Tag Archives: guitar

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 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


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

New National Music Qualifications designed for Schools

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, 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.

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

Examination Costs

The qualifications are able to be affordable for schools and parents as the system of delivery and assessment is highly efficient. The list of qualifications and costs are listed below.



QCF Credit



Debut Entry Level




Grade 1 Level 1




Grade 2 Level 1




Grade 3 Level 1




Grade 4 Level 2




Grade 5 Level 2




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.

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

The formal launch date is yet to be announced. Please contact us now to find out more about the University of West London/London College of Music and Gigajam and how to enter your candidates.

Call us on 01494 534880 or email any questions directly to Brian Greene brian.greene@gigajam.com

Gigajam CPD Training for Music Teachers – Teaching with technology

Training for Music Teachers – Teaching with technology

Gigajam’s new music training programme is now being delivered up and down the UK to Music Services, Music Education Hubs, Secondary Schools and Primary Schools.

Here is a short video of a recent training day, with primary teachers, none of which are music specialists.

If you are interested in a training day with Gigajam to help you develop the delivery of instrumental tuition through the use of technology, then please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Onsite Teacher Training

Gigajam training can be provided onsite by one of our specialists. Gigajam CPD Training for Music Teachers – Teaching with technology covers:

  • Hardware and software setup
  • How to use GigajamVLE
  • Exploring teaching and facilitating with Gigajam
Full learning outcomes below*



Half day: Maximum 10 delegates: £250
Full day: Maximum 10 delegates: £395


For more details please contact Brian Greene on:

e: brian.greene@gigajam.com
t: 01494 534880
m: 07976 208859
Skype: briangigajam


*Learning Outcomes

1/ Develop an understanding and familiarity of Gigajam’s approach to instrumental tuition through elearning:

•Creating more instrumental lessons.
•How Gigajam is currently being used:

•Whole class — School
•Small group — School
•Individuals — School
•Individuals — Home

2/ Build an understanding of how Gigajam’s lessons and software is designed and works:
•How students use Gigajam.
•How teachers use Gigajam.

3/ Consider and reflect upon a variety of teaching with technology pedagogies.

4/ Be able to use GigajamVLE as a teacher to support students use and track their progress. Specifically:

•Register and login teachers and students to GigajamVLE.
•Select and follow instrumental lessons, using narrated text, ‘how to’ videos, and TV Shows.
•Use the Gigajam Online Audio Player to practice and play along with exercises.
•Use Gigajam Xtractor software to practice, play along and record exercises.
•Use Gigajam Analyser to receive feedback on record performances.
•Upload and store performances in e-Portfolio, place and receive comments, and link to video/audio performances.
•Receive house points and certificates of completion
•Use the teachers’ staff room to monitor and moderate students’ work.
•Be able to provide Gigajam with list of students so that classes can be created automatically.
•Be able to connect MIDI instruments to computers by installing Gigajam software suite and MIDI instrument drivers.

For more details please contact Brian Greene on:

e: brian.greene@gigajam.com

t: 01494 534880

m: 07976 208859

Skype: briangigajam

Gigajam at FMS Conference 2012 – June 15/16

Gigajam will once again be attending the Federation Music Service Conference, this year at Wyboston Lakes in Cambridgeshire on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th June 2012.

Gigajam Live

Gigajam at BETT


Director Brian Greene will be on hand to demonstrate Gigajam in action, talk about how Gigajam is being used in 100’s of secondary, primary and special schools up and down the UK. He will be focused on how Gigajam can support Music Education Hubs use technology to provide all students with the opportunity to learn a musical instrument over a sustained period of time.

Brian said ” Our school clients are growing, as is their use of Gigajam, increasing the amount of chances pupils have to learn a musical instrument. Many schools, who have moved to our new VLE service have uploaded multiple thousands of exercises, as is evidenced from our leader board (http://gigajamvle.com) and that is growing everyday.

Gigajam Hub

Music Education Hub - Gigajam

Although there may appear to many opportunities to study on the web, it won’t take long before you realise that the quality is variable, the pathways are unclear and almost none have any progression or differentatiation. What can be guaranteed is that Gigajam remains the only truly comprehensive music pathway for guitar, bass, keyboard and drums online that provides true interactivity, personalised, independent & blended learning, together with continual, formative and summative assessment.

We have been innovating relentlessly through the last year and remain the only Online Music School that has won the British Education Teaching with Technology Award for teaching instrumental tuition. Our lessons and courses help teachers everyday to create and develop musicians and bands and supports them for periods up to 5 years.  We believe we are ideally positioned to support Hubs reach into Secondary Schools and provide the kind of experiences which are so hard to provide at the scale and at the standard that government policy and Ofsted demand.”

If you are interested in how technology can be used alongside proven traditional models and methods of delivery of instrumental lessons, then please take a few moments to come and visit us during conference.”

Gigajam have a dedicated Hubs site which demonstrates how Gigajam meets the governments National Plan for Music:

Gigajam have made major developments to Gigajam VLE and Brian will be demonstrating these at the conference to bring users and prosepctive new clients up to date with our latest services. These include:

  •  An online audio player, so you can practise with any instrument to our backing tracks without installing any software, e.g Drum lesson
  • Addition of 30 graded pieces  at the equivalent of debut, grade one, grade two, grade three, grade four and grade five so that students can apply their skills in bands together, e.g Guitar graded pieces
  • House point system, encouraging students who have completed lessons, reached scores over 6o% and 80%,
  • Automated certificates for completed lessons,
  • New XtractorSynth which removes latency enabling users to use MIDI controller keyboards, electronic drum kits with MIDI out only and YouRock MIDI Guitars without adding a new soundcard to the computer. Download freely here

Finally, the new CPD programme is now available and has been well received. The outline is available here:

For more information or arrange a meeting, then please contact Brian directly on the details below:

E: brian.greene@gigajam.com

T: 01494 534880

M: 07976 208859



Gigajam Online Audio Player

We are developing our own Online Audio Player, that will allow students to practise  Gigajam exercises along with mp3’s, directly from our Online Music Schools.

