Making Musical Mischief

Main Street in Pennington is now home to Mischief Studios, a beautifully designed space offering musical instruments, accessories, professional recording, and music lessons for all ages. Musician Charles Laurita opened Mischief this year after leaving a corporate music environment. 

“I have been teaching music since I was 15 and have worked in many music shops,” said Laurita. “My first teaching job was with a mom-and-pop shop where I was for about eight years and then a corporate shop for about five years after that.”

“Obviously, COVID took a big toll,” said Laurita. “To make up for losses during COVID, the corporate shop cut the teacher’s pay by 50% and raised their lesson rates. It was a shame because there were just a lot of talented teachers who were now just out of work.”

Laurita, a Hamilton native, said that post-COVID, opening his own shop in Pennington was just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. 

“This was just the right choice,” stated Laurita. “I have loved this area for many years and Pennington is just a good fit.”

The steady stream of students attending Mischief largely come from Pennington and Hopewell, but also draws customers from many different towns, Laurita explained.

Step inside Mischief and you can feel someone meticulously pored over every design detail. While the atmosphere is pristine, it manages to feel warm and inviting. The interior is a mix of warm woods, black accents, and purple lights with skeletons everywhere. The Haunted Mansion ride in Disney World comes to mind. And of course, Laurita is a huge Disney fan.

His band, Charles Laurita & The Mischief, has its own unique brand of music called “alternafunk” and has been described as “the love child of Black Sabbath and James Brown.” 

Mischief Studios is located at 12 South Main Street in Pennington. Lesson rates for drums, strings, piano, woodwinds, guitar, and voice are $38 for a half-hour lesson or $76 for the full hour. To find out more about studio offerings or Charles Laurita & The Mischief, click here.

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