Saturday, October 15, 2011

JAMM Takes the Next Big Step: After-School Hours

JAMM after-school club:  1st graders drum with buckets and tubanos
JAMM has been an in-school model until now.  Thanks to Alaska ICE and Rasmuson Cultural Collaborations grants, first graders also can attend an after-school club, once a week for 2 hours beginning in October.  8-% of our first graders are enrolled, ready for general music instruction, violin lessons and bucket band!

First grade is a transition year, gradually moving its programming from an in-school model to after-school.  Kindergartners have violin class during school hours and 2nd graders will hold class after-school when JAMM expands to 2nd grade next year.

A general music curriculum is part of JAMM's after-school club

This transition has intention.  Its purpose is to maintain quality of instruction, consistent school culture, behavioral expectations, and developmentally appropriate practice (recognizing that these little ones get tired!)

It's also a transition year for JAMM's teaching model:
  • All 1st grade violin classes replace in-school general music time.  This was a tough decision, but it was the only option for JAMM to ensure that all 1st graders received at least two years of a solid foundation in string pedagogy.  This is one reason why the after-school club has a general music component. 
  • 1st grade teacher do not attend these violin sessions because it's their prep time.  Instead, they've each schedule an additional 30 minutes during the week for their class to come to the music room and "show and tell" what they've been doing in violin.  This way music and classroom teachers can continue to build connections across the curriculum.
  • The classroom teachers' absence allow the music teacher and teaching artist to command the classroom on their own before moving into daily after-school hours when their management skills will be most tested.
    Diane Barnett, who has been assisting in both kindergarten and 1st grade violin classes and Amy Bibb, a recent MAT music graduate, will lead JAMM club.  They are both indispensable to the program and JAMM is fortunate to have them!  As the school music teacher, I will also be there to support and help maintain consistency between in-school and after-school expectations.

    Amy Bib leads the 1st graders in a warm-up activity before drumming

    Thank you, Association of Alaska School Boards, Rasmuson Foundation and the Alaska State Council on the Arts for helping JAMM take its next big step. Here is a short video clip of Abreu Fellow, Julie Davis, leading the club in a partnering activity to help students isolate one skill at a time:  bowing or fingering.  Thank you, Julie, for sharing so many technique games with our students!


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