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Teachers at the Old Town School

Maryanne Johnson

Piano, Wiggleworms Program

Styles - Wiggleworms is all about learning fun, new songs to sing in a group and at home. Along with kids faves like “Wheels on the Bus,” Maryanne likes to work in popular music from the 1950s on up to the present. She also includes music from other cultures like Latin America, Africa, and Asia. In Meet the Instruments we explore the orchestra and listen to classical music as well.

Techniques - Washburn, her guitar, accompanies her just about everywhere, but her first instrument is piano. One of the things she loves about the piano is that it is a percussion instrument. Teaching rhythms and encouraging young children to make up their own rhythms is something she does in ALL of her classes!

Maryanne fell in love with teaching children after the birth of her first child, Paul. She sang and played her guitar for him at home all the time. Taking Paul to Wiggleworms classes was a life-changing experience for both of them. Sharing her love of music with other children was what she decided she wanted to do in for the rest of her life!

Maryanne has been singing forever. Throughout high school and college she performed in various choirs and chorales, singing everything from Motown to Bach's Mass in B Minor. The female singers who have had the most influence on her, in chronological order, are Billy Holiday, Patsy Cline, Aretha Franklin, Liza Minelli, Chrissie Hynde, Lucinda Williams, and PINK. For several years she sat in and sang with local country and rockabilly bands, just for fun of it. She loves playing Wiggleworms shows at Millenium Park every summer.

Education: Maryanne studied piano performance at Wayne State University in Detroit. Shortly after moving to Chicago in the late 1980s, she found the Old Town School of Folk Music where she learned how to play the guitar from Mark Dvorak, one of the most talented and respected teachers on staff. She is certified in Early Childhood Education.

Started at the Old Town School in November of 2000