Thursday, May 21, 2015

Meet Juneau's New String Quartet-in-Residence

Juneau Alaska Music Matters (JAMM), the Juneau Symphony, and the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) are proud to announce their scholarship recipients who will serve as members of the Juneau String Quartet-in-Residence while pursuing a Master of Arts in Secondary Teaching (MAT) with certification in K-12 Music.  The Juneau String Quartet will conduct their teaching internships at JAMM school sites and music classrooms within the Juneau School District, as well as perform in the Juneau Symphony.  These musicians passionate about education and music for social change will contribute to Juneau's vibrant arts community.

Lindsay Clark (violin): Lindsay was born and raised in Juneau and has participated with many musical groups locally and in Salem, Oregon, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Music at Willamette University.  In addition to classical music, Lindsay performed in many bluegrass, old time, and free improvisational bands.  She hopes to share her love for the diversity of the violin to students and peers.  Lindsay enjoys swimming, traveling, and everything the great outdoors of Juneau have to offer.

Heidi O'Connor-Brook (violin):  As a musician and former collegiate athlete, Heidi is passionate about the importance of arts, culture and healthy living in the lives of children and youth.  Graduating from the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance, Heidi grew up in the rural Yukon Territory near Whitehorse.  Heidi spent four years as a private instructor for the Young Native Fiddlers.  She has also taught Suzuki violin and traditional fiddling for community programs and public schools in Whitehorse.

Sophia Butler (viola): With a Bachelor of Arts in Music from St. Olaf College, Sophia is classically trained, but also has a love for folk music and ethnomusicology.  Having taught private lessons to a range of ages, Sophia is motivated by her students' diverse ways of learning and enjoyment of playing their instrument. Having also studied peace and conflict in Northern Ireland, Sophia is interested making music in order to build stronger and more peaceful relationships and communities.
Ruth Hogle (cello):  With a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from DePaul University, Ruth has dedicated her time to teaching cello with various El Sistema programs in Chicago, including The People's Music School and Ravinia's Reach, Teach, Play program.  She has also spent her past two summers teaching cello with a nonprofit called VivaPeru and the El Sistema program, Arpegio Peru in Trujillo, Peru.  While teaching is her main passion, Ruth has also greatly enjoyed performing chamber music and playing in DePauls' Chamber and Symphony Orchestras.

The quartet's first summer class is Voices on the Land where participants will learn how to apply brain research into their classroom practice and understand how the arts increase student engagement and achievement.  A particular focus will be the cultural arts of Southeast Alaska and performing arts that can amplify the stories of this region - in person and via media.  The quartet will work with teachers, local artists and cultural leaders to explore a variety of arts activities that they can use to integrate the performing, visual, cultural and media arts into their curriculum.

For more information:  University of Alaska Southeast's MAT in Secondary Education with a Certification in K-12 Music program.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

JAMM & Juneau Symphony Partner with University of Alaska Southeast

MAT in Secondary Education
with K-12 Music Certification


In partnership with Juneau Alaska Music Matters (JAMM) and the Juneau Symphony (JS), the University of Alaska Southeast proudly announces its one-year Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Secondary Education with a certification in K-12 Music to reflect the changing role of today’s music teacher.  As part of the course requirements, MAT students will conduct their teaching internships at JAMM school sites and music classrooms within the Juneau School District, as well as perform in the Juneau Symphony. This program gives preference to musicians interested in using music for social change. 

Through a competitive application process, four $10,000 scholarships are available to music majors/minors whose main instrument is violin, viola, cello, or bass.  MAT graduates are awarded a Master’s degree in Education with an Alaskan teaching certificate in K-12 Music.  Program begins July 26, 2015

Application and Scholarship Form:  UAS MAT Music Scholarship Program

Application Deadline:  April 1, 2017

Living in Juneau, Alaska:  Located in Juneau, Alaska, this artistic community is surrounded by natural beauty and provides an idyllic environment to pursue a graduate degree focused on community engagement, positive youth development, and social change through the arts.  Accessible only by boat or plane, Alaska’s capital supports a symphony, two opera companies, several theatre companies, and a host of other arts opportunities throughout the community.  In 2013, Juneau was selected by the John F. Kennedy Center as the 11th city in the country for its Any Given Child program, an initiative committed to bringing equity and access to arts education for children in grades K-8.  

