Tag Archives: Gigajam

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

01494 534880 / 07976 208859

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!

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 brian.greene@gigigajam.com

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 http://education.gigajam.com for more information, try for free athttp://gigajamvle.com 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 gigajamvle.com 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: brian.greene@gigajam.com Education site | Online Music School Music Education Hubs




Rock and Pop Grades from Gigajam

The School Music Performance Award, Rock and Pop exam grades debut, grade 1-5 are now live.

The qualification is awarded by University of West London/London College of Music Examinations and schools can now enter candidates automatically online when the student is ready to receive their award.


When a student has completed the required elements of the award: technical exercises, graded pieces, and knowledge and understanding questions, these will be evidenced in the students portfolio. Teachers simply need to verify the integrity of the portfolio for the specific grade and this will then automatically confirm that the student can now be entered for their award.

Progress through qualification


Once the teacher has verified the portfolio, they will be able to enter the candidate via the Staff Room. All students eligible for entering for their award(s) are listed.

Enter Candidates - Staff Room

To ensure the school receives the credits for the award please add the learners unique learner number and your National Centre Number.

The award is confirmed by London College of Music Examinations and the certificate sent to the school (exam centre).

Examination Costs

The School Music Performance Awards table is below showing fees, points and Ofqual qualification details. The qualifications are inexpensive and offer a great opportunity for learners to be accredited for their hard work.


Entry Level
Grade 1
Level 1
Grade 2
Level 1
Grade 3
Level 1
Grade 4
Level 2
Grade 5
Level 2


School Music Performance Awards:

guitar, bass, keyboards and drums

Students in schools can learn and receive awards by using Gigajam VLE http://gigajamvle.com.

Learners studying independently should use Gigajam Online http://gigajamonline.com and their work will be verified by Gigajam teachers. Some video evidence and proof of identity will be required when not enrolled with an educational establishment.

Further details of the School Music Performance Awards, together with a downloadable syllabus are available from here: http://schools.gigajam.com/Qualifications.aspx

If you require any help at all then please just contact us:

Brian Greene, Director e: brian.greene@gigajam.com t: 01494 534880


National Curriculum for Music 2014

National Curriculum for Music 2014 & Learning to play an instrument

The new National Curriculum for Music now specifically includes the opportunity for children to learn a musical instrument. In its aims it states:

“The National Curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils:

…have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence.”

There are challenges to overcome with learning an instrument in the classroom and these include: noise, space, equipment, and specialist knowledge for example. But we have a solution.

Problem Solved

By overcoming these problems Gigajam allows pupils to learn one to one, in a class group, with a music teacher as facilitator. Pupils can also access Gigajam from home – anytime/anywhere. Our courses are designed to bring pupils together to play and perform, as well as equip them with recording and composing skills – helping you help more pupils act as musicians in class.

How Gigajam Works

6 Steps image

Benefits of Gigajam

Sustained duration of study

Gigajam supports teachers to teach pupils from complete beginner through the grade 5 on guitar, bass, keyboards and drums. Pupils could easily be supported by the comprehensive pathway from KS2 through to KS4.

Accredited by Ofqual – Awarded by University of West London/LCME

Pupils can now receive a national recognised award at debut grade and grades one through to 5 by studying with Gigajam. The new School Music Performance award count towards school’s results and are easy and cheap to enter with no external examination required. 

Evidence of Progress

Continual, Formative and Summative Assessment

With Gigajam’s unique interactive software, as well as our assessment for learning system, all pupils work can be seamlessly uploaded to their own e-Portfolios so that they can demonstrate their progress, as well as receive automatic formative assessment and teacher comments. Both videos and MIDI files are easily stored and accessed by pupils and their teachers, clearly documenting all of the pupils’ hard work. Our award winning recording and analysis software not only provides a great way to practice and finesse skills, but also provides immediate feedback on pupils’ performances.

Click to enlarge

Easy set up and use any instrument

Our new embedded video recording allows pupils to record and upload their performances for feedback and marking by their teachers, meaning that anyone can use Gigajam’s lesson content with any guitar, bass, keyboard and/or drum kit.



All children should get a chance to play an instrument and we’ve made Gigajam affordable at just £1 per pupil per annum. Our awarding body at The University of West London/LCME charge just £10-£15 for debut to grade 5 awards, making it possible, easy and inexpensive to help more pupils, learn to play an instrument and be recognised for their hard work.

Give us a call and let’s discuss how we can help you and your pupils.

Call Brian anytime on 01494 534 880 or drop us an email.

Don’t take our word for it – Take theirs!