The Online Audio Player will be in addition to our existing MIDI play along/recording and analysis software (GigajamXtractor/GigajamAnalyser).

The New Online Audio Player (integrated into GigajamExerciseWindow)

As the audio player will be online, there will be no downloading, nor installation. It will be ideal for mobile users, as well as those who do not wish to use MIDI, or connect an instrument to their computer or mobile device.

The beta version has already been released, to support the development of a new online exam system and the tunes, musical notation and supported lesson notes can be viewed freely for guitar, bass, keyboard and drums up to the end of Gigajam’s Level One. Accordingly, you will find our exams pitched at:

Debut Grade (end of lesson02) Grade One (end of lesson04) Grade Two (end of lesson07) Grade Three ( end of lesson10).

There are five evolving tunes at each grade which you can try.


 Debut Grade | Grade One | Grade Two| Grade Three   


 Debut Grade | Grade One | Grade Two| Grade Three    


  Debut Grade | Grade One | Grade Two| Grade Three  


  Debut Grade | Grade One | Grade Two| Grade Three    

The Gigajam Audio Player will be fully available across both our Schools service at http://gigajamvle.com and our Consumer service at http://gigajamonline.com by the end of January 2012.

Using MIDI in schools means near silent study in classes. Essential for managing music making practical and possible in the classroom. Most schools have plenty of MIDI keyboard instruments, but most have fewer for guitars, basses and drums.  A big benefit will be for schools who wish to use Gigajam, but want to use their existing instruments, rather than MIDI. In conjunction with silent classroom monitoring systems like Jam Hubs, students will be able to use Gigajam lessons with standard guitars, basses and drum kits, supporting the opportunity for more instrumental tuition in the classroom (National Music Plan).

For more information about Gigajam and all our products and services, please contact:

Brian Greene


|T: 01494 534880 |M:07976 208859 |E: brian.greene@gigajam.com


Music Education Hub Partner – 10 reasons for choosing Gigajam

Gigajam can help your Hub meet the aims of the National Music Plan  

Here are just 10 reasons why Gigajam is an ideal Hub Partner



1. More for Less – Harnessing technology to increase scale & reach: – Gigajam is available anytime, anywhere, helping music services significantly increase their current offer to schools and complementing existing activities.


2. Available to ALL: –  Gigajam can be made available to all schools and all their students, in school and at home, giving every child, irrespective of their needs or background, the chance to learn a musical instrument in class and online for free.


3. Large Savings to Hubs: – Gigajam will be heavily discounted to Hubs, in return for a single licence, making it genuinely inexpensive to provide a Hub wide licence that includes each and every school and educational establishment within the Hub area.


5. Affordable, Sustainable & Flexible: – Gigajam Hub charging model is calculated at a rate of 1.5% of formula, so the price is linked to available funding.  The cost of a licence will therefore reduce as funding reduces, making it truly sustainable. Gigajam will also be happy to negotiate fees according to local context.


6. Accreditation: – Gigajam has a programme of study that enables students to achieve a Level 1 Arts Award and has plans to make a Level 2 certificate available, equivalent to Grade 5, by September 2012


7. Supporting & Reaching Secondary Schools: – Gigajam will increase a Hubs reach into schools, in particular secondary schools, to support the delivery of music, technology and the creative curriculum at KS3 & 4


8. Progression, Transition and Sustainable Pathways: – Gigajam can help bridge  Wider Opportunities Programmes into a more sustainable offer for all pupils that can take learners up to a standard equivalent to Grade 5


9. Increase Demand for Music Lessons: – Gigajam will help increase the numbers of pupils choosing to learn an instrument with music service teachers.


10. Fun, Engaging and Rewarding:- Gigajam provides real instrumental skills through interactive eLearning, enabling students to develop tangible and transferable skills  so  they can engage fully in a wider music curriculum and be able to join in a broad range of ensemble opportunities.

You can see Gigajam in action in our case study pages here: http://schools.gigajam.com/CaseStudies.aspx

And a few of our many testimonials can be read here: http://schools.gigajam.com/Testimonials.aspx


For more information and help with Maximising your Hub Bid, simply contact:-

Brian Greene


| T: 01494 534880 | M: 07976 208859, | E:  brian.greene@gigajam.com



Developing Essential Music Skills in the Classroom

Technology makes instrumental learning in the classroom possible

It may not be specified in the National Curriculum that students should learn how to play a musical instrument but few would disagree that, if possible, it would help students engage more deeply in music making.

Noise, space, equipment and specialist knowledge are some of the key reasons why teaching instrumental skills in class has been so difficult historically.


Technology, though, can play a huge role in supporting the classroom teacher make instrumental learning in class possible, easy and fun. Gigajam was designed to be delivered so that pupils could experience what it is like to learn one to one, whilst in a class group. It also encourages students to come together and play and perform live, as well as equip them with the skills they need to compose and record.

See Gigajam in action here

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 even more affordable. Gigajam is just £1 per pupil per annum, but see what other special deals are available here

Ideal for years KS2 (Y6), KS3 (Y7, Y8, Y9) and KS4 (Y10, Y11). Gigajam is also being used as enrichment for 6th form colleges.

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@gigajam.com