All posts by brian.greene

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: www.casiomusicacademy.co.nz

New Year Resolution -Learn to play?

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Learning to play an instrument is one of the coolest things you’ll ever do. Whether you’re just starting out in school, decided you wanted to play in a band, or have decided to learn to play music now that the kids have grown, it’s a fun and rewarding thing to do.


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But there are challenges to learning a musical instrument which include:

1. Time – travelling to lessons, fitting in with your busy schedule and making time to practice in between lessons.

2. Money- lessons are typically around £35 an hour and so a weekly lesson may well cost £140 per month.

3. Flexibility – finding a good teacher can be a job in itself, but when you do, how flexible can they reasonably be with all your other commitments.

Many people can handle these issues and have great lessons and a fabulous experience with their teacher – we absolutely recommend it. However, learning online, when you find a great resource can be both a great substitute, replacement and addition to face to face lessons.

Gigajam’s Online Music School addresses many of these challenges.

6 steps to learning with Gigajam

1. You can login and learn anytime, anywhere and for a length of time that suits you. No travel time at all.

2. At £4.99 per month as the standard price, Gigajam provides enormous value for all budgets, giving learners access to the Essential Skills Courses for all four instruments: guitar, bass, keyboards and drums. There are other options as well including yearly subscriptions and Lifetime Memberships. www.gigajamonline.com/subscribe

3. Gigajam is the ultimate flexible way to learn an instrument. Online through a browser you can learn when you want, practice when you want and take music grades when you want. Gigajam is open 24/7, 365 days of the year through Desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile.

You can be assured of Gigajam’s quality, award winning service with music grades provided in partnership with the University of West London/London College of Music.

If you want a deal to help you get started with your new years resolution then feel free to accept our newyearsresolution voucher GJ3PPM reducing our standard monthly subscription to £3 per month and yearly subscription to £30. For those of you that want a single payment and never again then visit www.gigajamonline.com/lifetime to get a time limited Lifetime Membership for just £39.99!

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Exclusive Scottish Daily Mail offer for Gigajam Online Music School

Have you ever wanted to learn to play a musical instrument? What better way to kick- start the new year than acquiring a new skill. We are giving you the chance to do just that with this fantastic offer for Gigajam Online Music School exclusively through the Scottish Daily Mail this Friday (15th January 2016).

SDM Pre Promotion

You can learn to play the guitar, bass, keyboard and drums – it’s your choice – and as an added incentive we are giving you the chance to claim an amazing six month subscription free, saving you £29.94. Gigajam’s award-winning interactive lessons get you playing from the first lesson. Videos, play-along files and online assessment guide you from Debut Grade to Grade 5.

You can even take nationally recognised graded exams using the Gigajam lessons and examinations, as they are accredited by the University of West London/London College of Music Examinations. Step-by-step instructions ensure that you have everything you need to progress your learning at the fastest possible rate.

Narrated lessons present key knowledge through text, diagrams, videos and interactive play-along exercises. Every exercise has an accompanying video where a professional tutor performs the exercise for you to
watch.

Every lesson also has a TV show, where tutor and presenter go through the whole of the lesson in a studio format. There is a backing band track for every exercise. So you are not just sitting there playing by yourself, you are always putting into practice the things that you have just read about, listened to and seen. To claim your FREE SUBSCRIPTION simply BUY your copy of The Scottish Daily Mail on Friday 15th January 2016.

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The following simple terms and conditions apply:

Terms and Conditions:

  • By registering your name and email address, Gigajam will provide the reader (user) with unlimited access to www.gigajamonline.com free of charge, for six months from January 15th, 2016, until close of business June 15th, 2016.
  • No payment details are required.
  • On expiry, users can choose whether they wish to subscribe for a further period of their own choosing.
  • Gigajam will not share user details with third parties.
  • Users can elect whether they wish to receive promotional messages
    from Gigajam.
  • Gigajam Online Music School is a web-based service that requires a modern browser and a connection to the internet.
  • Gigajam’s free MIDI software is available to download for compatible Windows and OSX computers.

