Student News & Events

It is Fall Registration season!  We’re registering full steam ahead now that the end of August is upon us.  Call today or email us at info@pakmusic.org if you have a question.  Lots of information is available here on the website about programs, Music Together locations and schedules, and our teachers.  Kristjon Imperio, kristjon@pakmusic.org,  is the person to contact if you are interested in private lessons.  He can review schedule options available.

The Lefferts Family. Back Row, L to R: Esther Mintzer (Lefferts), Peter, Daniel, Ben, Claire and dad John. Front Row L to R: Jeffrey, Emily, Leah, Andrew, and mom Gail.

In May 2018, Andrew Lefferts performed in his final Pakachoag recital before heading off to music school in September.  While we celebrate and acknowledge all of our graduating seniors each year, this particular performance also marked the end of an era.  Eight siblings, all pianists, have been enrolled at Pakachoag Music School since 1996, a full 22 years.  Gail Lefferts, mom, asked if she could end our recital weekend on Sunday, May 20th by sharing some thoughts surrounding the impact of Pakachoag on her family.

Gail’s story is not the typical short 2018 web snippet, but we wanted to share in full.  Her story reminded us that our mission and promise to make Music for Life lives strong among students and families of the past, the present, and the future. 

We invite everyone to be part of our Pakachoag family, where we make Music for Life.  

A Generation of Pianists:

Twenty-two years ago on the suggestion of a neighbor, I called Pakachoag Community Music School to inquire about piano lessons.  I can still hear Sarah’s lovely English voice as she explained to me the workings of the school.  Within the week my three oldest children were taking piano lessons with Inna Muravnik, the teacher assigned to us.  At that time Pakachoag was located in a little church up the street from the Pakachoag Church where they have resided until this year.  The room was small and I vividly remember cramming into the space with a baby grand piano, Inna, two children seated in chairs, a third child on the piano bench, my three year old son playing quietly under the piano and my infant son sleeping in the corner in his car seat. That was our beginning at Pakachoag.

Shortly after, the school moved to the Pakachoag Church. Everyone had a little more room and as each of our eight children came of age s/he began his or her piano study. There was music in our home all day as each one took a turn to practice.  I was able to tell from a distance who was playing by what they were playing.  Even I took piano lessons for a year.  Thursday was piano day and we spent a good many hours here.

In addition to piano, the school offered us many other excellent moments for musical and personal growth. Throughout the years we had a few children who wanted to expand by adding violin, trumpet, guitar, voice or music theory to their study. Through their musical endeavors they acquired tools necessary to succeed not only in music but in life – skills like perseverance, diligence, and goal planning and execution.  They learned to enjoy success, to cope with disappointment and to view mistakes as learning opportunities.  These benefits now extend beyond Pakachoag to their everyday adult lives. Music also continues to be a source of personal enrichment.  Whether it’s a band of friends making music on Wednesday nights or an actor playing Mozart who has a better understanding of the character he plays or just a group of siblings playing with rhythms and tunes, their musical foundation plays a role.  It has been such an ongoing joy for me to notice that whenever an adult child is home, the visit always includes time at the piano.

My children have also learned that performing music is not just personally satisfying but is also a gift that enhances the lives of others.  Throughout our years at Pakachoag the school has offered our children chances to share their music with other musicians, with the elderly, with children and with the community – at nursing homes, Afternoon Tunes, Christmas events, First Night celebrations, and even performances in Mechanics Hall.  They have learned that music adds to the lives of both the performer and listener alike.

Pakachoag has gifted our family with a community of fellow musicians and friends. It was “chance” that paired us with Inna Muravnik, but our good fortune to have her as our piano instructor has blessed each member of our family.  Although she connected better with some of our children than others, she truly taught each child to appreciate music and to work hard for their goals.  Our lessons sometimes included anecdotes from Inna’s life that, though sometimes off topic, always broadened our view of culture and life.  Always willing  to help, Inna invited us to her home many times for extra attention if a child needed a bit more before an audition or performance.  Over twenty-two years our relationship with Inna developed beyond teacher and student to family friend.

We also cherish our relationship with Sarah who has supported us beyond the role of school director by taking an interest in each child and encouraging them in their individual musical endeavors.  She has offered them many opportunities to share their music with the community, helped and encouraged them with personal struggles, and assisted with the college application process.  She also was a friend to me with whom I enjoyed discussing all things musical…and not.

In addition to Inna and Sarah, we have come to know and be blessed by other faculty members like Janeen Baker who has taken an interest in our children even though they weren’t her students.  Always with a kind word of encouragement or helpful word of advice, Janeen took the time to reach out after every recital.  In addition to the Pakachoag faculty who touched our lives both musically and personally, our family has been enriched by many other families with whom we have not only shared music but also play dates and parties and family functions.  Pakachoag is truly a community music school not only because it brings music to the community but also because within it is a strong, loving community of families that support each other.

