GUILFORD, Maine — A new strings music program is being offered in SAD 4 schools through the volunteer efforts of Steve Maines of Abbot.

Maines is concentrating mainly on violin, or fiddle, classes and is targeting third-grade pupils, but he said this week he also is working with interested middle and high school students.

“I’ve got three or four friends around the state who have set up a program like this, and I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to do?’” Maines said. He hopes to pattern it after the very successful program that Chris Prickett operates in Dexter schools.

To date, eight students have signed up for the program, which is offered every Tuesday and Thursday during breaks between classes.

Playing any type of musical instrument helps all aspects of life, Maines said. “It helps with body coordination. Especially when you’re using violins, you have to use both hands as once. You have to use both your left and right brain.”

Maines said he invested some of his funds and the HUGS group donated $300 for the effort. Also on board are the Bluegrass Association of Maine, which has donated the use of three violins; Harry Richter of Waterville, a violin maker who has offered to restore donated violins; Jason Carey of the Kennebec Conservatory in Augusta, who is selling violins at cost for the program; and Susan Ramsey, a violin teacher of Dover-Foxcroft, who is guiding Maines on teaching.