Directory of Classes & Learning Programs for Families in Western MA
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Amherst, MA ♦ Amherst Ballet offers quality classes in various genres of dance. The 21-22 season curriculum includes Ballet (ages 6+), Contemporary (ages 14+), and Hip Hop and Jazz Dance (ages 12+). Students enrolled in the season classes will have opportunities to participate in the school performances. Monthly payment options for the season classes are available. Adult dancers can take Advanced Beginner or Intermediate/Advanced Ballet as well as Contemporary, Hip Hop, and Jazz Dance on a drop-in basis. Adults with no previous experience can take a 6-week Introduction to Ballet course. The school also offers a Zumba class. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; 413-549-1555; amherstballet.org.
Amherst, MA ♦ Hampshire Young People’s Chorus (YPC) is an award-winning youth choir for singers ages 8-14, offering children the opportunity to experience choral singing in a joyful and welcoming atmosphere. Healthy vocal technique and fundamental music skills are taught through singing a wide range of music from many styles and traditions. The choir’s roster currently includes children from throughout the Pioneer Valley, divided into two age divisions – Concert Choir and Chamber Singers. YPC has performed widely, including festivals, benefit concerts, and collaborations with Young@Heart Chorus, Natalie MacMaster, UMass Opera Workshop, Pioneer Valley Symphony, Amherst Ballet, Handel & Haydn Society Youth Chorus, and numerous other artists and ensembles. For more information: email@example.com;
Amherst, MA ♦ Ukulele, Guitar, Bass, Drums, Rock Band, and Voice in person and online for all ages. Beginning Groups include Beginning I & II Ukulele/Guitar, Bass, Drums, or Voice. Intermediate and advanced groups include Acoustic and Electric Guitar, Ukulele, Bass, Drums, Rock Band, and Voice. Adult Guitar, Ukulele, and Rock Band Groups are offered. Teachers include: Miss Leticia (guitar, ukulele, rock band, voice); Rusty Daniels (guitar, ukulele, bass, drums, rock band); Rhys Davies (adult rock band). After school, evening, and weekend classes. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; 413-246-7338; missleticia.com.
Amherst, MA ♦ Good News! After a long absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Skating Club of Amherst will be resuming their full ice schedule in September. The Skating Club of Amherst figure skating club offers professional instruction at all levels, beginner to advanced, recreational or competitive. Their popular Learn-to-Skate program offers group lessons for ages 4-adult on Sundays at 5:50pm. Additional instruction is offered in free-skate, ice dancing, & testing for those looking to advance their skills further. All sessions are held at the UMass Mullins Center Practice Rink. The club is a member of United States Figure Skating & is a private, non-profit organization managed by volunteers. Registration forms for Sept, Nov, Jan & April are online. For more information: SCofAmherst@gmail.com; 413-253-6388; www.scamherst.org.
Easthampton, MA ♦ Art in Motion was created to bring the amazing gift of dance to the community. With a variety of impact-driven educational programs, Art in Motion welcomes dancers of all ages to a fun and inspiring studio space. The AIM instructors are committed to providing the highest quality of performing arts education to all. With beginner to pre-professional tracks, dancers are encouraged to craft a unique dance journey. The state of the art studios are equipped with sprung dance floors, glassless mirrors and top quality ballet, acrobatics and cross training equipment. Enrollment for our 2021-2022 season is now open! For more information: 413-355-0196; email@example.com; artinmotion413.com
Easthampton, MA ♦ Resilient Community Arts (RCA) is a new non-profits arts organization offering classes, drop-in studio time, afterschool programming, community outreach, and support for community organizing efforts for folks of all ages and backgrounds within the Pioneer Valley. Their mission is to provide an accessible, community-driven arts space that fosters meaningful, independent creativity as well as collective efforts to use the arts as a vehicle for social progress and equity. Program fees are on a sliding scale, and memberships with studio benefits are also available. They are located in Suite 044 in Eastworks at 116 Pleasant Street in Easthampton. Skill-based classes will begin in November 2021, Afterschool Studio for Teens will begin in December 2021. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; 413-342-0396; www.resilientcommunityarts.org.