Case Study: The Arc School

Gigajam at The Arc School

Patrick Jackson is the Head of Music at The Arc School in Nuneaton. The school is an Independent Special School and have been clients of Gigajam since September 2011. It is rated as a good school by Ofsted and this term they are entering their fifth successful year using Gigajam.

Patrick kindly agreed to share his experience of Gigajam and this The Arc School’s story.

About The Arc School

Arc School Church End is an Independent day school based on in rural Warwickshire catering for children and young people who have struggled in mainstream education environments and whose needs were unmet in those settings.

 What problem(s) were you trying to solve?

In an effort to raise pupil attainment across the board, from those who struggle with musical concepts through to gifted and talented pupils, Gigajam was engaged to enable individual access to music as well as being used at a class level.

How did you implement Gigajam

Gigajam was implemented for Year 8s and 9s primarily but has now filtered down to the Year 7s and up to Key Stage 4. The competitive nature of the pupils, coupled with the instant scoring means that while some have little difficulty progressing through the lessons, others will attempt to beat previous scores until they have achieved as high as they feel they can.

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 What specifically attracted you to Gigajam as a solution

The instant scoring of the lessons and the fact the scoring is computerised rather than opinion based means my pupils have no difficulty accepting the score given to them. This in turn makes them more willing to analyse where they went wrong and to learn from their mistakes to attempt to gain a higher pass rate. This also makes progress for each pupil relatively easy to evidence.Analysing

How easy was it to deploy Gigajam in your department?

Deploying Gigajam was straightforward. The software is very accessible so once the pupils have their own login details, the teacher then becomes a facilitator to learning.

How have you been able to measure impact?

The instant scores that the pupils get are saved into the pupils’ own folder and so even multiple attempts at an exercise shows progress. The final score they choose to upload to the Gigajam system is kept on a visual tracker designed to show the pupils how many exercises they have achieved and how many are left until they get to the exam stages. Each pupil will have a personal tracker in the cover of their exercise books also. Currently, the impact is measured in the amount of pupils taking and passing the graded exams offered through Gigajam.

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How have pupils responded to the use of Gigajam?

On the whole, pupils have responded very positively. This generation of pupils are especially computer literate, so the whole Gigajam setup quickly becomes second-nature to them.

Once they see themselves achieving and understanding that this is something that is within their abilities, they generally request more Gigajam time.

What impact has Gigajam had on your approach to teaching?

Gigajam’s main impacts on the pupils’ teaching and learning are the transferable skills that carry over to the main curriculum. Many pupils ability to access music is enhanced through having a better understanding of the building blocks of western music, i.e. chords and scales. As such, Music becomes less intimidating and more enjoyable.

How do you see Gigajam being used to develop your department?

I would like to see as many of my pupils as possible leave school with the highest grades they can achieve in whichever instrument they choose to pursue.

Have there been any unexpected results from using Gigajam?

There have been examples of pupils who have had no prior experiences with music as well as those who had previously struggled with music having their appetite for music increased due to the competitiveness of attempting to beat their own scores.  These are the small steps that lead to the pupils gaining their Debut Grade qualification. This then feeds the success cycle of opening the horizon to further and more challenging graded qualifications.

For more information about Gigajam, then please do not hesitate to contact us:

Brian Greene:

brian.greene@gigajam.com

01494 534880

07976 208859

Our education websites are:

http://education.gigajam.com

http://schools.gigajam.com

Learn to play a musical instrument – Free online course with Gigajam

A special promotion for Telegraph readers went live today, where they can claim a free 6 month subscription to Gigajam Online Music School, worth £29.94.

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The Telegraph and Gigajam are offering every reader the chance to learn to play a musical instrument, with the choice of either guitar, bass, keyboard or drums.

Gigajam’s award winning interactive guitar lessons get you playing from the first lesson. Videos, play-along files and online assessments guide you from Debut Grade to Grade 5. You can even take nationally recognised graded exams using the Gigajam lessons and examinations as they are accredited by the University of West London/London College of Music Examinations.

