Directory of Classes & Learning Programs for Families in Western MA
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Amherst, MA ♦ Amherst Ballet offers dance classes both in-person and virtually. The season classes include Ballet for ages 5-18, 8-week Intro to Ballet courses for Adults, Modern for ages 5-18, and Hip Hop for ages 8-18. The school also offers drop-in classes for adult dancers at the Advanced Beginner and Intermediate/Advanced levels and two Zumba classes. Students enrolled in the season classes will have opportunities to participate in the school performances. Monthly payment options for the season classes are available. Amherst Ballet ensures students’ health with strict safety measures including, but not limited to, a temperature check at the entrance, frequent disinfection, lower enrollment limits, and air purification systems. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; 413-549-1555; amherstballet.org.
Amherst, MA ♦ The Hitchcock Center offers inquiry-based environmental and outdoor education programs for small groups. The focus is on learning from nature and meeting the need children have for unstructured time with their peers. Fall programs include: Nature Preschool Adventure Days; Monarch Tagging; Second Saturday Family Science; Nature Play; Art in the Forest; Girls into the Wild; Ology of Ologists; EcoQuesting; and local Family Field Trips. Programs meet the strict COVID-19 health and safety requirements of our state and local health departments and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Attendance is limited to 10–12 participants for outdoor programs. They offer a sliding scale fee structure. Visit their website for program descriptions and schedules. For more information: email@example.com; 413-256-6006; hitchcockcenter.org/.
Amherst, MA ♦ Ukulele, Guitar, Bass, Drums, a Capella, and Voice lessons online for all ages. Beginning Groups include Beginning Ukulele I & II, Beginning Guitar, Beginning Rock Band, and Girls Rock Band. Intermediate/Advanced Groups include Ukulele, Guitar/Ukulele, Intermediate Boys Rock, Adv Girls Rock Band. Adult classes include Beginning & Intermediate Guitar, Beginning & Intermediate Ukulele, and Rock Band. Many more private and virtual group lessons available. Teachers include Leticia Davies (Guitar/Ukulele, Voice); Rusty Daniels (Rock Guitar, Bass, Drums); Gruff Davies (Rock Band); Rhys Davies (Rock Band). After school, evening, and weekend classes. Scheduling and open classes are posted on the website. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; 413-246-7338; missleticia.com/registration.
Amherst, MA ♦ Starlight’s Youth Theatre is happy to announce that they are currently offering online winter acting classes for January and February on Saturday mornings and Monday evenings. Classes include Musical Theatre, Storytelling, Acting for Film, Directing Workshop, Aesop’s Fables, and The Jungle Book. They hope that this will get them to a place where they can have a late Spring Musical session. Stay tuned. For more information: email@example.com; www.starlights-youth-theatre.com.
Amherst, MA ♦ Tin Can Learners offers 4th-8th grade students a sense of community during these times of online school through unique, project-based classes. Students will connect in an activity-based environment that fosters creativity & self-motivated learning. Class topics include coding, film making, creative writing, pre-algebra, and many more! An Advanced Art Portfolio class is offered for students in grades 7th-12th looking for individualized art instruction. Enrollment in each session provides access to optional programming, including online social events, homework support sessions, and office-hour style tutoring. Tuition assistance is available, no questions asked. Tin Can Learners will offer four sessions during the fall of 2020. Register today! For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.tincanlearners.org.
West Chesterfield, MA ♦ Meet Marla BB & the Hilltown Sleddogs, who mushed 750 miles across interior Alaska last winter on the Iditarod/Serum Run Trail. In 1925, mail carriers mushed antitoxin to dying children of Nome during a Diptheria Epidemic. On February 22, 2020, the Team mushed from Nenana (near Fairbanks) past the Tolovana Roadhouse (where Wild Bill Shannon almost froze to death) onto the Yukon River through Native Athabaskan Villages then across Norton Sound & the Bering Sea Coastal Yupik Villages. They camped in Arctic Oven Tents at -45 degrees, slept in tribal halls, community centers & schools where children ran out to greet the dogs. On March 13th, the Expedition arrived in Nome only to learn the rest of the country was in lock-down due to a Pandemic! For more information: email@example.com; 413-296-0187; www.hilltownsleddogs.com.
