Little Roots is an enriching and engaging family music experience. Classes are centered around the creation of a joyful musical experience in early childhood, but are intentionally enjoyable for the entire family! As longtime professional musicians, Little Roots founders, Annie Stevenson and Maggie Shar, recognize the value of quality live music for people of all ages. Maggie and Annie select and write songs rooted in a variety of folk music traditions. The repertoire is fun and accessible, including elements of storytelling and exposure to various instruments. Children will enjoy group singing with guitar, banjo, or ukulele to accompany, hand and stick drumming, bells, movement, dance, and more! Annie and Maggie believe that music is for everyone and strive to empower children to sing as they learn to speak and dance as they learn to move.
The Little Roots Team:
Maggie Shar is an award winning banjo playing, guitar playing, singing educator originally from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She has been playing guitar since she was twelve and has been playing banjo since 2004, learning from Adam Hurt, Riley Baugus and Bruce Molsky among others. In 2003, she graduated from Hampshire College with a focus on music, education, and healing. She then went on to receive her M.S. from Antioch University New England in 2007 with a focus on environmental education and social justice.
Maggie is trained in the Nurtured Heart Approach and has nearly 20 years of experience teaching children in creative, interactive, engaging ways having worked as an assistant camp director, camp counselor, preschool teacher, home-school teacher, environmental educator, parent coach, and music teacher. She also teaches guitar, banjo, uke, and piano lessons to students of varying experience levels and ages. In addition, Maggie performs regularly throughout New England with
The Ephemeral Stringband, and The Moon Shells has seven self-released albums.
Maggie is fueled by the curiosity of children and strives to make each child feel a sense of belonging and success in their learning process. She strongly believes in the power of music to generate joy, healing, love, connection, and community for people of all ages.
Annie Lynch Stevenson
Annie Lynch Stevenson is a professional vocalist, guitarist, songwriter, performer, recording artist, and educator based in Massachusetts. She began studying voice formally when she was eight years old, and guitar when she was twelve. Annie has been songwriting at the age of thirteen, performing in the greater Boston area’s acoustic music scene shortly after. In 2008, she graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston with a Bachelor of Music degree emphasizing vocal studies and world music. Annie’s musical experiences have ranged from participation in Nashville bluegrass jams to intensive studies of traditional West African music in Ghana, West Africa, and collaborations in Siberia with the Tuvan National Orchestra. Through these travels and studies, Annie has discovered the intrinsic value of community-oriented music. Annie has 15 years of experience teaching group Early Childhood Music classes in Boston, New York City and now, Western Massachusetts. She has also been teaching voice, guitar and ukulele lessons, primarily in contemporary styles, for 15 years, to students of varying experience levels, from ages four to seventy-six.
Additionally, Annie has lead the internationally touring Americana group, Annie and The Beekeepers, since 2007, performing at such festivals as South By Southwest, Philadelphia Folk Festival, Boston Folk Festival, End of the Road and more. Annie has three self-released albums and has had the honor of sharing stages with The Lumineers, Josh Ritter, Justin Townes Earle, Kris Delmhort, and Anais Mitchell, among other greats.
Mia Friedman is a fiddler and singer as well as a composer and educator. Her song “Across the Water” won the 2010 John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the folk category, and she was the 2006 New Hampshire Highland Games Scottish Fiddle Champion. Mia started playing fiddle at the age of six and has been singing for as long as she can remember! She began writing songs at the age of nine and started playing banjo and guitar when she was seventeen. She has been teaching private and group lessons in the Boston area and Western MA since 2010.
When Mia’s not home with her baby born this past October, she teaches at the Community Music School of Springfield and leads elementary and high school string programs in five public schools in Springfield, MA. She is the orchestra teacher at The Hartsbrook Waldorf School, has a private studio of fiddle students, and teaches at many traditional music camps during the summer.
Mia performs in Ari & Mia, a duo she has with her sister, Ariel Friedman. They have toured all over the United States and Australia, and have four CDs, two of which were ranked high on National folk radio charts. Mia also performs with the Ephemeral Stringband and Hollow Deck. She graduated from New England Conservatory in 2012 where she studied with Anthony Coleman, Carla Kihlstedt, and Hankus Netsky.
As a new mama and an avid teacher of little ones, Mia is SO excited to be joining the Little Roots team to teach a Little Ukes class!