Tag Archives: Instrumental Tuition

Gigajam in the Highlands 2005-2014

The Highland Council have been using Gigajam since 2005.

It has been a great success for the authority and given that it is a project that will soon enter its 10th successive year we asked them if they would tell us their story.

Instrumental Tutors Mike Simpson and Martin Oparka have kindly provided their thoughts as they have run the project since its inception, under the leadership of Highland Council’s Music Development Officer, Norman Bolton.

Highland Council

“We started out in 2005 and are now in our eighth very successful musical year. We use Gigajam across seventy six primary schools within our local authority. It is a large rural authority and we were looking for solutions that enabled greater access to musical instrument tuition.

Working with Primary 7 pupils, we deliver 8 weeks of Rock music tuition to each school which previously had no prior provision in this style, thus making Gigajam a valued and appreciated tool for schools and pupils.  The combination of music and IT makes Gigajam an attractive project for pupils and teachers.

Funding (Youth Music Initiative) is provided to The Highland Council via an annual bid process overseen by Creative Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Highland Council02

“Gigajam was chosen to fill the void of Rock style based music tuition in Highlands.

We chose to concentrate our program on the most popular instruments, Guitar and Drums, as a way of rhythmic advancement.  Rhythm can be described as the essence of movement in music. The Guitar and Drums are a great foundation to build these qualities with in this popular style of music.

Pupils at the stages taught (upper Primary) will already have some experience of rhythm & pitch through Kodaly vocal skills sessions and an understanding of some traditional music before they encounter Gigajam.  The guitar and drum kit skills taught also provide a good foundation for aspect of these instruments they will encounter in most secondary Music Departments.

Anytime, anywhere

“We work in different ways to deliver Gigajam sessions and lessons.

The computer generated lessons are always the fundamental base of our work. We love the aspect and design of the program which allows pupils to work independently with little or no peer pressure.  We also find it beneficial in some cases to let pupils work in pairs: e.g. we may find we have pupils with less confidence in approaching music, or finding difficulty in a lesson or simply having an off day.

We would encourage a partner (study buddy) to boost confidence and reduce stress. We find that works particularly well and it creates a great opportunity to promote team work and relationship building in the class environment.

Highland Council03

We are extremely proud to say we have access to every primary 7 and 6/7 composite classes in the schools involved with this project.  This includes many children with additional support needs.  We believe that participating in music creativity, benefits everyone involved.

We concentrate on delivering our tuition in schools and classroom environments. However, we have occasionally delivered Gigajam demonstrations for adults/teachers, and students in higher education.

We find our sessions enrich everyone’s education (including students who are already studying under individual or private tutors). I would also very much include our lessons as part transitional too.

Highland Council04

Former pupils have gone onto further education and are very keen guitarists or drummers thanks to the opportunities and experiences they have had with our classroom visits.

‘Conventional’ music tuition on many orchestral/band instruments and bagpipes is provided by The Highland Council’s Instrumental Tuition Service.  Music is an integral part of the Scottish curriculum and covers all aspects of A Curriculum for Excellence.  This also applies to the work covered by Gigajam sessions.

“Each school we visit have been supplied by the Highland council with a Yamaha digital Guitar and Drum kit, along with a copy of the Gigajam program. This way the pupils can continue to build their musical skills between our visits when time allows.

Each year we collect evidence from pupils and teachers conveying messages of gratitude for the fantastic opportunity afforded to them.

Lessons Cycler

We can honestly say each one of our schools welcomes us every year. Our pupils benefit greatly from the tuition we are able to provide.

For us, it’s the most satisfying experience to have pupils and former pupils express themselves musically, playing in bands and / or producing their own material.  It’s all about awakening young minds to creativity, helping to create a musical venture without limits, and giving them an outlet regardless of what level they are at. And most importantly, to try the instruments that they might otherwise have missed out on.

WHAT ABOUT THE FUTURE?

  • We will continue and extend our Gigajam offer to as wide an audience as possible, for as long as possible. The current agreement runs until April 2016.
  • We will carry on extending musical skills in individuals, and to continue building on our excellent relationship with our school network.
  • Most of all we will continue producing happy and creative musicians.

