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Pakachoag Music School is pleased to announce that student violinist Seth Boudreau of Douglas has been selected for the 2022 Reinburg Award for Effort, Commitment and Attitude.

About Seth Boudreau of Douglas

Seth Boudreau PKR 2022 RecipientSeth Boudreau, from Douglas, is a high school senior at Saint Paul Diocesan High School.  Seth began his musical journey with Pakachoag in 2008 at the age of 3, participating in the School’s early childhood Music Together program.  At age 5, he enrolled in the School’s Suzuki Program as a violin student, and has been an active member of Pakachoag’s fiddle group the last 10 years.

Seth excelled during his music studies.  In addition to being the strings section leader for his high school orchestra, he has participated at First Night Worcester venues, Christmas by Candlelight at Old Sturbridge Village, and has regularly performed at his school’s masses and theatrical productions.  Seth has and continues to present music at St. Joseph Basilica masses and concerts in Webster, MA.

Seth’s private violin teacher, Pakachoag faculty member Amy Matherly, who also serves as the School’s Suzuki Coordinator, writes:  “Seth loves music, works hard at his instrument, shows leadership as a member of several ensembles, and generously shares his talents with others.  I am very pleased that his dedication and efforts are being recognized with this award.”

Seth entered Worcester State University this fall pursuing a major in computer science and a minor in 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.

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.

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.

Sophia from Sutton, Voice and Guitar


This month’s student spotlight is Sophia Maloney.  Sophia takes voice lessons with Silvia Irving and guitar lessons with Jeff Dostal.

What Does Sophia Particularly Like about Lessons?

The thing that excites Sophia the most about her lessons is learning to play and sing the songs that she loves. Combining her guitar and voice skills she has acquired over the years, Sophia says it has been fun to learn songs by the many different artists she enjoys, from indie rock to musical theatre!

How Have you Grown with Music?

Sophie prepares to sing at a December 2014 performance class. Year 3 of lessons.

Sophia’s mom says, “Sophia has grown tremendously.”  During her first lessons, Sophia remembers feeling a bit overwhelmed, but also felt comfortable to ask questions and to try her best.   When she was in middle school, Sophie says “it felt like a pain” to practice.  More recently, as a high school student, through her perseverance, Sophie has developed a love and passion for music, and is consistently self-motivated, practicing almost every day now for a number of years.

On Remote Lessons During COVID…

In 2020, Sophie continued her musical education through remote lessons. One of her most memorable remote lessons was with her guitar teacher Jeff:  “Jeff and I were both trying to play a song together that I had brought in. We were able to time it out in a way that we were playing a song at the same time going around the lag on zoom. Although it was difficult it worked in the end!”

Sophie looks forward to moving back to in-person lessons.  She says online classes have their benefits, like not having to drive, but “nothing compares to being able to make music with someone in person”, and we couldn’t agree more, Sophie!

Is there anything you have learned in your lessons that helps you in other situations?

Student Recital 2019

One outstanding point that Sophie makes is that “a big part of music is advocating for yourself and and sharing your thoughts, and that has absolutely helped me to speak my mind in group settings”.

As of spring 2021, Sophie has been enrolled for 10 years!  Becoming a musician doesn’t happen overnight.  Along the way – no matter whether year 1 or year 10 – the lessons we learn last for life.  What a thrill that Sophie has been doing this long enough to be able to learn some of the more challenging lessons that transfer from music to other settings.  Congratulations Sophie!

Hearty congratulations to Pakachoag violin students Mia and Kamden, of Shrewsbury.  Following COVID-19 shut-downs in mid-March, and as the summer arrived, Mia and Kamden decided they would challenge their “musical selves”.  They committed, together, to complete 100 consecutive days of practice.

Mia practices while camping

Mia practices while camping.

The 100 days spanned most of the summer (a little over 14 weeks).   Teacher Amy Matherly reports:  “Stories of their determination include remembering that they hadn’t practiced yet after putting their head down on their pillow at night and dragging themselves up to practice before the clock struck 12.  They also insisted on bringing their violins on camping trips.”

Mom writes, “They started in mid June. Everyday they picked a piece they’d like to either review or sight read on top of the regular practices. We then recorded the name of the pieces on the spreadsheet. Kamden went the extra mile by recording a short video of each piece, each day and posted on his Instagram account. We’re very proud of their accomplishments! ”

Both Mia and Kamden will perform at the School’s first official event of the new school year:  The annual Suzuki Program Book Review recital on October 6th.   Amy notes, “We look forward to hearing the results!”.  Me too!

Well done Mia and Kamden.  Challenging ourselves, without external twisting of arms, is a great way to learn and excel.

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.

Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19

2:00 pm and 4:00 pm

Pakachoag Music School
The Sanctuary at All Saints
10 Irving Street, Worcester  01609

60 students will play throughout the weekend in four different recitals. All ages, all levels from all around Central Mass. This is our end of year celebration recognizing hard work and growth.

Each program will last roughly one hour.  We’ll also be acknowledging five and ten year milestones; and graduates.

Recitals are generally best suited for children aged 8 and up (but depends a bit on each child’s comfort in sitting and listening).

Parking available in back lot at All Saints, at WPS Durkin Admin Building next door on Irving Street, as well as on-street. If you have a disability, please call ahead to review logistics.

Pakachoag Music School is excited to announce its relocation into the heart of the city.  We’ve moved our suburban headquarters from Auburn to Worcester, to the heart of the burgeoning cultural district. We are now more centrally located for all of Greater Worcester.

The move completes a six-month transition that began in January 2018.

With new studios, new offices and access to the church halls within All Saints, the School is ready for a new future.

Read about our move here:  Music School Moves Into Worcester

An open house is planned for Saturday, September 29th.  Details on the open house and a schedule of events is posted here.

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.

 

 

A BIG HUGE Thank YOU!

to all our friends and supporters for votbaystatebestlogo-7bd12fcding Pakachoag Music School:

BayStateParent magazine’s Best Music School (for 2016).

We’re thrilled to receive this acknowledgement; and also extend thanks to the entire Pakachoag Faculty for working hard to always provide the best in quality music education and enrichment.  With your support, we will continue to make Music for Life!