What is JAMS?
JAMS stands for the Just and Accessible Music School!
We are JUST, because we provide fair rates to teachers and students alike in a non-exploitative environment, and try to listen to voices from all backgrounds in music. Teachers collectively own the business, and we make decisions as a board, democratically. We acknowledge the stigmatization and oppression faced by marginalized communities, and we welcome teachers and students of all identities to work and learn with us in a safe environment.
We are ACCESSIBLE, because we offer lessons online, which allows students from all over the world to learn music with qualified teachers. We offer financial aid to students of low-income backgrounds through a sliding scale option as well as sponsorships, which will be implemented shortly after JAMS launches. We can also offer specialized lessons for students with disabilities, because we believe music learning is for everyone!
What Sets Us Apart
There are already plenty of music schools, why make another one?
At conventional music schools, teachers are expendable contractors with no say over how the school is run.
Schools typically takes 50% or more of the lesson cost away from the teacher, and even small pay raises are difficult to obtain and often denied.
There is an illusion of 'hobbyism', as if the fact that music teachers enjoy their work means that their labour is worth less than other professions.
JAMS is run democratically by all of our teachers, and takes only 20% of the lesson cost to fund expenses, with any surplus being redistributed fairly to the teachers.
Because of the above average quality of employment, JAMS only hires highly qualified teachers. JAMS provides scheduling that accounts for the challenges of being a teacher/performer, and offers financial aid to students who cannot afford private music education.
JAMS is committed to deprioritizing the western canon and fighting white supremacist, misogynist, colonial and capitalist values engrained in North American music education.
"A conventional business’s primary aim is to make profit for the owners and investors. The worker co-op’s primary goal is to provide service to its employees and its community."
-Canadian Worker Co-op Federation
JAMS is a new and innovative small business that provides high quality music education, equitable employment, and accessible opportunities to our community. The larger we grow, the more people will be able to benefit from the values our co-operative brings. As we focus on our expansion, we are accepting contributions from our community.
Currently, your contribution will be used to help fund our startup costs and to begin our student benefit fund. Such a fund will include sliding-scale payment options for students as well as sponsorship options to cover lesson costs for low-income students. We hope to begin offering financial aid to students as soon as possible, which is why your contribution to JAMS will make a world of difference!