Step by step instructions ensure that you have everything you need to progress your learning at the fastest possible rate. Narrated lessons present key knowledge through text, diagrams, videos, and interactive play-along exercises.

Every exercise has an accompanying video where a professional tutor performs the exercise for you to watch. Every lesson also has a TV Show, where tutor and presenter go through the whole lesson in a studio format.

There’s a backing band track for every exercise. So you aren’t just sitting there playing by yourself, you are always putting into practice the things you have just read about, listened to and seen.

How to Claim:

To claim your free subscription, see the newspaper on Sunday, August 30, 2015.

The Mix Luton Music Hub – Gigajam in Action

Gigajam and The MIX – Luton Music Service

The Mix Luton is the Music Education Hub for Luton, led by Luton Music Service. It is a group of schools and music organisations who are working together to provide the best possible music-making opportunities for children and young people in the Luton area.

Gigajam was introduced in September 2014 and is available to all schools in Luton via the Online Music School.  The music school is accessible to all pupils in school and from home via the web. It forms a part of the Music Services’ delivery of its core role as a music hub which is to provide quality first access opportunities.

The Mix have initially supported a base at Sundon Park Junior School where it used as part of the curriculum for music at KS2, ensemble opportunities and enrichment.

Hub-Showcase-2014-50-150x150As part of our continued series of case studies, focusing on how our education clients use Gigajam, we spent the afternoon with Phil Knight, Music Service lead for Gigajam in Luton and discussed with him his experience of facilitating and teaching. We have also participated in delivery discussions with senior leaders from The Hub in partner meetings and at conference.

 

What problems were The Mix trying to solve?

As part of the Core Role of a music hub The Mix are focused on developing and delivering outstanding first access programmes to pupils in Luton Schools. It was identified that the programmes of first access needed to be broadened and diversified to increase the range of styles and genres available in programmes. One genre to be added was Rock and Pop and there was a need to increase use of technology and music technology.

How have you implemented Gigajam so far for Luton? 

Gigajam is available to all Luton schools via the Online Music School, but we have been working with Sundon Park Junior School to provide a starting base. The school has a space for music learning which has access to computers and good internet access. The MIX have provided some instruments to support the programme, together with a lead facilitator to support the teachers and teaching assistants.

Gigajam provided training to the Music Service and Phil Knight, a guitarist with the Music Service leads and delivers Gigajam at the school.

The programme is for a full academic year and is for all year 5 and year 6 pupils. Currently this numbers 167 pupils and they all receive a 30 minute lesson every week where they come to the music learning base.

Pupils can learn the guitar, bass, keyboards and drums and have selected instruments that suit them by having the chance to switch.

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Pupils are actively supported by Phil as they come each week and develop their skills. They follow the lessons, and upload their performances of the exercises in the courses to their portfolios held in the Online Music School. They know where they are up to and how well they are doing and can pick up straight away from the previous lesson.

The lessons are highly practical so pupils are playing all lesson.

Phil has arranged a couple of concerts and pupils have worked on tunes he has organised, as well as performed the graded pieces from the Gigajam course.

What specifically attracted you to Gigajam as a solution?

Being able to provide access to all pupils across a region in the traditional manner is unaffordable and, if it there was the money available there would not be enough teachers to deliver, so we needed scalable, sustainable solutions for mass education models.

Gigajam’s use of standard web technologies makes it easy to deploy and see the pupil’s progress – not only essential for providing good continual and formative assessment for pupils, but also for reporting back to the Arts Council. We can show each pupils progress and work instantly, as it is all held on the Music School.

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How easy was it to deploy Gigajam in your department?

It is always daunting using technology so heavily and we did have specific difficulties with the guitars with the younger pupils in terms of size. They were constantly pulling cables out of the computers when handling the guitars, but that has settled down and a good set up has been developed.

More pupils are using keyboards and drums, which work very well with this age group and we have found them easier instruments for pupils to start on. However, after delivering the first few lessons we have settled into a good pattern and mostly the pupils simply come in and get on with the lessons. In a class there are pupils learning guitar, bass, keyboards and drums.

