in Music is back!

First Steps in Music is a music class based on John Feierabend’s curriculum, First Steps in Music. Feierabend is a devoted childhood educator who blends movement and musicianship to help young children develop their brains and their musical ability.
First Steps in Music is designed for the child and parent together. Grandparents are welcome too! Classes will be offered for children ages 10 months through 5 years old.

MusicWorks FAQ’s

How do I register?

To register for MusicWorks classes, click the button that says “Register for the 2020-2021 MusicWorks season now!” 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 $520 and student lessons are $446. We have two payment options: Monthly payments or you can save $50 with a one-time payment. 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 32 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.