Florence, MA ♦ The Community Classroom tutoring center helps PreK-12th grade students build their confidence and find joy in learning. Clients are hand-matched with certified teachers through a relationship-based matching process. Professional educators develop and personalize lessons to fit a student’s interests, strengths, and needs. Tutoring is offered in-person in our private classroom, at-home, or online. The Community Classroom also offers academic coaching for middle school and high school students who need extra support navigating the school process. This includes help building organizational skills, executive functioning skills, prioritizing assignments, and developing a plan to catch up on missing work. For more information: email@example.com; 413-341-0740; thecommunityclassroom.com.
Greenfield, MA ♦ Painting, poetry, ceramics, and cello – Artspace Community Arts Center in Greenfield has a new slate of art and music classes for fall 2021 for adults, children, and teens. Join their talented teachers (and your neighbors!) for Chinese calligraphy, watercolors, narrative writing, “cello and chill,” poetry, and more. They offer one-off classes, weekend workshops, and multiple-week courses. Register on their website. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; 413-772-6811; www.artspacegreenfield.com
Greenfield, MA ♦ Founded in 1869, Stoneleigh-Burnham School (SBS), an independent boarding & day school for girls in grades 7-12, has been a part of the Pioneer Valley for more than 150 years. SBS attracts dynamic students from more than 12 states and over 12 countries and is known for its powerful academics, debate & public speaking, performing & visual arts, and equestrian programs. SBS was the first girls’ school in New England to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program and is the only secondary school in the U.S. to offer the British Horse Society Certification program. SBS’s boarding tuition is now 10% less than the national average while their day tuition is 17% less than the national average. For more information: 413-774-2711; sbschool.org.
Greenfield, MA ♦ Greenfield, MA – Your Franklin County’s Y now has all of your child care needs covered! This fall, they will be caring for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Of course, they also offer school-age childcare. Their newly rebranded Y Academy on Main, located at 451 Main Street in Greenfield, offers a safe, affordable, quality preschool education with a curriculum to nurture your child’s development. The Y Academy at the Bolger Center, located on the campus of Northfield Mount Hermon, now allows them to care for your infant, your toddler, and your preschooler. Y Academy: one of the best choices parents can make. For more information: email@example.com; 413-773-3646; www.your-y.org.
Hadley, MA ♦ Join The Children’s Ballet & Movement Co. this Fall! Offering lessons from toddlers to teens: Classical Ballet, Creative Movement, Modern Dance, and Art Classes. They host performances at their very own studio theater. Toddler Shows, Art Class Shows, Mini Halloween Shows, and their grande finale, The Nutcracker! For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; 413-478-1944; www.childrensballetmovement.com.
Hadley, MA ♦ Whole Children’s goal is to create an inclusive environment where every child is successful and valued for who they are, no matter their abilities or disabilities. Classes emphasize skill-building, social skills, self-advocacy, and just plain fun. They offer a diverse roster of afterschool and weekend classes, including gymnastics, yoga, theater, art, music, cooking, performing arts, and so much more. Whole Children is filling a vital need by creating classes where the hard work of skill-building is made social and fun for children of all abilities and, perhaps just as importantly, by creating a supportive and caring community for their parents. For more information: email@example.com; 413-585-8010; www.wholechildren.org.
Hinsdale, MA ♦ Grow Wild Association is organized for educational, personal, and spiritual development, relying on a strongly held belief in and interdependence with nature. Grow Wild Association hosts an outdoor nature-based program for homeschool-aged children, adult classes, enrichment programs, and tutoring. They believe nature is our best and most important teacher, and children are innate learners who naturally follow their own sense of wonder. Mixed-age children’s groupings allow for role modeling, responsibility, community building, and multidirectional learning. All information/programs/services are intended for association members only. They’re accepting new members now! For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; 413-464-2507; www.growwildlearning.com.
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 ♦ Circle for Jewish Living’s two new monthly teen programs provide a safe space for teens to explore the world they live in and discover who they want to be in that world. Their programs build community, trust, and strong Jewish identity, with resources to stimulate connections between the world teens navigate and leadership that inspires. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; 413-559-9208; www.circlesforjewishliving.com
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: email@example.com; 413-586-0998; downtownsounds.com.
