Covid-19 Messages and Information

May 21, 2020

Russ Grazier gives an update about PMAC’s Summer 2020 Programs

April 20, 2020


Hello PMAC Community,
Below is an update on April Break, workshop week and Spring semester student performances.
  • During April Break week, April 27-May 2, PMAC will be closed for regular lessons and classes. However, many PMAC teaching artists are planning to teach during our April Break Week. Expect to hear directly from your instructor if your program will be in session during this week.
  • Music Workshop Week for lesson students (scheduled to take place during the week of May 25) has been canceled. We will be hosting lessons as per normal during that week. We are excited to offer several free workshops this spring, and hope you are able to participate. Announcements will be made via our email list, which you can join here if you are not already receiving our emails.
  • The staff and faculty are in discussions about our ensemble performances and student recitals scheduled for this May and June. An update will be sent out as soon as we have more details.

If you have any questions, please email me at any time at

Keep washing those hands,

Michelle Shoemaker, Director of Education

April 6, 2020

Message from CEO Russ Grazier

I would like to begin by sending well wishes to the entire PMAC and greater Seacoast community. We have experienced a wonderful outpouring of support and will need to continue to rely on the community’s generosity as we move through the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Thank you for being a part of the PMAC family.

As we begin our third week of remote instruction, I am happy to report that our teachers and students have done a wonderful job of navigating this transition. Most private music and art lessons and many of our music ensembles and art classes (with some exceptions) are meeting online. We will continue remote learning for the time being and our team is closely following recommendations from the CDC and WHO, as well as State and Federal guidance regarding moving forward and determining when to reopen our doors. At this time we do not have a specific date for re-opening our facility, but we will announce the date as soon as it is determined.

Our staff is currently developing re-opening plans for a variety of scenarios. Our goal is to ensure safety for our students, teachers, and their families. While we hope to be able to host summer programs in our building, we are relying on guidance from a variety of reliable sources to eventually make that determination.

If you have any specific questions about your program, or PMAC in general, please feel free to reach out directly to me at any time via email at We are here to help our families throughout this crisis and want to make sure that everyone in our community continues to have access to high quality music and art education opportunities.

Wishing you good health,

Russ Grazier, CEO

March 19, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did PMAC take the step to provide remote learning?

PMAC is following the NH state recommendations during this pandemic, including the closure of schools. Our goal is to provide continuity of learning whenever possible. Remote music and art learning, although new for our school, is something that has been in place at other schools for some time. We are optimistic that this way of learning will provide connection, creativity, and joy for our students, until we can return to our in-person learning environment at PMAC on Islington St.

What platform will teachers be using for remote learning?

The majority of our teachers are choosing Cisco’s WebEx Meetings. There may be a few teachers using other platforms such as Skype or Zoom. We appreciate your flexibility in using the platform your teacher has chosen, as it is the platform they have taken training for or one in which they already have familiarity. For some general tips for online lessons, review this blog post written by PMAC Director of Education, Michelle Shoemaker.

What if I have questions about my online lessons and/or classes?

Please email COO Katie Grazier at and a member of our Admissions team will assist you.

What PMAC programming is on hiatus?

  • Art Classes – on hiatus until further notice
  • Music For Little Mozarts – on hiatus until further notice
  • Youth Music Ensembles – on hiatus until further notice
  • Adult Music Ensembles – most are on hiatus until further notice. New Horizons Band and Brewery Lane Big Band will be meeting online.
  • All drop-in activities – on hiatus until further notice

What about PMAC events?

For information about PMAC events, including Spring Gala for the Arts, please refer to the end of Russ Grazier’s letter from March 14 (below).

March 14, 2020


Message from CEO Russ Grazier & COO Katie Grazier

Dear PMAC students and families,

In light of Governor Sununu’s emergency declaration and the actions of many organizations in our proximity, including the Portsmouth school district, we have made the decision to temporarily transition all onsite lessons and some classes to a remote learning environment. As news of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to evolve, we are taking these steps to help ensure the health and safety of our students, families, faculty, and staff. We didn’t arrive at this decision easily, but at this time our board of directors, staff, and faculty believe these actions are in the best interest of our community.

