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Spread The Jam: A music workshop about the essential skills needed to sit in and jam with other musicians

Spread The Jam: A music workshop about the essential skills needed to sit in and jam with other musicians

by Joe Kennedy

Do you know those jitters you get before riding a rollercoaster? What about the feeling of anticipation when walking through a haunted house? That feeling of not knowing what exactly is going to happen but knowing it will be fun and memorable. That’s what it’s like to play on stage for many musicians! That’s the feeling that charges you up. The rush of dopamine from that oh-so-good feeling that overtakes you when you are playing your ax. That’s what I’m talking about!

Give your learners an opportunity they won’t soon forget! Sharing the stage and making music with professionals will be an exciting performance your students will be talking about for weeks. This isn’t a performance for the students, but a performance with the students. Experiential learning has numerous proven benefits, and this workshop is lead by a licensed educator with over 20 years of performance experience. In addition to the nuts and bolts experiential learning for your students, directors/teachers can expect to walk away with a guide to teaching beginning improvisation in your classroom, and a guide to hosting and facilitating jams in your classroom. This workshop is designed to align with the teachings of the book Spread The Jam, and demonstrate the skills needed to make music with other musicians in the commercial music scene.

How does this work? If you plan on visiting New Orleans we can host your ensemble in a jazz club in the historic French Quarter. A band of professional musicians will perform with your students. There is a list of songs on the website to download and have your students learn before the workshop. They will get to call a tune they’d like to perform, trade solos, get constructive feedback, and learn some of the tips and techniques used by the pros to communicate with others while playing. 

If you’d like our workshop to come to you, we can. I can come host a jam in your classroom with your students and share some of the tricks of the trade and model the teachings of my book. We can do this with 1-5 musicians. We can also arrange for the workshop faculty to give a public performance to demonstrate the effectiveness of the skills modeled. 

Our professional musicians have played thousands of gigs in numerous performance formats and can share with your students how they too can start to navigate the unknown waters of commercial music performances. The skills we will be teaching are applicable to jazz, blues, pop, funk, top 40, rock, and many other commercial music genres. From wedding bands to jam bands, jazz duos to pop/rock octets, these skills will give the musicians confidence, stage presence, and command of the verbal and non-verbal communications we use to create memorable musical performances. 

As educators, we know you want what is best for your learners. As professionals, we know what it takes to make the gig. All attendees will get a digital copy of my book and accompanying audio examples. To see how this workshop aligns with NAfME standards, and to find out more about what we have to offer, please visit 

Let’s get together and Spread The Jam. 


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