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Franklin County JAM opens for registration
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Franklin County JAM opens for registration

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JAM Photo

The program is open to students in grades 4 through 8.

After operating on a much smaller scale than normal since the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to many things in the area, Franklin County JAM is gearing up again.

The program, which started in 2014, offers music instruction to students in grades 4 through 8 at the Leonard A. Gereau Center for Applied Technology and Career Exploration. Instruments taught include the guitar, banjo, fiddle and mandolin. Jim Mullens, program director, said the guitar is the most popular instrument among students.

On Tuesday, a registration event was held at the center. Prior to the pandemic, the program had roughly 40 students. Due to safety guidelines, lessons were no longer possible, so the program essentially pressed pause.

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Mullens said, “Since things are getting better with COVID, we’ve decided to open up JAM to open enrollment. We’re excited to open it back up to the general public because it’s been over a year since we had a significant amount of students.”

Those who are interested in participating in the program are able to stop by the Gereau Center next Tuesday. Lessons occur at the center every Tuesday from 4-5:30 p.m. Students pay $10 per lesson. For students who do not own an instrument, the program can loan one to them.

“If someone isn’t quite sure if they want to enroll, they can come and observe if they want to,” Mullens said.

All of the instructors have passed background checks through Franklin County Public Schools, Virginia State Police and the Virginia Department of Social Services.

“Our instructors are people who have played old time Appalachian music for years,” Mullens said.

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