Student News & Events

Pakachoag Music School is pleased to announce that two students have been selected for the 2021 Reinburg Award for Effort, Commitment and Attitude:  Mai Caslowitz, voice student, of Sturbridge and Ksheeraja Ramanujum, violin student, from Shrewsbury.

About Mai Caslowitz of Sturbridge

Mai Caslowitz, from Sturbridge, is a senior at Tantasqua High School.  Mai has been enrolled at Pakachoag for over 10 years, first starting at age two! Mai began her musical journey with Pakachoag in 2005 as a participant, with mom, in the School’s early childhood Music Together program.  Mai later enrolled in the School’s Suzuki Program as a violin student, and in 2018 narrowed her focus to private vocal studies.

Mai has excelled during her music studies, most notably being selected for the 2021 All Eastern Music Festival Chorus which draws vocalists from across the northeastern US.

Mai’s private voice teacher, Pakachoag faculty member Silvia Irving, formerly a professional vocalist with Boston’s Handel & Haydn Society, writes:  “These four years with Mai have been an inspirational journey with a blossoming young artist. From the beginning she has been an exceptionally self-motivated student, always being open to learn, explore and share new ideas and literature. Mai’s consistent focus and effort has allowed her to gain richness and flexibility in her vocal expression and to sing an impressive array of songs from classical to music theater.”

Mai will enter Ryder University in the fall pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre.

About Ksheeraja Ramanujam of Shrewsbury

Ksheeraja Ramanujam, of Shrewsbury, the second recipient of this year’s Reinburg Award, studies violin at Pakachoag with Amy Matherly.  She has been enrolled for seven years and is currently completing her junior year at Shrewsbury High School where she plays in the school orchestra.

Teacher Amy Matherly comments, “Ksheeraja loves playing the violin and views it as a pleasure to be enjoyed. She listens to music with interest and sets goals for herself. A dedicated and enthusiastic student, she practices thoughtfully and comes to her lessons well prepared. I am pleased that she has received this award!”

In addition to her activities at Pakachoag, Ksheeraja participates in the Shrewsbury High School Orchestra and studies the Carnatic style of classical Indian violin at the Anubhava School of Music. She was also accepted into the 2021 MMEA Senior Orchestra.

Ksheeraja is interested in biochemistry and plans to pursue a career in that field.  She plans to continue playing the violin in college and would like to set up a multi-instrument fusion club where people from different backgrounds and cultures can come together to learn from each other and enjoy music.


About the Peggy Kelley Reinburg Award

The Peggy Kelley Reinburg Award for Effort, Commitment and Attitude, named after the School’s second director who strove to instill an appreciation for excellence among all School students, is awarded annually, each spring.  With the pandemic closures in Spring 2020, the School did not present an award last year and is thus happy to be able to acknowledge two very deserving students this spring of 2021.

Prior recipients of the PKR award, which dates back to 1992, include students who have gone on to excel in the sciences, law enforcement,  engineering, aviation, education (both k-12 and higher education), social work and professional careers in music performance, music education, and musical theater.

Harmonies From Home

As we wrap up the 2020-2021 pandemic School Year, here in office and families at home have had the pleasure of observing the progress of a number of students who chose, with teacher support, to submit videos for year-end performance classes.

Monthly performance classes (less formal than recitals) are a staple of the School’s private lesson program.  Teachers help students set goals and worith with them to polish special pieces so they are ready for public performance.

Congratulations to the over 50 students who participated in remote performance classes during the course of the current year.

Here, we present three classes.  Each features students of varying ages, instruments and levels.  The focus is on understanding how to present on-stage/in public.  ‘Polish’ is always our keyword for student performances, never ‘perfection’.

Many thanks to our skilled faculty who have invested effort in preparing students for performance; and Kristjon Imperio, Director of Programs & Outreach, whose tech savvy is bringing us together.

June Class No. 1

June Class No. 2

June Class No. 3

We encourage you to visit Pakachoag on YouTube AND click ‘subscribe’.

You can find a full array of videos, from special events to students in performance over many years, to early childhood Music Together class introductions.



 

 

 

Sign-Up is now closed, as of Tuesday, January 5th, 2:30 pm.

Thank you to all who signed up! We’re excited to see you tomorrow.  Watch for follow up email coming from the office.

If you are interested in signing up for a future demo, please email info@pakmusic.org.  Thank you!

  • Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at 10:00 am with Linnea Lyerly
  • For children birth through age 4.  Siblings welcome.
  • Submit the Drop-In form below to hold your space.  Space limited.  First come/first served.

Did you know that all children are musical?

Have you ever wondered what you can do to nurture the musical growth of your child, regardless of your own musical ability?

Experience Music Together® and find out how important–and how much fun–your role can be!

  • You’re the role model!  That means screen time is for parent/caregiver.
    You follow the teacher; your child or baby follows you!
  • For parents of babies:
    Learn how to nurture and grow your babies inner musician.
  • Toddlers and pre-schoolers with caregiver learn through play.
  • Pre-K and K children are honing skills for music success.
  • Our classes are active and interactive

Come ready to bounce, jump, dance and sing.  No special skills required – just your enthusiasm.

