Tag Archives: elearning

Making Even More of Music

Technology helps you make more of skills based music making in the classroom 

It is widely recognised that learning to play an instrument has huge musical and educational benefits for students, although providing every child with the opportunity to do so remains 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.”

There is much that is more than good in music education in the UK, but Ofsted’s  findings included concerns around; assessment, progress and progression, quality, duration of Study, KS4 and under use of ICT. We have mapped Gigajam’s main benefits and features against those areas in a short online which can be viewed online.

Gigajam would like all children to have the chance to learn to play a musical instrument   and we have a licensing model and special deals that will make Gigajam affordable.  Gigajam is just £1 per pupil per annum, but see what other special deals are available.

For more information, or if you have any questions visit our website or give us a call on 01494 534880.

You can also email any questions directly to Brian Greene.




Drive in Muziekschool launched in Amsterdam

Gigajam is available to schools in Amsterdam via their Broadband network for schools (BOA) and on Monday the 11th July BOA presented a new service for schools, Drive in Muziekschool. It is a mobile classroom solution for schools who do not have dedicated IT support yet wish to provide more opportunities for students to learn how to play a musical instrument.

Presenting the Drive In Muziekschool

The Drive in musiziekschool concept is a mobile workstation containing desking, a band set of instruments (guitar, bass, keyboard and drums) and laptops pre installed with Gigajam lesson content and software – ready to go!

Guitar, Bass, Keyboard & Drums Drive In workstation

Saranna Maureau, project manager for BOA launched the concept at the Wagg Society in Amsterdam to an audience including schools teachers, teacher trainers, Kennisnet http://www.kennisnet.nl/, KPN (http://www.kpn.com/ Dutch telecom network provider) and QLICT (http://www.qlict.com/ Schools network management provider).

Drive In Muziekschool

Children from the Leonardo da Vinci school demonstrated how they use Gigajam, with their teacher Vladi, who is provided by The Muziekschool Amsterdam West. http://www.muziekschoolamsterdam.nl/

Leonardo da Vinci students


For more information on Gigajam in The Netherlands then please contact:

Saranna Maureau Project Manager BOA saranna.maureau@gmail.com

Brian Greene Director Gigajam brian.greene@gigajam.com

View Amsterdam Case Study and Project Pages http://schools.gigajam.com/nl/

Try Gigajam in Dutch at http://gigajamvle.com Simply select the Dutch national flag

Background on BOA and Gigajam in The Netherlands

BOA are the Broadband for Schools Network, http://www.boa-amsterdam.nl/nl/home/ which runs across the City of Amsterdam. They have selected Gigajam as a content provider for their schools and now provide access to Gigajam’s Online Music School http://gigajamvle.com across their network. This provides the opportunity for all Amsterdam students to learn to play a musical instrument; guitar, bass, keyboard and drums, in school and at home.

BOA work hard to help their schools develop innovative uses of technology to support and develop learning and increasing access. Gigajam Drive In is a mobile classsroom solution for musical instrument tuition. The scheme will see BOA delivering pre installed laptops, Yamaha instruments and, of course, access to Gigajam via the BOA network.

Brian Greene said, “This is a great innovation for Amsterdam schools and is a tried and tested delivery model in The Highland Council Region, Scotland, where they have been  supporting 84 primary schools with access to Gigajam since 2005 with their own Music Classroom on the Move concept. (http://schools.gigajam.com/CaseStudyHighlands.aspx)

The scheme is aimed at supporting smaller schools with no dedicated network technicians so that they have a plug and play experience.

Gigajam is available to City of Amsterdam schools via http://gigajamvle.com and the early lessons can be followed in both English and Dutch, to support younger students.

Gigajam VLE – Teacher and Student Assessment for Learning

Gigajam is well known for the interactive multi media musical instrument tuition we provide, but have you taken a close look at the functionality in our eLearning that provides genuine assessment for learning, automatically. Our Xtractor and Analsyer software enables students to record and save all their performances. Our VLE, enables all performances to be stored and viewed through a variety of windows to help teachers support students and for students to get real time continuous, formative and summative assessment.

Gigajam Harnesses Technology so that students have a more personalised learning experience, with the opportunity for independent study and for students to work at their own pace. Teachers will benefit by being able to spend more time supporting their students’ learning.

We have provided some screen grabs of the key functions of our assessment for learning engine, designed for both teaching and learning. Click on any of the screen grabs to enlarge the view.

Teachers – Staff Room

My Classes

Teachers can order their students into classes so they can track progress at a glance. This enables teachers to drill down into students work, through a series of summary views, right down to individual students’ exercises. The classes provide the highest level summary from which students instrumental (guitar, bass, keyboard and drum) and arts award work can be viewed.

