The Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) program offers students ages 8 to 17 lessons in traditional mountain music on fiddle, banjo and guitar. Professional musicians guide the classes every Wednesday from 3:45-5pm through demonstration, repetition and verbal instructions.
This year our JAM program will look a little different than in the past to ensure the safety of our students and instructors. JAM will meet for lessons outside in shaded and protected areas at BMCA during the months of September and October. Students and teachers will be socially distanced from one another and everyone will wear masks. During colder months (November - March) students will participate in JAM via online teaching modules, practice videos and Zoom sessions. It is our hope that JAM can resume in the spring in a more “normal” context (indoor classes) but that decision will be made later. At the very least JAM will resume with in-person instruction for April & May perhaps indoors or maybe back outside again.

Ben Nelson

Cary Fridley

Maddy Mullany

John Duncan


All spaces for beginning students are full. Please contact us to register students experienced in their chosen instrument.


Payment for JAM is by session.  We prefer cash or check to avoid costly credit card fees.

You may also pay via Paypal or by debit/credit card in our main office.

The traditional music of North Carolina’s Appalachian region has taken its place as one of the nation’s renowned art forms. Introduced by immigrants from the British Isles, Africa, and Europe, and influenced by Native American tradition, the stringed instruments, tunes, and songs of our mountains play an enduring and dynamic role in the development of American popular and classical music.

JAM is supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. JAM is a regional program; BMCA hosts the Buncombe County classes.

Instrument Rental
The Black Mountain Center for the Arts has a small inventory of instruments that are available for rent. If you’re interested in renting an instrument, please call our main office.