FARMINGTON — Every other Friday, Steve Muise, RSU 9 orchestra teacher and Franklin County Fiddlers creator gathers his student musicians to jam in the hallways of Mt. Blue High School for a series called “Blue Fri Jam.”

Muise and the musicians serenade the students and staff of Mt. Blue High School on their way to start the school day with some tunes.

“A lot of people have let us know that it’s uplifting for them to hear the music to start the day,” Muise said. “It’s just a lot of fun, another opportunity to play and make music with the students.”

Muise said he started Blue Fri Jam six or seven years ago. But he’s been doing it for so long, Muise said he doesn’t actually remember how it started.

The tunes are up for choice.

Joined by current students Hope Chernesky, a fiddler, and Jack Cramer, a bassist, the trio will whip out whatever tickles their fancy in the moment. Sometimes, it’s a tune new to them altogether.


“I wouldn’t say there’s any real favorite. It’s just whatever everybody wants to play, whatever makes anybody happy, we’re happy to do,” Muise said. “And then, we’ll just start jamming on it.”

“We play whatever we want and just start jamming out,” Chernesky echoed.

Chernesky didn’t always perform at Blue Fri Jams, they said. It was usually the seniors.

But once the seniors graduated and students returned to school following remote learning during the pandemic, Chernesky, now a senior, was passed the baton.

“It’s always just so much fun to jam for me and I don’t get that many opportunities,” Chernesky said. “I’m very lucky to have Jack with me as well, as a great bassist. And Mr. Muse is fantastic to play with, of course.”

Chernesky said they know “it helps a lot of people, especially teachers.”


Chernesky’s mother, Pamela Chernesky, is a teacher at Mt. Blue High School.

She’s told Hope “it’s one of the best joys of her week when she can come down in the morning and listen to music before she teaches.”

Performing at Blue Fri Jams requires earlier mornings than usual. Even so, Chernesky said it’s a joy to perform for the school.

“It’s really a good kickstart to the day. It makes me so much happier to start the day off with music,” Chernesky said. “To start the morning off by just wailing in the lobby …  I don’t really care [who is] listening. I find fun every single time I play.”

Chernesky, who will be studying at the Berklee College of Music come fall, said they are grateful to Muise for being such a “positive, caring” teacher and an “outstanding, blow-you-out-of-the-water musician.”

“Jamming with [Muise] is always fun,” Chernesky said. “And it’s just so amazing to play with such a kind human being and amazing musician.”


Muise said that performing with students both in the Franklin County Fiddlers and at Blue Fri Jams is a “teacher’s fantasy, a teacher’s dream.”

“To have students that want to just come in and do the thing that you love to do, making music, for fun before school – it’s unbelievable,” Muise said.

He noted a distinction between his time at school and his students’ time. He didn’t play music as a teenager with his peers or for his peers, Muise said of his time in high school.

“I think that it’s one of the most challenging things for young adults or pretty much anybody to do something, [perform] in front of your peers,” Muise said.

Nowadays, Muise noted Chernesky and Cramer have “no hesitation, no reticence to share” and perform for students just going about their day.

“It really is magic that they’re just like, ‘Yep, okay, let’s play some tunes,'” Muise said.

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