Tag Archives: College

Official! More music lessons – to improve memory, intelligence and behaviour

Professor Susan Hallam, of the Institute of Education, University of London, analysed scores of researchers’ studies on the benefits of music to children.

Her report found that learning a musical instrument at school improves children’s behaviour, memory and intelligence. The report was commissioned by the government.

Brian Greene, Managing Director, this week commented on the report, ‘ There is a general acceptance that the activities associated with learning a musical instrument have wide ranging benefits. The specifics and science in this report provide further compelling evicence that this is not just anecdotal. The government, music services and all those associated with music education in the UK, especially the music manifesto,  have worked exceedingly hard to provide more opportunities for pupils at school to access music lessons and a huge step change has been achieved.’

John Hillier, Director of Gigajam continued, ‘This report, yet again, confirms our belief that we need to add a technology assisted instrumental provision to provide the scale of opportunity and participation that we want for all our school students.  The main problems that face the delivery of large scale musical instrument tuition still persist and they are:

I.    Large scale sustained participation in learning a musical instrument is unaffordable under existing structures and,

II.    Even if there were enough money to pay for instrumental teachers there are simply not enough music teachers to deliver the number of traditionally delivered lessons required to give every student a chance to learn a musical instrument.

The government has been very generous recently, but even the current level of generosity will only provide one year of free tuition to primary school children during the currency of the funding . Most music services, who are the principle deliverers of instrumental tuition, are  probably now working close to capacity and more money will not provide a further step change.

What is needed, is for an additional technology assisted structure(s) to be added, alongside, and in addition, to the existing tried and tested structures delivered by music services.  The government has already adopted BECTA’s Harnessing Technology Strategy for teaching and learning, which when used inconjunction with the huge educational technological infrastructure that is available, through our National Education Network, will provide every child, wherever they are in the UK, with access and opportunity to sustained, high quality musical instrument tuition.  Gigajam’s suite of lesson content, curriculum and software, has already been developed with the current technology standards and  would provide students and teachers with:

anytime, anywhere access

independent learning

assessment for learning (formative, summative, continual and terminal assessment, supporting teaching and learning)

personalised learning

progressive and sustained pathways

integration with existing government strategies (music manifesto, musical futures, extended schools, ICTAC)

reach and scale

Gigajam is already being used to provide daily instrumental music lessons for individuals, small groups and whole classes, providing a scale of delivery unaffordable by existing methods. Whole class instruction can and does already take place everyday in Gigajam schools, both primary and secondary and you can see examples online on our Case Study pages.

Introducing Gigajam

http://schools.gigajam.com/introducinggigajam.aspx

Bradley Stoke Community College

http://schools.gigajam.com/CaseStudyBradStoke.aspx

For more information for Gigajam’s support of the government’s Music Manifesto, then please contact either:

John Hillier john.hillier@gigajam.com, or Brian Greene brian.greene@gigajam.com

http://schools.gigajam.com/Default.aspx

Gigajam’s Essential Skills Courses get OCN Accreditation

Open College Network Credit4Learning, one of the UK’s national accreditation services
for learning and skills, has announced that Gigajam’s Essential Skills Courses for
the guitar, bass, keyboards and drums can now be studied to earn credits to gain entry
into further and higher education courses.

The courses contain learning outcomes, detailed lesson instructions that are supported
by ‘how to’ videos by professional musicians; play-along and record software to encourage
practice; and Analyser, Gigajam’s eAssessment software. This provides students with
a graphical representation of their performances and a score out of 100. Students
can then store their Analyser files in a personal e-portfolio.

The OCNcredit4learning credits will be awarded to students who complete each Gigajam
lesson. Students have to reach a required percentage score for each exercise to gain
the credits; and each lesson has been awarded a ‘credits score’ based on the number
of hours the average learner would take to complete the lesson. All students have
to do is present their performance to the required standard and have certain key exercises
witnessed by an approved assessor, who could be their school teacher, a private music
tutor, or by submitting performances via webcam to Gigajam.

Brian Greene, managing director at Gigajam said: “Gaining accreditation from OCNcredit4learning
is a major step forward for us. Studying and learning to play a musical instrument
is enough for many students, but giving them the recognition for their hard work that
can be put forward for future studies is a great incentive to continue learning. Many
of our students are school-based and a number of schools have expressed an interest
in some form of qualification or certification from us.”

