FFOTM members wanted to provide opportunities for the youth of our community to learn to play a musical instrument to enrich their lives, and allow local musicians and FFOTM members to share their passion for music, passing on their joy of traditional music to a new generation.
The program was started by long-time FFOTM members Lloyd Holderman & Christina Boyd. Currently Terry Alan & his wife Bonnie Dumdei of Flagstaff School of Music, are the new directors. A new element after nine years running, our community shall see the JAMMERS in public performances. This is the basis of our music education, by putting what the students have learned into practice and sharing it with the community in which they dwell.
In 2013, the JAMMERS had a demonstration workshop & performance at Flagstaff Folk Festival to a group of 40 or so, even with sprinkles in the air & the threat of a lot more rain to come. They also held their first public workshop at Pickin’ in the Pines. Look for us at Heritage Square as part of the Cultural Partners Events on the Square, as well as at Bookman’s and Flagstaff School of Music & the White Dove Coffee Shop. We hope to be expanding that list throughout the year! We believe after “opening up” for Bluegrass Academy Award Winner, Claire Lynch & her band in Jan. ‘13 and Beppe Gambetta & Peter Ostroushko in March, that we can take the stage before more and more local performers also.
How it works
The FFOTM Young Jammers program provides this opportunity for young people between the ages of 9 and 17 to acquire and learn to play a musical instrument. No experience is necessary. The program provides instruments available on loan for those who need them, monthly workshops, and group lessons. Everything is free.
The Young Jammers program encourages local citizens who may have old or unused musical stringed instruments (fiddles, banjos, guitars, basses, mandolin, or dulcimers) sitting in their closets or attics to dig them out and donate them. These instruments will be distributed to youth between the ages of 9 and 17 who want to learn to play music and jam.
Weekly classes are currently on hold. A typical class starts with the “Feeder Class” learns 3 chords in 5 keys, and scales. When the jammer graduates to the “Beginner Class,” the jammer learns how to play simple folk songs & the art of playing together. There’s an “Advanced Class” for those requiring greater difficulty. The class ends with a full instrument jam.
The Jammers, age between 9 & 17, get both the instrument & the instruction free of charge! Many of you have approached us at one time or another, expressing an interest in sharing some of your time & talent to preserve this important program. Now is the time to join the volunteer roster and help us shape this program, and keep tradition alive!
How You Can Help
Current instrument owners are asked to donate their old or used instruments to the cause of inspiring and nurturing the musical talent of our youth. Instruments in good condition will be picked up. Please call 928-268-1108 to make arrangements. If an instrument has a unique history or story associated with it, please include a typed copy along with contact name and phone number so we may thank you.
Items we need for our Young Jammers
- Instruments – These gifts of love are a large portion of what this program needs most. Guitars, especially the small & parlor sizes, fiddles, banjos, mandolins, dulcimers, dobros, and stand up basses. All instruments are taken care of best with cases. We inventory all our instruments, work with community luthiers for repairs, and set up for those with a desire to learn and play.
- Accessories – things such as tuners, metronomes, capos, rosin, chin rests, and so forth help each instrument be at its peak performance.
- Curriculum – method books, videos, and sheet music help us educate a whole program.
We are starting a library for lending out these items.
- Strings – often musicians change strings before they wear out their current sets. Please use making tape to label each string, circle them up and mail them to: Attn: FFOTM Young Jammers Flagstaff School of Music 2213 E. 7th Ave. Flagstaff, Az. 86004 Any strings with any life left in them may come in handy.
- Monetary gifts – We are grateful for you monetary donations to promote our program, and cover various expenses throughout the year. (Make checks payable to FFOTM.)
- Volunteer instructors – we depend heavily on musicians to share their talents and time to nourish the youth in our community. We have a couple ways you can volunteer. Consider hosting a workshop for a specific instrument, or technique. Or help out at the weekly classes. Come as often as you like. Join our volunteer team today, and help us keep traditional music alive in Flagstaff!
*If you have any items to donate to the Young Jammers program, please bring them to Flagstaff School of Music located at 2213 E 7th Ave, Flagstaff, AZ.