 

For more information please contact:

Gigajam – Brian Greene: brian.greene@gigajam.com

The Highland Council – Norman Bolton: norman.bolton@highland.gov.uk

Interested in Gigajam? Your questions answered here

How much does Gigajam cost?

Schools and Academies

For schools, academies and educational establishments Gigajam is charged at £1 per pupil per annum based on the size of either:

The total number of pupils on roll, the number of pupils within a Key Stage, or a minimum of £150 per year. If you are serious about Gigajam, contact us and we will do all we can to make it affordable for your school.

This annual fee provides unlimited site user access to all students at school and at home (anytime or anywhere licence).

Music Services and Hubs

We are negotiating a fee at around 1.5% of the Music Grant Allocation/Formula for music services and hubs.

This provides an annual licence to ALL educational establishments within the service/hub area, again with access at school and at home (anytime,anywhere).

We also appreciate that a simple one cost fits all doesn’t always work – so please let us know your situation and we will do all we can to accomodate – just ask!

Do you need expensive specialist equipment? 

No you don’t. Gigajam works on a number of levels of interactivity. The first level is that the lessons, how-to videos, TV shows and play along software can all be used with any guitar, bass guitar, keyboard and drum kit.

NSG

Using Gigajam with standard electric guitars to follow the lessons, videos and play along with backing tracks

Students can follow the lessons and practise their skills on any instrument.

The second level of interactivity that Gigajam provides is the ability to record a performance of an exercise into our Analyser software and receive note for note analysis. This provides continual, formative and summative assessment as students can also save their exercises into their Locker Online (ePortfolio).

Students can do this using Midi instruments. The standard keyboard which litter classrooms up and down the country work brilliantly and there are guitars, bass guitars that do a superb job. The ones we recommend are the EZ-AG MIDI guitar from Yamaha. Pretty much any MIDI drum kit works and schools find the Yamaha table top kits especially good. These MIDI instruments are inexpensive, robust, small and portable.

City of Stoke Learning Centre

Are MIDI instruments expensive?

No they are not. We recommend the Yamaha range of portable instruments, but there are plenty of keyboard and drum manufacturers who make good MIDI instruments.

Classrooms will probably already have plenty of keyboards and our recommendation is that you make good use of those and start by adding one or two drums and guitars. You can add more as you go along replacing keyboards with more guitars/drums depending on how you wish to run your lessons. This makes it affordable and manageable to get started. Using the Yamaha range is especially good as all the power supllues and MIDI interfaces are interchangeable making classroom design easy.

From One Man Band in Banbury

Yamaha EZ-AG Guitar bundle £259, Keyboard Bundle £189, Drum kit £199.

Yamaha MIDI Band Bundles – Instruments/Power Supplies/MIDI Interfaces/Headphones

What about noise in the classroom?

Using the Yamaha MIDI instruments, or any for that matter,  is great as students can work on headphones making it nigh on silent. You can see a class in action and hear the volume they are working at. Classroom for the Future

How do the lessons work and can students play together?

Gigajam provides high quality instrument learning in guitar, bass, keyboard and drums. It uses the internet so that pupils can interact live with digital technology in the classroom, and then carry on learning outside the classroom and in their homes.

Pupils constantly assess their progress as they learn. Teachers can immediately see how they are doing and feedback. Measuring attainment is quick and effective. Pupils can learn to perform individually, in groups and in bands from Day 1. Watch a Gigajam band playing together.

Can students really transfer from these MIDI instruments?

The kinetic skills they learn are identical on MIDI instruments to when they transfer to standard electric and acoustic instruments. They will feel a little different, but all instruments feel different, so that is the same jump they will make and as they become more experienced as musicians the easier they will make that change. The skills though transfer quite seamlessly and there is no tangible barrier to transfer.

Is Gigajam appropriate for Primary Schools?

In general we recommend Gigajam for Year 6, perhaps summer term of year 5 in KS2 and above. Perfect for secondary schools and life long learning for adult and continued education.

We know that Gigajam is used in primary schools with younger age groups, but we would have to defer to individual teachers’ judgements of their cohort.

Is Gigajam appropriate for Secondary schools?

