The object of these instructors will be to help you work at the piano in way that are rewarding for you, weather you’re an absolute beginner or an accomplished player. While the work level will be intensive, it will be tailored to your musical interests, and you’ll find the atmosphere relaxed and non-competitive.

Tuition Fees

Each program is planned to cover the span of five weekdays. Absolute beginners (no previous instruction) are urged to spend a minimum of two weeks in Program B. The programs can be combined and taken on consecutive days (including week-ends) if desired.

*New Program: Piano/One Hand, being offered throughout the summer, is designed not only to explore the vast literature already available, but also to PROVIDE music for each student’s particular wishes/needs(arranged by the instructor from classical and/or American Song Book sources), this program can provide the tools and impetus toward real progress for students challenged in this way.

Both Piano Duet and Two Pianos, 4 Hands will be offered throughout the summer; our instructors are well-versed in this repertoire and we have a large library of 4-hand music. Students may come with a partner or we’ll try to arrange one; if this doesn’t work out, your teacher will function as your partner.

All of the above programs also include “Piano Problems, Resources and Materials” a new hour-long group class, meeting three times weekly.

Program A $715Three 60-minute lessons per week; three hours practice daily.
Program B $715Five 45-minute lessons per week; two hours practice daily.
Program C$690Two 60-minute lessons per week; three hours practice daily.
Piano Duet $715Five 45-minute lessons per week; two hours practice daily.
2 Pianos/4 Hands $715Five 45-minute lessons per week; two hours practice daily.
Piano/1 Hand $715Five 45-minute lessons per week; two hours practice daily.
Piano D$4504 hours daily practice time only. No lessons.
Scheduled in your own private studio.
Piano E $71545-min private lesson daily; 2 hours practice. teaches a way of making your own arrangements of pop ballads.
Organ $715Five 45-minute private lessons. 2 hours daily practice.

Class Meetings

Usually 3 or 4 per week; two to attend concerts in Lubec, Machias or Eastport, one purely social and another where students who choose to do so may perform for each other.


We have many pianos: among them, 6′ and 7′ Steinway grands, a 7’4″ Yamaha, a 6’3″ Baldwin, a 5’10” Yamaha and a 5’7″ Chickering each in a private, sound-dampened studio. All are in excellent condition, and kept tuned to A440.


We can accommodate sixteen students per week. Practice and lesson time will be arranged to run consecutively (leaving time for other activities), extra or split sessions scheduled accordingly. It’s recommended that persons choosing more than two hours practice time have some experience with such a regimen.

A typical day might begin with your 9 AM Piano Problems, Resources and Materials Class; your lesson and practice time may be preceded or followed by (lobster for?) lunch at a restaurant on the water and a round of hiking, site-seeing, whale-watching or golfing. On Monday evenings we have a social, Tuesday and Wednesday evening we attend professional concerts and Friday is the student performance class where those who wish to perform for colleagues and friends may do so.

A Word from your Instructor

Charles Jones

Over the past years I have been totally inspired by the continued development of the adult students. It confirms that we never stop learning and growing.

John Newell

What do I enjoy most about Summerkeys? Everything! First, I love the opportunity to work with highly motivated students. I love the intensity. And then there is the variety: from adult “beginners,” to those who are returning to piano studies after a number of years, to those who have many years of piano studies. Some are interested in preparing for a performance; others in working on specific pieces, or exploring techniques such as keyboard harmony skills or improvisation. Every student is unique, and that is very stimulating for me. It makes no difference at what level a individual is at.

How do I work with SummerKeys students? Our first lesson is about getting to know where the student is at, and his or her objectives for the week (or two, or three in some cases!). It’s amazing how quickly we get focused and get to work. I do like to work on particular issues of keyboard technique that come up (something that many of our students haven’t much exposure to in the course of their normal studies during the year). Recognizing that there is only so much that one can do in one week, I make it a point to give each student two or three particular ideas or techniques that he or she can take back and work with over the year.

What do you do during the rest of the year? In September I have my own summer vacation. My wife and I live in Lubec, and thoroughly enjoy every season of the year in Down East Maine. I compose, teach piano and theory at Cobscook Community Learning Center, direct Quoddy Voices, a community chorus in Eastport and serve as music director at St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church in Machias; it’s a pretty busy life.

Bruce Potterton

When I started SummerKeys, my hope was to be able to continue each summer the stimulating work that occupies all my love and attention during the rest of the year: helping people to play the piano and understand music. I feel my task with each person is, first, to discover their goals at the instrument and then to determine how I might be of help in achieving them.

The particular joy and challenge I find here comes from the diversity of our student body: working on the beginning basics in one lesson, and perhaps some Chopin or Milhaud in the next.

Introduction to Summerkeys

Workshop Dates

  • June 13-17
  • June 20-24
  • June 27-July 1
  • July 4-8
  • July 11-15
  • July 18-22
  • July 25-29
  • August 1-5
  • August 8-12
  • August 15-19
  • August 22-26

Piano Faculty

Bruce Potterton

Bruce Potterton

Bruce Potterton teaches mainly adults at two music schools in New York City. He has […]

John Newell

John Newell

Pianist and composer, John Newell, was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. He attended Duke University, […]

Richard McIntyre

Richard McIntyre

Richard McIntyre earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education with a concentration in […]

Gregory Biss

Gregory Biss

Gregory Biss, Pianist and Composer was born in Illinois and educated chiefly in New England […]

Charles Jones

Charles Jones

Charles Jones, Pianist, is a graduate of the Juilliard School and the North Carolina School […]

SummerKeys Piano WorkShop

A Music Adventure in Lubec, Maine