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 and events are being offered in-person as well as virtually. New programming is added throughout the year, so visit their website regularly. The Center also offers affordable rental space for artists, educators, and local organizations, while developing programming dedicated to arts education, multidisciplinary collaborations, and community connections. They look forward to supporting your artistic endeavors! For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; 413-584-7327; www.nohoarts.org.
Northampton, MA ♦ Founded in 1986, the Northampton Community Music Center offers quality music instruction for all ages and abilities. The Center houses 15 teaching studios, 2 recital halls, keyboard lab, music library, and recording studio. 50 professional faculty members teach private lessons in more than 20 instruments. Other programs include Music Together® for babies and toddlers, a comprehensive Suzuki program in violin, cello and guitar for ages 4+, instrumental and vocal ensembles, multitrack recording, songwriting, and more. There are many programs for adults and seniors, too. Events showcasing professional and student performances are hosted throughout the year. Financial aid is available to all who qualify. Visit ncmc.net for more info.
Northampton, MA ♦ The Wild Arts Cafe presents mixed media art classes for kids on Saturday mornings at the Northampton Center for the Arts. Classes are held: 9-10am for ages 7-10 and 10:15-11:15am for ages 10-13. What’s on the menu: multi-level wood and clay gnome/fairy houses, life-sized Story People and the poetry that pops out of them, large-scale collaged self-portraits and written portraits of the “self,” cereal box theater, mini-movies, spontaneous painting, and gratitude boxes. For more information and to register for any or all of their three-week sessions, register at nohoarts.org or call 413-584-7327. (Individual and homeschool pod sessions available by request at 413-588-6898.) For more information: email@example.com; 413-588-6898; thewildartscafe.com
Pittsfield, MA ♦ Berkshire Music School is enrolling for the fall 2021 semester! Take a private lesson or Community Group Class in-person at BMS’s historic campus or online. Private lessons are offered in any orchestral or band instrument as well as voice & theory. Lessons may be arranged for 30, 45, 60, or 90 minutes each week to meet the needs of the individual student and may begin at any point during the year. Online lessons are conducted via Zoom, FaceTime, or Skype, and students should have access to a computer or iPad with internet connection. BMS’s fun Community Group Classes are offered on a pay-what-you-can basis, with suggested tuition listed for each course. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; 413-442-1411; www.berkshiremusicschool.org
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. For more information: email@example.com; 413-367-9134; puppetspeak.com.
South Hadley, MA
South Hadley, MA ♦ Give your children the experience of making music this school year. For the younger students (ages 5-9), the “Kids Music Class” will teach your child all about beat, rhythm, melody, and musical form through fun, interactive games, dances, and songs along with rigorous educational activities. For the older students (ages 7 and up), enroll in the “Guitar Orchestra.” Students perform on the guitar, uke, bass, or other string instruments in a large group. Students develop skills in music reading, dynamics, phrasing, ensemble playing, and following a conductor. Beginners welcome. The fall session begins on September 7, 2021. Each class session is 10-weeks and ends with a free concert that is open to the public. Secure your spot today! For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; 413-695-7558; jmilliganguitarstudio.com.
Springfield, MA ♦ CMSS is now enrolling for in-person and virtual music lessons, classes, and ensembles for students of all ages and levels. 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 is easy – your music lesson or class is just a click or phone call away!
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 ♦ Learn to Skate with FMC Ice Sports. Their award-winning ice skating programs teach skills logically and progressively in a fun and enjoyable way to help all skaters enjoy ice sports. FMC offers Learn to Skate 1-2-3 and Club Ice at Smead Arena. For more information: email@example.com; 1-888-74-SKATE; fmcicesports.com.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org; 413-263-6800 x322; springfieldmuseums.org/groups/school.