The current Gigajam courses are the equivalent of debut grade through to grade 5, which is around Level 2. Gigajam is therefore ideally suited to KS3 – KS4 and for schools wishing to develop transition projects with the last year of primary school, especially when accessed via the VLE. Gigajam is not written to the National Curriculum, but provides a substantial contribution to both skills and knowedge outcomes.

Can students receive qualifications for studying with Gigajam?

Students can follow the Gigajam Programme of study for Arts Award and recieve a Level One qualification. Arts Award details and video here.

Lcm_logo

 

We are working with the London College of Music to provide a university accredited Performance Award in Schools Music. This will lead to a Level 2 certificate (equivalent to GCSE) providing new opportunities for classroom pupils from September 2012.

Our Music Service uses Charanga, why do we need Gigajam?

Charanga is an excellent set of digital resources with a proven track record and used extensively in support of wider opportunities. Gigajam is a complement as we provide senior primary students and secondary students further instrumetal opportunities building on the start provided by Wider Opps. The progression over a sustained period, our level of interactivity, our systems assessment for learning engine and the structured course nature of Gigajam are the key differences.

Why do Music Services/Hubs need Gigajam? Specifically because Gigajam will help with:

  • A greater involvement with schools supporting the delivery of curriculum/creative option, in Key Stages 3 and 4 Music.

 

  • The provision of a progressive and sustainable digital instrumental curriculum option for pupils to use following wider opportunities.

 

  • Increase in the demand of pupils wishing to learn a musical instrument with a teacher through the music service.

 

  • Provide an opportunity for every child with the chance to learn a musical instrument online, free at the point of access, as an absolute minimum provision.

 

  • An affordable flexible business model that is a based on a percentage of the music fund grant allocation, so that it is consistent with available funding and more attractive to schools to work with the music services.

Gigajam’s key differentiators from ALL music eLearning programmes are expanded below:

Secondary Schools

Gigajam is perfect for Secondary schools with a progressive pathway that can cover KS3 and KS4 supporting classroom teachers provide tangible opportunities for pupils to learn instrumental skills and play together in bands. Primary transition projects are an obvious next step with students starting Gigajam in Year 6 ad continuing through statutory music at KS3.

True interactivity

Gigajam is designed so that students can receive note for note analysis for each exercise, enabling them to form judgements about their learning and what they need to do to improve.

Independent learning

The high level of intereactivity that Gigajam offers provides the opportunity for student’s to work independently within a whole class, small group and on their own.

Personalised learning

Students can really work at their own pace in class, moving from exercise to exercise as and when they feel comfortable to move on. Students can store all their work as they go along providing a creating a digital portfolio. Students can comment on their own progress, as well as receive feedback from their teacher.

Pupil Progress Tracking

Understanding how well every pupils is progressing is a huge challenge and teachers can use Gigajam’s My Class to view, monitor and assess students work. My Class provide access to every exercise in a students portfolio, as well as students commentary. Teachers can simply moderate the exercises, or provide additional feedback. Gigajam’s Analyser software automatical stores students scores in the database and produces completion certificates for students at the end of each completed lesson, graded lesson and level.

Skills Development

Gigajam is performance based, although all the music theory required is contained within each lesson, students learn to play their instrument and can then go on and play in a band.

Students learning in class

Students applying skills to playing in a band

Gigajam is the only instrumental eLearning provider to have won a British Education Teaching with Technology Award (Bett Award 2005 Essential Guitar, Bass, Keyboard and Drum Skills Courses) and is a finalist in the Digital Content for Secondary category for the 2013 BETT Awards.

bett2013-finalist-large

 

Maximise your Music Hub bid with Gigajam

Every child can have the chance to learn an instrument

The National Music Plan is expected to demand that more children reach higher standards of musicianship. There is likely to be an investment in instrumental learning, with an emphasis on performance and attainment.

Successful Music Hub bidders will need to show how more pupils can understand music and achieve a standard of playing equivalent to Grades 1-3. The choice of instrument will not be key, but the chance to learn to play and progress will be.

The ambition will be to increase access for pupils to learn at low cost initially, with greater investment in those with the potential to develop.

Watch the Digital Music Hub Presentation

By partnering with Gigajam you can immediately increase your reach into secondary schools and offer every child in your area the chance to learn to play for free. Our work to date over 1,000 schools shows that Gigajam increases the demand for instrumental tuition from Music Services – we’re complementary, not competitive.

