One of JAM's musicians playing drum set.

What is JAM?

JAM is a music school and research center located in Fairfield County, CT and New York City, NY. We provide private and group lessons on any instrument for people of all ages, (dis)abilities, backgrounds, skill-levels, and musical interests.

Music Education Through JAM

JAM’s ultimate educational goal is to foster positive, life-long relationships with music. We do this by using a wide variety of teaching approaches to ensure that each musician is getting the best possible experience to reach their individual musical goals. We value the existing approaches in music education practices, but also flexibly adjust them. We use a number of approaches toward reading music notation but also honor those who prefer to play and learn by ear. Kim McCord also has sophisticated experience using assistive technology including consulting on appropriate devices and how to make it work in the school curriculum, ensemble or as a solo experience. JAM owns a number of music assistive devices, including everything from alternative electronic music controllers to adaptive guitar picks and adaptive drum sticks. Each musician is personally assessed to determine the way that they prefer to play or sing. We then figure out how to make accessing the instrument seamless and meaningful.

In addition to working with developing musicians, JAM also partners with in-service and student teachers from programs and universities in the area to further the development of music educators within our communities. We provide our teachers with the space to explore new educational pilots and develop innovative ways to learn and teach music.

Interested in teaching with us? Click here to apply!

One of JAM's teachers playing guitar.

JAM's Mission 

Our mission is to provide a forum for music and research that is accessible for people of all backgrounds, ages, (dis)abilities, skill-levels and musical interests. Our educational practice is intertwined with research and we aim to create an environment that promotes equity and inclusion in and throughout our practices.

Research Through JAM

We are an interdisciplinary research center that focuses on combining scholarly work with music educational practice. We offer opportunities for collaborative research partnerships in and through JAM, and rely on an extensive global network of researchers in music education and the related fields. We also welcome students at all levels to engage with JAM’s practices during a thesis process. In the USA, our main partner universities are New York University, NY and University of Bridgeport, CT.

Interested in researching with us? Click here to apply!

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How JAM Began

Just Accessible Music was founded with a determination to make music accessible to all through education and research.

 

Professor emerita Kimberly McCord has decades of experience in teaching students with (dis)abilities and in music teacher education at the university-level. In 2015 she visited Helsinki, Finland, where the Resonaari Music Centre, an internationally renowned music school promoting equity and inclusion, is located. There she met Dr. Sanna Kivijärvi, a researcher and educator focused on equity issues in music education. Eventually the two educators started envisioning a school that would be open to all people and musics and where teachers would be engaged in conducting high-quality research. 

 

After her return from Resonaari, Kim started JAM at Illinois State University and went to establish JAM in Connecticut in 2017. In 2019, she started to further expand the school with Sanna, who at the time was based in New York City as a Fulbright scholar. In 2020, they invited Laura Ziegler, one of Kim's first JAM co-teachers at Illinois State, from Chicago, IL to co-direct the school in NYC.

 

JAM has accumulated over 50 students and facilitates a variety of research and student-teaching activities in collaboration with universities, such as the University of Bridgeport and the New York University where Kim serves as an Adjunct Professor. In 2021, JAM is broadening its activities particularly in New York City.