Express Ourselves!

With Boston’s Ayla Brown! and Pakachoag Music School

A Guest / Faculty Special Event for Grades 2 to 5 Ayla Brown Singer Songwriter

Sponsored by AllWays Health Partners.  Your Health is Everything To Us

UPDATE:  Friday, June 10th:  We have just three spaces still available for this workshop.  Can’t come but interested?  Please check out our Summer Songwriting Class.

Singer, songwriter, morning show co-host at Country 102.5, Ayla Brown is coming to visit!

You’re invited to join our own Brenda Lau, winner of Panama’s Viva la Musica 2010, and Ayla Brown, 2006 semi-finalist with American Idol, for an exciting hour of singing, songwriting and sharing.

Express Ourselves will offer an hour of uplifting music, tips on how to create your own song, time for questions with Ayla and Brenda, and a taste of some of what you can learn if you sign on for Pakachoag’s Express Yourself summer songwriting class for ages 8 to 10.

What:  Express Ourselves Songwriting Sampler
When: Monday, June 13
Time:  5:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Where: Pakachoag Music at 10 Irving Street
The 2nd floor Vinton Hall

Brenda Lau, Singer / Songwriter

Ages:  Recommended for students in or entering grades 2 to 5, with parent or caregiver.

Space is limited.   Registration open until all seats taken.  Due to rising COVID cases at this time, we are unable to accommodate siblings for this workshop.

Cost: $12 / Family

If you are an ‘engagement partner’ family (Elm Park, Boys & Girls Club, ACE, Centro) or already approved for financial aid, you can note this on the registration form and the registration fee will be waived.


For a taste of Songwriting, you may enjoy this video of a recent visit with High Schoolers at the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester.

Why Music with AllWays Health Partners?

Music and self-expression impacts our mental health.  Singing, playing or listening to music can improve well-being and quality of life.  It  can be a way of connecting to a community of people, and be therapeutic with both physical and psychological benefits.

Express Ourselves Song Writing  is made possible with the generous support of AllWays Health Partners

About AllWays Health Partners

AllWays Health Partners, a Member of Mass General Brigham, is a health plan designed to support a healthier you – because to them, your health is everything.

Whether you’re looking for a therapist, need help managing a chronic condition, or working to get back to healthier habits, their goal is to help you meet YOUR goals.

To start living your healthiest self today, follow AllWays Health Partners on Instagram @allwayshealthpartners

Special thanks to our 40th Anniversary Event Sponsors [to date]:

Catherine Z. and J. Christopher Collins


For more information about sponsorships, and the 40th Gala and Campaign, please email sarah@pakmusic.org

The 40th Anniversary Gala

  • Saturday, September 17th, 6:00 pm Program
  • Hors D’oeuvres (with ticket) 5:00 pm
  • At Tuckerman Hall, Worcester
  • Tickets on Sale NOW!

We have opportunities for creating even greater impact for community music-making and education, as part of

SAVE!  Purchase your tickets now.

  • Early Bird:  $40 / $10 balcony.  Use code ‘Gala40‘ to apply discount at purchase.
  • Open Price:  $50 / $10 balcony
  • At the Door:  $60 / $15 balcony

Sincerely, Sarah Smongeski, Executive Director
March 2022


Life is a Cabaret! Come hear the music play!

For Forty Years, Pakachoag has been making music with and for community.  Observing this milestone is our way to say thank you….

  • To the thousands who have made music with us, of every age and background, during these 40 years
  • To the hundreds of donors, grantors, teachers, staff, board and volunteers who have lent their support in fulfilling the School’s mission
Gala Details

We’re excited to be preparing for our 40th Anniversary Gala and Campaign planned for Saturday, September 17, 2022 at Tuckerman Hall.    If you cannot attend the gala but would like to join in supporting this effort, you can submit a gift or pledge by clicking ‘Donate to Celebrate’.

Donate to Celebrate


Special thanks to our 40th Anniversary Event Sponsors [to date]:

Catherine Z. and J. Christopher Collins



With special support provided by:

Jane and Dennis Neslusan

Paul and Patti Verderese

Gail and Bernie Lempicki

Jane & Dennis Neslusan

Gail Morgan and Bernie Lempicki

Marion Nierintz, In Memory of William Nierintz & In Honor of Kristjon Imperio



Congratulations to Akshaya of Northboro for her recent acceptance into the Mass. Jr. Central District Orchestra.

