50 JEN Signature Chapters & Societies Launched!

by Sharon Burch

That’s right! Fifty JEN chapters and societies were formed by January 31, 2018, establishing them as “Signature Chapters & Societies.” We’re excited to launch this initiative, providing a way to connect chapters and societies around the globe. If you are the director, leader or organizer of a school or community jazz group, this is the perfect time to establish your chapter or society.


What are the perks? Why should you join or start your chapter or society?

One organizer (director or leader) receives full JENeral Individual Membership benefits with payment of the chapter/society’s annual dues. This means the organizer is eligible to apply for grants to support festivals, workshops and concerts, as well as the other benefits of a JENeral Individual Membership. In addition, organizers receive advance notice for Jazz2U grant funding, JENerations Jazz Festival (JJF) registration and scholarships. In fact, scholarships and JJF registration is open to JEN Chapter and Society organizers now, and open to the rest of the JEN membership on April 1.

Members of chapters and societies qualify for a free (18 or younger) or discounted membership rate (18 and above), access to special benefits and a global network of students, educators, artists, musicians, and jazz enthusiasts. As the number of chapters and societies continues to increase over the next few months, we will begin to connect geographic region chapters and societies into area units, with a JEN Chapter or Society organizer assuming the role of area unit leader. This will help facilitate sharing resources and costs associated with area unit events, jam sessions, festivals and more while connecting with each other throughout the year via online groups.


We don’t have an existing student chapter. What do JEN student chapters do?

After visiting with several thriving student chapters, we’ve started to collect ideas to share. The Central Washington University (CWU) JEN Chapter created a list of ideas on how to structure the organization, find funding for events and host themed jam sessions, listening sessions, “jazz 101” sessions and more. We’d love to add your ideas to share. You can find out more at the JEN website. jazzednet.org/chapter-collegiate/


So, how does it work? What are the requirements to join?

I’m so glad you asked! The organizer (director or teacher) joins as an “organization,” choosing one of three options—Secondary School Chapter, Collegiate Chapter or Society (community group). Remember, this provides all JENeral Individual Membership benefits for the organizer. You will need a minimum of 10 members, and if you are a school organization, a slate of officers to be officially registered and listed on the JEN website.


What if I already have a JEN membership?

Organizers can choose to keep individual memberships and be an organizer of a chapter or society or email the JEN office ([email protected]) to convert your individual membership to an organizer membership. Individuals who want to become members of a student chapter or society may email the JEN office to add the designation to their account.


Start your JEN Chapter or Society today!

Celebrating the tenth year of JEN’s existence, this is an exciting time to be part of the Jazz Education Network. If you have experienced a JEN Conference, you know that it truly is a jazz “love fest” and the greatest hang of the year between students, educators, artists, musicians, and jazz enthusiasts. Start your JEN Chapter or Society today and become part of the next evolution— bringing the jazz network to your school or organization throughout the year.


Details shared on the JEN Chapters and Societies webpage.

A recipient of the JEN President’s Service Award, JEN Managing Director Sharon Burch has dedicated her life to music education through teaching, speaking, publishing and business. During her 20+ years teaching pre-k through high school vocal and general music, she became a best selling author of the Freddie the Frog® Book series, storybooks that introduce basic concepts of music, including jazz. In addition to serving as the managing director of the Jazz Education Network, Sharon serves as an education consultant for Jazz At Lincoln Center, creating resources designed for teachers who may or may not be trained in America’s art form, introducing jazz to the next generation.