Laura Ziegler, JAM Director and Lead Teacher in Astoria


Laura is a music educator from Illinois. She graduated with a bachelors in music education from Illinois State University and has taught and performed in various settings throughout her career. Her work includes solo and group performances, teaching private lessons to all ages, teaching adults with (dis)abilities in a rock band setting, studying and teaching traditional Jamaican drumming in Jamaica, and founding and teaching the K-7 general music program at Great Lakes Academy in South Side, Chicago. She is part of day-to-day operations and is the lead teacher for all groups and private lessons at JAM in Astoria.


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Picture of Kim McCord

Kim McCord, JAM Founder and Director in Shelton


Kim is Professor Emerita of music education at Illinois State University and adjunct professor at New York University and the University of Bridgeport. She received her doctorate in music education with a secondary emphasis in special education from the University of Northern Colorado. Her accomplishments include performing in professional rock and jazz groups, decades of teaching experience in public schools in Colorado and Illinois, serving the International Society for Music Education (ISME) as a Board member, founding and being first chair of the ISME Jazz Special Interest Group, and as the past chair of the ISME Commission on Music in Special Education. She founded and served as the first chair of the National Association for Music Education Special Research Interest Group on Children with Exceptionalities, and was a co-author for Exceptional Music Pedagogy for Children with Exceptionalities and author of Teaching the Postsecondary Music Student with Disabilities published by Oxford University Press. Kim is the founder of JAM and the lead teacher of all groups and private lessons at JAM in Shelton.


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Sanna Kivijärvi, JAM Founder and Director


Sanna is a researcher and educator based in Finland. Her research focus is on accessibility and equity issues in music education and she has published in top peer-reviewed journals in the field. Currently, she is based at the Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki, but has also worked as a visiting scholar in Teachers College, Columbia University and in New York University. Sanna is part of our daily activities by directing research projects among other areas. She also gives lectures and workshops when visiting the school.

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