Tag Archives: learn to play bass

Gigajam@BETT edtech show

Gigajam will be exhibiting and demonstrating at the education technology show BETT next week. Please join us at Excel Exhibition Centre on Stand F 96, Wed 25th – Sat 28th January 2017, 10am – 6pm.

Live demonstrations will be taking place all day, so if you are interested in how you can harness technology to provide more of your students with an opportunity to learn a musical instrument then do come along. We will be showing our online music school and international music grades which are awarded in partnership with University of West London.

Gigajam are proud to be part of UK Government’s Department for International Trade Great British Trail. International delegates on the Humanities tours can come and visit us on Thursday 27th 1.30pm – 3.30pm and on Friday 28th  10.30am -12.30pm.

For more information then please feel free to contact, we would be delighted to hear from you.

Brian Greene

M:+44(0) 7976 208859 E: brian.greene@gigajam.com W: http://education.gigajam.com

 On stand will be :Brian Greene, CEO& Founder | Cat Young, Marketing and Communications Consultant | Alan Greene Business Development Director

Gigajam@Bett Show 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gigajam in Action Witton Park Academy Blackburn

Ethan Whittaker is the subject leader for music at Witton Park Academy an average sized secondary school in Blackburn with just under 1,000 students. He is also the Secondary representative for the Blackburn with Darwen Music Hub.

Ethan Whittaker

Blackburn with Darwen Music Hub has a partnership agreement with Gigajam,  which provides the opportunity for every child in Blackburn with Darwen to have access FREE either through school, through a community organisation or independently. The current licence runs until April 2018 and Witton Park Academy is the lead school.

Ethan kindly shared his experience, thoughts and use of Gigajam by making this short video.

We have been using Gigajam at Witton Park Academy since September 2015. Since then we have seen greater participation in music in extra curriculum activities and in the classroom.

 

We mainly use Gigajam in Key Stage 3 in years 7, 8 and 9 and use it for the performance side. Gigajam has enabled our kids to see where they are at in real time. They have been able to make progress and reflect on what they have done to be able to improve.

 

Pupils work on the keyboard towards their debut grade exam. They upload their work and reflect and improve it after analysing. This gives them something to work towards that includes an achievable target for the end of year.

We have also found that pupils who use Gigajam become more musically aware, being able to adapt to different scenarios and situations.

 

Gigajam is also used for intervention, especially for pupils who find concentrating difficult or who may suffer from behavioural issues. Gigajam gives them a clear focus and something to work towards.These pupils often channel their energy into improving and to become better musicians and individuals which helps them progress and integrate more into the school.

 

In our video we have a year 7 class using Gigajam and I see my role, while the pupils are using Gigajam is to make sure they are using correct instrumental technique and make sure they are doing everything to the best of their ability, by helping them analyse what they have done and how they can improve.

 

We have found that pupils are working better together using Gigajam – communicating and being really supportive of each other. They are helping each other analyse their work, and helping each other in counting the beats and when to play the notes, as well as reminding to use the correct instrumental technique which is really rewarding to see when I am walking round the classroom.

 

Pupils work really hard to get the best possible mark, with the grading system encouraging students to get above 65% is really useful. Pupils do see this as an internal competition trying to beat the pupils immediately around them and others in the class.

 

 

Not having paper, is so much more efficient, all the information from all the exercises are all in one place. The pupils can upload all their exercises up to Gigajam – it is all there, so it makes it simple for everybody.

 

This is the first year of using Gigajam at Witton Park Academy and it is going really, really well, with the pupils responding to it very positively and I couldn’t ask for much more.

 

If you would like more information about our use of Gigajam at Witton Park then please do not hesitate to email me: ewhittaker@wittonpark.org.uk

Download the case study as a Free eBook now

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Gigajam in Action – The Island Free School

The Island Free School is an exciting new secondary school for the Isle of Wight, which was set up by highly experienced teachers, parents and members of the local business community. It is a smaller, more intimate school than the others on the Island, with an excellent staff to pupil ratio.

Island Free School

Indra Riches, Head of Music introduced Gigajam to The Island Free School in 2014.

Indra Riches - The Island Free School

 

David Smith, Music Teacher has been leading on Gigajam this last year and he kindly agreed to share his experience, use of Gigajam, thoughts and observations.

David Smith - The Island Free School

What is the context in which your school operates and why did you feel the need for something like Gigajam?