Interning at Juneau Alaska Music Matters (JAMM): All MAT students will conduct their 9-month internship with JAMM, an El Sistema-inspired program, which uses the power of music and ensemble to help children reach their fullest potential.  JAMM serves 500 students in three elementary schools in the Juneau School District.  Lorrie Heagy will serve as the mentor teacher.  She is the 2011 Alaska Teacher of the Year, school music teacher, and one of fifty Sistema Fellows who studied at the New England Conservatory and in Venezuela to bring Sistema’s transformative approach to the United States.  In addition to general music classes and after-school JAMM programming, MAT students also will gain experiences in classes at the middle and high school level. 

Quartet-in-Residence: JAMM and the Juneau Symphony, along with other key community stakeholders, will sponsor a Quartet-in-Residence by providing a $10,000 scholarship to four music majors/minors who play a stringed instrument:  violin, viola, cello, or bass.  The quartet will inspire JAMM students, as well as contribute to Juneau’s classical music community and teaching artist pool, while increasing teachers credentialed to work in the K-12 music classroom. 

Aligning the MAT Music (K-12) Certification with the Transformative Role of Today’s Music Teacher:

Music teachers are agents of change, where instrumental music serves as a critical opportunity for all children to have access to the social, emotional, and intellectual benefits that music provides.  The MAT Certification in K-12 Music provides its students coursework that prepares them for their multi-faceted role in today’s society:  as citizen, artist, teachers, and scholar. 


Brain-based Teaching Practices:    

Students will participate in Juneau’s Basic Arts Institute, where participants learn skills that will enable them to apply brain research into their classroom practice and learn first-hand knowledge of how the arts increase student engagement and achievement.  Participants will work with experts, local artists and cultural leaders to explore a variety of arts activities that they can use to integrate the performing, visual, cultural, and media arts into their curriculum.

Rehearsing and Performing with the Juneau Symphony: 

This course mutually benefits the Quartet-in-Residence, as well as the Juneau Symphony. By rehearsing and performing with the Juneau Symphony for its concert series, MAT students maintain their performance skills, while actively engaging and contributing to Juneau’s musical community 

Emphasis on Positive Youth Development:

Students will apply Lerner’s Positive Youth Development model, as well as other educational theories that emphasize student empowerment, self-determination, efficacy, and resiliency.  Educational theorists such as Freire, Dewey, Bandura, and Dweck provide different lenses in which to understand and support a child’s cognitive, social, and emotional growth. 

Overview of Music Pedagogies and Music Technology Applications: 

Students will actively participate in and teach lessons demonstrating key principles from Dalcroze, Orff, Kodaly, Suzuki, Feierabend, and World Music Drumming.  The lessons also include brain-based teaching strategies that help motivate, engage, and empower students.  Other components of this technology course include GarageBand to create music, Finale to make simplified arrangements, and Web 2.0 tools to document learning as part of a professional educational portfolio. 

Classroom Management:

Although well-structured, developmentally appropriate, and engaging lessons often preclude behavioral issues, today’s music teacher faces challenges different from those of the regular classroom teacher.  Oftentimes, music teachers are tasked with teaching ensembles of fifty students or more (each with and instrument in hand) and no other adult support.  Place this situation in an after-school context and classroom management can become even more challenging.  To equip MAT students with a more comprehensive tool kit, the internship provides students with an overview of effective classroom approaches, including the Responsive Classroom, Love and Logic, and Michael Grinder’s ENVoY.

Educational Research:   

The MAT K-12 Music Certification program embodies the scholar-practitioner model, which helps students apply new knowledge through action and civic engagement. As part of this research class, students will create and apply new knowledge to effect social change in their school and community.  Grant writing has become a necessity and required skill of today’s music teacher. Students will work alongside JAMM music teachers to identify a research project that will contribute meaningful data toward student outcomes, program effectiveness, or community engagement.  MAT students will incorporate this data into a grant application that they’ve identified and written to help support JAMM.    

Electronic Portfolio:

Throughout the MAT K-12 Music Certification program, students will document their work as citizens, artists, teachers, and scholars. By including rich media as part of their portfolios, UAS students not only will be contributing to the wider community, but also providing future employers evidence of their work. 

For more information contact: 

Scott Christian:      (907) 796-6563                                                          

Lorrie Heagy:: (907) 209-8063

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! 


$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.