Viola da Gamba

Viola da Gamba

Age: Adults

Cost: Fall or Spring Semester: 90-minute Classes & Consorts - $545 ($525 per semester + $20 registration fee). Private lessons: current private lesson rates apply.

Interested in viola da gamba and early music? Get started on this beautiful instrument easily with a rental instrument and a flexible curriculum that adapts to your interest and abilities. Instructor Jane Hershey, a respected member of the Viola da Gamba Society of New England, will help you craft the perfect combination of lessons and/or ensembles to fit your lifestyle.


Our viol consorts are well suited for you if you have a solid background in music but a limited amount of time you can commit to playing each week. If you have good musicianship skills (on the viol or another instrument) and are ready to dive in, the music we play in each consort offers just the right amount of challenge without being too demanding or overwhelming. Our continuing consorts are listed below, or we can create a new consort if there is enough interest.

Click here to ask about joining a consort.

Private Lessons

If you’re a beginner, don’t read music yet, or want to improve your ensemble skills before jumping right into a consort, we encourage you to start with private lessons first. Even a limited number of lessons can help you develop good technique, keep a steady rhythm, gain experience with more advanced repertoire, and hear how you fit into the bigger picture of an ensemble. Then test your new skills in an ensemble setting!

Click here to ask about private lessons.

How do I know which program is right for me?

Fill out our online inquiry form and we’ll have Jane reach out to help you design your own viola da gamba program! She can help you figure out whether an existing consort, a new consort, private lessons, or a combination of these is the best option for you. Depending on your interest, ability, and schedule, there is some flexibility with the length and frequency of private lessons.

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Instrument rentals

Powers maintains a unique collection of viols in all different sizes that are available to rent.

To rent instruments, please contact staff member Stephanie Mann at, who can help you fill out and sign a rental agreement form. Instruments may not leave our building without a signed rental agreement.

Rental periods and rates

Rentals are $40 per month. Invoices may be sent monthly, or up-front if you know how long you’d like to rent it for. Here are a few examples of how you might want to set up your rental:

  • $480 for full calendar year (September – August, or whichever 12 consecutive months you’d like!). If the instrument is needed for another year, it first must be returned to the office by August 15 so that the instrument can be checked out for any appropriate maintenance.
  • $200 for Fall Semester Rental from September – January
  • $200 for Spring Semester Rental from February – June
  • $120 for Summer Semester Rental from June – August
  • $120 for any consecutive 3-month rental

Please see this brief document on the history and care for these instruments.

Still have questions?