How does it work?

Gigajam provides high quality instrument learning in guitar, bass, keyboard and drums. It uses the internet so that pupils can interact live with digital technology in the classroom, and then carry on learning outside the classroom and in their homes.

Pupils constantly assess their progress as they learn. Teachers can immediately see how they are doing and feedback. Measuring attainment is quick and effective. Pupils can learn to perform individually, in groups and in bands from Day 1.

How will it boost my Music Hub bid?

You will be able to show that you can achieve the following:

  • Increase your reach into schools, in particular secondary schools, to support the delivery of music, technology and the creative curriculum at KS3 & 4
  • Bridge from Wider Opportunities 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 one of your teachers through the Music Service
  • Give every child, irrespective of their needs or background, the chance to learn a musical instrument online for free

Watch Making More of Music with Gigajam Presentation

How much will it cost us?

We have designed a flexible model that takes account of future funding: for just 1.5% of your music fund grant allocation you can offer Gigajam free to all secondary schools in your Music Hub area. The Harnessing Technology grant could help too.

Don’t wait for the Plan to be published. Contact me now: brian.greene@gigajam.com  01494 534 880   07976 208 859

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

brian.greene@gigajam.com

http://schools.gigajam.com

T: 0800 055 6797

M: 07976 208859

Genuinely interactive technology in instrumental tuition is more than e-Learning – it is Real Learning!

“All children should have the chance to learn an instrument” —  Michael Gove

 

Nobody would disagree with Mr Gove’s aspiration; especially parents and pupils.

The scale of the challenge set by Mr Gove must not be underestimated though, and we have long argued that we need to utilise technology to support our workforce to deal with the issues of scale and reach.

Teaching with technology (interactive technologies)

However, those of us involved in teaching with technology must be clear of what we mean by interactive technology. We must also convince traditionalists that technology produces real outcomes, is not a gimmick and is designed to be used in addition to, not instead of, high quality teachers and teaching.

Technology in musical instrument tuition, in formal education, must be about being part of a system that creates more instrumental opportunities than is currently possible.

So let’s start by being clear and demanding of our vision of elearning in instrumental tuition – it must be real learning.

Real eLearning – Good teaching and learning

For elearning to be real learning, it needs to;

  • incorporate good teaching and learning,
  • use a mix of learning models to support learners of many styles,
  • blend activities to enable skills development to support academic development and musical literacy.

Musical instrument tuition needs to be even more demanding of technology for it to be meaningful and it must be genuinely interactive, so that it can provide formative feedback to the learner and, an opportunity for the teacher to provide personalised assessment to support the learner’s progress.

We, of course,  believe that Gigajam is unique in its offer and well placed, not only, to meet the current demands, but to evolve its services and meet the continual improvement that we demand from our technology in helping raise standards.

Let’s interogate the basis upon which Gigajam was created.

Learning Models

Firstly, Gigajam’s courses and software were developed on strong learning models. The interplay between the curriculum and the software is built upon Bloom’s Taxonomy:

Knowledge<Understanding<Application<Analysis<Synthesis<Evaluation

Knowledge – Delivery of high quality information, containing multimedia: Narrated text, Video Clips, Diagrams and Graphics, Glossary, ordered into lessons that can be used by teachers, as detailed lesson plans and absorbed by students when working on their own.

Example.01 Drum lesson One – Multimedia lesson, simulating an instrumental teacher

http://gigajamvle.com/content/lessons/edsLesson001/2.html

 Drum Lesson One

 Fig01 Digital Curriculum – Multimedia lessons available online anytime, anywhere

Understanding – Pupils understanding can be supported by delivering the lessons  in a variety of ways;

  • Full narrated lessons, with explanatory text and diagrams, how to videos, and glossary of terms.*
  • Video lesson version only, where students can use imitation and modelling to learn.*
  • TV lesson version, which is more detailed and provides a more ‘whole’ approach, rather than learning chunks. *
  • PDF book lesson for students who prefer to work from a music stand rather than a computer screen.*
*all lesson formats linked to exercises interactive software.
Example.02 Drum lesson One – 4 lesson variations for multiple learning styles

http://gigajamvle.com/content/lessons/edsLesson001

http://gigajamvle.com/content/lessons/edsLesson001/eds001.pdf

http://gigajamvle.com/content/tv/drumsTV1.html

http://gigajamvle.com/content/lessons/edsLesson001/eds001ExerciseOnly.html

 

