Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I sign-up my child?
A: Click here for the sign-up form

Q: When I sign-up my child will they automatically be accepted?
A: Limited space is available. After the 30 slots are filled, additional submissions will be added to our waiting list.

Q: How do you decide who can take an open space?
A: SMF Jazz Academy will weigh acceptance on the date of sign-up and available inventory of instruments.

Q: What music level is my child?
A: Levels are fairly subjective, depending who you ask. Here are the minimum requirements for each level: 
– (0-1 year of music knowledge) – Student has never played an instrument, may have a basic understanding of music but does not know music clef signs or how to read music notes.
Intermediate –  (2-3 years of music knowledge) – Student can play their instrument with basic knowledge of body set-up, instrument set-up, and has a good foundation of note reading.
Advanced -( 3+ years of music knowledge) – Student can play their instrument with ease because their technique and note reading are very strong. Generally a student with experienced technical skills, can be thrown into almost any situation and find their way, to one degree or another.

Q: How long does the program last?
A: The program operates within SCCPSS’s 2020-2021 school year calendar. Students attend 2 days a week, either (a) Monday & Tuesday (b) Wednesday & Thursday. The two days are determined by the student’s musical level.

Q: Can my child participate in the program for ONLY the lessons and not the classes?
A: SMF Jazz Academy prides itself on being a rigorous jazz education program where, participants receive their jazz education from their weekly jazz classes. Students must attend their 2 weekly classes (Beginners: Mon & Tues OR Intermediate/Advanced: Wed & Thurs) in order to receive weekly instrumental lessons.

Q: Can my child participate in the program for ONLY the classes and not the lessons?
A: Students must participate in lessons in order to receive SMF Jazz Academy jazz classes. Lessons are taught by our experienced Artist Instructors, that will teach students through exercises to harness particular techniques, and songs that use those techniques so your child understands how to apply them to their SMF Jazz Academy jazz classes.

Q: My child has a disability or an IEP, may they participate?
A: SMF Jazz Academy does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, or disability. SMF Jazz Academy admits students of any gender, race, religion, color, national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, and activities available in our program. To further discuss your child’s needs contact SMF Jazz Academy Manager, Jessica Messere at jessica@savannahmusicfestival.org or 912-234-3378 ext. 107.

Q: My child has no music experience, can they still sign-up?
A: Yes! SMF Jazz Academy does not require students to have prior music experience. All we ask is a commitment and desire for students to participate in our virtual program for them to benefit from the high-quality music jazz education.

Q: Is there a tuition fee?
A: No, SMF Jazz Academy is completely FREE! We provide everything a student will need to participate in the program.

Q: What tuition-free things are provided during my child’s participation?
A: The following are provided to students during the program period at no cost…

  • Free instrument rental (if needed)
  • 30 minute (60 minute – music level dependent) one-on-one instrument lesson each week
  • Jazz History & Listening Class
  • Jazz Music Theory Class
  • Music Technology Class
  • Weekly snack packs
  • Virtual student performance(s) and
  • Opportunities to attend select 2021 Savannah Music Festival events.

Q: If tuition is free, are there any other expenses?
A: Yes, there will be an instrument maintenance fee ($5.00/month). Need-based scholarships are available. At the end of the program period, ALL monthly payments collected will be returned to families after their student’s instrument is successfully returned to SMF Jazz Academy. Also, there’s an added incentive, each monthly payment enters you for our SMF Jazz Academy raffle! Raffle prizes have been $100 grocery store gift card, a summer of free private instrument lessons, and an instrument maintenance wavier for the next program period.

Q: What if my child already has an instrument?
A: Great! If your child has established themselves with their own instrument, have them use that instrument for the program.

Q: What if I want to find an instrument for my child?
A: SMF Jazz Academy encourages parents to take advantage of the FREE instrument rental. Each instrument is of good quality complete with a well-fitting case, instrument care accessories, and a practice kit that includes a music stand, metronome, and tuner (if applicable). If you choose to invest in an instrument contact your student’s SMF Jazz Academy Artist Instructor or Jessica Messere, SMF Jazz Academy Manager. Either will provide contact information for instrument sellers.

Q: What happens in a Music Technology Class?
A: Students will learn how to use technology specifically designed for music, i.e., music notation software, online music ear-training activities and more. Check out SMF Jazz Academy’s Music Director Fellow, Erez Dessel, demonstrate one of the music technology programs that he’ll utilize in the classes.

Q: Can I observe the program?
A: Yes, we highly encourage parents to join any virtual classes of the program. In fact, studies have proven that students who have parental involvement have a positive affect on their child’s enjoyment of music and their music making progress. Use the virtual class links provided to your child.

Q: What do the instruments look like and how do they sound?

Trumpet: Christian Marrero

Saxophone: Lakecia Benjamin

Trombone: Trombone Shorty

Drums & Guitar: Nandi Bushell

Piano: Joey Alexander

Electric Bass: Aron Hodek

More questions? Contact Jessica Messere at jessica@savannahmusicfestival.org