It did become apparent that having the instruments out was key as this saved time at the beginning of each session so that pupils could get straight on with the learning. These are active lessons, so the activity needs to start straightaway to maximise the time available.

How have you been able to measure impact?

Measuring impact is both obvious from the activity in each lesson, with the pupils working considerably harder than in a more didactic teacher led session. You only have to walk into the room to see the learning going on – pupils are working hard on their own, together with peers, on task, in a group. Harder measures are also a major part of the Gigajam system with pupils encouraged to record and upload every attempted exercise so they can see their progress at each step of the course.

How have pupils responded to the use of Gigajam?

Overall our pupils have responded very well to Gigajam. We have 51 pupils who are scoring at above the pass rate for graded examinations and 61 pupils who have made significant progress through the course already. Currently, this year’s 167 pupils have uploaded just under 9,000 exercises, which is a huge amount of recorded hard work.. Constant and continual feedback helps pupils’ understanding of how they are doing and what they need to do to improve so they feel well supported in their learning and can see exactly how they are progressing.

What impact has Gigajam had on your approach to teaching?

It is very different – there is much more support work, than traditional delivery, sometimes the support is with the computers when they misbehave, as we all know that happens, but also in supporting the learner get on with their learning on their own – the pupils want and need to be active with Gigajam – it is almost entirely in the doing and that means I (Phil) have to move around the class helping pupils when they have a problem. The thing is you can see pupils making progress – whole class on a single instrument is much slower progress overall and it is harder to see who is progressing as they should. It is of course just different, but pupils who can develop the ability to work independently make much more progress and that is one of the big bonuses of Gigajam. It definitely puts the ownership of learning onto the pupil, and I am more able to spend more time with those that need my support.

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How do you see Gigajam being used to develop next year?

We will change some of the set up, building on the experiences gleaned this year and of course we will then have our year 6 pupils who will be on their second year of Gigajam, so that will mean we have advancing players benefiting from a sustained duration of instrumental tuition. This should feed well into even better performances and open up access to new routes of progression. It will also be very easy to spot genuine talent.

Some of the pupils will also be able to complete the grades, as they have built up their portfolios, so we should see a good clutch of pupils at year 6 with debut and grade one music exams simply by working every week with Gigajam.

Have there been any unexpected results from using Gigajam?

It has been surprising how much progress some of the pupils can make. Pupils can work at their own pace in a group and some are already at grade 1 level even though they are in the lower year 5. It very much feels that learning is at stage rather than age in this environment.

For more information on Gigajam, please visit:

http://education.gigajam.com

http://schools.gigajam.com

or contact Brian Greene

brian.greene@gigajam.com

T: 01494 534880

M: 07976 208859

 

School Music Education Plans

5 ways that our Online Music School can help you boost your Hub

  1. Increase reach into schools, in particular secondary schools, to support the delivery of music, technology and the creative curriculum at Keys Stage 3 & 4.
  2. Bridge from First Access into an offer for all pupils that is sustainable and can take learners to Grade 5.
  3. Increase the demand in numbers of pupils choosing to learn an instrument with Music Service teachers.
  4. Give every child, irrespective of their needs or background, the chance to learn a musical instrument in class and online, even from home, for free.
  5. Provision to all schools of an online resource that is affordable and sustainable which uses interactive technologies to help hubs support teachers deliver more instrumental lessons than previously possible.

Every child can have access to Gigajam

Gigajam is genuinely affordable and we can host the service for all your schools, colleges, educational establishments, and looked after children reaching the even hardest to reach.

If you want Gigajam for your hub we can agree a cost you can afford. For an indication of just how affordable see our hub pricing.

If you want Gigajam for your school see our school pricing.

Please contact us now. We would be delighted to have the opportunity to discuss your service’s needs and how Gigajam can help you. We look forward to hearing from you.

Brian Greene
Founder/Director

01494 534880 / 07976 208859
brian.greene@gigajam.com

National Plan for Music and Hubs

Music Education Hubs

Reach EVERY child and help you boost your Music Hub

 

 

Very real challenges for schools and music services persist, especially the central aim to provide and support EVERY child with a meaningful musical education. Government funding still fails to recognise the scale and reach of the task demanded and even successful proven traditional models of delivery cannot alone bridge all the gaps.