Florence, MA ♦ Archery classes for ages 7+. Sattva Center offers outside socially distant target archery classes all week, all summer at Look Memorial Park. Their classes are ideal, whether you’re exploring archery for the first time or want to take your skills to the next level. With their experienced coaches, participants will develop a solid foundation in a welcoming and professional atmosphere. Participant registration includes a one-time annual pass to Look Park per family. All equipment included. All classes are multi-generational and multi-level. Virtual coaching is also available as well as backyard archery range equipment. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; 774-261-3399; www.sattvaarchery.com.
Greenfield, MA ♦ High-quality music lessons! Welcoming students in the Pioneer Valley and beyond. Michael Nix offers private instruction, classes, coaching for performers, and prep for college and performance auditions – serving the private instruction and home-school community since 1980. Friendly, fun, supportive lessons tailored to the interests and needs of the student. Guitar (Classical, Steel String, Electric), Banjo (5-String, Tenor), Mandolin, Uke, Composition, Theory. Group Classes offered when practical. Zoom, Skype, and other online platforms. References available. For more information: 413-772-0328. email@example.com. www.NixWorks.com.
Greenfield, MA ♦ The Pioneer Valley Symphony is accepting new students to its Youth Orchestra virtual program. Thursdays 6-8pm, February 11 – June 3 (16 sessions). Students play, learn, and grow during these fun and interactive sessions led by Chris Moehringer of the Community Music School of Springfield. Activities include music rehearsals, virtual recording projects, music history, theory, improvisation, and masterclasses. Open to all orchestral instrumentalists ages 8-18. Tuition is $225 for the semester; fees are prorated for rolling admission. Discounts are available for families with multiple participants and limited scholarship funding available. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; 413-773-3664; www.pvsoc.org/yo.
Greenfield, MA ♦ Stoneleigh-Burnham School (SBS), an independent day and boarding school for girls in grades 7-12, has been a part of the Pioneer Valley community for more than 150 years. After reducing its day tuition by 40%, SBS reinforced its commitment to private school affordability by decreasing the 2021-22 school year’s boarding tuition rate. SBS attracts girls from more than 15 states and more than a dozen countries and is known for its powerful academics, as well as its debate and public speaking, performing and visual arts, athletics, and equestrian programs. SBS is the first girls’ boarding school in New England to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program and the only secondary school in the US to offer the British Horse Society Certification program. For more information: 413-774-2711; sbschool.org.
Housatonic, MA ♦ Summer and Fall Classes. Berkshire Pulse is a dynamic, welcoming, nonprofit dance, world music and movement arts education center. Outdoor, virtual and in-studio year-round programming provides children, teens and adults the opportunity to engage in the joys of movement, music and performance, while experiencing the rewards of community involvement and fitness – plus the vast benefits of artistic exploration and expression. High-caliber, professional teaching artists offer ongoing classes and workshops from beginner to advanced levels in Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Creative Dance, Choreography, Musical Theater, Tap, African Dance, Flamenco, Latin Dance, Scottish Folk Dance, World Music Percussion, Hip Hop, Cardio Groove, Tai Chi, Zumba, Yoga, Pilates and more. For more information: email@example.com; 413-274-6624; berkshirepulse.org.
Northampton, MA ♦ Downtown Sounds Music School provides music education for a wide variety of instruments. They offer online lessons seven days a week for guitar, piano, voice, bass, drums, percussion, ukulele, brass and woodwind instruments, mandolin, and more. Whether students are just starting, looking to expand their abilities, or learning to play a favorite song, their teachers are passionate about working with students of all ages to meet their musical goals! For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; 413-586-0998; downtownsounds.com.