Fig02 Independent learning – Instrument, Digital Curriculum and interactive software

Application – This is where the majority of instrumental learning takes place, with the student being able to repeat an exercise to develop competence. Gigajam’s Xtractor software is, firstly, a play along device, and was designed to simulate playing along with a teacher.

Students can adjust the exercise; making changes to the tempo, the mix of the backing band and also isolate sections of the exercise to loop around, so they can focus on small technical difficulties.

Students can also record and listen back to their performance, as well as save it for future reference and share with teachers and peers for their feedback.

Example.03 Gigajam in action Year 8 lessons (video) Bradley Stoke Community School

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

Fig03 Xtractor – Gigajam’s award winning interactive play along and recording software
(practice engine)

In terms of learning skills Xtractor is hugely important. Within Bloom’s Taxonomy, application (practice to musicians), is explained more deeply in Reynold’s Model of Developing Skills.

Using Xtractor to practice is the first level of interactivity, as the student interacts with the software to do what real musicians do – practice, practice, practice!  This is very real learning and is essential in becoming competent.

Fig04 Xtractor – Reynold’s Model of developing skills

Developing the ability to be consistent in the performance of the task is the key and this takes repetition. The horizontal line in Reynold’s model represents competence and is consistent with the the popular theory of Progressive Competence

■Unconscious incompetence

■Conscious incompetence

■Conscious competence

■Unconscious competence

Analysis – Gigajam Analyser provides the second level of interactivity, and is highly significant in its impact on outcomes for the learner. It is significant because in the learning process Analyser provides immediate formative feedback to learners. This is almost impossible to do with groups of pupils and when the pupils is away from their teacher.

Specifically, Gigajam Analyser does the following:

1. Provides immediate feedback for the student, which enables the student to form a judgement as to how they are doing and what they need to do to progress. This formative assessment takes the form of:

  • % score that incentivises students to score as well as they can (generally by practising more).
  • Graphically represents whether the students have; played the right note, in time and for the right length.

2. Students can keep all of their performances by uploading directly into their online locker, which contains a dedicated ePortfolio, and enables students to view their progress in two ways.

  • Progression in each exercise.
  • Progression through the course.

  Drum Portfolio SMALL

Fig06 Student’s Online Locker – ePortfolio (assessment for learning) – continual, formative and summative assessment
Example.04 Gigajam in action Year 9 lessons (video) Pleckgate High School

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

3. Teachers also benefit from the Analyser; as students can capture all of their performances, this provides continual and summative assessment. Teachers can view all of their students work and provide comments to deepen the assessment for learning. The analyser’s ability to score students work means that all of the students work is automatically scored, even to the point where the system can produce lesson completion certificates automatically.

Without technology it is incredibly difficult to provide continual assessment in a music classroom. The analyser, in conjunction with the reporting functionality of the website, means that continual, formative and summative assessment, as well as communication between students and teachers, is  an added service, only possible when using interactive and dynamic technologies.

Synthesis – Gigajam’s curriculum is based on a tried and tested pathway of study written by professional musicians and educators.

Brian Greene

(Director of education and content development Interactive Music School – former Head of Academic Drum Studies – Thames Valley University)

David Young

(Trinity Guildhall Licentiate – Guitar)

Terry Gregory

(University of East London – Institute of Contemporary Music Performance)

The courses written are designed so that students develop their own instrument specific skills, and are complementary with the other instruments in creating a band. Students can play together at the end of each lesson, each grade (lesson 2, 4, 7, 10, 20, 30) and each level.  Additionally, the Rock Orchestra module enables Gigajam rock musicians to perform with an Orchestra, as the songs for level one have been scored for an Orchestra and Rock Band to play together.

06 - Gigajam Classroom Band

Developing students into musicians must incorporate the opportunity for students to come together and develop their live performance, recording and composition skills, so that the tangible music skills they learn, both performance and academic, can be brought together in a series of music making activities.