As a music specialist school we have lots of music lessons on our timetable and our headmaster realises the connection between learning an instrument and the impact on academic improvement in other subjects. Our school is keen for all students to study a musical instrument and Gigajam is used to further engage those who are not so keen on classical based instruments.

Why did you choose to use Gigajam?

Gigajam is the only product on the market of its kind that offers the self-study opportunities for students via an online portal. The exercises and pieces in Gigajam can be learnt on the four different instruments which creates opportunities for students to form ensemble groups with ready made material.

The Island Free School Gigajam Studio 2

How long have you been using Gigajam?

We have been using Gigajam since the Island Free School opened in September 2014.

Can you describe your approach to using Gigajam

We use Gigajam during timetabled lessons and each class receives a half hour Gigajam lesson per week. We also offer Gigajam as an enrichment activity. Our students love the leader board scoring system and they are keen to be on top of the weekly and monthly charts (we’re slowly moving up the all time leader board which is great!).

Which groups of students did you select?

All students receive a half an hour timetabled lesson each week in our Gigajam studio. If students wish to do extra Gigajam they can use one hour a week from their enrichment timetable to do so.

Is Gigajam used from home?

Yes, so Gigajam is used widely in school lessons, during our enrichment hour and students can also access their account from home if they have a computer. Some students upload from home and others practise the exercises/pieces at home and then record their upload when they are back in school.

Island Free School

What technical resources do you have and how available are they to you and your students?

We have 25 students in each class and our music class is kitted out with enough keyboards for one between two. Our Gigajam studio has 11 Keyboards, 9 guitars and 5 drum kits. Students can access this equipment before the school day and during their free time.

 

The Island Free School Gigajam Studio

What observations and thoughts of learners and teachers around the department/schools could you share?

The general consensus is that Gigajam is developing at a fast rate in our school, we have a number of students who have achieved one instrumental grade whilst others have achieved more than one grade in a range of different instruments since using the software. Staff are also encouraged to take part and use Gigajam when they are able to.

What are your plans for the future?

Our plan is to continue to use Gigajam with KS3 and as we start teaching KS4 in the next year we would like to use Gigajam to support those students who may need to boost their keyboard (or guitar, bass & drums) skills through the variety of exercises and pieces that Gigajam has to offer. We are waiting to move into our brand new purpose built school which will feature a purpose built Gigajam studio complete with practice rooms.

 

BBC Get Playing Campaign

The BBC have launched the fabulous campaign Get Playing which aims to inspire amateur musicians across the UK and bring them together in a celebration like you’ve never seen before.

They have produced a website for the campaign and are encouraging participation in their terrifically fun Virtual Orchestra project which is fronted by David Baddiel.

Join David Baddiel, learn Bizet’s Toreador Song and play in the Virtual Orchestra.

The BBC say that Whether you currently play an instrument, or haven’t played for years, we want you to get involved and experience the joy of music making

At Gigajam we are pleased to support the campaign and like the BBC we believe that playing music is life-enhancing, community building, and above all, fun.

Gigajam is already linked out from the BBC so please feel free to grab 3 months of free lessons with us. You can learn guitar, bass, keyboard and drums – all four if you want. Our lessons are backed with music grades from the University of West London and London College of Music so you have quality guaranteed.

Just visit here to register freely and start learning today.

Find out more about Get Playing with the BBC here

Case Study: The Arc School

Gigajam at The Arc School

Patrick Jackson is the Head of Music at The Arc School in Nuneaton. The school is an Independent Special School and have been clients of Gigajam since September 2011. It is rated as a good school by Ofsted and this term they are entering their fifth successful year using Gigajam.

Patrick kindly agreed to share his experience of Gigajam and this The Arc School’s story.

About The Arc School

Arc School Church End is an Independent day school based on in rural Warwickshire catering for children and young people who have struggled in mainstream education environments and whose needs were unmet in those settings.

 What problem(s) were you trying to solve?

In an effort to raise pupil attainment across the board, from those who struggle with musical concepts through to gifted and talented pupils, Gigajam was engaged to enable individual access to music as well as being used at a class level.

How did you implement Gigajam

Gigajam was implemented for Year 8s and 9s primarily but has now filtered down to the Year 7s and up to Key Stage 4. The competitive nature of the pupils, coupled with the instant scoring means that while some have little difficulty progressing through the lessons, others will attempt to beat previous scores until they have achieved as high as they feel they can.

