JAMM is an El Sistema-inspired music program that offers Juneau’s youth early access to instrumental instruction through school and community partnerships. Based upon cognitive research that show playing an instrument at an early age develops key skills for success.

JAMM invests in pre-school and kindergarten classes by working with teachers and local musicians to provide group instrumental lessons during the school day at least three times a week. Glacier Valley Elementary School will pilot Juneau’s JAMM program for the 2010-2011 school year.

These video clips taken in Venezuela document the continuum of musical support given to children from toddler to young adulthood - something we hope to make happen in Juneau.

JAMM advocates for instrumental music as a consistent part of every child’s education and will make every effort through increased funding to expand its program to more schools, grade levels, instruments and most importantly, after-school hours where tutoring, music ensemble and other enrichment opportunities occur daily.

Public performance and community outreach are important elements of the program.  From playing in the school hallways to concerts on stage, students begin to see performing and community sharing as a natural and joyful part of their musical life.  Through group ensemble and peer mentoring, every child is a recognized asset and a contributor to his or her community.

Visit Lorrie Heagy’s blog documenting the JAMM program, her studies in Boston and travels in Venezuela:  Juneau Music Matters

JAMM: Juneau, Alaska Music Matters

Our Mission:

Through early access to music-making and the experience of ensemble, children in Juneau, Alaska, learn how to work together and become part of a community of confident, life-long and socially responsible learners.

In the News:

Paganinis on Paper

November 14, 2010

Unique Music Program Spreads to Juneau with Paper Violins

November 14, 2010

Learning to JAMM

July 19, 2010

Learning to JAMM

July 19, 2010

Our Goals:

  1. Provide all children early and consistent access to musical training through choral and instrumental ensemble.

  1. Develop neighborhood programs that create community pride, partnership and active participation.

  1. Foster healthy relationships between peers and adult role models through mentoring and group collaboration.

  1. Strengthen student connection to school and habits necessary for success including discipline, self-regulation, self-confidence, perseverance and focus.

  1. Help children successfully navigate their school years from kindergarten through the 12th grade.

Our Inspiration

  1. El Sistema is a music education program from Venezuela that uses music as a vehicle for social change. In its 35-year history, El Sistema has reached over 4 million youth.

  2. Through music, this program develops a student’s perseverance, work habits and self-esteem in order to empower and inspire, build a brighter future for families and strengthen communities.


Partial funding for JAMM has come from the Association of Alaska School Boards’ Initiative for Community Engagement, an initiative funded by the US Dept. of Education to provide Alaskans with information, tools and assistance to work together and engage in the shared responsibility of preparing Alaska’s children and youth for the future.