A Culture of Learning

At the Acadia School of Traditional Music and Arts, our highest priority is to provide world-class educational programs in traditional music, arts and culture. All ages — children, teens, families, adults and seniors — will find a wide range of learning opportunities in our year-round programs. From specialty workshops, school programs, dances and twice-monthly jam sessions to the intensive classes of the week-long summer Acadia Trad Festival, we offer something for everyone.



Classes are intensive courses of study, usually progressive across several days or weeks, and taught by some of the world’s best teachers in traditional music and arts. The most intensive classes are held during the Acadia Trad Festival, where registered students spend a minimum of 4 hours per day studying within one of 15 major areas of focus. We hope to add more classes at other times of year in the future. Please email us at info@acadiatradschool.com if you have ideas for how we can expand this program.


Workshops are held year-round, with more than 150 unique offerings during the Acadia Trad Festival alone! Workshops are typically short (a few hours), self-contained units and are offered in a wide variety of topics. With a low cost to attend, workshops are a great way to refine your skills, learn a new instrument or technique, or expand your musical horizons. Many workshops are available to beginners — check listings for details.


Most traditional music stems from the dance, and there are so many genres of dance within traditional culture! Dances are fun community events that offer opportunities for participants at all levels. Dances are typically taught at the beginning of each set by a professional caller, so beginners are very welcome. You do not need to bring a partner. Dances are also a great way for instrumentalists to learn or practice tunes, and to learn how music supports the dancers. Three community dances will be held during the Acadia Trad Festival and monthly dances are held year-round by Downeast Friends of the Folk Arts.

School Programs

Traditional music and culture is passed down from one generation to another, usually through personal teaching and learning by ear. The Acadia Trad School is passionate about engaging young students, and has partnered with elementary and middle schools to offer exposure to these genres as part of their music programs. If you are a parent, student or teacher who would like to see a traditional music or dance program offered in your local school, please contact us.