folk and roots music classes for babies, toddlers, "big kids" AND their grown-ups
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 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 over 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 others.
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!
Richie Barshay began drumming inside kitchen cabinets at an early age, and continues banging on things worldwide to this day. Noted for his work with the Herbie Hancock Quartet in the 2000s, he's been dubbed "a major rhythm voice on the rise" by Downbeat magazine, and The Guardian (UK) praises "the arrival of a major innovator who also knows how to have fun." Find him on stage and recordings with Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Esperanza Spalding, The Klezmatics, Fred Hersch, Kenny Werner, Lee Konitz, Natalie Merchant, Bobby McFerrin, and Pete Seeger among others. Since 2004 he has led outreach projects across 5 continents as an American Musical Envoy with the U.S. State Department. He can be heard on over 80 recordings as a sideman, and his two self-produced albums: Homework featuring Herbie Hancock (2004), and Sanctuary featuring Chick Corea (2014).
Based in New York City and Northampton, MA, he is an AmSAT certified Alexander Technique teacher and maintains a private practice for performing artists and others to regain better mind-body coordination and ease of movement.
Jules Skloot is a dancer, choreographer, educator, and summer camp director based in Cummington, MA, Nipmuc, Pocumtuc, and Abenaki homeland.
As a kid in Wisconsin, Jules’ lifelong love of dance began when he studied modern and West African dance techniques, Capoeira, and had chances to create and perform in his own dances. He received a BA in dance and community dance studies from Hampshire College in 2003 and an MFA in dance from Sarah Lawrence College in 2008. As a professional dancer, performer, and choreographer in New York City for the past 14 years, Jules has performed nationally and internationally, collaborating with Tatyana Tenenbaum, devynn emory, Hadar Ahuvia, Circus Amok, Emily Popp, and The Ballez among others. Jules’ own performance works have been presented in New York, Wisconsin, Washington, and Massachusetts.
Jules has taught classes for people of many ages: from 1 year-old dancers with their caregivers all the way to seniors, in community centers, preschools, K-12 public and private schools, after school programs, summer camps, and at multiple colleges and universities.
Jules has a special love for the joy and immense possibilities of teaching our very youngest dancers. In his classes, Jules integrates his past dance experience with stories, songs, and games. He teaches from the core principles of respect for all bodies, curiosity and openness towards all students, and a commitment to anti-racism and non-Eurocentric art education. The goal of all of Jules’ dance classes is to create a learning environment in which all participants have space to explore their own embodiment, and learn about and connect with themselves, each other, and the world.
Tracy Einstein (she/her/hers) comes to Little Roots after nearly a decade bringing play, movement, and drama to Public Schools in NYC. She’s worked as a theater & movement teaching artist for the Public Theater, Hunts Point Shakespeare Ensemble, LeAp NYC, Arts Ignite (formerly ASTEP), Redbull Theater Company, Completely Ridiculous Conservatory, and more!
She is one half of Nu Words, whose engaging performances of storytelling, poetry, drumming, and movement dazzle audiences and young people worldwide. Learn more at www.tracyeinstein.com/teachingartist