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! 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Project Ubuntu Arrives in Juneau

Daniel Becton, creator of Project Ubuntu, visits JAMM
Daniel Becton visited JAMM for one week as part of Project Ubuntu - a national, year-long service project that celebrates and supports organizations dedicated to service throughout the United States.  As part of Project Ubuntu's mission, Daniel will visit one community in every state: 51 communities in 51 weeks. Daniel selected JAMM as the organization to represent the state of Alaska.  We marked the 35th week of his journey.

Becton supports Project Ubuntu's partners by channeling his skills and resources to meet their needs, and by sharing his perspective on service and building positive community.  He dedicates one week to each partner to learn their stories, and broadcasts these stories to a growing international audience as he strives to inspire increased kindness and service.

As part of his week of service in Juneau, Daniel visited all three JAMM sites, videotaped programming and interviewed parents and students to help produce a video about JAMM's expansion to Riverbend and Auke Bay Elementary Schools, as well as 2nd grade at Glacier Valley.  Daniel is a cellist, so he also was a wonderful asset to our beginning cello students.

Thank you, Daniel, for your service and for choosing JAMM as your Alaskan service organization!  For information about Project Ubuntu:  http://projectubuntu.info/

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sistema Taiwan Documents JAMM

Derjk Wu, founder of Sistema Taiwan, and Kris Wang, a film documentarian, made the long trip to Juneau to observe, film and interview key people involved with JAMM.  In particular, our guests were interested in documenting effective teaching practices and learning more about developing successful community partnerships.  Over a year ago, Derjk started Sistema Taiwan in ten orphanages throughout Taiwan.  I was honored to visit one of those orphanages last summer and to provide teacher training to the incredibly dedicated teaching staff there.  We hope to create future opportunities that connect our two programs and children! 

Derjk and Kris were kind enough to share the photos they took while visiting JAMM.  Here are some highlights:

Friday, February 15, 2013

Kennedy Center Recognizes Juneau and JAMM

Juneau was selected as the 11th city in the United States for the Kennedy Center's Any Given Child program, which helps communities provide access and equity to the arts for all children K - 8th grades.  As part of the final selection process, two representatives from the Kennedy Center flew to Juneau to meet with community and school members and visit Glacier Valley to watch JAMM 2nd graders play on their stringed instruments before performing a Tlingit dance in Alaska native regalia.

In a Juneau Empire article announcing the award, Darrell Ayers, Vice President of Education at the Kennedy Center, said that he was "excited by the plans for the new Library, Archives and Museum building on Willoughby Avenue, and by the success of the Juneau Alaska Music Matters (JAMM) program out at Glacier Valley, Riverbend and Auke Bay Elementary Schools."

To bring access, balance, and equity to each child's arts education, the Any Given Child initiative will incorporate existing resources of the Juneau School District, along with those of local arts organizations and the Kennedy Center to create a plan for arts education specific to the city.  With the assistance of expert consultation services provided by Kennedy Center staff and other professionals, community leaders develop a long-range plan for arts education that is tailor-made for the school district and community.