Akshaya writes:

“I started playing violin at the age of 5. Hearing the older students playing all these difficult pieces I only dreamed of playing myself. After almost 10 years, I’ve played and started learning all the pieces I grew up listening to at concerts. I love being able to play the violin and share the music I make with others. At every concert I attend I remind myself what an amazing thing it is to know how to play music. And accomplishments like getting into Junior Districts are what push me to keep going and try new things in the field of music.”

Teacher Amy Matherly notes:  “I’m very happy for Akshaya. She plays beautifully and deserves to be recognized for her work.  I’m looking forward to the year when she will be able to experience the Festival Orchestra in person.”

This year’s festival is remote.

The Mass. Central Districts and All State festivals are sponsored by the Massachusetts Music Educators Association.

Come Explore Spring Music Together ® with Pakachoag!

Fun. Fabulous. Uplifting. Magical. These are just a few of the ways that parents describe Music Together.  Come nurture your child’s inner musician and meet other families.

SPRING 2022:  We’re IN-PERSON / INSIDE (Sometimes Outside)

  • We currently have multiple open spaces in our
    Thursday 9:30 Auburn class; and
    Saturday 10:30 Emanuel Lutheran class.

Make new friends or invite your friends to join you!

Find complete Schedule Information here.

Want to know what class includes?  Learn About Music Together here.

More detailed information here.

Health and Safety policies are here.

Tuition information here.  AND…

Register Here

Registering less than one week ahead?  PLEASE ALLOW two to three business days for us to confirm your registration.  We will follow up as soon as possible.




This season’s student spotlight is Seth Boudreau, high school senior and student of Amy Matherly.  Seth first came to Pakachoag as part of our Music Together program all the way back in 2005 age 1!  He began violin lessons in 2009, age 5.  As part of the School’s Suzuki program, Seth began lessons with Sheila Reid and a few years later continued with Dr. Leah Zelnick.  With schedule challenges and teacher transitions, Seth eventually landed with Amy Matherly.

What do you like about your lessons?

I’ve had Mrs. Matherly as my primary violin instructor for most of the years that I have been there, [at Pakachoag].  What I enjoy most about my lessons with Mrs. Matherly is her style and acceptance for the variety of pieces that I like to play and perform. She has always encouraged and allowed me to experiment with different styles of music. I have frequently switched from Fiddle style music to Jazz to Classical and she is always willing to work it into my lesson.  I have played in many Middle and High School performances, and she helped me practice the pieces that I would be playing.

Do you have a favorite piece?

Fall 2019: Pre-pandemic. Sophomore Year, with fiddler friends.

It is challenging to pick a single favorite song out of all the different pieces I have played. However, I am excited [to be performing soon] the Bach Double Violin Concerto with a group of students and teachers from the school.

Do you have other interests outside of music?

As a student who has always been busy with club and High School sports and would often come from sports activities, such as soccer or track practices and games, directly to violin rehearsals and concerts, it has made it challenging to keep up with music.  But ultimately, I’m glad I have stuck with it and continued my lessons with Mrs. Matherly, especially since they are now in person again. Music has been a big part of my life ever since I started at 5 years old, and I am glad that I have continued to grow through my violin playing at Pakachoag Music School.

You are a high school senior this year.  What comes next?

After High School, I plan to attend college and will major in Computer Science.  I am currently looking at my options for college.   I am currently taking an Advanced Placement Music Theory course in High School that I enjoy very much and may continue when I am in college.

From Teacher Amy Matherly: Working with Seth

Seth and I have fun working on a wide variety of musical styles including fiddle, classical and jazz.  He loves music that is flashy and dramatic. Pakachoag recital audiences have been treated to his performances of pieces like Csardas and Funky Hippo along with years of appearances with the Fiddle Band. He is a true music lover who participates in jazz band, show pit band and music theory classes at school.  I have enjoyed watching him learn and grow over the past 10 years.


Dear Seth, we love that you have been able to take AP theory and ensembles at School; and been involved for so long here at Pakachoag.  As I reflect back on the pictures at top of page – wow.  I remember you had taken a year or so off at one point.  I think I remember your mom saying you were begging her to come back — you realized you were missing violin [and perhaps us too]. 

I sincerely congratulate you on sticking with your music for so long while juggling sports and academics.  You have reached the 10 year milestone for lessons recently which means you join a select group of students who have reached “10”.  We wish you much success as you prepare for this next stage of life.   I hope you will continue to make and find friends in music. 

 Sincerely, your friends in music, Sarah S., ED and all at Pakachoag.