6 Steps image

 What specifically attracted you to Gigajam as a solution

The instant scoring of the lessons and the fact the scoring is computerised rather than opinion based means my pupils have no difficulty accepting the score given to them. This in turn makes them more willing to analyse where they went wrong and to learn from their mistakes to attempt to gain a higher pass rate. This also makes progress for each pupil relatively easy to evidence.Analysing

How easy was it to deploy Gigajam in your department?

Deploying Gigajam was straightforward. The software is very accessible so once the pupils have their own login details, the teacher then becomes a facilitator to learning.

How have you been able to measure impact?

The instant scores that the pupils get are saved into the pupils’ own folder and so even multiple attempts at an exercise shows progress. The final score they choose to upload to the Gigajam system is kept on a visual tracker designed to show the pupils how many exercises they have achieved and how many are left until they get to the exam stages. Each pupil will have a personal tracker in the cover of their exercise books also. Currently, the impact is measured in the amount of pupils taking and passing the graded exams offered through Gigajam.

box3

How have pupils responded to the use of Gigajam?

On the whole, pupils have responded very positively. This generation of pupils are especially computer literate, so the whole Gigajam setup quickly becomes second-nature to them.

Once they see themselves achieving and understanding that this is something that is within their abilities, they generally request more Gigajam time.

What impact has Gigajam had on your approach to teaching?

Gigajam’s main impacts on the pupils’ teaching and learning are the transferable skills that carry over to the main curriculum. Many pupils ability to access music is enhanced through having a better understanding of the building blocks of western music, i.e. chords and scales. As such, Music becomes less intimidating and more enjoyable.

How do you see Gigajam being used to develop your department?

I would like to see as many of my pupils as possible leave school with the highest grades they can achieve in whichever instrument they choose to pursue.

Have there been any unexpected results from using Gigajam?

There have been examples of pupils who have had no prior experiences with music as well as those who had previously struggled with music having their appetite for music increased due to the competitiveness of attempting to beat their own scores.  These are the small steps that lead to the pupils gaining their Debut Grade qualification. This then feeds the success cycle of opening the horizon to further and more challenging graded qualifications.

For more information about Gigajam, then please do not hesitate to contact us:

Brian Greene:

brian.greene@gigajam.com

01494 534880

07976 208859

Our education websites are:

http://education.gigajam.com

http://schools.gigajam.com

Gigajam to exhibit at Music Show and Music Mark National Conference

Gigajam will be appearing at the The Music Show in Manchester Central in November (Friday and Saturday 15th and 16th).

Brian Greene said, ” The co-locating of the Music Mark Annual Conference with The  Music Show gives us a great opportunity to meet and exhibit to the general public, as well as maintain our contact with those directly involved in the formal music education sector nationally. We believe that we have a compelling offer for Music Hubs  http://hubs.gigajam.com which supports them meet the Core Roles of the National Plan for Music Education, as well as for the home learner looking for an affordable flexible way off learning to play, www.gigajamonline.com

Anytime, anywhere

Gigajam will be demonstrating the online music school service to both education (http://gigajamvle.com) and to home users (www.gigajamonline.com) and provide hands-on opportunities for visitors to play and experience the use of our interactive lesson content and software.

Lessons Cycler

You can see Gigajam’s 6 steps to learning an instrument here: http://schools.gigajam.com/6steps.aspx

YouTube Video

New developments will be on show, including the recently launched iBook for iPad (free on iPad) and eBook technologies.for other platforms.

Gigajam iBook

Brian and the team will be on stand F 21 in the main hall throughout the two days.

For more information contact:

Brian Greene

e: brian.greene@gigajam.com

t: 01494 534880

m: 07976 208859

Xtractor 5.1/XtractorSynth (Low Latency) released

XtractorSynth May 2012 CTP

XtractorSynth combines a MIDI SoundFont engine, with a MIDI loop device. It is intended to be a low latency replacement for the Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth that is included in Windows.

This allows Xtractor to be used with controller keyboards and other MIDI devices without a built in hardware synth, such as some drum machines and guitar controllers without the latency that has previously been a big problem for these devices and Xtractor.

The problem:

Windows PCs come with a software synth (MS GM Wavetable) that produces unusable latency when used with a MIDI instrument connected to the computer.