Northampton, MA ♦ Writing coach for high school and college-bound students. Online and in-person. Flexible schedule and sliding-scale rates. Matt Muspratt offers personalized attention to young adults looking to improve their writing, from grounding in grammar and structure to critique of highly developed work. Sessions revolve around specific needs and goals (e.g., college application essays or school assignments) or exercises tailored to interests and real-world applications (e.g., essays and analyses on current events; text for business or community websites; articles for print and online media). Matt is a parent, worked in Africa for eight years, and has published in various mediums, including books, newsprint, peer-reviewed journals, and blogs. For more information: email@example.com; 617-775-5530; mmuspratt.com/tutoring.
Northampton, MA ♦ The Northampton Center for the Arts at 33 Hawley offers classes for all ages in art, dance, music, theatre, writing, and more! Classes are being offered virtually, in-person, and via a hybrid model, with health protocols in place. New classes are added throughout the year, so visit their website regularly! The Center also offers affordable rental space for individuals and small groups of artists, educators, and local organizations, while developing programming dedicated to arts education, multidisciplinary collaborations, and community connections. ArtPlay, the Center’s unique interdisciplinary vacation arts program, returns in February, April, and summer of 2021. They also have daytime availability for remote learning pods to rent their beautiful space. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; 413-584-7327; www.nohoarts.org.
Northampton, MA ♦ The Northampton Community Music Center is a nonprofit organization offering the highest quality music instruction for all ages and abilities to residents of Western Mass and beyond since 1986. Music Together for babies and toddlers provides an excellent musical foundation and family bonding experience. Individual lessons in more than 20 instruments and a variety of musical genres are available for students as young as age 4. A wide choice of group classes is available for children and adults to explore specific styles, tools, and music-making techniques. All skillfully taught online until we can all safely be together again. Registration now open for the fall through their website. Financial aid is available for those who qualify. For more information: email@example.com; 413-585-0001; ncmc.net.
Northampton, MA ♦ The School For Contemporary Dance & Thought (SCDT) is excited to offer a fall semester of kids dance classes – virtually through Zoom! This fall, SCDT will be offering Contemporary Dance Technique, Dance Making for the Zoom Stage, and African Diasporic Dance for kids ages 8-12. Also, check out Hatchery, SCDT’s pre-professional teen dance company, now recruiting new members. Classes will culminate in an online performance in December. SCDT classes are a safe, inclusive, and supportive learning environment for kids and teens where imagination and movement go hand-in-hand. Be prepared to have fun. SCDT is committed to providing dance education to all who are interested. Payment will be offered on a sliding scale for all programs. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.scdtnoho.com.
Northampton, MA ♦ The Wild Arts Cafe offers 4th-8th graders multi-modal arts classes in six-week sessions, with an emphasis on open-ended creativity. Modalities include visual arts, creative writing, movement, music, photography, and more. On one day, the younger kids might create a spontaneous collage on cereal a box and fill it with story scraps. Or they might paint a life-sized body map and paste personified poetry on top. 7th and 8th graders work with clay while blindfolded–– then use the experience as a prompt to write a story. They also learn Soul Collage™ and Zentangle™ along with the Wild Arts Cafe’s online students at Hogar Irekani Orphanage in Mexico. As one student recently said, “In the Wild Arts classes, my ideas feel free!” For more information: email@example.com; 413-588-6898; thewildartscafe.com
Northampton, MA ♦ Join Yoga Sanctuary for yoga for the whole family – online! Prenatal Yoga, Postpartum Yoga with Baby, and Yoga for Teens 6 week series start the week of 9/21/20. The Prenatal Yoga and Postpartum Yoga with Baby series include check-in, breathwork, meditation, and physical (asana) practices for pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. Yoga for Teens provides a welcoming space for all teens to connect deeply to breath and movement, building flexibility and strength, and cultivating inner resilience. All kinds of bodies and experience levels welcome. Their weekly adult classes provide nurturing and expert instruction in alignment-based hatha, flow, yin and restorative yoga. Join their strong, sweet community where their yoga practice nourishes body and soul. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; 413-585-9642; www.yoga-sanctuary.com.
