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Need a break from life? from COVID? from Netflix?  Enthusiastic Pakachoag Students are sharing their harmonies from home.  Roughly 12 students will be featured in our fourth streamed recital scheduled for

Students range in age from about 12 to 18 and represent the towns of Boylston, Shrewsbury, Sturbridge and Worcester.

Invite your friends and listen for the future!

Dear Music School Friends,

As a not-for-profit, Pakachoag Music School is called to fulfill our mission in a way that contributes to community. A number of emails have gone out in the last few days related to the current circumstances facing both our local community and the country as a whole. We would like to add briefly to that conversation as related to our mission.

Like so many of you, we at Pakachoag Music School are disturbed and upset by the murder of George Floyd. Injustice toward Black Americans continues today after decades of hurt and efforts to do better. We also understand that to put an end to the discrimination and victimization of our friends and neighbors of color, “systemic racism must be unveiled and dismantled.”

It is our desire that Pakachoag always be a place that is welcoming to all and where every voice can be valued and heard. We are working to listen and learn, as an organization and individually, from those who live with injustices.

If any within our community see a way for us to do better with our language and actions – we’re here to listen and learn. We stand together, as an organization, to create, through constructive action, a community, country, and world devoid of oppression and division.

May the music we make together bring us hope, inspire us to think deeply about how we can help create change, and be used as a tool for peace, understanding and kindness.

Sincerely,

Sarah Smongeski, Executive Director

Kallin Johnson, President of the Board

COVID restrictions getting to you? Feeling isolated or down? We’d like to invite you to hear the future!

Harmonies From Home will feature over 40 students of Pakachoag Music School in three streamed recitals. And, we’ll have an extra treat with selections by the Worcester Children’s Chorus.

We’re inviting everyone to join us (at home). Bring your tea (or a cocktail), your lunch or supper, invite a friend to join you remotely, and listen for the future.

Saturday, June 13th, 2020

  • 1:00 pm
  • 7:00 pm

Sunday, June 14, 2020

  • 5:00 pm

Each recital will feature roughly 15 students, and last 30 to 45 minutes (we think – information still being compiled at this time).

You do to need to be a facebook user to view the recitals.  When visiting Facebook, you can by-pass the pop up page asking you to join by looking toward bottom page and clicking ‘not now’ or ‘join later’.

Visit our Facebook Page at the designated times to join us.

At Pakachoag, we know that Music is for Life! Every skill learned, every hour of practice accompanies a music student through life, as they work to pursue their dreams in school and beyond.

We’ll be streaming via our Facebook page on Saturday, June 13 and Sunday, June 14. Each performance includes beginners to advancing students, aged 6 and up.   Join us for any one, two or all three of these events.

Harmonies from Home is our way of sticking together, finding inspiration, and sharing music with community, as we move through COVID-19 and beyond.

 

May & June 2020 Music Together /
Early Childhood Special

Whether you are a former student or new student, you can sign up for a free demo class for Music Together Online, ages birth to five years, between May 22 and June 13.  Please email info@pakmusic.org for details.  Please book 2 to 3 days ahead.  For Spring MT Schedules view our MT Calendar.

What Other Parents Are Saying

 What do You like the most about Spring Music Together Online?  “My daughter is 2 and loves seeing Miss Julie every week. Week 1 was tough keeping her engaged but once she got familiar with the songs, the following weeks were much better…  The props [recommended for use at home during class time] definitely draw her into the songs (teddy bear, sticks, scarves, etc…) so that’s been great. She loves the MT songs and participates almost the entire online class which is impressive for a two year old!”
– Anonymous Music Together Parent, MA Spring 2020

“I cannot thank you enough for pulling together such an impressive and inspiring online curriculum. We’ve been skeptical of distance-learning activities for our daughter P., as she’s 2.5 years old and doesn’t really grasp the concept yet, and she has not enjoyed some of the other online classes for her age group. However, last Sunday was our first Music Together class (via Zoom), and we loved it! Thank you again for what your community has done for our families during this unpredictable and unprecedented time.”   -Music Together Parent, CA

What to Expect:  Active & Interactive !

With Music Together® Online or one of our Summer Samplers Online, you’ll have access to the same high-quality music and movement curriculum loved by millions of families and teachers around the world—from home!

Like all our classes, Music Together Online is designed to teach the way young children learn: through play. During each online music class, our teacher will lead music activities for the whole family to sing, play, and jam along to and show you how to make everyday items like dish towels, pots, and stuffies into musical props. Even though your teacher is on the screen, each class has been designed as an active music-making experience for little ones and their grownups.

Classes are appropriate for children under 5, but the entire family is welcome (and encouraged!) to participate in the musical fun.


