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!

Gigajam TV Shows in the App Store

New in store is the Gigajam TV App. You can now learn to play guitar, bass, keyboard and drums with Gigajam using the Gigajam TV App – All 45 TV shows available freely on your iPhone and iPad.

The app is available through the App Store

Ultimate anytime, anywhere flexibility with Gigajam available through your laptop, mobile or tablet. You choose when and how you learn, even while on the move


How Gigajam Works for You

You can give every child a chance to learn a musical instrument

National Curriculum for Music

Gigajam’s online music school helps you provide all children with the chance to learn to play guitar, bass, keyboards and drums in class, through curriculum and as part of enrichment and extended activities, helping you meet the new national curriculum aims and supporting children in fully engaging in music learning .

Affordable Pricing

More affordable than ever, you can have Gigajam at only £1 a user per year, with a minimum of £150. Call us or email us now on 01494 534880 or email

Creating Musicians

We believe anyone can create music. Gigajam is designed to give everyone the opportunity to be able to play. We share your passion for music and want to help you harness the power of music within your students.

Want to know more about Gigajam?

Blended Learning

Your students can mix their time developing skills with our software, learning from the lessons on our online music school and playing together in bands. It is all part of Gigajam. The lessons naturally encourage a mix of enjoyable activities that build tangible and transferable musical skills, which are great fun and support the national curriculum.

You can support pupils as they work at their own pace

Students can work at their own pace and the progress they make is recorded for them so they always know where they are in the course and what they need to do to improve.

Comprehensive pathway of learning

From debut to grade 5, Gigajam provides a comprehensive and mapped curriculum for guitarists, bassist, keyboard players and drummers to develop individual skills and come together and play as bands.

Significant progression route

By adding Gigajam to your curriculum you are offering the possibility of extending first access initiatives, bridging from transition, and enhancing musical future ideals right through to level 2 qualifications.

Track and help support your pupils progress

Our interactive software provides immediate feedback which can be used to help students make judgments on how they are progressing, store their work for tracking progress over time, and provide summaries of overall development.

Anytime, anywhere learning

With Gigajam learning content via a browser, our online music school never closes and is available anytime, anywhere to schools and their students.

Help your pupils receive music grades in class

Music awards are built in to our online music school so that your pupils can receive music grades for studying with Gigajam. No travelling to exam centres, high costs, or restrictions to entering. Student can be entered when they are ready – they complete the online work and teachers just verify it!

Qualifications that contribute to your school.

Music grades through Gigajam are awarded by the University of West London/London College of Music and are on the Ofqual register – your school can include the QCF credits in performance tables.

Contact us now

Visit our website for more information, try for free at and/or get in touch for advice and help. We’d be delighted to hear from you.


Gigajam Rock Orchestra Launched

Introducing Gigajam Rock Orchestra

Rock Orchestra

Whilst Gigajam’s Essential Skills courses focus on teaching individuals to play rock and pop instruments, we appreciate that many pupils play other, more traditional instruments in school ensembles. For Gigajam, creating musicians is not just about creating rock musicians, playing in rock bands. It is about providing opportunities for a wider engagement in music of different genres, styles and contexts.

We have designed the Gigajam Rock Orchestra to help teachers incorporate the live performance of the rock band, into the wider setting of a Rock Orchestra. This provides an exciting opportunity for instrumentalists in school orchestras to play along with their rock band peers.The arrangements are written so that a typical school orchestra can perform the five pieces taken from the Gigajam Level One Songbook. Each piece has a full conductor’s score arranged in five orchestral parts, plus charts for the guitar, bass, keyboard and drums.

Rock Orchestra 2

The individual orchestral parts can be assigned to different instruments and the appropriate charts printed off in the correct keys. Gigajam Rock Orchestra also includes mp3 audio files with mixes including: band and orchestra, orchestra only, band only, and various minus-one mixes. This enables the different ensembles and individual parts to be practised by students with great sounding accompaniment.

All six rock orchestra pieces are now available on and you can try Ode To Joy freely.

Rock Orchestra 3


Rock and Pop Music Grades through Gigajam

Through our partnership with the London College of Music we are now in the full swing of things with students from far and wide being awarded grades for their progress with their Gigajam courses. Harry is from Princes Risborough School and is studying for his Music GCSE and is developing his performance element with Gigajam. He has received distinctions in his first series of grades, debut, grade1, grade 2 and grade 3 for drums.