If you are looking for an affordable way to learn guitar, bass, keyboard and/or drums then consider what some of our wonderful users think and say about their own experiences of Gigajam.

My experience of Gigajam is one that encompasses many learning styles, right from the written word to videos to practical application. It covers everyone’s preferences for learning and that is rare. I love that I can go to it whenever is convenient, I am not restricted to specific lesson times and I can carry on if I am in the zone or stop if I am tired or distracted. The flexibility is marvellous.


I love this way of learning a musical instrument and would recommend it to everyone. It’s not conventional but when did ‘conventional’ ever move the world forward?

Andy Gordon

Lessons Cycler

I love the structure and the simplicity of the learning process. Gigajam is a great opportunity for self-study in any age.

Zdenko Bartos

Being busy in a full time job I needed something that I could take at my own pace, was systematic in it’s approach and gave me immediate feedback on what I was doing.  Gigajam did all this and fitted in with my approach at that time which was to play keyboard via MIDI and use virtual instruments.  Another useful aspect of the approach was that I often had periods away on business so needed to revise some parts.  The modular structure allows this and the new format based on line is brilliant.

Phil Mills


I found the Gigajam system totally fascinating.  First there was the personal touch: nice to see who I was dealing with in the introductory videos, comments via portfolio, e-mails when necessary, and constant encouragement leading to a sense of achievement. Then the magic of Xtractor,  giving such precise analysis of every single note. And the totally new experience of playing along with other instruments – great!

Madeline Lord

The course is brilliant and for the price is unbeatable.

David Withers

I chose Gigajam because I was looking for a structured progressive lesson program which was inexpensive and I could use when I have the time. I did not want to commit to a more expensive program only to find out later that it was not the one for me or I ran out of time to fully use it.


The bite sized lessons enable anyone to easily progress from one to the other without realising the actual progress made. Once you do realise that, you want to push harder, pick up the pace and take on the next challenge. I look forward to the marking results and feedback to know that I have achieved the next level and this encourages me to push on to the next level as quickly as possible.

David (Sheffield)

Thank you Gigajam joining was one of the best moves I have made.  You have helped me to achieve a long held ambition to play music in my own environment in my own time with no pressure. Fantastic!

    Paul Whiteside

I have always loved music and have always wanted to learn an instrument, but due to life’s hectic schedule never seemed to get around to it. I have bought a few books in the past but never found one that could, teach me the skills that were required past basic tunes in C! I am enjoying the process, and would recommend to anyone who hasn’t the money or inclination to take face to face lessons.


I have really enjoyed using the website. The lessons and tutors are excellent and seem to ease you into reading music and getting to know the instrument quite effortlessly. I also liked adding performances to my portfolio and having something to show my progression through the course.


Apart from the pleasure that learning a new skill naturally gives, as well as being very frustrating at times, I look forward to receiving feedback on my video uploads.  I feel  it gives me some comfort that I’m making some progress and heading in the right direction.  I guess there is no substitute for one to one tuition but my lifestyle at the moment doesn’t fit perfectly with this method and I do believe I have found the next best thing.   It has an element of personal interaction that I like and actually receiving this feedback request email from you did make me smile, there really is a person on “the other side”.

Nick Moss

I have found the lessons and steps to learning simple to follow and all in bite size chunks. You can repeat your lesson as much as you need to (in my case loads of times).


What’s nice is the instant feedback from the scoring system, Xtractor.  So you can really see how much progress you’re making.

Peter Metcalfe

Gigajam has been a blessing. It has given me the affordable opportunity to learn the keyboard at my own pace . Now, I have a little bit more insight into the language of music. I’ve been a member for about three or four years but I still get phenomenal pleasure from playing on Gigajam.


I really enjoy using ‘Extractor’ and trying to get into the rhythm. I practise the piano daily but use ‘Gigajam’ as a session when I hook up to my computer. It makes the music come alive and has given me incentive to keep at it. I also like the comments you make as it adds a nice personal touch and is encouraging. Thank you so much for your program, I tell all my friends about it.


General comments about Gigajam

Here are some observations made in general by our customers in recent correspondence with us:

Anytime, anywhere








I like the progression that is built in to the course where we start by learning how to play with one hand and playing simple chords, building up to scales, through using two hands and eventually playing melodies.


I think the “overview” video at the beginning of each lesson to show where we as students are going and how we are going to get there is a very good idea.


The lesson notes that accompany each lesson are very well written, very clear and are superbly presented.


Each lesson is broken down into small, easy to comprehend chunks.

Mark B

I feel that I have achieved something once I have completed a “chunk” even if I haven’t completed a lesson.