You’ll be amazed at the response of even the youngest children to this informal, developmentally appropriate and thoroughly researched approach to music.

Our Music Together classes build on your child’s natural enthusiasm for music and movement.

This free drop in class (like our Winter Session classes) is offered via Zoom.  Please complete and submit the form below at least 24 hours in advance so we can send you a zoom link for your.  We’ll admit you via the remote waiting room which helps us ensure we’re safe for those participating.

Meet Connor, This Month’s Student Spotlight

Connor, Age 14, from Auburn
Two Year Piano Student of Debby Sedgwick

Connor Dion, our October Student Spotlight, is a freshman in high school who loves playing the piano. His biggest musical inspiration is Will Wood whom Connor feels “has an amazing talent and personality”.  Thanks to the Pakachoag Connect program, Connor is continuing to enjoy taking piano lessons remotely during the pandemic with his Pakachoag piano teacher Debby Sedgwick.

Connor’s mom feels that the school and his teacher have made it possible for Connor to pursue his passion and the transition to online lessons was very easy.   She has been able to observe Connor learning a couple of songs in a very short amount of time. His teacher Debby eases him during his online lessons while also not making it boring.

Connor is very proud of his performance this past summer 2020. He can continue to create such memorable performances this year too thanks to Pakachoag’s unique online performance programs. Pakachoag continues to think about student needs and strives to create a well rounded musical program for all its students during this pandemic.

Connor’s teacher, Debby Sedgwick, shares, “I always enjoy Connor’s  lessons.  He is a quick learner, eager to try out new pieces on his own.”

In the words of Connor, “Even when it’s hard or stressful, don’t give up. It goes a long way.”



We’re offering two special workshops, remotely, this Fall of 2020.

  • For string players, ‘Practice Strategies’

  • For instrumentalists and vocalists, ‘How to Record Professionally’

Practice Strategies

This four week online workshop is designed specifically for string players aged 13 through high school.

Topics include:

  • Get Inspired!
  • The science of habit formation (do’s and don’ts)
  • What to practice
  • Making the best use of your time – How to practice effectively
Details

This class is part of the Pakachoag Connect online learning Program.

How to Record Professionally

This four week online workshop Recording Professionally at Home is designed for students in grades 8 to 12 who are playing or singing music from the traditional classical, folk or jazz repertoire.

Details

Anyone, living anywhere, can learn to play online with Pakachoag Music School.

Brian Perry has been able to continue his private lessons this Fall of 2020 thanks to Pakachoag Music School’s quick adaptation to online lessons. Now in his retirement, Mr. Perry practices daily because he knows “learning to play the violin well takes time, in fact, a lifetime.”  Along with learning violin, Mr. Perry also volunteers his time serving as a board member for the Music School.

Mr. Perry is inspired by American Folk Violinist Hanneke Cassel, telling us that he “wants to play like [her].”  We are inspired by Mr. Perry’s dedication to his music and his community, as he strives “to play Irish and Scottish Fiddle Music well enough for people to dance to my tunes.” Reminiscing on playing live in our recitals, Mr. Perry says the applause and encouragement are “the proudest, happiest feeling.”

We have a diverse student body at Pakachoag Music School, and we are grateful that Mr. Perry brings his unique background to our music community.  Now that we are offering remote lessons, Mr. Perry excitedly says “anyone, living anywhere, can learn to play on-line with Pakachoag Music School.”

One final piece of advice from Mr. Perry: “I suggest adults who are approaching retirement age or are already retired ask yourself ‘what can I do for one hour every day that is fun and stimulating?’  It’s music! There are so many cognitive, social, and personal benefits of playing a musical instrument I can’t describe them all here.”

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

Direct to YouTube

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!

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.

 

Pre-Schooler enjoys Music TogetherDo you have a baby, toddler or pre-schooler?  Come check out our Music Together program.  We’re offering a free demo class for families new to Pakachoag on

  • Saturday, March 7, 2020
  • at 10:30 am
  • at Emanuel Lutheran Worcester / Auburn.

Open slots are limited to 12 children so please email info@pakmusic.org to reserve your space.

Our teacher for this class is Brittany Stockwell.

Birth to age five are the formative developmental years for brain development and so much more.  Music Together classes develop skills for

  • language and literacy
  • fine and gross motor development
  • memory
  • pitch and rhythm
  • socializing

and so much more.

And did you know:  Music making is the ONLY activity which engages and lights up the full brain.  That is in part why Music Together is used around the world and why so many parents and grandparents enroll their children every session and every year during the formative birth to age five window.

Don’t forget to reserve your space.  Email info@pakmusic.org.

Join us on Friday, April 3rd at 7:15 pm in the 2nd floor Vinton Hall for an Honors Masterclass. Three select students – violinist, pianist and vocalist – will be coached on their latest pieces with a focus on musicianship, expression and phrasing.
Following the roughly 40 minute coaching session, we’ll host a performance for coached students joined by additional faculty-nominated students.
Our focus is on acknowledging students who have been taking lessons over several years, who are building performance skills through regular participation in the performance program, and who are beginning to develop skills around the more complex issues of interpretation and phrasing.

Reserve Your Space