Gigajam have recommended using GM Keyboards, Drum kits and Guitars, which contain their own sound cards, therefore eliminating latency and providing a good performance and experience.

If you have a controller keyboard, or drum kit, which has no internal sounds, or if it does have sounds, but does n’t have a MIDI in port, then you need a software synth on your computer that performs better than the MS Wavetable.

Gigajam have been developing one and are releasing their CTP Xtractor software synth to see if this is a distributable option. Testing has been successful

The solution:

We have developed a software synthesizer that enables users to trigger sounds from their computer with indiscernible latency. This is ideal when using Gigajam’s Xtractor software to record and analyse exercises.

You will need to download and install our software, then do a very simple one time configuration to optimise your latency for your computer, following our instructions.

Watch our video below, then go to http://gigajamvle.com/download/ctp  and freely download and install our software and installation guide.

For support contact: support@gigajam.com

Gigajam’s 6 Simple Steps to Learning an Instrument

Step1 – Follow the interactive lessons

Step2 – Practice and develop skills with interactive play along software

Step3 – Record & Analyse your performance

Step4 – Recorded performances can be stored online in your ePortfolio

Step5 – Performances stored online can contribute to accreditation

Step6 – Perform live in a band

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Step1 – Follow the interactive lessons 

Multimedia rich guitar, bass, keyboard & drum lessons

  

Detailed narrated lessons, instructional videos & graphics.

Students login to Gigajam VLE and select the instrument they wish to study. They choose their lesson and follow the on screen instructions. These are made up of narrated lesson notes, how to videos, TV shows, printable notes and graphics.

Watch students in action

 

Step2 – Practice and develop skills with interactive play along software

The first level of interactivity is playing & practising exercises with interactive software

 

 

GigajamXtractor is a powerful MIDI player/recorder

Students can practise their exercises along with the GigajamXtractor Player. They can alter the tempo of the backing track and change the mix of the instruments. They can also mute the instrument guide track and play on their own with the backing band.

 Watch students in action

Step3 – Recording and Analysing performances

The second level of interactivity allows students to have their performances analysed.

 

 

Simple MIDI instruments can be connected to Xtractor and performances recorded

If students have access to a MIDI instrument they can record their performance of an exercise and listen to how well they have played. They can then chose to Analyse the performance, using the GigajamAnalyser and see how their performance compared with the original exercise file. The Analyser provides note for note analysis, statistics on notes played, as well as an overall grade in percentage terms.

See Analysis example here

Students can repeat this as much as they like to develop their playing of the exercise.

 

Step4 – Recorded performances can be stored online to create an ePortfolio

All students have a locker where they can upload all their performances.

 

 

Once happy, students can save and upload their perfromance to their online Locker (ePortfolio) where they can store all of their work. Students can view all their stored work, comment on their performances, link to videos and audio files of performances and make and receive comments.

 

Step5 – Performances stored online can contribute to accreditation.

All students have a locker where they can upload all their performances.

Each exercise uploaded adds to the completion of the course and students can see at a glance how they are developing. Certificates are automatically produced upon completion of lessons and grades.

 

NB: – Students can follow the programme of study for a Level One Arts Award and Gigajam are working with the London College of Music to provide a university accredited Performance Award in Schools Music, leading to a Level 2 certificate (equivalent to GCSE).

 

Step6 – Performing live in a band

There are songs available for students to play as they pogress through the course.

 

 

Students can play the vamps and songs available through the course, which build directly on the skills they have learned. All the parts for the songs are written so that students can form bands together and if there are missing band members students can use Xtractor to play along with, simply replacing the missing band members.

Studio recorded versions of the songs are available as well, which can be played using Gigajam’s Webplayer (link to grade 3 tracks).

 

More Band Tracks

This is how students will sound

Here are some more band tracks available from Gigajam:

Torture | Berlin Wall | Darkened Streets | Who Says It’s Raining

 

More about Gigajam

 

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

When it comes to progression, the beauty of Gigajam is that pupils constantly assess their progress as they learn. Teachers can immediately see how they are doing and give them feedback. Learning is accelerated and measuring attainment is quick and effective. Pupils of all backgrounds and abilities are motivated. They can work individually or in groups, and they can perform solo or in bands from Day 1.

 

For more information on Gigajam, please feel free to contact:

Brian Greene

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