I particularly like the layout of each lesson.  The video clips show the desired end result, the print shows the theory of what it is that we are trying to achieve and there are the tips to show how to achieve the target more easily.


Gigajam Xtractor software is exceptional in the way that it enables the student to assess himself almost immediately.  Achieving over 80% to get a three star result is both challenging and rewarding.


I love the fact that i can fit in my learning at times to suit me, it’s a real plus, that I can get access 24 hours a day.


It is a much cheaper way to learn music.


I like Gigajam’s Xtractor, as it is like playing along with other instruments as if there are other band members joining in.


I am currently learning keyboard, but I want to do the drumming course as well.


I really rate the fact that you can analyse your playing with Xtractor. You get a percentage score so you can see if you are improving and making progress. It also shows you where you are getting things wrong. It helps tighten up your playing.


The fact that you give feedback and encouragement is always a plus.

Mark A

Home-users can register freely at: www.gigajamonline.com. Schools and Colleges can learn more at http://schools.gigajam.com and try at http://gigajamvle.com

Contact: Brian Greene

e: brian.greene@gigajam.com

T:01494 534880

School Music Performance Awards

The University of West London/London College of Music Exams, in partnership with Gigajam, have launched the innovative School Music Performance Awards for guitar, bass, keyboard and drums.

Response to National Plan for Music was presented by Brian Greene

Response to National Plan for Music was presented by Brian Greene director of Gigajam

These new and innovative qualifications, regulated by Ofqual, have been created in direct response to the government’s National Plan for Music and are designed to enable more students, at school and at home, to learn to play a musical instrument and receive recognition for their progress.

The School Music Performance qualifications are suitable for beginners through to intermediate players through a series of graded exams. Debut to Grade 5 are available for guitar, bass, keyboard and drums.

Bob Chapman, Head of Music at Maidstone Grammar School for Girls showed Gigajam in action at his school and discussed the impact it has had on his department in terms of access to learning an instrument, progress and engagement.  Bob’s video is available, as well as the Case Study he presented.

Students learning using Gigajam simply complete the exercises in their chosen instrument and upload and store their performances in their e-Portfolio. They can do this using either the video capture or award winning Analyser software. At the end of each grade they then have five songs to perform and store, proving their skill and fluency in performing on their instrument. Their class teacher will then verify two specified exercises from the course, along with one song to confirm that the portfolio is consistent with the level the student is performing at.

Using technology to support teachers in the delivery of a progressive pathway of study, as well as provide meaningful assessment will enable more pupils to:

  • Receive instrumental instruction
  • Actively learn a musical instrument
  • Play together in bands and ensembles and
  • Receive formal recognition for their hard work


Available for download (PDF)

Available for download (PDF)

Download Syllabus PDF

Examination Costs

Gigajam’s online delivery and assessment allows us to keep the costs of examinations to an affordable level, both for schools and parents.

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 Online Music School

Gigajam courses are just £1 per pupil per annum, minimum charge £150 per annum. Hub licences are negotiable on an individual basis to include all schools and educational establishments in a Music Education Hub, but based on 1.5% of Music Education Grant.

Contact us now to find out more about The University of West London/London College of Music and Gigajam. Call us on 01494 534880 or email any questions directly to Brian Greene.

Visit our Music Hub site to see how technology can help your hub reach more pupils in and out of school.

LCM & Gigajam launch School Music Awards

School Music Performance Awards, for Guitar, Bass, Keyboard and Drums.

Lessons Cycler

The University of West London/London College of Music Examinations in partnership with Gigajam have created the School Music Performance Qualifications for guitar, bass, keyboard and drums.

These new and innovative qualifications, regulated by Ofqual at Entry level and Levels 1& 2, have been created in direct response to the government’s National Plan for Music and are designed to enable more students, at school and at home, to learn to play a musical instrument and receive recognition for their progress.

A launch event will take place on the 31st January.

University of West London

Lawrence Hall
St Mary’s Road, London W5 5RF
Friday January 31st
4pm- 6pm

Sara Raybould, Head of London College of Music and Professor John Howard, Director London College of Music Examinations will introduce and host the event. Interactive presentations will be provided by Bob Chapman, Head of Music Maidstone Grammar School for Girls and Brian Greene, Director of Gigajam.

There will be an opportunity for questions, as well as networking with refreshments.

Please feel free to join us to find out about these new qualifications, how they work, how Gigajam is being used and how they will increase access to new ways of studying and gaining accreditation in popular music performance.

For more information and RSVP

UWL/LCME – andrew.hatt@uwl.ac.uk
Gigajam – brian.greene@gigajam.com