**NEW**  The GRSM Jam Band provides an opportunity for musicians to jam together in a band!


GRSM Jam BandThe GRSM Jam Band program (previously known as Mixed Instrument Ensemble) is designed for students to play together in contemporary bands. Bands can be formed with any number of different instruments but ideally bands will feature guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, and vocals/horns (instrumental groups are also fine.)


The basic repertoire will feature contemporary music drawing from rock, blues, pop, funk and folk music. Each group will have the freedom to pick repertoire and suggest songs. Groups will also be encouraged to write music and instructors will provide simple steps to facilitate composition. Bands will choose a name and work towards performing in public, learning performance skills along the way.

At certain times during the year, the regular lesson for a specified week will be replaced by a performance or on-site rehearsal.  Either/both of these may be on a different day and/or different location, so every effort will be made to arrange this conveniently for all band members.

The Jam Band program is open to all kids 7-adult who have taken at least 1 year of lessons. Students must continue to take private lessons while participating in bands – exceptions can be made on a case by case basis. Students are encouraged to sign up with their friends and sibling(s).  After a brief placement session, students will be assigned to groups based on experience and age.


1)  Music

    1. Learning to play in time together
    2. Learning to balance balance group dynamics
    3. Learning to listen to others while playing
    4. Developing a personalized taste in music

2)  Life Skills

  1. Team player – cultivating a sense of community responsibility and participation
  2. Boost Confidence – learning to perform in band rehearsals and in public
  3. Rocking out – MUSIC is fun


GRSM Jam Band Director – Hayes Cummings

Originally from the Piedmont of North Carolina, Hayes Cummings is a Richmond based guitarist, improviser, composer, and educator. He is interested in and inspired by the American styles of jazz, bluegrass, rock and folk music.

Hayes has been teaching music since 2012 at community music schools, k-12 schools, and his own private studio. He crafts an individualized curriculum for each student to best suit their interests and experience level. Hayes draws from a diverse background of music with extensive knowledge of contemporary music and degrees in both classical and jazz guitar. Hayes also brings unique offerings to his students as a certified Alexander Technique teacher, a mindfulness modality focused on reducing excess tension and preventing injury.

Hayes is a professional performer as well as educator. He is composer and arranger for his group, The Still Point, playing jazz and rock-n-roll influenced original compositions. He is also an active sideman and has toured across the United States as a member of contemporary chamber ensemble, Cordis.

Hayes holds a bachelor’s degree in classical guitar performance from Appalachian State University and a master’s degree in Jazz and Contemporary studies from Longy School of Music of Bard College. He trained in the Alexander Technique under Tommy Thompson at the Cambridge Center for Alexander Technique.