Our Team

We are Michael and Kathleen; your Music Forever Music Together team. We are registered Music Together teachers -- as well as being experienced musicians -- and we 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 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.

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!