Year One, Ainsley as beginner. Teacher Alice works on hand position, posture, and embouchure /blowing position. It was a busy day, so we scheduled the lesson in the office!

This month we shine our spotlight on Ainsley, an 8th-grade student from Worcester, who has an admirable amount of passion and dedication for her instrument of choice, the flute.  2021 is Ainsley’s fifth year of lessons.

Ainsley really enjoys her lessons with her teacher Alice Daugherty every week. She appreciates the different techniques that Alice offers for improvement during their lessons and the fact that Alice has taught her how to read music.

Ainsley is interested in attending an arts-focused high school, so she wanted to continue her lessons during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Her parents have provided continued support for her desire to play the flute.

Ainsley’s elementary/middle school does not have a music program, so Ainsley’s parents wanted to introduce Ainsley and her brother to music and encourage them to develop a love of the arts. Additionally, they wanted their children to learn the fundamentals of reading music.  Ainsley’s parents envision that long after their lives become too busy for sports or other activities they pursue in school, music will always serve as a touchstone in their lives.

Her parents are most proud of Ainsley’s perseverance as she continues to enjoy lessons and performances even when it is very challenging.

More recently, pre-pandemic 2019, Ainsley is energized following a performance class with her brother.

The transition to online learning with Pakachoag Connect has been seamless. They became so used to remote learning in the spring that this was not a major transition for them at all. Ainsley says that in some ways it is easier than in-person lessons. She appreciates the fact that she is not rushing from one activity to another and that she can complete her homework at home before her lesson. Also, she is happy that she doesn’t have to wear a mask or stand behind plexiglass in order to have her lesson.

Ainsley’s biggest sense of accomplishment and pride to date is being able to play scales on her flute. Her biggest musical inspiration is singer/songwriter Hayley Williams.  Hayley not only enjoys her music, but Ainsley also considers her to be a good role model for young girls like herself.

We leave you with one single piece of advice from Ainsley: “Don’t give up and practice as much as you can!”