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Teachers at the Old Town School

Anne-Marie Akin


“Anne-Marie is a phenomenal instructor with a lot of patience and love for children…I really think she is a perfect example of the kind of people who need to work with children. She has boundaries, but has a very strong understanding of how children's minds work. I really enjoy seeing her interactions with children and it actually helps inform my own interactions with my daughter.”—Wiggleworms Parent

Singer-songwriter Anne-Marie Akin was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, where she learned the value of a good story from her Momma. Anne-Marie Akin is a singer, songwriter, musician, and storyteller, and has performed and taught since 1986. She is an accomplished vocalist and guitar player, and also plays West-African djembe, banjo, and mountain dulcimer. Her warm, engaging style has made her a favorite with parents, kids, and teachers. As a former professional actress, playwright, and director, Anne-Marie's approach to teaching springs from the ensemble spirit of the theater.

As a teacher, she focuses on each student's individual strengths and goals, tailoring the group experience to fit the people involved. She is warm and engaging, but always strives to push students to the next level.

As a member of the faculty at The Old Town School of Folk Music, she has pioneered a music program in Chicago Public School preschools on the West Side of Chicago and co-leads our long-standing Wiggleworms in Residence Program in Lawndale.

Anne-Marie has written and directed over ten musicals for children, as well as toured with several professional children's theater companies. She has taught percussion, general music and drama for numerous preschools, park districts, and theater companies, and has served as an artist-in-residence for the Chicago Arts Partners in Education.

Awarded an Old Town School artist commission and a Ragdale Artist Residency in 2012, Anne-Marie is an active composer and singer-songwriter. Anne-Marie has sung and told stories at festivals, fundraisers, schools, and parties. Her work has been described as "inspiring," and "full of bursts of wisdom and joy."

Anne-Marie has three recordings to date: an album of new songs for children, We're All Growing, a live album for grownups, I Fly to You and her latest CD entitled Still Dancing. She is also featured on the Old Town School's CD, Songs for Wiggleworms.

Get in touch with Anne-Marie at aakin@oldtownschool.org.

Anne Marie asks that students between 2 and 8 and all adults to wear masks in her classes.

Education: B.A. Theater and Media Arts at Rhodes College, 1988

Started at the Old Town School in February of 1996