Shutesbury, MA ♦ PuppetSpeak is a video-based program that teaches languages through puppetry. Choose from Spanish, French, Hebrew, Hindi, or English. Enjoy learning with silly puppet skits designed based on the latest science about optimal memory function. The program is fun and manageable for ages 3 +, even to adulthood, since you can learn at your own pace.
South Hadley, MA ♦ Pioneer Valley Strings is now offering violin, viola, composition, and theory lessons, all online. The Slapin-Solomon Duo has been teaching online for many years. Let them show you how easy it is. Now accepting new students age 8 and up, from beginners to advanced. Learn an instrument from the comfort of your own home. Sign up today!
Springfield, MA ♦ It sounds like spring in the Pioneer Valley! CMSS offers high-quality music instruction for students of all ages using a state-of-the-art online platform, and students may choose to transition to in-person learning this spring. Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned musician, CMSS takes the time to match you with a teacher who will connect with you while helping you accomplish your personal musical goals. Offering instruction in over 30 instruments and voice, their registration team can help you decide whether to rent or purchase your instrument. Getting started online or over the phone is easy, and you can choose a schedule that’s convenient for you.
For more information: email@example.com; 413-732-8428; communitymusicschool.com.
Springfield, MA ♦ The Drama Studio is a unique community where young people grow as artists, leaders, and individuals. Now offering a variety of virtual acting classes and theatre programs in a safe environment for ages 6-18, including: Intro to Acting, where students will gain character, voice and performance skills, and build expressive communication skills in a fun, exciting peer group; In Comedy Improv, where students will learn to think on their feet and activate imaginations. Plus, a full range of intermediate classes, including Scene Study, Musical Theatre, Playwriting, and ensemble classes. Fall enrollment now open! Space is limited. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; 413-739-1983; dramastudio.org.
Springfield, MA ♦ For homeschoolers and schoolers with five museums to mine for information and activities, the Springfield Museums does what few others can—combine art, history, science, and Dr. Seuss into fun-filled, engaging experiences that reinforce critical thinking and observation skills through inquiry-based learning. The Springfield Museums offer a broad range of educational programs for all ages and interest levels, and they are happy to custom-build an experience for your small group. For more information: email@example.com; 413-263-6800 x322; springfieldmuseums.org/groups/school.
Westfield, MA ♦ Join Roots Gymnastics Center this fall with their small class sizes, socially distanced groups, and additional cleaning and sanitizing makes for a clean and safe gymnastics experience! For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; 413-562-2333; www.rootsgymnastics.com.
Western MA ♦ Girl Scouts is a way of life that brings out the best in your girl, and helps her bring out the best in everyone around her. The Girl Scouts have a variety of options your girl can choose from – virtual programs and troop or in-person programs and troops, or hybrid mix of both. Sign your girl up today to start her leadership journey! While your girl is learning about the outdoors, STEM, important life skills, and finances, she’ll also discover new ways to make your family and community stronger, kinder, and better for everyone. For more information: email@example.com; 413-584-2602; gscwm.org.
Brattleboro, VT ♦ Come to the New England Center for Circus Arts to add creative physical activity to your child’s learning experience. Join their classes or bring your own group for private lessons. Online and in-person options provide inspiring and fun movement activities for circus enthusiasts and novice students wanting to add balance and dexterity to their lives in a fun and unique way. Circus is a broad and active art form offering aerials, acrobatics, juggling, clowning, trampoline, and more for developing team-building, diligence, and invention. Classes can be simply circus or connect with NECCA to consider an educational residency model where circus is the medium for framing experiential learning discussions. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; 802-254-9780; necenterforcircusarts.org.
Hilltown Families is committed to the economic development of our region, and by offering this special directory, local businesses can thrive and provide a much needed service to our local community. All descriptions have been submitted and all links are provided as a courtesy and not as an endorsement.