Affiliation Benefits

When a program becomes an affiliate of JAM, use of the trademarked Junior Appalachian Musicians ® (JAM) name and program model can be used to identify your traditional music education program. 

As the parent organization for all JAM programs, we provide resources to existing program affiliates, as well as groups working to develop new JAM programs for youth across the Southern Appalachian region. JAM programs collectively reach over 1,500 children each year and provide a positive after school activity to many children who are classified as underserved.

For potential affiliates:

JAM provides outreach and assistance to community groups to develop new programs, which includes, but is not limited to:

Outreach to New Communities — identification of community stakeholders and target population, coordination of initial meetings and discussions, and assistance in the initial development of advisory boards in the interest of forming a new JAM program for area children.

Assistance to Advisory Boards – additional education on the JAM program model, assistance further selecting the target population, identifying possible program sites and fiscal agents as necessary, distinguishing between advisory board members and community partners, determining possible instructors and program staff, developing a draft budget, identifying funding sources, creating a fundraising plan, setting a tentative timeline for  program implementation, etc.  JAM is available for up to two in-person planning meetings with the advisory board, and is continually available to provide assistance via telephone and e-mail throughout the development process.  JAM can also provide assistance in other areas of program planning and fundraising as needed, including reviewing grants and marketing materials.

Program Director/Site Coordinator Training – Half- day orientation to all program operations, record keeping, student supervision, class scheduling, staff supervision,fundraising tasks, etc.

New Instructor Training – Half-day orientation to working with children ages 9 – 14, classroom/behavior management, resources to aid instruction, monitoring student achievements, differentiating instruction for learns by type, instrument focused teaching methodologies, child physical and emotional development overview, teaching oral traditions, developing string bands, performances and enrichment activities, etc.

For current affiliates:

JAM provides a variety of administrative and instructional resources and opportunities to program directors, instructors and students, which include, but are not limited to:

JAM Guide to Operations:  A 107 page resource which includes administrative protocol, templates and resources that ease management duties. JAM also provides regular updates and news regarding funding opportunities to affiliates.

JAM TIPS Guide (Teacher Inspired Pointers and Strategies):  JAM provides curricula, training, and other types of instructional resources for teachers through this guide; other instructional resources are located throughout the website.

JAM Student Passports:  This collection of competencies is available for fiddle, guitar, clawhammer banjo,  mandolin, and dance. The passports are used to monitor student skills/achievements.

JAM Regional Teacher Workshops:  Professional development opportunities are held in regional locations throughout each year to encourage continued teacher training and networking among JAM teachers in different programs.  Participants are paid a stipend to attend and professionals are hired to facilitate the workshops.  Topics often include behavior/classroom management strategies, teaching methodologies, differentiating instruction, and more.

Instruments on Loan:  JAM collects instruments for loan to affiliated programs on an as-needed basis. New programs are often eligible for as many as (10) instruments at start-up, as available. Existing affiliates may apply for additional instruments as needed. Click here for more information.

Donations of Instrument Accessories:  JAM collects instrument accessories, such as picks, straps, capos, strings, fiddle rosin, fiddle bows, cases, tuners, etc. and distributes equally among affiliates each year.

Affiliate Webpages:  JAM maintains a program webpage on for each affiliate. It is updated each year with current information and as needed (affiliate must send in new information to JAM). Information includes program logistics, advertisement of student performance events, student photos, historical information about local music, etc.  JAM also maintains a blog highlighting program achievements, media, events, etc.

Assistance with Program Evaluation:  Each year, JAM affiliates are asked to submit student numbers and other information regarding student performances.  JAM analyzes the information and provides an individualized report to each affiliate with suggestions, as needed, about student retention and overall program sustainability.

Student Performance Opportunities: JAM coordinates student performance opportunities several times throughout the year, which include regional day camps for students to enhance student engagement across programs.   Past venues have included the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass Festival and the Blue Ridge Music Center.


For others:

Appalachian Music Module (AMM) :  JAM developed this curriculum guide (11-lesson plan unit) which is correlated with 4th grade social science, language arts and music standards detailing the history of Appalachian Music as it relates to Appalachian culture. The Appalachian Music Module was developed by JAM to give teachers in mountain counties integrated curriculum materials related to the history of an important Appalachian resources – its musical heritage.  The unit provides an overview of the settlement of the Appalachian region and how musical styles brought by diverse populations merged and evolved into important forms of American music.   Along the way, students are invited to explore their own family musical heritage and sense of place in the world.  The AMM includes supplementary DVD footage, audio, and children’s books.  Other supplementary media, Bringing it Home (short videos) , is available for those using the AMM in Smyth/Washington Counties (VA), Galax/Grayson/Carroll (VA) and Watauga County (NC).  The AMM can also be used as enrichment activities for students in JAM programs.

The complete AMM kit is available for $150.00.  JAM also offers an affordable 1-day training sessions to public school teachers.   Click here for more information about the Appalachian Music Module.

Internships and special projects:  JAM internships introduce undergraduate and graduate students to traditional music education practices, affiliate programs, and the Appalachian Music Module.  Previous internships have included partnerships between JAM and Appalachian State University and Emory & Henry College. For information, contact [email protected]