Online Lessons, Classes, Early Childhood

Summer Special for Lessons:  3 for the Price of 1

Pakachoag Music School now offers the opportunity to take music lessons and most classes online.

We have been very pleased at how well [my child’s] online piano lessons have been going and that she still has the opportunity to take good quality lessons in this time of social distancing. Thanks for giving us a way to keep music in our lives!”  Anonymous Parent Survey Response

We can’t stress how important music has been to our child and family’s spirits during this crisis. Thank you to the Pakachoag administration and teachers for their dedication. We love you!”  Jen from Charlton, MA

I cannot thank you enough for pulling together such an impressive and inspiring online curriculum. We’ve been skeptical of distance-learning activities for our daughter P., as she’s 2.5 years old and doesn’t really grasp the concept yet, and she has not enjoyed some of the other online classes for her age group. However, last Sunday was our first Music Together class (via Zoom), and we loved it! Thank you again for what your community has done for our families during this unpredictable and unprecedented time.  Music Together Parent

Summer 2020 Online Music Learning Specials

Private Music Lessons: 3 For The Price of 1; Save $80!

  • If you are new to lessons with Pakachoag, sign up between May 12 and June 25th and you can get 3 lessons for the price of 1.
  • For 30 minute lessons, that means you pay $40 and save $80.
  • Most Group Classes:  A $10 deposit will hold your space.

For more information…

Summer Lessons Early Childhood Other Summer Classes

Spring 2020 Music Together / Early Childhood Special

Whether you are a former student or new student, you can sign up for a free demo class for Music Together Online, ages birth to five years between May 13 and June 13.  Please email info@pakmusic.org for details.  Please book 2 to 3 days ahead.  For Spring MT Schedules view our MT Calendar.

How Online Music Learning Works

A harp student (L) works with faculty member Susan Howland (R on-screen).

Online Platforms Preferred:

  • Zoom (available as a free download; usable on all devices)
  • Skype or Face Time may also be available

90% of our private lesson students opted to continued lesson remotely in March.  We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from parents and students regarding the transition and experience.

About the Online Experience

I can’t think of any improvements. It has gone really well. And I have to admit, there are times when I really like that we don’t have to get in the car to rush to her lesson!
Anonymous Survey Response

 What do You like the most about Spring Music Together Online?  “My daughter is 2 and loves seeing Miss Julie every week. Week 1 was tough keeping her engaged but once she got familiar with the songs, the following weeks were much better…  The props [recommended for use at home during class time] definitely draw her into the songs (teddy bear, sticks, scarves, etc…) so that’s been great. She loves the MT songs and participates almost the entire online class which is impressive for a two year old!”
Anonymous Music Together Parent, Spring 2020

Do I need special equipment?

Usually no.  Depending on your age, background and level, we may recommend some additional items to support online learning.  This might include headphones or a stand to position your device optimally.  If you have internet access and a smart phone, we can help you get started.  A chromebook, other type of pad or laptop works a little better.  We can offer tech support around simple ways to improve internet connectivity if needed.

For our early childhood program, the screen is for mom or dad; or grandparent.  You will be the teacher/role model for your child, guided by our Pakachoag early childhood specialist.   Everyone sings, shakes things, jumps up and down, etc.  No experience or special skills needed!

When Can I start?

For summer programs, classes begin at different times.  This includes start dates in June, July and August.  For lessons, you can begin anytime.  Our summer session officially kicks off on June 15.  As soon as we can connect regarding schedule options and learn more about your needs, we can help you get registered and  started.

How Do I pay for Online Music Lessons or Classes?

We can set you up to pay online with credit card or you can mail in a check.  Additional information is available on the summer program pages and our summer registration overview page.
We offer financial aid for families with limited annual income, as funding permits.

If you have additional questions, please contact our registration team:

Can Music Help?

None of us at Pakachoag is licensed as a mental health care provider nor as a Music Therapist. Most of us are professional musicians (teaching artists) and/or educators. But we do know that for teens especially, anxiety can creep in – and sometimes it is hard for a young person to express what they are feeling.

For parents, it can be hard to understand what is happening. When parents occasionally confide with us, I am quick to share that anxiety or depression is much more common than we usually realize.

