Rock and Roll Playhouse

The Brains Behind Rock and Roll Playhouse

When the Maplewood-based, NJ-via-Allentown, PA educator Amy Striem, 45, lost her mother several years ago, she decided to take a career leap. With the help of her friend and music promoter Peter Shapiro, Striem turned to her background in education (she has a Master's degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from NYU) to launch the national family concert series Rock and Roll Playhouse.

Today, the Rock and Roll Playhouse, which has hosted over 1,000 concerts to date and had 50,000 attendees in 2018 alone, teaches kids to “move, play and sing while listening to works from the classic-rock canon” (NY Times) at more than 25 venues across 25 US cities. Performing songs created by the most iconic musicians in rock history, The Rock and Roll Playhouse band engages children—and their parents—along to the music of Phish, The Beatles, The Grateful Dead, Rihanna, Aretha Franklin and more.

As both a mother of two and an educator, Amy's leadership at Rock and Roll Playhouse is a natural evolution. Here's more of what led her on this path:

* Summers spent at Pinemere Camp in the Pocono Mountains—an experience that lends itself a unique embracing of music—the same embrace at the very core of RRPH.

* After 15 years as a working mom with children now in 10th grade and 1st grade, she's learned to balance work and home life. “I think it is unrealistic for women to go through the day thinking they need to multitask like a rockstar to try to have it all,” says Striem.

* Switching careers mid-life and what Striem learned about education by transitioning into the music industry. “People in the office joke with me that I am officially a concert promoter now, but I still write ‘educator’ on paperwork when asked,” she says. “After all, I am educating kids about music.”

* Her mission to spark connections amongst families and popular music. “In a few years we want parents to be looking at the pictures and telling the story, 'Here is a picture of when you were a toddler running under that parachute to ‘Eyes of the World’ [by the Grateful Dead] at Brooklyn Bowl that snowy Sunday morning.’”

Learn more here.