Wednesday, September 24, 2014

JAMM's Youngest Teaching Assistants Give New Students a Boost

 JAMM's youngest teaching assistants help new students learn how to play the violin during the first month of school.
Over 150 students have signed up for JAMM's after-school club at Glacier Valley! Twenty-five of those students are new to Glacier Valley or the JAMM program. These photos document a peer-mentoring program that acted as an intensive Beginning Violin class to give new students a boost, while making friends in their new school. What made it such a success? JAMM students in Grades 3 and 4 signed-up to be "Teaching Assistants" for these beginning students. I hope the pictures below capture the pride, community, and relationship-building that occurred during those lessons.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Thank You, JAMM 2013 - 2014 Sponsors!

Thanks to the support of the Juneau Community, JAMM will be 500 strong next year.
The entire JAMM family would like to thank the following individuals, organizations, and businesses for their generous contributions. Without their support, JAMM would not be able to expand its programming to more kids.  Next year, JAMM will reach over 500 students district-wide! 

2013-2014 JAMM SPONSORS

$2,500 and Above

$1,000 - $2,499
Duane Callahan
DeeAnn and Michael Grummett
Ron and Kathy Maas
Dr. William Palmer

$500 - $999
James Bibb
Mandy and Anthony Mallott
Full Circle Music
Lynn Williams

$250 - $499
Stephanie Allison
Sally Smith

$100 - $249
Annie Calkins and Dave Hunsaker
Lorraine Heagy
Peter and Mary Katzenstein
Jetta Whittaker

$50 - $99
Jane and Peter Brye
David & Stephanie Means
Kevin Ridges
Kalei and Gina Wery

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

JAMM and the Juneau Community

JAMM after-school students stand with the Attacca Quartet.
Public performance and community outreach are important elements of JAMM's program.  From playing in the school hallways to concerts on stage, students begin to see performing in the community as a natural part of their musical life.  This 2013-2014 school, JAMM performed nearly twenty concerts in the school and community, including the Governor's Awards for the Arts and Humanities, the Juneau World Affairs Council, the Juneau Community Foundation Annual Event, the Nugget Mall, the Philanthropy Northwest Conference, and the University of Alaska Southeast's Community Day. 

Rebecca Ricker and Meghan Johnson stand proudly with JAMM 1st graders from Auke Bay and Riverbend Elementary Schools.
Here are some other highlights:

Juneau Jazz and Classics:  The Attacca Quartet (see photo above) sponsored by Juneau Jazz and Classics performed at all three JAMM schools.  JAMM@Glacier Valley was thrilled to have the Attacca Quartet visit them after-school where JAMM students performed for the quartet and then the quartet for JAMM students and families.  There was mutual admiration between both groups!

University of Alaska Southeast Honors Program:  David Miller, a violinist and student at UAS, chose JAMM as his Community Service project for his honors program.  David volunteered 40 hours of service by working closely with JAMM's in-school classes of kindergartners and first graders. We hope to see David again next year!

David Miller poses with Mrs. Sigler's kindergarten Class.
Many JAMM students participated in Tlingit Dance and Drumming, which performed at this year's Celebration.  In the photo below, the students performed for Glacier Valley in their full regalia under the direction of Hans Chester and Glenda Lindley. 

Glacier Valley's Tlingit Dance and Drummers

Monday, May 26, 2014

President of New England Conservatory Visits JAMM

Representatives from JAMM's 3rd Grade Program at Glacier Valley Stand with Tony Woodcock and Principal Ted Wilson at KTOO Studio.
Tony Woodock, President of the New England Conservatory (NEC) in Boston, visited Juneau to see Juneau Alaska Music Matters (JAMM) in action.  NEC is the music conservatory that helped train fifty musicians passionate for music as a vehicle for social change.  Tony presented at a Juneau World Affairs Council event and shared JAMM's role in the globacl music education movement called El Sistema.  JAMM students were thrilled to open and close the show with live music, which aired on 360 North on June 20th.  Tony was impressed with JAMM's programming and size, as well as the joy, commitment, and discipline the students demonstrated throughout his stay.  Thank you, Tony and Viriginia Woodock, for visiting our beautiful community of Juneau!