We do not have a silver bullet, but we have a substantial and comprehensive offer for music education that has a proven record of success.

If yes is the answer to the following 3 questions, then we have at least 5 ways in which we can help you boost your Music Hub.

Do you and your colleagues:-

  • Want even more of your children and young people to have a chance to learn an instrument over a sustained period and play in an ensemble?
  • Recognise both a need and a place for greater use of technology that harnesses your existing successful programmes of delivery and complements them with new affordable and scalable mechanisms that can help reach even the hardest to reach schools and their pupils?
  • Want to continue to meet Ofsted’s ever more demanding priorities for improving music and access to sustainable, progressive, music learning?

Every child can have access to Gigajam

Gigajam is genuinely affordable and we can host the service for all your schools, colleges, educational establishments, and looked after children reaching the even hardest to reach.

If you want Gigajam for your hub we can agree a cost you can afford. For an indication of just how affordable see our hub pricing.

If you want Gigajam for your school see our school pricing.

Please contact us now. We would be delighted to have the opportunity to discuss your service’s needs and how Gigajam can help you. We look forward to hearing from you.

Brian Greene
Founder/Director

01494 534880 / 07976 208859
brian.greene@gigajam.com

 

 

Melior Community Academy – Gigajam in action

Gigajam at Melior Community Academy

Melior is a fully inclusive Academy with a creative ethos. Based in Scunthorpe North Lincolnshire, Melior’s Music department has achieved the highest results in the school, with the previous year 11’s achieving 100% A-C’s. Gigajam has been used at the Academy as part of the music departments curriculum offer and extended activities since September 2011.

As part of our continued series focusing on how our education clients use Gigajam, Daniel Ray, Deputy Learning Leader of Creative Arts, tells us about his experience.

What problems were you trying to solve?

Although Melior’s Music department was already a strength in the school, with almost 50% of pupils accessing Pupil Premium funding, the school needed a way to deliver one-to-one style instrument tuition, without the price tag.

How did you implement Gigajam? 

Initially we implemented Gigajam into a small class of year 8’s, moving slowly to all classes in all years 7, 8 and 9 over each half term as staff became more confident in delivery. This then allowed us to fully measure the impact of Gigajam and make a decision on which year group it was most effective. We now have Gigajam firmly set in our year 9 curriculum as a preparation year to KS4 courses.

What specifically attracted you to Gigajam as a solution?

Progress in Music is always difficult to monitor in KS3- Gigajams main attraction was the constant feedback element, which was then logged on an online portfolio.

How easy was it to deploy Gigajam in your department?

Like most new initiatives, it can be daunting at first and is always easier to do what you always have done. However, after delivering the first few lessons it soon became evident that his wasn’t going to difficult to implement, and within the first term our 3 staff in the department were using it.

How have you been able to measure impact?

Pupils now opting for Music at KS4 now have a deeper understanding of scores, how parts work together as an ensemble, as well as having a basic repertoire that we have used to submit as coursework.

How have pupils responded to the use of Gigajam?

Overall our pupils have responded very well to Gigajam. This is especially so with boys who love the competitive element of getting constant score feedback. Many pupils even try to beat my scores!

What impact has Gigajam had on your approach to teaching?

Although we still deliver other units within our curriculum, whenever we teach Gigajam it always reminds our department that we as teachers should be working less than the pupils! Gigajam definitely puts the ownership of learning onto the pupil, with the teacher taking a facilitator role.

How do you see Gigajam being used to develop your department?

At the moment, Gigajam works very well within our year 9 preparation year for KS4 courses. However, it is always at hand should any pupils need a specific intervention within KS4- it is a great tool for differentiation.

Have there been any unexpected results from using Gigajam?

Having that one pupil that has been tough to engage fully engrossed in independent learning, and asking if they can come back to work after school- this unexpected result happens each year with at least one pupil!