Our Team

We are Michael, Kathleen and, Sage; your Music Forever Music Together team. We all are registered Music Together teachers -as well as being experienced musicians- and look forward to singing, dancing, moving, grooving, and making friends...making music!


photo Kathleen McDonagh

"While attending graduate school here at the University of Texas in Austin, I stumbled upon a group of students dancing international folk dances. The dances were from all over the world, to music with all sorts of unfamiliar meters, and all were welcome to join the circle of dancers. That chance encounter began a more than twenty-five year relationship with folk dancing and folk music as a dancer, singer, teacher and performer.

When my daughter and I first began taking Music Together classes, I was immediately drawn by the curriculum’s strong folk music influences and its emphasis on participation, not performance. The songs were so engaging -- from the very first they just invited us to sing along. Together with the help of our wonderful teacher, we were creating a village in which our children could thrive musically. I found myself looking forward to our weekly class as much as my daughter.

As my daughter grew older, and our time in the mixed-age class was coming to a close, I began grieving for the loss of this precious singing time – so much so that I took the Music Together Teacher Training Program. The more I learned about the program, the more impressed I was and the more I knew I wanted to be part of bringing Music Together to others. I’m so excited and grateful for this opportunity to be part of the Music Together family here at Music Forever Music Together; and I always look forward to sharing my own joyful experiences as a Music Together parent with my classes."


photo Kit Christie

"I can't remember a time when music wasn't a part of my life. As a toddler, I recall jumping up and down with my siblings while watching a band on TV, singing along with total giddiness and spontaneity. I love when young children have a completely organic response to music. That's why I began teaching Music Together. The natural exuberance I remember comes from an innate musical ability that all children have. I'm honored to teach classes that build on that ability in a fun, encouraging environment.

Growing up, loved all kinds of music. I was in a children's choir and a teenager's choir that toured around the country each summer. A radio station in my Missouri hometown played everything - pop, rock, folk, country, rhythm & blues. There wasn't a genre that didn't appeal to me. In high school, you could find me in drama class, dancing with the pom-pom squad or performing in the all-school musical. I attended the University of Missouri, earning a B.A. in Communication Studies. I've worked in several areas of media, including film and television production and publishing. During my career, I chose to return to school for additional studies in child development. I moved to Austin in 2003 and have worked for the Austin Public Library and the Round Rock and Pflugerville school districts as a library and teaching assistant. I love interacting with children of all ages, helping them achieve a lifetime love of learning. Musical experience, especially at an early age, adds to learning ability!.

When not working with my husband in our home publishing business, I can be found singing with several choruses in Austin. I look forward to sharing the joy of music with your family and helping start your child or children on their own musical journey."


photo Sage Holli Bara

Sage has been performing since the age of three and she has been in over 200 musical and theatrical productions across the country. She is a playwright, composer and lyricist with some of her musical work being performed by the band Gypsy Fire. For 32 years, Sage has been devoted to youth arts education. She continues to be inspired by the art of teaching and loves connecting with children and their families through Music Together, which she has taught for three years.

photo Michael Shay, Director

A native of Austin, with a B.A. in Music from Prescott College as well as training in Montessori and NVC, Music Forever Music Together founder/director Michael Shay grew up in a musical household. The son of a piano teacher and the brother of two older musical sisters, Michael attributes his musical abilities to growing up in that music-filled environment. As a newborn baby, toddler, and pre-schooler, he played on the living-room floor as his mother taught piano lessons, soaking up the music he heard day after day. As a young person, he studied cello and piano, later teaching himself guitar, bass, mandolin and tenor banjo, played in orchestras and rock bands, and was a student of the Austin Chamber Music Center, where he later became a teacher.

As a professional musician who tours internationally as a singer-songwriter and cellist, Michael has worked for over 15 years in countless genres of music including classical, folk, blues, rock, jazz, reggae, tango, bluegrass, country, Balkan, swing, Andean, Latin, funk and more with Michael Shay Trio, The Just Desserts, Texas ExpressWill Taylor, Zoe Lewis, and many others. He has released five CD's and produced many more for other artists.  He has presented  three musical tours in Latin America as a cultural ambassador on behalf of the US Department of State, and has also conducted workshops for youth orchestras in improvisation, collaborative composition, and improvisational conducting.  Visit his website at www.michaelshay.com.

After years of working with students of all ages in many styles of music and on many different instruments, Michael believes that our primary role as music educators is to help each other access our innate musical instincts, unlocking our natural ability to express ourselves through music. Understanding the immeasurable impact that the first years of life have on musical development led Michael to found Music Forever Music Together in 2006. He believes in investing in a more musical world for future generations, and enjoys doing this by continuing to participate in musical projects around the world, and by helping others offer the Music Together curriculum to families all around the Austin area.

  Ms. Sage and Ms. Kathleen

Are you interested in becoming a Music Together teacher and teaching at Music Forever Music Together? Email us at info@musicforevermt.com and we'll let you know about upcoming training opportunities. We are seeking teachers for the greater Austin metro area!