Statement of Values
Our mission is to provide a just and accessible music learning experience to students of all backgrounds, identities, and experiences, through online private music lessons. We strive to create a community of teachers and students who are anti-racist in their ideologies and practices. We believe music learning, music appreciation, and music performance are vital to sustaining a flourishing culture and can create strong, meaningful bonds between teachers, students, and audiences alike.
We welcome students and teachers of any and all backgrounds, but we wish to highlight specific people from marginalized backgrounds as being explicitly welcome at our school. These communities have long faced stigma, rejection, and oppression in society and we wish to make their music learning and teaching experience as safe and comfortable as possible. We also recognize the social impact of holding intersecting identities.
Young and old people (any ages)
Jewish people, Muslim people, and people of all marginalized ethno/religions
At JAMS, we have five core values that we honour. These values inform all of the decisions we make as well as our teaching philosophies.
We are just because we provide fair rates to teachers and students alike in a non-exploitative environment, and aim to listen to voices from all backgrounds in music. Teachers collectively own our business and make business decisions democratically.
We are accessible because we make rates affordable to students of low-income backgrounds through subsidized lessons, and make our doors open to all students who want to learn music. We also can offer specialized lessons for students experiencing developmental challenges.
We are transparent because we do not hide any of our goals as a business from our teachers or students. All member-teachers have a clear say in how JAMS operates and we strive to give students as much agency as possible in their music education.
We are creative in our utilization of new, socially-conscious strategies in the running of our music school. Our use of technology, a co-operative business model, and a fresh approach to music lessons sets us apart from other schools of music.
We foster growth in many ways in both our students and teachers alike. Our aim is to help students realize musical and personal growth through our lessons, while also empowering the professional development of our teachers.
Our Vision and Action Plan
At JAMS, we are committed to an anti-racist and pro social-justice framework. In order to follow through on our commitments, we will take action in a number of ways to bring this framework to life. We will offer a sliding-scale payment model for low-income students. We will be educating teachers through workshops and collectively funded resources (i.e. books, documentaries, etc.) regarding social justice issues.
With regards to our music curriculum, we will remain critical in our analysis of the traditional music canon and we will acknowledge the history behind the composers and pieces of music that we teach, in order to diversify and contextualize the repertoire taught to students. For students wishing to learn styles of music other than classical, jazz, and pop, we will offer culturally qualified teachers for the most appropriate and well-rounded learning experience possible. Lastly, we will ensure our teachers are paid a fair wage and are supported in their performance endeavours.
Part of our Action Plan is creating a safe space for our students and teachers. Therefore, JAMS has a zero-tolerance policy regarding bigotry, bullying, and harassment of any kind. However, we would like to highlight specific forms of bigotry and harassment that continue to be systemic problems in our society and that have long gone unchecked in the music field.
Transphobia, transmisogyny, and misogynoir
Fatphobia / Fatmisia
Sexual harassment and assault
Physical, emotional, mental, and verbal violence and abuse of all kind