There will be no lessons, classes, or ensembles the week of March 16. We will use this time to send detailed information to every student with information and instructions on how remote lessons and classes will work. We will also be training faculty and setting up remote-learning classrooms at PMAC. All lessons and classes that are scheduled for the week of March 16 will be made up at a future date, either online or in person. We encourage all students to continue practicing their music and art during this unexpected week off!

Remote instruction will begin the week of March 23. We are approaching this situation week to week and are prepared to offer remote learning as long as needed.

What does this transition mean for you?

Private lesson students (music and art) – The PMAC office and your lesson teacher will reach out to you directly this coming week to communicate about the transition to online instruction. We know remote lessons will be new for many of you, and we ask for your cooperation and patience as you and your teacher work together to set up and test this new learning environment. If you do not have the technology needed, we are exploring an option for you. More details will be provided in an email you will receive in the coming days.

Youth and Adult Art Class Students – Art classes will be on hiatus until further notice. When PMAC reopens, the current session of art classes will resume and all missed classes will be made up. We are working with some art teachers to explore possible remote learning opportunities and will be in touch with families as we implement these offerings.

Music for Little Mozarts – Music for Little Mozarts will be on hiatus until further notice. When PMAC reopens, the current session will resume and all missed classes will be made up.

Teen Songwriters in the Round – We will be working with faculty advisor Jim Dozet to set up weekly online meetings of this group. We will send everyone specific information in the coming week.

Youth Music Ensembles – Rock Bands, Saturday Teen Jazz, Sandpipers Youth Chorus, and Youth Chamber Strings will all be on hiatus. Rehearsals will resume when we reopen and all missed rehearsals will be made up. There will likely be changes to the year end concert schedule. We know this will cause challenges for many families. We thank you for your understanding and will work with all families to try and create the best possible situation when we return in the near future.

Adult Music Ensembles – All weekly adult music ensembles will be on hiatus. Rehearsals will resume when we reopen and all missed rehearsals will be made up. Some instructors are working on remote learning opportunities for their ensembles. In the event remote classes for your ensemble are offered, the PMAC office and your instructor will be in touch with instructions on how to participate.

Ukulele Circle Jam at Stoneface Brewery, Thursday Noontime Drum Circle, and Youth Open Studio – weekly meetings will be on hiatus until further notice.

For regular status updates, please check our website. Beginning Monday, March 16 we will be regularly updating a page devoted to this temporary closure. That webpage will be accessible from a banner at the top of our homepage at

In addition to lessons, classes, and ensembles, please note the following changes:

  • Saturday, March 14: Jazz Night concerts have been postponed and will be rescheduled for a later date.
  • Friday, March 27: The artist reception for the Kristen Breiseth exhibit will be postponed to a later date.
  • Sunday, March 29: The West End Master Series lecture by UNH professor Michael Cardinali will be postponed to a later date.
  • Friday, April 3: PMAC’s Spring Gala for the Arts gala event will no longer take place at the AC Hotel as planned. Our event committee and board of directors are working on other options (including potentially a virtual event that can be experienced from the comfort of your home). Please keep the date open and stay tuned for more information. During this challenging time, your support of PMAC is more important than ever.
  • Sunday, April 5: The Guitar Sunday Concert at the Portsmouth Public Library featuring South Korean guitarist Bokyung Byun has been cancelled.

We will be making decisions about all other events as we get closer to the scheduled dates.

Should you have any questions or concerns that are not answered or addressed above, please email us at or and we will do our very best to respond in a timely manner.

Thank you for your continued participation and support. Our staff, faculty, and board of directors have been hard at work planning for this scenario and we appreciate your support and patience during this unprecedented situation. We look forward to reopening our doors to the public in the near future.

Wishing you good health. May music and art bring you peace of mind at this challenging moment in time.


Russ and Katie Grazier
Portsmouth Music and Arts Center

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