Sometimes, music lessons can help.  They offer a routine of daily practice, require focus and concentration, and bring a sense of accomplishment once a skill or piece is mastered.  Music can also offer an outlet for self-expression.  Sometimes the ability to express through music can happen quickly into the learning curve (depending on instrument and age); sometimes gradually, over time, as one becomes more adept.  We also know, through research, that engagement in the arts contributes to lifelong health and well-being.
The Mass. Cultural Council is currently working on a new grant program called CultureRX – specifically because care providers often write prescriptions for an arts activity when emotional support is needed. Research shows that engaging aging adults in the arts can also reduce health care costs.
We encourage you to consider whether music lessons or a class for a younger child could be a worthwhile investment at this time.  Depending on specific needs, we might recommend seeking out a music therapist who is trained to specifically work with those who have special learning needs or need therapeutic support.
At Pakachoag, we offer music lessons as a way of life.  Lessons require hard work, focus, sustained commitment, and daily practice.  If you or your child enjoy listening to music, learning to sing or to play an instrument can also bring happiness and satisfaction – not overnight, but over time.
For young children, birth to age five, we’re focused on providing a high quality foundation for all children to feel musical and to enjoy making music on day-by-day and weekly basis.  The skills learned through music and rhythm during the formative years of development transfer to skills needed for success in school and lead to greater success in learning to play an instrument once a child is school-aged.

Register online for our New Music Together Online program by no later than March 31st, AND we’ll deduct $25 off the usual $196 tuition.

Register one or more siblings, and we’ll waive the sibling fee up front.  We’ll just ask you to pay a $15 sibling per class fee (guaranteed to save you dollars), if/when we resume to in-person

A savings of up to $146 !!

Registering after March 31st?  You can still save (just not quite as much).

For Registrations after March 31st, 2020:  With classes moving to interactive online for the foreseeable future (we’ll resume some classes in-person if/when public schools resume), we have reduced the sibling tuition rate to $20 !  (Yes, that is $20 for the session, not just one week.)  Please include all children (birth through age 5) who will participate on your registration form, with name and date of birth.

For those classes that might resume in-person, we will pro-rate for any siblings based on the number of weeks remaining in the session as of our in-person resume date.  No additional fees apply to first child.  The pro-rate per class sibling fee is $15 (same as before), but we’ll cap that rate at $60 maximum.   Because of in-person class maximums, we may not be able to accommodate additional siblings at a later date, unless they appear on the registration form when registering.

Register Today!

March 14, 2020

  • Our Spring Session Music Together start date is delayed by two weeks.  We anticipate a start date of Saturday, April 4th.
  • Private music lessons will be on hold for the week of March 16th through March 21st.  Please prepare to Zoom starting March 23rd.  Watch for more information coming from Kristjon or Sarah.
  • Group classes:  Please watch for emails or check in with us at admin@pakmusic.org.
Dear Donors, Families and Friends.
I just wanted to be in touch to let you know that we have cancelled our March 21st Faculty concert. We hope to re-schedule at a later date.
We have been in communication with all enrolled students yesterday.
  • We are pausing all activities this coming week.
  • We have delayed the onset of our Spring Music Together Session by two weeks, with an anticipated start date of April 4th.
  • The office will be on an irregular schedule. We encourage emails. If you need to visit, please call ahead.
  • We continue to disinfect key surface areas at the school and piano keyboards between each lesson.
  • We have updated our Health Policy for Music Together classes where we also disinfect surfaces and all instruments being used after each class.
  • We’ll re-assess at the end of this week our plans for next week with regard to private lessons
  • We’re also asking private lesson parents to become familiar with Zoom (similar to Skype) as a back-up plan should remote teaching be needed. Our teachers will also be practicing zooming this week.
I admit that this morning I feel some anxiety about all that is swirling around us. Anita Walker, Executive Director of the Mass. Cultural Council said it best on Thursday:
…while we know that social isolation is prescribed as the best protective factor now, it is also true that the arts and culture are a powerful source of healing in these times of high stress and anxiety. We want to explore together alternative ways of delivering our essential services in the absence of the human touch and community that is so much a part of our work. …. In unprecedented times, creativity, and innovation lead. This is our superpower.”
This will be a disruptive time for all of us. Let’s keep making and listening to music – because we know Music is for Life! not just today and tomorrow.
As always, we thank you for your support.
Sincerely,
Sarah
Sarah Smongeski, Executive Director Kallin Johnson, President of the Board

Music Together MaracasAsk your child to draw what they are singing about on the”Stick Tune” printable posted below.

Then, share a snap with Music Together worldwide on Instagram (@musictogetherworldwide) or Facebook (@musictogether) and use the hashtag #MTStickTune.

Share with Pakachoag too @pakmusic.ma (instagram).  You’ll need to post on the MT links above to qualify for the gift certificate.

Make sure your post/profile is public so MT Worldwide can find it! Have fun making up your own verses to this Music Together classic.

One lucky family from among the MT worldwide community posting will win a $50 gift certificate to use toward their MT class tuition.

Post by no later than 3/31/2020

Sticks Drawing Page Register Online