Example.05 Gigajam in Action – South Manchester CLC (video)

Teenage Kicks – Year 6 students bringing their skills together, downloading lyrics and working a song out wth their teacher which contains skills they have been developing.

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

Example.06 Guitar, Bass, Keyboard Drums and Theory – course outline

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

http://gigajamvle.com/content/

Example.07  Live Performance Workshops

http://gigajamvle.com/content/resources/LessonPlan1.aspx

Example.08 Music Classroom of the Future – Learn to Play<Play Live<Record and Compose Music

http://schools.gigajam.com/future

Evaluation – Once teachers have faciltated the opportunity to synthesis music making, whether at the end of the first session, or the 30 lesson, group evaluation, and peer moderation supports pupils to further evaluate what they need to do to progress. Pupils will then be able to reflect on their individual skills and also the methods and approaches they have taken and make evaluation of how theu can change, or refine the process and their approach.

Blended Learning

At Gigajam we believe that by blending the benefits of good interactive technologies, alongside solid teaching and learning, technology has a significant role to play in upskilling pupils with tangible music making skills. Blending the activities so that students can distill their skills and demonstrate meangingful and lasting progress will support greater participation and raise standards.

Genuinely interactive technology used alongside good teaching and learning is about developing real skills, using real instruments and providing real outcomes.  

Brian Greene

Director 

For more information on Gigajam then please contact us:

brian.greene@gigajam.com

01494 534880

http://schools.gigajam.com

http://gigajamvle.com

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 Autumn 2009 UK Roadshow

SLF2009Gigajam will be out and about across the UK in the autumn, focused on providing local audiences with an opportunity to meet the producers and see Gigajam in action.

SFL 2009 Adrian Carey demonstrating the drums software

The Gigajam Team will be demonstrating the new GigajamVLE service that enables students to learn at school and continue at home. It also provides an integrated ePortfolio to store and automatically mark students’ performances. The system also provides detailed reports for teachers, on students’ progress, to help with continual, formative and summative assessment.

Please feel free to register an account and demo GigajamVLE at www.gigajamonline.com The first lessons for guitar, bass, keyboards and drums are free.

Autumn 2009

The autumn schedule is currently:

3rd and 4th  September 2009

Scottish Association of Music EducatorsStirling University.

18th and 19th  September 2009

National Association of Music Educators – University of York.

23rd and 24th September 2009

Scottish Learning Festival – SECC Glasgow (Stand D30)

3rd and 4th November 2009

Specialist Schools and Academies Trust  Annual Music Conference – Yehudi Menuhin School, Cobham

25th and 26th November 2009

Specialist Schools and Acdemies Trust Annual Conference – ICC Birmingham (Stand B20)

Winter/Spring 2010

13th-16th Jaunary 2010,

British Education Teaching with Technology Show (BETT) – Olympia Earls Court, London (Stand V20 National Gallery)

Gigajam are planning to be on hand at The Education Show NEC  and the SSAT Annual Arts Confernce in 2010.

For more information on Gigajam and how we help create more musicians, with our partners, then please contact:

Email Brian Greene or phone 07976 208859. [vCard]

Email John Hillier or phone 07956 466440. [vCard]

Gigajam is an affordable ICT based instrumental tuition programme that provides a scalable solution to teaching and learning the guitar, bass, keyboard and drums. If you would like to know more about Gigajam and how it is helping create musicians, then please feel free to get in touch.

Gigajam can provide stand alone, network and Learning Platform VLE solutions for Primary Schools, Secondary Schools and Local Authorities.

Web http://schools.gigajam.com
Tel 0800 055 6797

Gigajam Get Down Under – Australia

Gigajam - Creating Musicians

Gigajam get down under – Australia

Soundhouse Music, Australia has become a Gigajam distributor providing local representation for the first time.

Soundhouse Music are themselves a well established music tuition provider delivering instrumental courses for students, CPD to state schools, as well as running their own music projects within schools. They now offer Gigajam in one of their centres, enriching their offer.

Soundhouse believe passionately in the use of high quality resources and technology which enables them to support more opportunities for students to receive sustained high quality instrumental instruction.