Harry is now studying for his grade 4.

Harry Dyer - Distinction.jpg

All of the points acquired can contribute to his school performance. See the table below:

Gigajam Grade NQF Level QCF Credits Cost Ofqual Register
Debut Entry Level 4 £10 601/0304/8
Grade 1 Level 1 9 £11 601/0300/0
Grade 2 Level 1 12 £12 601/0302/4
Grade 3 Level 1 12 £13 601/0303/6
Grade 4 Level 2 15 £14 601/0359/0
Grade 5 Level 2 18 £15 601/0309/7


Gigajam’s awards are extremely flexible, affordable and easy to use. The students store all of their work in their protfolios and the system will tell them when they have completed the requirements for the grade. This includes a series of technical exercises, performance pieces and questions. The portfolio is simple to compete and integrated into our Online Music School and can receive MIDI files which are automatically marked and videos, using our seamless YouTube recorder which can be marked by the teacher. The teacher verifies pupils work and submitted for an award. There is no visiting a centre, booking exams or costly and time consuming travel; simply enter when complete. Because all of the work is done online the cost of exams have been reduced dramatically, as you can see from the table, making them genuinely affordable for all.

Learn more about grades with this short video:

For more information on qualifications awarded through The University of West London/London College of Music through Gigajam then you can visit our qualifications page.

Contact us now to join Gigajam e: Education site | Online Music School Music Education Hubs




Don’t take our word for it – more!

It is great hearing from our users and here is an extract from an email received today from one of our users of our online music school.



I am really enjoying the course with Gigajam so far and hope to have some time this month to work on grade 3. Personally I have found the exercises really helpful, although a little repetitive, but I understand the need to practise the scales and triads with both hands. The videos are great and offer lots of support…


…overall the material has been clear and thorough, and the course is excellent. I have also really appreciated that you mark and comment on the exercises so quickly.



Brilliant Idea for ICT in the Inclusive Classroom

Brilliant Idea 12

We are delighted to be featured in Sal McKeown’s latest edition of Brilliant Ideas for ICT in the Inclusive Classroom. Brilliant Ideas… has 50 case studies and 20 ‘how-to’ sheets. The essence of the book is to help teachers and LSAs make more creative use of technology in their day to day work. It features practitioners who do interesting things with technology, from wikis and storyboarding to gaming platforms, animations and podcasts.

Sal is an award winning journalist who has a passion for all aspects of specials needs. To find out more about her work, please visit


Boosting Music Education Hubs

How will Gigajam boost your Music Hub?

Do you want every child to have a chance to learn an instrument and play in an ensemble? Do you want cross boundary approaches? Do you want to meet Ofsted’s priorities for improving music and access to sustainable, progressive, music learning?

5 ways that Gigajam Online Music School will boost your Music Education Hub.

  • Increase reach into schools, in particular secondary schools, to support the delivery of music, technology and the creative curriculum at KS3 & 4
  • Bridge from First Access into an offer for all pupils that is sustainable and can take learners to a standard equivalent to Grade 5
  • Increase the demand in numbers of pupils choosing to learn an instrument with Music Service teachers
  • Give every child, irrespective of their needs or background, the chance to learn a musical instrument in class and online for free
  • Provision to all schools of an online resource that is affordable and sustainable which uses interactive technology to help hubs support teachers deliver more instrumental lessons than previously possible.

For more information on Gigajam’s unique offer for schools and hubs, please visit

Please feel free to contact Brian Greene if you want to discuss your Hub’s needs in more detail.

t: 01494 534880

m: 07976 208859

Bank Holiday Super Offer Extended

Get a Gigajam Lifetime membership this Bank Holiday for only £49.99!

Save £30 pounds this bank holiday.

We have had some messages that you you would like the offer extended so WE HAVE! Get a Gigajam Lifetime membership for a single one off price of £49.99 today. No subscription, no commitment. Learn at your own pace in your own time with no pressure.

Get yours here Gigajam Lifetime Offer

( Usual price £79.99, offer price £49.99. Offer valid until end of 31st August 2014 )

Share savings with friends!

Already got Gigajam? Then feel free to share this offer with your friends and family. Just forward the email and the link will work for anyone!

New to Gigajam?

Been forwarded this email and want to know more about Gigajam?

Have a look at our Six Steps to Learning with Gigajam video, or check out

Creating Musicians