left-ornamentYoung Jammers

History

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 in 2004. Terry Alan & his wife Bonnie Dumdei of Flagstaff School of Music took over in 2012 leading classes and presenting the Young 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, Pickin’ in the Pines, Heritage Square, Bookman’s and Flagstaff School and Music. They also opened up for IBMA Winner, Claire Lynch & her band and Beppe Gambetta & Peter Ostroushko. In 2014 the Young Jammers hosted monthly free workshops at Bookmans focusing on different instruments with different instructors each month, inviting jammers of all ages for great family jamming events.

In 2015, John Borham became the new director of the Young Jammers Program. John began pickin’ tunes at 8 years old, and learned classical technique throughout his childhood. As a youngin’, John enjoyed watching old bluegrass guitarists play at the park and aspired to be like them someday. When John went off to study elementary education at NAU, he began writing his own songs and performing them for his friends and community. Today, John enjoys writing songs and showing them to his 7th grade students at Pine Forest School.

Current Program Details

Flagstaff is home to many incredible fingerpickin’ and fiddle-playing folksters eager to pass on their enthusiasm to the next generation, which is why FFOTM Young Jammers provides free folk music instruction for Flagstaff’s youth.

Free instrument instruction includes guitar, bass, violin, fiddle and mandolin. Students learn to play the melody and/or chords in a small group for the first hour of class, then join as a large group to jam with all the other instruments. Students also learn scales so they can free jam with each other.

Sessions take place at Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy (FALA) on the first and third Wednesdays of school months at 4pm-5:30pm.

Instructors teach on a volunteer basis, and are sought by FFOTM. Instruments are donated by our generous community to inspire and nurture talent of our youth. They are set up and ready to be played. We only ask that each user practices and returns the instrument in the same condition it was issued. Other valuable donations are cases and various accessories such as strings, bows and rosin, picks and instructional books. Monetary contributions help with repairs and marketing as well as a few instrument purchases when needed.

Interested in joining, volunteering or donating? Contact john@ffotm.org

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.

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 email John Borham at john@ffotm.org 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

  1. 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.
  2. Accessories – things such as tuners, metronomes, capos, rosin, chin rests, and so forth help each instrument be at its peak performance.
  3. Curriculum – method books, videos, and sheet music help us educate a whole program.
    We are starting a library for lending out these items.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.)
  6. 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 email john@ffotm.org

Become a Student or Instructor for Young Jammers

Contact john@ffotm.org if you are interested in becoming a student or instructor for FFOTM Young Jammers