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Frequently Asked Questions


How are the classes scheduled and how many classes can I take?

The classes run Monday-Friday and are held at the same time each day. Each day there are two morning classes for your major instrument. Non-beginner fiddle students will rotate through several fiddle instructors over the course of the week. Most other majors work with one instructor each morning. In the afternoon, workshops are held in which students are encouraged to sample from the many different instrument and dance offerings.

How long are the classes?

Classes are usually an hour and 15 minutes and run between 9:00 in the morning to 4:30 in the afternoon.

How large are the classes? Do you have waiting lists?

Classes limits are typically 15, but may vary with class (fiddle-making can take far fewer). Once a class fills, we begin a waiting list based on a first-come, first-served policy. Once a student makes a class change or cancels their registration, we offer their slot to the next person on the waitlist. We recommend registering early.

Are there age limits for class participants?

We welcome and encourage students of ALL AGES to attend our classes. We do not have an age limit for class participants and just ask that the student be sincerely interested in the subject and not a distraction to others. Each class listing has a basic qualification recommendation for participation.

How/where can/do I register for classes?

Anyone can register for classes from our website (select the HOW TO ATTEND menu item and click REGISTER). A 25% deposit will hold your place (see DEPOSITS below). We are unable to take registrations over the phone.

How do I know which skill level to register for?

We trust you to decide where you fit in. Here are some guidelines: Beginner refers to those with no experience at all, or those who play some but are not yet comfortable with the basics. Intermediate students should have mastered basic skills, and be able to tune their instruments, keep time, play the principal chords and/or scales cleanly, and know how to play a few tunes with confidence. Advanced students should be very comfortable with their instruments and able to focus on style, arrangement and ornamentation. They typically have experience playing at dances and ensembles. Master students are typically professionals.

Deposits, Payment & Cancellations

Is there a deposit required for registration?


You can pay in full or leave just a 25% non refundable deposit. Non-students can pay a 25% non-refundable deposit to share a room with a friend who is taking a class (contact us for info about non-student accommodations).  If you choose to pay a deposit at registration, please not that all balances for tuition and for housing and meals are due no later than April 15. If full payment for your room is not received by this date, we will open that room up for someone on the waiting list.


Can I get a discount on tuition?


We cannot give discounts, but we do have some need-based scholarship funds available. Check out our Scholarship Program for more information.


Are there work study/volunteer positions available?

There may be some limited work-study/volunteer positions available before, during and after the Festival week. If you are interested in work-study please note this in the Volunteer section on your Registration Form and let us know what you are interested in helping with.

If you are interested in volunteering outside the Festival week (during the year) or would like to volunteer without registering as a student, please email us at [email protected]. We would love to have you!


I may have to cancel my registration. Can I get a refund?


The deposits are required for registration and are non-refundable. Should an enrolled student need to cancel, we can refund registration fees collected (other than deposits), minus 10%, if notified by April 15. Room fees are refundable (minus 10% and deposit) if we are notified in writing by April 15. If a room is cancelled after April 15, a refund will be provided as above if the room can be filled by another student. Refunds for weekly meal plan can be made until June 1, but are also subject to 10% refund fee.

Housing & Meals

Is it possible to camp on the campus? Are there alternatives to staying in the residence halls?

Camping (including car camping) is not allowed on campus per Bar Harbor town ordinance, but there are campsites nearby. Check our Campus page for more information.

Can you tell me about the meal plans?

Anyone choosing to live on campus is given a full meal plan as part of his or her housing fee. Those living off-campus can choose to either purchase the “Lunch Only” or the full meal plan. Meals are provided in the Campus cafeteria, which provides a wide selection of high quality dishes, some of which feature produce from their organic gardens. If you have allergies or other food restrictions, please make note of them in the relevant section of the registration form.

I have special dietary requirements, can you accommodate them?

The College is catered by Take-A Break, and low-sodium, gluten free, vegetarian and vegan meals are available upon request. Please let us know in the appropriate section of the registration form what your diet consists of and we will communicate with the kitchen staff before your arrival. For more about meals check out the COA dining web site.

I can find a cheaper flight if I arrive Saturday instead of Sunday, can I check in a day early?

Due to the rapid turnover of the residence halls each week, we do not allow early arrivals. Check the list of off-campus housing for suggestions on where to stay for one night.