Artist in Residence

Dancing childrenMary Cay has worked for 8 years as a classroom music teacher in public and private schools in southern Vermont. She now works regularly as an artist-in-residence in New England schools, working thematically with teachers to create programs of songs and folk dances. Her specialty is finding songs and dances to complement themes being studied in a classroom or school. Some examples of themes she has worked with are: Africa, African-American history, Australia, Asia, France, Eastern Europe, Vermont history and culture, whaling, May Day festivals, and winter solstice celebrations. Using traditional music to create community is her life-long passion and commitment.

Programs Available

  • School residencies in multi-cultural singing and dancing
  • Community dances for schools
  • Workshops for teachers in coordinating the use of songs and dances with curricula

“In Mary Cay’s classes every student participates with their complete spirit, expressing joy in each song or dance and working together on a very high level. She is a master music teacher. Within a few hours students are singing with gusto. The final performance is magical and brings great enjoyment to both the audience and performers. Mary Cay is an extremely skillful and creative teacher with an impeccable sense of timing which keeps the group focused at all times. MC is one of the finest teachers I have ever worked with.”
— Claire Oglesby, retired master teacher and subject of the documentary, “The World in Claire’s Classroom

Children Dancing

“Mary Cay Brass is a true Renaissance woman, a teacher’s teacher. She is an outstanding dance musician and singing leader, and a natural born teacher of children and adults. The infectious enthusiasm Mary Cay brings to her work is matched by her depth of knowledge of the traditions behind the songs and dances that she teaches.”
— Peter Amidon, educator and performer

“As a parent of four very different children, all of whom have learned to sing with Mary Cay, we have been amazed again and again by her ability to bring out not only the best in their singing but also a deep appreciation for music and dance and for the places and cultures they come from. Ultimately we believe all children know when they have a good teacher and thrive on being asked to perform at their best…and these are the reasons our children love and respect Mary Cay.”
–Lise Sparrow, parent