Katherine Gillard, chief executive, OCNcredit4learning said: “We have worked closely
with Gigajam to establish the correct levels of attainment. For each completed Gigajam
level, students will be able to accumulate 14 credits at the corresponding National
Qualifications Framework level. Completion of each level is the equivalent of 140
hours of study recognised by the National Qualification Framework. Students completing
all three levels of a Gigajam course will now have achieved 14 OCN credits at each
of Entry Level, Level One and Level Two, forming part of the credits required for
entry into Further and Higher education.”

Schools, colleges and other organisations are able to register for accreditation of
the Gigajam Essential Skills courses through OCNcredit4learning. More details are
available on schools.gigajam.com or www.credit4learning.com

Gigajam sponsors RockIT! 2007

Teenagers
around the country are dusting off their drums and buffing up their bass guitars in
time to take part in a major music competition.
The massively popular Rock Idol – now re-named RockIT! – is underway again, giving
school-based bands the chance to strut their stuff.
And, the winners will get to walk away with musical kit and lesson software for the
guitar, base, keyboards and drums worth around £,2500.00 for their school, from main
sponsors Roland and Gigajam.
Hosted by the West Midlands Grid for Learning (WMNET), the project involves all ten
regional Grids for Learning in England, plus Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland,
which provide broadband connection and a wealth of resources for use over broadband
to schools and colleges.
In keeping with its aim of promoting the use of ICT in education, RockIT! is a showcase
for technology, as the battle of the bands is conducted via video conference.
While an expert panel will give their judgement and both regional and national finals,
friends and supporters of the bands will have the chance to vote over the Internet
and to text and post comments to the judges.

As well as writing and performing an original piece of work, competitors are required
to create a BandBlog, with the option of using text, voice, music and even video to
chart their progress. This will be taken into account as part of the judging process.
Last year the band, Angel Fall, from Northern Ireland took the title after beating
off competition from 117 others and impressing judges with their sound and style.
Registration for this year’s bash opened on May 1st and bands can find out full details
from the official RockIT! website at www.rockit2007.org.uk

The final will be staged in Birmingham early in December, from where performances
will be relayed around the nation via video conference, as well as on BBC Big Screens
in several city centres.
Ends
The regional Grids for Learning, also known as Regional Broadband Consortia (RBCs)
were set up by the DfES five years ago. They were tasked with linking all schools
to broadband by December 2006. Now that has broadly been achieved, the RBCs are concentrating
upon providing good quality broadband enabled resources.
The RBCs now receive part funding from the DfES and part from their Local Authority
members.
For more information contact Jean Maund jean.maund@wmnet.org.uk

Gigajam Rocks The East

At this years E2BN conference, held between the 7th and 9th July 2003, at the Wyboston
Robinson College Centre, Gigajam exhibited its range of Xtractor Software and Lesson
Content offering to be available for Schools during the course of the forthcoming
academic year.

The Essential Drum Skills Course is currently scheduled to go live in September 2003,
with the Essential Skills courses for Guitar, Bass Guitar and Keyboards following
in January 2004.

The Gigajam Interactive Music School demonstrated the Drum Xtractor, together with
its unique multimedia Essential Drum Skills Course Pathway for Schools.

‘The Conference was tremendous, with an energetic ‘can do’ atmosphere’ said Brian
Greene, Education Director. ‘It really confirmed our belief that Education in the
UK is moving forward with great purpose and determination. Chris Kastel and his team
at E2BN ran a great event with credit to BECTA and the DfES for supporting it so well.
The delegates were keen and enthusiastic and the children from Harrold Priory Middle
School were a credit to their parents and teachers and an encouraging glimpse at the
future ahead’.

John Hillier, Gigajam’s Sales and Marketing Director said of the event. ‘It was amazing,
the response and enthusiasm that met Gigajam was well beyond our expectations. We
are really looking forward to developing the many relationships we have made here
within the Education Community’.

Gigajam, also demonstrated their unique e-assessment software that captures music
performances through MIDI instruments and provides a graphic comparison to the exercise
set. They also demonstrated ‘live’ the Online Theory Assessment developed by Gigajam
IT Director Rob Oldham. ‘The online multi-choice format enables students to complete
theory tasks at home or at school, crossing the boundary of the traditional educational
environment. It also helps with student development reporting and reduces the time
teachers spend marking – that’s got to be good news!’

Adrian Carey, Education Consultant concluded, ‘We had a great time and are looking
forward to a bright and busy future. We made a lot of friends, especially among the
children. They even made a video at the show of us working together’.

The Harrold Priory Middle School video is courtesy of Leslie and David – download
it here

‘Rock on Wyboston.you are the Rock and Roll Capital of the world’.

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