Maine Academy of Modern Music finds new Portland home

  • Mail this page!
  • Delicious
  • 0

PORTLAND — For those about to rock, salute your new home.

The Maine Academy of Modern Music, a nonprofit independent music school for students of all ages and abilities, will be moving to a new home at 125 Presumpscot St. on Aug. 1.

Jeff Shaw, MAMM’s executive director and founder, said the move is the culmination of several years’ worth of searching, but also a matter of the right place appearing at the right time.

Until Shaw and MAMM’s board of directors settled on the 1901 Building at the Roundhouse Complex, they had never been able to have all their students under one roof.

“A lot of our students don’t even get to see each other,” Shaw said, adding the organization has been renting space throughout Portland, including a room in a building at Woodford’s Corner, at the Breakwater School, and at the Williston-Immanuel United Church. He said it also rents space outside Portland, at Saco Middle School.

The new facility is a two-story brick building on the same campus as the Bureau of Motor Vehicles office. The first floor has four rooms for band practices and lessons, and Shaw’s office, while upstairs there is a large space which can be used not only for bands, but other functions.

“My goal is to the fill the building 24/7,” Shaw said, adding that things like a yoga class and open-mic nights could fill the function space when MAMM isn’t operating. “We’re looking for partners to help. We’re looking for this to be a hub for the community.”

Shaw said the building’s proximity to downtown Portland and the suburbs, and easy access to Interstate 295, will make MAMM “much more visible.”‘

Shaw said the academy will begin moving in on Aug. 1, and the organization’s three summer camps, the first of which begins on Aug. 10, will take place at the new facility. He said a soft opening “to work out all the kinks” will be ready for the school year in September. A grand opening is planned on Sept. 19, which is Playing for a Change Day, a worldwide event where musicians perform to bring music into the lives of young people.

MAMM has most of the music and band equipment it needs, but is still in need of things like furniture and refrigerator, he said.

MAMM opened in the fall of 2007, and last year served 750 students.

“We were very intentional in taking our time to get to this point,” Shaw said. “But the stars aligned and here we are.”

Colin Ellis can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or Follow him on Twitter: @colinoellis.

Sidebar Elements

Jeff Shaw, executive director and founder of the Maine Academy of Modern Music, in the ogranization’s new home on Presumpscot Street in Portland.

Maine Academy of Modern Music will soon occupy the 1901 Building at the Roundhouse Complex, 125 Presumpscot St., Portland.

Reporter covering the Portland Public School District as well as the town of Falmouth for The Forecaster. Can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or