JAMM 3rd Grade Orchestra Stand with Tony and Virginia Woodcock After Their Rehearsal

Friday, May 23, 2014

A Milestone: All Fifty Sistema Fellows Graduate

Celebrating the graduation of the final class of Sistema Fellows at New England Conservatory
It's hard to believe that nearly five years ago I started this blog to document my experiences as one of ten musicians selected to help realize Dr. Abreu's TED Prize wish of training fifty musicians passionate for music as social change.  This May, the last class of Sistema Fellows graduated from New England Conservatory marking the realization of Dr. Abreu's wish.  To celebrate this milestone, many Sistema Fellows attended the graduation and symposium that followed where we shared successes, lessons learned and ideas for sustaining our work in Sistema initiatives all across the country.  I was honored to attend and share how my training at the New England Conservatory prepared me for the work I am doing in Juneau through JAMM:  Juneau Alaska Music Matters.

Even though the New England Conservatory no longer will offer the training program, they have committed to investing in its fifty graduated Sistema Fellows through professional development and networking.  TED has maintained an Abreu's Wish Blog to document, share, and update its community on the status of Dr. Abreu's wish:  the Sistema Fellows program.  JAMM was featured in one of its postings.  

Monday, April 28, 2014

JAMM Selected as a Collaborating Site for National Evaluation Project

Map of El Sistema Programs in the United States
WolfBrown Associates and Longy School of Music of Bard College have selected JAMM as a Collaborating Site for the National Collaborative Evaluation of Sistema-inspired Music Education.  This project will collaborate with experienced educators to develop 1) an understanding of the conditions under which Sistema-inspired programs have positive effects, 2) the assets that Sistema programs identify and build in children and families, and 3) the effects these assets have on key outcomes usch as achievement and pro-social behaviors.  As a collaborating site, JAMM will have access to the resources, as well as guidance in using evaluation strategies.  For more information on the project:  A National Collaborative Evaluation of Sistema-inspired Music Education.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Performing for the Community: 130-Member Orchestra Strong!

JAMM Students Perform for the Juneau Community (Photographer:  Michael Penn, Juneau Empire)
Over 130 first through third graders at Glacier Valley performed for the Juneau community on April 17th - our biggest orchestra yet!  As part of the program, JAMM students served as ambassadors and greeted guests at the door.  All kindergartner and first graders at Glacier Valley receive JAMM violin and Math in Motion lessons through specialist and classroom teacher teaming.

1st graders demonstrate their math skills using stability balls and drumsticks (Photographer:  Michael Penn)
Math in Motion is part of Academic Beats, a drumming program created to increase heart rate and give children a kinesthetic approach to math.  Susie Denton, Glacier Valley's physical education teacher, has brought this program to Glacier Valley and as you can see by the photos, the kids love it!  JAMM is a school readiness program that uses the experience of playing an instrument to help students learn how to work together as a team, experience success through daily practice, find learning purposeful through community performances, and understand that effort and resiliency helps them overcome life's challenges.  Here is the Juneau Empire article detailing the event:  The Littlest Big Band.  Thank you, Katie Moritz, for covering the event and Michael Penn for taking these beautiful photos. 

Lorrie Heagy asks the cello section to join the JAMM orchestra in a bow (Photographer:  Michael Penn)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sistema Fellows from the New England Conservatory Intern at JAMM

Sistema Fellow, Hana Morford, works with Jemima during Rock Band
Two of this year's ten El Sistema Fellows from the New England Conservatory (NEC) interned at JAMM for one month.  Hana Morford (violist) and Megan Moran (violinist) chose JAMM among Sistema initiatives worldwide because of its reputation in best teaching practices.  Hana and Megan worked with our young string players and modeled strategies to encourage improvisation.  Juneau's musical community also benefited from having these exceptional musicians in town for one month.  Megan played in the pit for Floyd Dryden's musical, West Side Story, and both Hana and Megan performed with the Juneau Symphony.  Ladies, thank you for giving so much of your time and talent to our Juneau community.

Megan Moran works with a 2nd grade general music class.

A truly Alaskan experience for Hana and Megan:  Staying up for the Northern Lights!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Performing with the Juneau Student Symphony

Mr. Xia plays alongside Tahila and Ruby at the Juneau Student Symphony concert (Photo: Alfie Price)
JAMM partners with the Juneau Student Symphony and performed two concerts dedicate to Music in the Movies.  One was held at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center and the other in the Glacier Valley gym.  Third graders performed Rigoletto, Ode to Joy, and Shortnin' Bread alongside this multi-generational community orchestra.  As audience members, our young musicians were inspired byt the orchestra's performances of Star Wars, Star Trek and Jurassic Park and piano soloist, Kyle Farley-Robinson.  In preparation for the concert, the Thunder Mountain High School Orchestra visited Glacier Valley and performed for us.  Thank you, Tyree Pini and the Juneau Symphony, for continuing this wonderful partnership with JAMM! 

