School News

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).

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.

 


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:

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

Happy New Year 2020!

If you are new to Pakachoag Music School and register during January, you can save $10 off a Music Together registration, or we’ll waive the registration fee for Private Lessons.   Let us know you saw our January Save Ad when registering.

We’re registering for 10 different Music Together classes, offered Mondays to Saturdays.  Private Lessons:  Call or email to ask us about schedules.

Music Safari Keyboard, K-1, is starting a new session late January.  Please email info@pakmusic.org today for details.

 

Through the Music Together partnership with edWeb.net, classroom teachers can access high-quality professional development opportunities on a roughly every-other-month basis.

November’s EdWeb Offering

Going Beyond the ABC Song: Music that Naturally Supports Children’s Language Development
Wednesday, November 6, 2019 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EST

Michelle Jamail, Early Childhood Music Specialist and Music Together Teacher, Bluebonnet Montessori School of Lakeway

During this engaging edWebinar, Michelle will explore how and why the content and process of developmentally appropriate music activities can support young children’s language and literacy skill development. She’ll demonstrate how easy it is to use music to naturally support important areas of language learning, including: phonological awareness, vocabulary development, print awareness, active listening skills, and creative storytelling- regardless of your music background. Recent research findings linking music and language learning will also be reviewed.

Participants will be able to use the knowledge they gain in this edWebinar to more intentionally use music in their day-to-day work with toddlers and preschoolers, and even infants. In addition to simply playing music in the background, participants will better understand how actively singing and creating variations of a song can support young children’s language development. Participants will also understand that a range of songs can support this development, even songs without words. They will feel more comfortable in their abilities to use music in their work, and be able to better communicate to other caregivers and parents the significant role that music-making can play in a child’s language development in these important early years.

This edWebinar will be of particular benefit to PreK through elementary school teachers. There will be time to have your questions answered at the end of the presentation.

Register Here


Joins us this fall for guitar lessons.  We teach students of all ages, from 7 years to 70 plus.  Our teachers are flexible and versed in all styles – acoustic, electric, folk, classical.

This week, we’re registering for lessons with Michael Stubblefield on Thursdays at our central home in Worcester.

For more information about schedule options, please email our Program Director, Kristjon Imperio, at 508-791-8159 or email Kristjon@pakmusic.org.

We offer a few different payment plan options, including a monthly option of $145 after initial deposit.  You can find information regarding tuition and pay plans here.

Please call or email today for more information if interested.

Chris Wychorski joins Pakachoag Music School this week of July 15 in the position of Registrar/Office Manager.

Chris holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from UMass Amherst that she achieved after an earlier career in office administration in the private and governmental sectors.

After graduating, Chris went on to work exclusively with not-for-profit organizations including Community Involved with Sustaining Agriculture, Federation of Mass Farmer’s Markets, Heifer International’s Overlook Farm and Habitat for Humanity.  Over the last 20 years she has held the roles of donor relations manager, scheduling coordinator, program manager, farmer’s market operations manager and program assistant. She has scheduled and managed everything from day camps and multiple overnight youth trips to donation truck routes – always enjoying the ride.

Chris also works with the Worcester Children’s Chorus, where her daughter has thrived for the last 7 years.  She hopes to help the two organizations strengthen their Partners in Music bond.  She resides in Paxton with her husband and daughter.

By September (probably sometime mid/late August also), Chris will be on hand from 1 to 6pm Monday to Friday.  Chris joins the School as part of an office adjustment around schedules in connection with our new home in Worcester.