Andrew is our last child to study here at the music school and this spring brings us to the conclusion of our weekly treks to Pakachoag.   I am pleased that he had a chance to perform here at All Saints so that we can say we were part of the school in all three of its home locations.  I have only given highlights of the many blessings our family has enjoyed by being a part of the Pakachoag community. I’d like to thank Sarah, Inna, and the wonderful faculty and families of Pakachoag.   I am so glad that when I was simply looking for piano lessons all those years ago that I was led to this school which proved to be so much more than just a place to learn to play the piano.

Wednesday, June 13th at 7:00 pm we’ll be at Pakachoag Church hosting a studio guitar concert featuring the students of Jeff Dostal and Josh Goldman. We’ll have a few guest guitarists with us who are part of our outreach guitar classes at the Boys and Girls Club in Worcester.
This is a fun program that includes a little bit of everything – rock, pop, folk, classical.
Families, friends and guests welcome.

Saturday, May 19th at 2:00 and 4:00 pm

Sunday, May 20th at 2:00 and 4:00 pm

The music will play all weekend thanks to hard working Pakachoag students.  Admission is free.

We’ll have soloists and small string groups; vocalists, flute, pianists, violins, violas, guitars.  Twinkle variations through Beethoven and Bach.  Ages 6 through 18 years.

We’ll celebrate our graduates, present five and ten year milestones (of lessons) certificates, announce the Peggy Kelley Reinburg Award for Effort, Commitment & Attitude recipient for 2018, and play on the recently donated Mason and Hamlin piano (freshly tuned) – its first public Pakachoag performance; all at our new home at 10 Irving Street, Worcester; in the All Saints sanctuary.

Refreshments follow each program in the adjoining Huntington Hall.

Fifty-six students will play throughout the weekend, joining roughly 30 others who performed in our April spring recitals.

Many thanks to parents who are volunteering to assist with welcoming guests and manage receptions.

Pakachoag Music School presents
A Student Recital Honoring Veterans
Saturday, November 11th
2:00 pm
The Great Hall at Pakachoag Church
203 Pakachoag Street, Auburn, MA 01501

The school welcomes veterans and community friends to join School families, faculty and students for this concert. We’ll have a few special patriotic selections programmed, as well as our traditional student favorites featuring beginners through advancing music students.

Refreshments will follow the program.
Free.

Pakachoag special events are made possible in part with the support of Pakachoag Church through use of the Great Hall, and the Steinway concert grand piano.

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017

Pakachoag violinists will be playing at Mechanics Hall on Sunday, October 22nd during intermission for the Music Worcester Gil Shaham concert starting at 4:00 pm

Violin legend Gil Shaham will perform with pianist Akira Eguchi on a program featuring works by Kreisler, Prokofiev, Franck, Bach, and Saint-Saens.

We’re looking forward to hearing this wonderful violinist in concert; and our students are excited to share their own music in Washburn Hall while guests break for intermission.

Fall 2017 Music Together

Whether you have a brand new baby in the house (or grandchild) or a post-pre-school five year old, it is never too soon (or too late) to experience the joy that comes from music.

Enroll starting August 1st for our award winning Music Together program.
You can choose from five locations. Various classes and locations scheduled Monday to Saturday. Also Thursday afternoon.

Learn more here about Music Together at Pakachoag .
Hope to see you in September for Music, Together!

As we push toward year-end, we’re pleased to be including over 80 private lesson students in our May School-Wide Recitals.

We’ll have 6 sessions of performances.

  • Saturday, May 20th:  1:30, 3:00 and 4:30 on
  • Sunday, May 21st:   1:00, 2:30 and 4:00 pm

Congratulations to all of the students who have performed this spring – it can’t happen without practice!  (and good teachers 🙂 ).

Andrew Lefferts, of Oxford, will join Inna Muranik in a piano four-hands Brahms arrangement on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at 4:00 pm

Andrew is seventeen years old and is the seventh of eight children, all of whom have studied piano with Inna.   The families enrollment at Pakachoag has spanned more than 20 years making the Lefferts the School’s longest enrolled family.  Andrew has taken lessons with Inna since he was six years old.

Andrew writes:  “I have not only benefited from Inna’s technical instruction and constructive critiques, but especially love to learn by listening to her play. Most importantly, Inna has taught me that mistakes can be perceived as something to learn from, and nothing can be done without diligent daily work”.

Andrew is a member of the Worcester Children’s Chorus, and has participated for several years in theory classes at Pakachoag.  He writes his own music which has included a few submissions for video game competitions and computer performed orchestral pieces, as well as music for solo piano.

Last summer Andrew participated in the Lyra Music Festival at Smith College.  His end of festival performance of Schubert’s fourth Impromptu earned him a review noting “the most satisfying performance of the afternoon, with proper attention to the many dynamic changes in this beautiful piece.” (The Daily Hampshire Gazette, Mark Morford).

Andrew plans to take a gap year in 2017-2018 while preparing to pursue music as a major in college.