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. Update: as of December 1, 2020 all SMF Jazz Academy student slots have been filled.

Q: How do you decide who can take an open space?
A: SMF Jazz Academy is working in collaboration with Savannah-Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS) transportation department and will weigh acceptance on the following:

  • Students attending school location and its dismissal bell time to ensure on-time arrival to SMF Jazz Academy’s program site, School of Humanities at Juliette Gordon Low Elementary located at 15 Blue Ridge Avenue, 31404.
  • Date of sign-up
  • Available inventory of instruments

Q: What if I can drive my child to and from the site school?
A: We welcome that! Alternate transportation should be discussed with SMF Jazz Academy Manager, Jessica Messere at jessica@savannahmusicfestival.org or 912-234-3378 ext. 107

Q: How long does the program last?
A: Program operates Monday-Friday, starting Monday, January 13, 2020 through Friday May 8, 2020. SMF Jazz Academy observes all early-release days, school breaks, and SCCPSS honored holidays.

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 everyday for them to benefit from the high-quality music jazz education.

Q: Is there a tuition fee?
A: No, SMF Jazz Academy is tutition-free! SMF Jazz Academy provides 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
  • 30 minute one-on-one instrument lesson each week
  • Small instrument group class
  • Small Band ensemble class
  • Big Band ensemble class
  • Jazz theory class
  • Daily dinner & snack
  • Daily academic assistance
  • SCCPSS bus transportation
  • Student performance opportunities and
  • Opportunities to attend select Savannah Music Festival (March 26, 2020 -April 11, 2020) events.

Q: If tuition is free, are there any other expenses?
A: Yes, there will be an instrument maintenance fee ($5.00/month). 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  $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 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).

Q: Can I observe the program?
A: Yes, we highly encourage this! Contact SMF Jazz Academy Manager, Jessica Messere at jessica@savannahmusicfestival.org or 912-234-3378 ext. 107 to arrange dates for your observation.

Q: What’s SMF Jazz Academy’s Big Band?
A: SMF Jazz Academy’s Big Band will be a traditional set-up of instruments: trumpet, trombone, saxophone, piano, electric guitar, upright bass/electric bass, and drums. Every instrument has a crucial part in the Big Band. Each instrument offers their unique sound and has an essential role for keeping the Big Band together while playing. Check out this big band and notice how each instrument adds to the piece!

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