Sunderland, MA ♦ Starlight’s Youth Theatre offers in-person classes beginning in Sept 2021 on Saturday mornings & Monday evenings. Fall classes include: The Unique Unicorn for grades 1-3 on Saturdays (9/4-10/23) from 9-9:45am; Alice in Wonderland for grades 3-5 on Saturdays (9/4-10/23) from 10-10:45am; Fight for the Right, the Susan B. Anthony Story for grades 6-9 on Saturdays (9/4-11/6) from 11am-12pm; Doctor Doolittle for grades 3-5 on Mondays (9/13-11/6) from 4-4:45pm; Sherlock Holmes & Dr. Watson for grades 6-9 on Mondays (9/13-11/1) from 5-6pm. Costs: $125-$145. Performance locations include Eric Carle Museum, Northampton Center for the Arts, and Maple Ridge. Classes are held at Maple Ridge Community Center. More info: www.starlights-youth-theatre.com.
West Chesterfield, MA
West Chesterfield, MA ♦ Kids & Canines! Balto & Togo! Topaz & Trixie! Serum Run & Iditarod! What do these all have in common? Sled Dogs & Working Dogs. Siberian Huskies & Alaskan Huskies Life Saving Run by Dog Team to Nome & Thrilling Race by Dog Team to Nome. Dogs who love kids & kids who love dogs! All can be found at Hilltown Sleddogs with Musher, Marla BB & her 16 huskies. They spent the last 2 winters in Alaska, mushing 750 miles from Nenana to Nome on the Serum Run Trail. Then racing 300 & 200 miles on the Yukon Quest Trail in preparation for Iditarod. Slide show, video, & children’s book presentation is available for classrooms, assembly programs, educational demonstrations & fairs indoors or outdoors. Homeschool programs are offered too. Always with these dogs! For more information: email@example.com; 413-296-0187; www.hilltownsleddogs.com.
Turners Falls, MA
Turners Falls, MA ♦ Great Falls Creative Movement offers unique dance programming for kids (and sometimes adults!) at their studio, outdoors, and in partnership with schools and constituent-based groups. All dance classes include improvisation, social dance, therapeutic dance, and concert dance practices and support participants’ positive relationship with their own mind/body/spirit, with each other, and with the wider world. Studio and outdoor classes open in September and January, with an open house at the beginning of each session. School residencies supported by the Mass Cultural Council, as well as programs designed for specific groups, are available on an ongoing basis. All programs will comply with CDC guidelines for COVID safety. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; 413-834-4644; greatfallscreativemovement.com.
Westhampton, MA ♦ Biocitizen Free Ranger Field Environmental Philosophy Adventures is an action-based, peripatetic investigation of natural and cultural history. These histories are “writ large” in the places participants study, and students learn how to read them while they hike. As Summer turns into Fall, Free Rangers investigate the transformations the biome and its creatures undergo. Students explore Northampton’s environs, focusing on places they don’t usually have access to, and learn about our “place” in the biome: by a great living river coursing through deep and rich soils cradled by foothills with wild ridges, cliffs, and rainforest canyons. For more information: email@example.com; 413-320-0522; ma.biocitizen.org/portfolio/free-rangers-summer-into-fall.
Western MA ♦ What can kids do to conquer climate change? Turns out, a lot! Everyone can reduce their carbon footprints. Cooler Communities provides a free virtual platform for families to learn and practice earth friendly habits. The website teaches children, tweens, and teens about the benefits and how-to’s of climate solution actions. Activities include composting, gardening, home-made solar ovens, earth-friendly eating, and more. Participants can record their completed actions with the click of a button. Join online, take actions, and watch the collective impact of Climate Superheroes grow throughout Western Massachusetts. For directions on how to sign up, see the detailed post on the Hilltown Families website. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; 413-329-3514; coolercommunities.org.
- Berkshire Music School (Pittsfield, MA)
- Berkshire Pulse (Housatonic, MA)
- The Community Classroom Tutoring Service (Florence, MA)
- Community Music School of Springfield (Springfield, MA)
- Cooler Communities Challenge
- Downtown Sounds Music School (Northampton, MA)
- The Drama Studio: Online Acting Classes (Springfield, MA)
- Miss Leticia Music School (Amherst, MA)
- Northampton Center for the Arts (Northampton, MA)
- PuppetSpeak Virtual Language Courses (Shutesbury, MA)
- The Wild Arts Cafe (Northampton, MA)
- Whole Children (Hadley, MA)