All eyes are focused on the music as JAMM students perform with the Juneau Student Symphony (Photo: Alfie Price)
Kyle Farley-Robinson, the Juneau Symphony Youth Solo Competition Winner (Photo: Alfie Price).
Tyree Pini and the Thunder Mountain High School Orchestra perform for JAMM students.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Dance Machine International Partners with JAMM

Ricci Adan of Dance Machine International works with JAMM students after-school.
Ricci Adan, Artistic Director, has brought her Broadway training to JAMM's after-school program and will join us again next year.  Members of Dance Machine International performed for our students and inspired us all.Ricci's mission is to pass the torch of Musical Theatre knowledge to the next generation.  Ricci is a dancer and choreographer specializing in preserving the great work of dance masters like De Mille, Kidd, Fosse, and Cole. 

Ricci's work centers on passing their legacy on to the next generation by teaching the vocabulary of the dance through the decades and sharing reconstructed works with students of all ages.  Ricci has been impressed with our JAMM students, which according to her "are like sponges who are so eager to learn."  We are thrilled to have Ricci return for the coming school year to work with our students again.  Thank you, Ricci!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Introducing JAMM's newest section: the double bass!

Garrett and Keyton are two of JAMM's bass players.
JAMM was awarded four double basses and six cellos through a Classics for Kids matching grant to help JAMM expand its lower string section.  Rod Crist, a musician and Glacier Valley's counselor, is the bass instructor and Meghan Johnson, the principal cellist of the Juneau Symphony, will continue to teach the ever-growing cello section. Thank you, Classics for Kids, Ron and Kathy Maas, DeeAnn and Michael Grummett, Holland American Line, and the Juneau Community Foundation for funding these beautiful instruments. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

JAMM and the International Mini-Fiddler's Project

The beauty of technology allows Geza Silvay to provide live instruction to JAMM from Helsinki, Finland.
JAMM's lead violin teacher, GuoHua Xia, will receive weekly lessons streamed live from Helsinki, Finland.  The International Mini-Fiddler's Project gives music teachers around the world an opportunity to explore the Finnish high-standard music education in weekly lessons provided by founder, Geza Silvay.

Ten coutnries participate in these weekly lessons and JAMM is the first US site to join the project.  Other participating countries include Denmark, Germany, South Korea, and Israel. Helsinki University Cognitive Brain Research Group is working closely with the project.  Although the ColourStrings method used in this project is geared toward one-on-one teaching, the partnership will benefit Mr. Xia in his private teaching, as well as JAMM teachers who continually seek new ways of motivating young children.  

Saturday, September 14, 2013

JAMM Featured on CCTV's Americas Now Program

Mike Kirsch poses with Glacier Valley's 2nd grade JAMM students
Mike Kirsch, a veteran television journalist at CCTV, spent over a week here in Juneau filming JAMM for an Americas Now news magazine story. CCTV has an audience of 1.2 billion viewers worldwide, so JAMM was honored to be featured.

Mike beautifully wove together the pivotal role that GuoHua Xia, JAMM's lead violin instructor, plays in the Juneau community, the inspiring teamwork at Glacier Valley Elementary School where JAMM began, and the sustained investment Juneau is making in its youth through music. Thank you, Mike and CCTV for covering a program that shows what community and school partnerships can accomplish!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Kindergartners from All JAMM Sites Perform at UAS


Over 80 JAMM kindergarten students from Auke Bay, Glacier Valley and Riverbend Elementary Schools performed together at Juneau Jazz and Classic's Community Day at the University of Alaska Southeast. This was the first time that all three sites had an opportunity to perform together and gave the community an opportunity to celebrate JAMM's expansion to more schools and grades within the Juneau School District.

For the 2013 – 2014 school year, both Auke Bay and Riverbend Elementary Schools will expand their programming to 1st grade, while Glacier Valley will expand to 3rd grade with the addition of a bass section.  Thank you, Juneau Community Foundation, Holland America Line, Ron and Kathy Maas, and Mike and DeeAnn Grummett for helping JAMM match a grant from the Classics for Kids Foundation to purchase 4 basses and 6 larger-sized cellos for our growing 3rd grade orchestra members.  Over 400 students will participate in JAMM next year!