For more information on Soundhouse Music and their work, as well as Gigajam in Australia, please feel free to contact Ken Owen, Manager Soundhouse.com  (Australia).

For more information on Gigajam and how we help create more musicians with our partners then please contact:John Hillier or phone 07956 466440. [vCard]

Email

Email

Gigajam is an affordable ICT based instrumental tuition programme that provides a scalable solution to teaching and learning the guitar, bass, keyboard and drums. If you would like to know more about Gigajam and how it is helping create musicians, then please feel free to get in touch.

Gigajam can provide stand alone, network and Learning Platform VLE solutions for Primary Schools, Secondary Schools and Local Authorities.

Web http://schools.gigajam.com
Tel 0800 055 6797

Brian Greene or phone 07976 208859. [vCard]

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Future School of Finland gets Gigajam

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http://schools.gigajam.com/email/Finland1/

Gigajam - Creating Musicians

Gigajamming in Future School of Finland

Gigajam has been chosen for the Future School of Finland project in the City of Oulu. This is an exciting project which take a holistic look at education, taking the physical environments, curriculum, and resources as a whole.

The Future School project is transforming education in a similar way to UK initiatives such as BSF, the Music Manifesto and the Harnessing Technology strategy. Although we are playing a small part, we are proud to be involved in such innovation.

More information is available here.

http://edu.ouka.fi/…/FutureSchoolOfFinland.pdf

For more information on Gigajam and how we help create more musicians with our partners then please contact:

Email Brian Greene or phone 07976 208859. [vCard]

Email John Hillier or phone 07956 466440. [vCard]

Gigajam is an affordable ICT based instrumental tuition programme that provides a scalable solution to teaching and learning the guitar, bass, keyboard and drums. If you would like to know more about Gigajam and how it is helping create musicians, then please feel free to get in touch.

Gigajam can provide stand alone, network and Learning Platform VLE solutions for Primary Schools, Secondary Schools and Local Authorities.

Web http://schools.gigajam.com
Tel 0800 055 6797

Gigajam goes Dutch

If you are having trouble viewing this email, please view our web version:
http://schools.gigajam.com/email/Ned1/

Gigajam - Creating Musicians

Gigajam goes Dutch with BOA (Amsterdam)

Gigajam has been selected by Breedbandnetwerk Onderwijs Amsterdam (BOA) for an city wide music project developing the use and connectivity provided by their new fibre optic network.

The project aims to make Gigajam available to all schools in Amsterdam in 2010 across BOA’s network. The initial planning is complete, and Gigajam’s long standing client Muziek skool Amsterdam West (MSA) are spearheading the project.

Gigajam has been used successfully by MSA since 2005. They have recently expanded their work with Gigajam and were asked to use their experience and expertise to support a group of 5 schools in a pilot for the main project.

It is proposed that Gigajam will be available to all schools, their teachers, and learners; at school and at home from the end of this year. Translations for the early lessons, for the younger students, are already available to the Music School and the participating schools. They are really enjoying the opportunity to provide musical instrument tuition to all their pupils.

The Essential Skills Courses for guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, and theory will be available in both English and Dutch so students can choose which language they wish to use.

Initial training began in March led by Brian Greene of Gigajam. MSA are now leading the mentoring and will be supported in May when all project schools will have their third session run by Gigajam and MSA in Amsterdam.

More details will follow shortly so that interested parties in Amsterdam can enquire how to participate.

http://www.boa-amsterdam.nl/nl/home/

http://www.muziekschoolamsterdam.nl/

A website for the project is now available at http://www.gigajamsterdam.nl.

For more information on Gigajam and how we help create more musicians with our partners then please contact:

Email Brian Greene or phone 07976 208859. [vCard]

Email John Hillier or phone 07956 466440. [vCard]

Gigajam is an affordable ICT based instrumental tuition programme that provides a scalable solution to teaching and learning the guitar, bass, keyboard and drums. If you would like to know more about Gigajam and how it is helping create musicians, then please feel free to get in touch.

Gigajam can provide stand alone, network and Learning Platform VLE solutions for Primary Schools, Secondary Schools and Local Authorities.

Web http://schools.gigajam.com
Tel 0800 055 6797