Gigajam in Action Witton Park Academy Blackburn

Ethan Whittaker is the subject leader for music at Witton Park Academy an average sized secondary school in Blackburn with just under 1,000 students. He is also the Secondary representative for the Blackburn with Darwen Music Hub.

Ethan Whittaker

Blackburn with Darwen Music Hub has a partnership agreement with Gigajam,  which provides the opportunity for every child in Blackburn with Darwen to have access FREE either through school, through a community organisation or independently. The current licence runs until April 2018 and Witton Park Academy is the lead school.

Ethan kindly shared his experience, thoughts and use of Gigajam by making this short video.

We have been using Gigajam at Witton Park Academy since September 2015. Since then we have seen participation in music in extra curriculum activities and in the classroom.


We mainly use Gigajam in Key Stage 3 in years 7, 8 and 9 and use it for the performance side. Gigajam has enabled our kids to see where they are at in real time. They have been able to make progress and reflect on what they have done to be able to improve.


Pupils work on the keyboard towards their debut grade exam. They upload their work and reflect and improve it after analysing. This gives them something to work towards that includes an achievable target for the end of year.

We have also found that pupils who use Gigajam become more musically aware, being able to adapt to different scenarios and situations.


Gigajam is also used for intervention, especially for pupils who find concentrating difficult or who may suffer from behavioural issues. Gigajam gives them a clear focus and something to work towards.These pupils often channel their energy into improving and to become better musicians and individuals which helps them progress and integrate more into the school.


In our video we have a year 7 class using Gigajam and I see my role, while the pupils are using Gigajam is to make sure they are using correct instrumental technique and make sure they are doing everything to the best of their ability, by helping them analyse what they have done and how they can improve.


We have found that pupils are working better together using Gigajam – communicating and being really supportive of each other. They are helping each other analyse their work, and helping each other in counting the beats and when to play the notes, as well as reminding to use the correct instrumental technique which is really rewarding to see when I am walking round the classroom.


Pupils work really hard to get the best possible mark, with the grading system encouraging students to get above 65% is really useful. Pupils do see this as an internal competition trying to beat the pupils immediately around them and others in the class.



Not having paper, is so much more efficient, all the information from all the exercises are all in one place. The pupils can upload all their exercises up to Gigajam – it is all there, so it makes it simple for everybody.


This is the first year of using Gigajam at Witton Park Academy and it is going really, really well, with the pupils responding to it very positively and I could n;t ask for much more.


If you would like more information about our use of Gigajam at Witton Park then please do not hesitate to email me:



Gigajam in Action – The Island Free School

The Island Free School is an exciting new secondary school for the Isle of Wight, which was set up by highly experienced teachers, parents and members of the local business community. It is a smaller, more intimate school than the others on the Island, with an excellent staff to pupil ratio.

Indra Riches, Head of Music introduced Gigajam to The Island Free School in 2014.

Indra Riches - The Island Free School


David Smith, Music Teacher has been leading on Gigajam this last year and he kindly agreed to share his experience, use of Gigajam, thoughts and observations.

David Smith - The Island Free School

What is the context in which your school operates and why did you feel the need for something like Gigajam?

As a music specialist school we have lots of music lessons on our timetable and our headmaster realises the connection between learning an instrument and the impact on academic improvement in other subjects. Our school is keen for all students to study a musical instrument and Gigajam is used to further engage those who are not so keen on classical based instruments.

Why did you choose to use Gigajam?

Gigajam is the only product on the market of its kind that offers the self-study opportunities for students via an online portal. The exercises and pieces in Gigajam can be learnt on the four different instruments which creates opportunities for students to form ensemble groups with ready made material.

The Island Free School Gigajam Studio 2

How long have you been using Gigajam?

We have been using Gigajam since the Island Free School opened in September 2014.

Can you describe your approach to using Gigajam

We use Gigajam during timetabled lessons and each class receives a half hour Gigajam lesson per week. We also offer Gigajam as an enrichment activity. Our students love the leader board scoring system and they are keen to be on top of the weekly and monthly charts (we’re slowly moving up the all time leader board which is great!).

Which groups of students did you select?

All students receive a half an hour timetabled lesson each week in our Gigajam studio. If students wish to do extra Gigajam they can use one hour a week from their enrichment timetable to do so.

Is Gigajam used from home?

Yes, so Gigajam is used widely in school lessons, during our enrichment hour and students can also access their account from home if they have a computer. Some students upload from home and others practise the exercises/pieces at home and then record their upload when they are back in school.


What technical resources do you have and how available are they to you and your students?

We have 25 students in each class and our music class is kitted out with enough keyboards for one between two. Our Gigajam studio has 11 Keyboards, 9 guitars and 5 drum kits. Students can access this equipment before the school day and during their free time.


The Island Free School Gigajam Studio

What observations and thoughts of learners and teachers around the department/schools could you share?

The general consensus is that Gigajam is developing at a fast rate in our school, we have a number of students who have achieved one instrumental grade whilst others have achieved more than one grade in a range of different instruments since using the software. Staff are also encouraged to take part and use Gigajam when they are able to.

What are your plans for the future?

Our plan is to continue to use Gigajam with KS3 and as we start teaching KS4 in the next year we would like to use Gigajam to support those students who may need to boost their keyboard (or guitar, bass & drums) skills through the variety of exercises and pieces that Gigajam has to offer. We are waiting to move into our brand new purpose built school which will feature a purpose built Gigajam studio complete with practice rooms.


