Alabama School of Gospel Music
June 4 - June 16, 2023
Snead State Community College
The Alabama School of Gospel Music (ASGM) offers the highest caliber of instruction in the field of gospel music. The school takes place the first two weeks of June at Snead State Community College in Boaz, AL. There, students spend two weeks learning to read, write, and play music. Each student is placed in classes according to his or her age and music experience. One will find that the study of gospel music instills confidence, creativity, competence, and the love of God. Students will find attending ASGM is a very rewarding experience.
During students two weeks at ASGM, they have opportunities to grow their knowledge in music theory, sight singing, and ear training. Group singing is held two times daily where students enjoy sight reading new convention style gospel music. Check out our videos on Facebook from our live sessions. Students have the option to stay in the dormitory on campus or commute to and from campus. Students can attend full time (both day and night), exclusively during the day, or exclusively at night. During the two weeks, students record a project of approximately 18 songs that is given to them as part of their instructional material and is also available for purchase. At the end of the two weeks, a recital, scholarship presentation, and closing concert are held. This two week session will hold our normal schedule including group singing, sight-singing, and ear-training. Closing concert will be help at Calvary Baptist Church in Boaz, Alabama.
2022 Closing Concert
Calvary Baptist Church
And the rest was ASGM history...
In the fall of 1985, convention singers from throughout the state of Alabama met to discuss conducting a summer music school similar to ones held in other states. A follow-up meeting was then held at the St. Clair County Singing Convention at the Church of the Valley. At that time, fifty gospel singers paid $10 to sponsor the schools creation and help fund its opening. Of those fifty individuals, eight were elected to be executive board members. The first session of the school was held in 1986 at Snead State Community College. Throughout the years, ASGM has had representation from all over the United States and even other countries. Students have ranged from kindergarten age children to 99 years young. ASGM students have taken the knowledge obtained during their years at ASGM and used it to take back to their home, churches, and schools. Summers spent at ASGM have led to students finding careers in music education, church choir and music leaders, and some even as members of professional gospel groups. Faculty of our school have all grown up in southern gospel music and have taken career paths from what they grew up loving. Our director of instruction, Mr. Tom Powell, is the son of Rosa Nell Speer Powell of the Speer Family singers. Those working along side him are members of paid choirs, have obtained doctoral degrees in music education, teach high schoolers to find a love in the beauty of a song, and win DOVE awards.
Classes and Private Lessons
Students are placed into theory classes based on their demonstration of knowledge on the placement test. Placement tests are taken the day of registration before group singing. Levels of theory range from elementary rudiments of music to advanced classes where students are able to construct and write gospel songs.
Private lessons are available for an additional cost. Lessons are given five times throughout the two week period. Private lessons in piano and voice are offered with other private lesson subjects available upon request and availability.
Dormitory and Cafeteria Information
Full time students are welcome to stay in the dormitory located on Snead State Community College Campus. There 2 rooms are adjoined by a private bathroom. Two people stay in a room. Children under 10 must have a parent, guardian, or older sibling staying in the dormitory with them in order to stay in the dorm. The dorm is available to stay in over the weekend for those who are traveling too far to return home over the weekend. Private rooms are available based upon availability. Space in our dorm fills quickly-- rooms are available first come first serve.
The cafeteria located on the Snead State Campus serves students three meals a day. This is included in full time tuitions for students. Students who are commuting to campus may purchase meals for an additional cost. The cafeteria is NOT open on the weekend or on Friday evening to provide meals for students.
Commonly Asked Questions
Question: What does a typical day look like at ASGM?
Answer: Every day at ASGM starts around 8:00 a.m. After breakfast, students meet for morning devotion and announcements. Then everyone splits into their assigned classes to have theory, sight singing, and ear training. Before lunch, group singing is held for an hour. After lunch, students go back to their respective theory classes. We have a 3 hour afternoon break. After dinner, group singing is held again.
Question: How old should a student be to attend ASGM?
Answer: Students are encouraged to be able to read basic sight words. Children going into first grade are generally ready to start singing school. There is no age cap. ASGM has had students who are 99 years young.
Question: What can students do during their afternoon free time?
Answer: Students are encouraged to spend time together playing games and getting to know one anther. Staff provide opportunities throughout the week for different activities upon availability.