Maya Cunningham is an innovative music educator, gospel jazz vocalist and artist who founded and directs Little Lights Arts to impact children in her community. She is Music Teacher at JC Nalle Elementary in Washington DC. She has been teaching music for fifteen years using an approach that combines interdisciplinary arts, culture and global education. She loves children, loves teaching and is accomplished in teaching voice, guitar, piano, music theory, percussion and other classroom instruments. She holds advanced teacher certification in music in New York State and Washington DC.
Maya received a Bachelor of Music degree from Howard University and a Master of Arts degree from Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. She is former Program Director of the Roberta Flack School of Music and Creative Arts Director of the Salvation Army in Astoria. She is a recipient of the Teachers for Global Classrooms Fellowship, the ArtsNow Grant for Educators and was a National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture Summer Scholar in 2015. In 2016 she was awarded the Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching to travel to Botswana to research and create a curriculum about traditional Botswanan music. In Fall 2016 she will begin a doctoral program at the University of Maryland in ethnomusicology.