Music Grades for Schools

This morning we received our largest bag full of certificates from our partnership with the University of West London/London College of Music.

Students from: Witton Park Academy, Blackburn, The Island Free School, Isle of Wight, Arc School, Nuneaton and West Byfleet Junior School Surrey will soon receive these certificates proving their success in learning a musical instrument.

UWLLCM CertificatesCongratulations to all those successful candidates and their teachers who have made learning an instrument possible.

You can read and watch video from case studies from Witton Park Academy and The Island Free School.



BBC Get Playing Campaign

The BBC have launched the fabulous campaign Get Playing which aims to inspire amateur musicians across the UK and bring them together in a celebration like you’ve never seen before.

They have produced a website for the campaign and are encouraging participation in their terrifically fun Virtual Orchestra project which is fronted by David Baddiel.

Join David Baddiel, learn Bizet’s Toreador Song and play in the Virtual Orchestra.

The BBC say that Whether you currently play an instrument, or haven’t played for years, we want you to get involved and experience the joy of music making

At Gigajam we are pleased to support the campaign and like the BBC we believe that playing music is life-enhancing, community building, and above all, fun.

Gigajam is already linked out from the BBC so please feel free to grab 3 months of free lessons with us. You can learn guitar, bass, keyboard and drums – all four if you want. Our lessons are backed with music grades from the University of West London and London College of Music so you have quality guaranteed.

Just visit here to register freely and start learning today.

Find out more about Get Playing with the BBC here

Always wanted to go to music school? Now you can!

Welcome to a Music School where you learn to play guitar, bass, keyboard and drums all online.


Gigajam online is packed with: TV Shows, Videos, Lessons and Play along exercises.
You can learn online, in your own place, in your own time. So, if you’ve always wanted to go to music school – now you can. Choose your instruments and try your free lessons.


Sign up for free at Gigajam


Why did we start Gigajam?

In this extract from a recent interview with CEO & Founder Brian Greene, he briefly explains why he started Gigajam and was so focused on music in classrooms in the UK.

“I wanted to provide more opportunities for people to learn a musical instrument.”

Gigajam is available in 6 of the 13 Regional Broadband Consortia around the UK including:

  1. London Grid for Learning,
  2. South West Grid for Learning,
  3. E2BN,
  4. WMNet,
  5. Northern Grid and
  6. Scotlands Schools Digital Network – Glow.

Individual Local Authorities also use Gigajam across their schools, and some of these include: The Highland Council, Blackburn with Darwen and Luton MBC. Over 1,000 UK schools use Gigajam on a daily basis through their own licence arrangements.

Our Online Music School for Schools is found at

For more information about Gigajam and schools, visit


Spring Pricing 2016 for Gigajam


New pricing details are available now for Gigajam home users.

Before the increase in price to new users comes into effect we are extending our offer to existing registered users for a couple more days whilst the changes are implemented.

The new pricing will be live in a few days, so we are keeping our offer to existing registered users open for a couple of further days. The offer is a Lifetime Membership at just £39.99!

Spring Prices

The new pricing will offer subscriptions at £5.99 per month or £59 per year per instrument for: Guitar, Bass, Keyboard OR Drums

The new Lifetime Membership will be £79 single one off fee per instrument.

For unlimited access to all instruments the subscriptions are £9.99 per month and £99 per year, with a Lifetime Membership offer £249 for: Guitar, Bass, Keyboard AND Drums

Full offer details are here Gigajam Lifetime Offer:


Get Gigajam before spring price increase – £39.99 lifetime membership

We’re going to be changing our subscription and membership pricing for new customers this spring. The good news, to thank existing customers for their support, is that your prices are fixed forever if you maintain your ongoing subscription.

If you aren’t already a subscriber then good news for you too, in that we’re keeping our current £39.99 lifetime offer open until midnight Monday.

So until then for a £39.99 one off payment you can have access to all 144 lessons, tutor support, video uploads, MIDI uploads, the whole kit and kaboodle. For. Ever.Gigajam Lifetime

Simply visit to catch this price while you can.


Music Grade Success!

It is great when the postman arrives and delivers these.

Music Grades

So today we have a desk of joy for our students taking their drum lessons in High Wycombe with me and, there are also a few for students of the Online Music School who have been studying on their own and a some who have earned these awards through their school using our education site.

All of these music grades have been awarded by The University of West London London College of Music.

Congratulations to them all on their hard work and success!

Casio Music Academy for New Zealand

Gigajam have recently provided Casio customers in New Zealand with their own Music Academy, as part of two year deal with Casio Monaco Corporation Limited.

New Casio customers in New Zealand can now receive 10 Keyboard lessons, powered by Gigajam, absolutely free, to help them get the best start with their new instrument.

CasioMusic AcademyNZ

The Casio Keyboard School

The school helps new Casio keyboard owners to learn to play keyboard using easy keyboard lessons. Powered by Gigajam’s unique digital curriculum and interactive software, the lessons utilise the best of contemporary multi-media including keyboard video lessons, narrated text, dynamic diagrams, audio and midi play along backing tracks and exercises.

New Casio customers can access their free lessons simply by registering a new account. 

The Casio Music Academy in New Zealand can be found at: