Category Archives: News

Gigajam part of the ‘Mix’ in Devon

Drum 'n' Bass Live in the Gigajam Zone

Gigajam provided three interactive workshops with Devon Schools at this year’s Devon Mix music event at the Westpoint Arena in Exeter. Organised by the highly respected Devon Music Services thousands of school pupils converged on the annual event to watch and take part in an enormous amount of live performances, competitions, workshops and demonstrations.

Gigajam’s Brian Greene, Ian Wright, Head of Music at Tiverton High School and Ben van Wede from DMS ran the Gigajam Learning Zone teaching over 100 pupils to play an instrument in workshops that culminated in a live peformance demonstrating some of the skills learned.

To see Gigajam in action in Devon then please view the case studies online here:

Students learning the guitar with Yamaha EZ-AG MIDI guitar
Students learning the drums with Gigajam

 Gigajam will next be appearing at the E2BN ICT Harnessing Technology Conference in Wyboston on Tuesday and Wednesday 29th and 30th June 2010, as part of Gigajam Summer Live 2010 roadshows.   

Making More of Music – Gigajam&Yamaha launched at FMS

Research has demonstrated that learning to play an instrument has huge musical and educational benefits for students, although providing every child with the opportunity to do so is one of the greatest challenges in music education.

As Ofsted reported in 2009:

“The provision for music was good or outstanding in around half the schools visited. However, the quality and range of the provision for music varied too much. While many pupils were benefiting considerably, others were missing out.”

This is one of the key findings in Ofsted’s Making More of Music report. Gigajam can help you make more of music by addressing this and other challenges in the report, for only £1 per pupil per annum.

Gigajam and Yamaha launched their eLearning response to Ofsted’s report at the  Federation of Music Services Annual Conference in Belfast last week (June18th-19th 2010).  The Making More of Music website details how Gigajam can help music providers address many of the key challenges:

For more information on Gigajam&Yamaha and their eLearning solutions for education, please visit the Music Classroom for the Future site at:

Gigajam Live! Summer 2010

Always a popular and fun stand to visit.

Gigajam will be presenting workshops, seminars and exhibiting at the following events in June and July 2010.

It would be great to meet with any delegate interested in exploring Gigajam. We will be on hand  to demonstrate our hosted VLE service, as well as present the Music Classroom for the Future solution brought together by Yamaha, Gigajam & Steinberg.

Brian Greene welcomes Simon Finch to the Gigajam stand

Please feel free to visit us on stand at:

Federation Music Services Annual Conference,

 The Hilton Hotel, Belfast Thursday 17th and Friday 18th June

Devon Schools Mix,

Westpoint Arena, Devon Wednesday 23rd June

East of England Broadband Network E2BN Annual Conference,

Wyboston Conference Centre  Tuesday 29th and Wednesday 30th June

South West Grid for Learning Annual Confernce

University of West of England, Bristol Wednesday 7th July 2010

NEN guests get the Gigajam welcome

Gigajam Partner programme launched

Gigajam have today launched their Gigajam Partner programme aimed at schools, music retailers, and instrumental music providers.

Brian Greene, managing director, said, “We are very excited at the response to our latest innovation, which provides an opportunity for us to reach more pupils through partnerships. We provide a highly incentivsed offer to schools and we wanted to make a new and distinctive offer direct to private pupils and, their parents, which was affordable and available through a local partner that they recognised and valued.

By sharing our technology with music retailers, local teaching practices and even schools, we can provide a private instrumental tuition offer that benefits and rewards the partner provider.

In an ideal world we would like to see all schools utilise our £1 per pupil, per year licence, however, we  accept that schools have many priorities to manage. Where Gigajam is not available freely through school, we would like parents and pupils to be able to purchase this service locally. 

We are inviting organisations to partner us, so we can provide Gigajam Online branded as a partner’s own product. The service can then be offered to customers, users, parents and pupils at just £3.00 per month, or £30 per year. Although, this is a small fee,  for instrumental tuition, the subscription not only pays for the cost of the service, but provides a new revenue stream to partners, which is profit for business partners, such as retailers, and valuable additional funding for partner schools.  

1. Proposition — Branded Gigajam Music Schools

Gigajam has developed web technologies that enable it to provide a Branded Gigajam Online Music School to a variety of music channel Partners. This will afford Partners the opportunity to have their own Online Music School.

Gigajam can provide this technology at no cost to Partners, as the business model is entirely scalable with set up and maintenance costs covered by subscription revenue received from users of the service.

In return for the opportunity for Gigajam to expand its services to Partner customers Gigajam will incentivise the Partner with 33% of net revenue received through the sale of subscriptions collected via a Partner’s Branded Gigajam Online Music School.

2. Benefits to Gigajam

  • Expansion of channels to consumers and end users.
  • Increase in awareness of Gigajam products and services.
  • Greater use of Gigajam products and services.
  • Increase in revenue opportunity through the exploitation of a scalable technology delivery mechanism.

3. Benefits to Partner

  • The provision of a Branded Online Music School, powered by Gigajam’s core content.
  • Free — No costs. No set up or maintenance costs.
  • Added and expanded value to existing customers and users.
  • New product offer for new customers and users.
  • New revenue stream.  

For more details please visit the Partner site at . Please feel free to contact our directors if you have any questions:

Brian Greene Managing Director +44 7976 208859
John Hillier Commercial Director +44 7956 446 440
Iain Norman Technical Lead +44 800 055 6797

Getting started with Gigajam for just £14.95!

Single user CDROMS and Books now available for education

The Get Started series is now available on CDROM and in book, as a one off purchase. At the special education price of just £14.95 (including p&p) you can get one of our award winning level 1 courses for guitar, bass, keyboard or drums.

Commercial director John Hillier said, ‘Although we believe that harnessing technology is very much about using the web to provide anytime, anywhere access for all students, there is the reality that for many smaller secondary schools and primary schools, there simply may not be the funds available to develop ict and music in this way. There may also be only a few computers available within a music department, or classroom which limits independent study with a PC.

Get Started is specifically designed for such schools, who are keen to increase the opportunities for pupils to lean a musical instrument, but the availability of funding and computer resources has presented a genuine barrier.

We think this is a great way to do something with what you’ve got – it gets you started!’

By making the single user retail product available for purchase, schools can pay a very modest sum and have the lessons and software available. There are no on-going licence costs and you do not need any specialist equipment to use Gigajam, simply follow the narrated instructions, watch the videos, and play along with the exercises using our practise engine Xtractor, and the instruments you have available.

Get Started CDROMS and Books are available for purchase online with Paypal, Credit card, or, school purchase order.

 Order Now

You can order online now from our education webstore, or, contact our directors who will be delighted to speak with you to make sure you get the most out of Gigajam.

Please contact either Brian, or, John. 

Email Brian Greene or phone 07976 208859. [vCard]

Email John Hillier or phone 07956 466440. [vCard]


Getting the most from your Gigajam

Managing Director, Brian Greene, has written a series of articles aimed at supporting teachers and pupils get the most from their use of Gigajam.

Brian said,  ‘Like many programs there are depths of functionality and use that sometimes take a while for users to integrate into their common use. Gigajam is much more than some lessons and practice software and I wanted to show how users can grow to understand and use more aspects of the program to develop and apply users music skills whilst supporting teachers structure the lessons and music making activities.’

The series focuses on a journey of deeper use of the lesson content, software and extended activities, as well as a look at the sophisticated assessment for learning opportunties. It is meant to be a gradual illumination of the possibilities of Gigajam, not a manual.

The first  in the series discusses the two levels of Interactivity users can experience from using Gigajam’s practise and analysis Xtractor software, and makes use of the new informal ‘How to’ Video Channel.

You can view the first email article  here

Yamaha & Gigajam – Formal partnership statement

Yamaha and the e-learning music company, Gigajam, launched their new partnership at the 2010 BETT (formerly the British Educational Training and Technology) show at London’s Olympia in January, which will provide a cost-effective way for secondary schools to provide entry-level rock band tuition via e-learning.

Yamaha already supports the cream of the nation’s gifted and talented young classical, jazz and rock musicians, though its extensive scholarship programmes. It is also a principal supporter of the Federation of Music Services, which provides instrumental and vocal tuition which is approaching 20 percent of pupils up to the age of 15 in England and Wales – impressively up from just over 8 percent in 2005.

Of the remaining 80-plus percent, some young people learn privately but there is still a large number, particularly in years 7-9, who are interested in learning a rock instrument but who do not currently have access to tuition. Yamaha sees its new Gigajam partnership as a key strategy to help address the problem of access to learning to play – in this case, rock band instruments – for everyone else.

The Gigajam system provides a well structured system of tuition and assessment for guitar, bass, drums and keyboard, which is delivered and assessed online. Learners play along with a series of structured and well designed exercises, initially using Yamaha MIDI and electric instruments. Advanced software then provides assessment and guides the student, at his or her own pace, through the materials. Gigajam is currently preparing a groundbreaking new assessment system for audio instruments, too, which will further radically transform the already effective system.

At any stage during the learning process, learners can choose to play along live with their peers, once they have developed a basic level of skills and confidence.

The Gigajam system is certainly not intended to replace high quality instrumental tuition. However it has already proven to be an effective way to give young people who may not already be learning an instrument the chance to do so, up to an intermediate level. Following this innovative and cost-effective way of introducing more young people to music making, many who have been through the system so far have gone on to learn, either with the local music service or with a private teacher.

Yamaha’s education manager, Bill C Martin, commented: “Yamaha’s vision is simply to expand the number of people learning music and to help make it an inspiring journey for all. We are already doing much at the inspiration end of things: our extensive Conservatoire Scholarships programmes across the genres and our support for the Federation of Music Services, whose members in the local music services provide world-class, high-quality instrumental tuition. The FMS has done a great job helping extend this via its support for the KS2 Whole-Class Instrumental and Vocal Teaching Programme (Wider Opportunities), which has provided at least a year’s free instrumental tuition to junior school children and which has been praised in a report published by FMS in January 2010. However there is more to be done at secondary level to boost the numbers of young people who are learning to play. We believe that Gigajam’s proven track record over the past few years speaks for itself in providing a positive experience for young musicians. We can now begin to develop the quantity of learners without losing quality.”

Watch a video report on the Yamaha-Gigajam presentations at the 2010 BETT show.


Next Generation Learning in Buckinghamshire

Brian Greene, managing director of Gigajam, yesterday presented two seminars on The Bucks Online Music School, at the Buckinghamshire Next Generation Learning Conference at Green Park Training Centre, Aston Clinton.

The Online Music School is powered by Gigajam and available to all schools and pupils in Buckinghamshire. Through the Bucks Grid for learning pupils can study guitar, bass, keyboard, drums and theory online at school, at home, and on their mobile.

A summary of the seminar content is below which details the current Online Music School as well as the new version which is planned to be integrated into the new Bucks Learning Portal during 2010.

Presentation Notes for delegates


The Bucks Online Music School is currently available at For free access use your Bucks GFL login credentials.

Gigajam provides a rich multi-media music school, with over 128 lessons for guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, and theory. There are over 968 videos, 45 TV Shows and 520 notional hours of study.

 The course covers KS2 through to KS4, the equivalent to music grades debut to grade 5.

Gigajam in action

Gigajam is being used in schools up and down the UK, Australia, Netherlands and Finland and I have provided, below, a  few examples of the different ways in which Gigajam is being used to provide more opportunities to learn a musical instrument.  Schools differ in resourcing of computing. instruments, space, teachers and pupils and therefore use  Gigajam in a wide variety of ways to support the development of music skills in their pupils. Please note that it is not essential to use any specific instrument to follow Gigajam lessons, you can use any instrument that you have available. If you do have MIDI instruments then they simply enable access to our analysis programme, but that is not essential.

Here are some different uses of Gigajam.

1. Pupils using purely at home with their own instruments.

2. Small rock clubs (4 pupils, 4 computers, 4 instruments) After school, lunch time. -Set up in the corner of a room, or a music practise room made into an ‘Interactive Music Room’.  

3. Larger groups using an Interactive Whiteboard to go through lessons doing virtual drumming, or using whatever instruments are to hand to learn the concepts. Perhaps one or two instruments connected used with a computer individually.

4. Whole classes on a two to one basis, with a high degree of independence.

5. Whole classes with a one to one basis with complete autonomy and personalised learning experience, extended schools, adult education, community learning, lunch time, breakfast clubs and Gifted and Talented.

Video Case Studies used:


Using Gigajam in a primary setting where the school made good use of the instruments that they have.

Buckingham Primary School

Secondary school providing one to one independent studying in class,together with live performance

Bradley Stoke Community School

Live performance of a primary school showing how the real skills learned enable bands to be formed (away from the computers). This class is around 10 weeks into the course and performing Teenage Kicks by the Undertones.

South Manchester CLC

Live presentation

How to use Gigajam – Video Channel

Here are a series of short videos demonstrating how to use Gigajam, which can be viewed on our Video Channel.

(In the presentation I performed an exercise live on the drums, after following the instructions, watching the videos and playing along with the performance backing track. I then uploaded the performance to my locker (ePortfolio), using the latest version of Gigajams Xtractor X5 . I used the new Gigajam service at

Assessment for Learning

There is a short video demonstrating the power of the new assessment for learning engine. It captures and stores all student performances into their locker, which provides an automatically marked ePortfolio of the students work. It also captures where the student is within the course, provides a view of teacher comments and produces certificates of completed work for each lesson.

For the teacher, it provides a summary of every pupil performance, ordered into classes, as well as the opportunity to review and comment individual student’s exercises. In essence it provides, continual, formative and summative assessment.

Questions and queries

Please feel free to ask any questions, we want you to get the most out of the Bucks Grid for learning and its Music School. We will be only too pleased to help in any way we can. Contact details are:

Brian Greene, Managing Director | T:0800 055 6797 |M:07976 208859 E:

Gigajam for Adults at Stoke Music Technology Centre

Stoke-on-Trent City Music & Performing Arts Service is running a 4 week course using Music and I.T called Gigajam for Adults, on a Wednesday evening 6-8.15pm, starting 28th April 2010.

Learn how to play lead guitar, bass guitar, drums or keyboard, using Gigajam, the latest in music software.

The course will be held in the Music Technology Suite at the Bridge Centre, Birches Head Road, Birches Head.

This is an opportunity for adults to experience playing a musical instrument or build on prior knowledge and ‘JAM’ as a band! (If you wish to)

Total cost for the course is just £5 !!

Places are limited, book now to avoid disappointment!!

To book your place(s) or for further information please contact:
Suzanne Lovatt
Interim Music & IT Coordinator
Stoke-on-Trent Music & Performing Arts Service
Tel: 01782 233794

XtractorX5 – Auto uploading for proxy servers available

The Innovations Centre at Gigajam have released the configurations to enable Gigajam’s Xtractor software to automatically upload through proxy servers.

Schools using proxy servers should download and install the latest version directly from here:

Thank you to Kevin Haddell and Peter Booth at Hugh Christie Technology College and Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar School respectively for helping us trial and  test.

For any technical help then please contact us on: or 0800 055 6797 .