Live Class activity

Teachers can use the live class activity view in their Staff Room to review how ‘on task’ students are in class and use this screen to review work uploaded by pupils in real time. Teachers can then provide real time interventions and target their in-class time to ensure effective support of students when they are working independently, to ensure they are not isolated.

GigajamVLE – Assessment for Learning Engine – Live Class Activity Reporting

Click screen grab to enlarge the view.

Student Progress

Teachers can view their students’ performances in a variety of summary of views, provided through detailed layers of granularity right down to the review of each exercise.

GigajamVLE – Assessment for Learning Engine – Student Progress Report

Click screen grab to enlarge the view.

Students’ Lockers

E-Portfolio Assessment for learning engine

Students upload their saved performances directly from our latest software so that they are placed straight in the students portfolio without the student leaving their exercises.

Students and teachers can comment on work, with students demonstrating their understanding of what they need to do to improve and teachers providing feedback, support and learning interventions.

GigajamVLE – Assessment for Learning Engine – E-Portfolio

Click screen grab to enlarge the view.

Arts Award

Arts award encompasses students instrumental learning plus the documenting of a series of arts activities, currently including the research of an Arts Hero, attending a live event and sharing their work, as an apprentice. Here is an example of student’s written work saved directly to their portfolio. Students can also link to photographs, videos, or any other media that they have stored in their online personal space(s).

GigajamVLE – E Portfolio for Arts Award

Click screen grab to enlarge the view.

Personalised Learning

The system reports progress of all completed work and provides students with sumary of progress, even on login.

GigajamVLE – Arts Award progress reports

Click screen grab to enlarge the view.

Certificates of completion

When each lesson and level is completed the system automatically produces a certificate for the students, aggregating the scores achieved, which is held in their portfolio, but can also be printed out.

GigajamVLE – Automated marking, scores and certification

Click screen grab to enlarge the view.

If you are not familiar with Gigajam’s interactive lesson content, then please feel free to try our first lessons for guitar, bass, keyboard and drums here: http://gigajamvle.comFor more information please contact Brian Greene e: brian.greene@gigajam.com m:07976 208859

The Henley Review & Government’s Response – A statement from Gigajam

From the Review’s initial assumptions, through to the government’s response, Mr Gove and Mr Vaisey have demonstrated their belief in and support for music. They have further confirmed this with, what in the current climate, is generous dedicated funding .

Mr Henley has provided a strong and clear understanding of the landscape of music education in England together with 36 recommendations which are equally strong and clear. We are particularly delighted that Mr Henley has recommended that there is further work to be done to understand the positive impact that technology can play in our music education system.

The previous government did not respond to the call for a digital component, to our music education system, following the second Music Manifesto report.  It was, in our opinion, a missed opportunity to provide a broader blend of solutions that would move us closer to the widely shared aspiration that all children should have the chance to learn a musical instrument and sing.

We know that an e-learning model can significantly increase participation levels in school based musical instrument lessons, we’ve seen it happening live in classrooms. A model for e-learning should work alongside existing methods of delivery, especially when part of a school based music hub. It can be available online, at school and at home, and help music teachers and practitioners reach and support many more students than is currently possible.

The appropriate use of digital curriculum and interactive technologies, alongside traditional music tuition, bring enormous benefits, including the:

  • Increase in access and participation
  • Provision of additional affordable and sustainable models of delivery
  • Ability to evidence pupil progression
  • Support of higher standards and levels of attainment
  • Up skilling of musicians so that they can continue to, and in time, increase the contribution music and associated creative industries make to the UK economy.

The Wider Opportunities model of instrumental tuition, for a single year group, has provided many more children with the chance to learn a musical instrument, but, the scheme itself shines a clear and bright light on the ‘elephant in the room’, namely, scale. It is clearly not possible to deliver sustained instrumental tuition using the existing traditional models of delivery alone – there will never be enough money and there will never be enough instrumental teachers.

Mr Henley indicates in his report that Wider Opportunities programmes may, in the future, need to be just a term in duration before the requirement of a parental contribution. Ofsted, though, have clearly indicated that many schemes, however good they are in themselves, are already not of sufficient duration to enable children to learn to play an instrument in a way that supports genuine progression.

We believe that the system can do more, if we add: digital curriculum, interactive technologies, workforce development and innovative, cogent delivery models.

My colleagues and I worked hard on our submission to the review and we understand that further work to be undertaken to develop a national plan for technology would be a part of the National Plan for Music. We have written to  Mr Gove today to ask that we and our other e-learning industry colleagues and partners be actively included in the process.

Now that Mr Henley has completed his Review, we will be releasing our submission for wider consideration.

Brian Greene

Managing Director

Henley Review

Government Response to Henley Review

For more information on Gigajam and musical instrument tuition through elearning then please contact us:

Brian Greene

Managing Director



T: 0800 055 6797

M: 07976 208859