Tag Archives: National Plan for Music

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

National Plan for Music and Hubs

Music Education Hubs

Reach EVERY child and help you boost your Music Hub



Very real challenges for schools and music services persist, especially the central aim to provide and support EVERY child with a meaningful musical education. Government funding still fails to recognise the scale and reach of the task demanded and even successful proven traditional models of delivery cannot alone bridge all the gaps.

We do not have a silver bullet, but we have a substantial and comprehensive offer for music education that has a proven record of success.

If yes is the answer to the following 3 questions, then we have at least 5 ways in which we can help you boost your Music Hub.

Do you and your colleagues:-

  • Want even more of your children and young people to have a chance to learn an instrument over a sustained period and play in an ensemble?
  • Recognise both a need and a place for greater use of technology that harnesses your existing successful programmes of delivery and complements them with new affordable and scalable mechanisms that can help reach even the hardest to reach schools and their pupils?
  • Want to continue to meet Ofsted’s ever more demanding priorities for improving music and access to sustainable, progressive, music learning?

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



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.


  • 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

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

Arc School pupils become recording artists!

Arc School (formerly known as The Old School), became Gigajam clients at the begining of the 2011 academic year. They are an independent DCFS approved specialist resource offering day schooling for boys and girls aged 7 to 16 who have complex presentations of socially disadvantaging behaviours and often associated learning difficulties. They wanted Gigajam to support their delivery of an active musical curriculum.

Gigajam were delighted to hear from their teacher of  music, Patrick Jackson, that pupils learning with Gigajam have had a chance to record music together. Patrick  wrote, “Just a brief update; thanks to skills acquired through Gigajam, I have recently taken my first band to a recording studio where we have recorded our version of ‘Livin On A Prayer’ – so many thanks.”

Brian Greene, Gigajam director said, “Pupils do well at school because of  great teaching and learning, facilitated by great teachers. If we can help support that in any way then it is hugely gratifying. Our job is to work with our client schools to ensure our products and services evolve and continue to deliver the best outcomes, with ever increasing ease of use and access. It is wonderful to get such great feedback and I am grateful to Patrick, his pupils and the Arc School for choosing to work with us.”

Gigajam endeavour to maintain close links with its clients. Here are a selection of testimonials from client schools and music professionals who are intimately involved with Gigajam. http://schools.gigajam.com/testimonials.aspx

For more general information on Gigajam please feel free to contact us:

Brian Greene

T: 01494 534880

M: 07976 208859

E: brian.greene@gigajam.com


Gigajam at Buckinghamshire CC ICT Conference

Gigajam has been invited to run two workshops at the Bucks ICT Conference on the 28th June 2012 at Green Park, Aston Clinton.

Gigajam Online Music School is available freely to all schools in Buckinghamshire via the Bucks Grid for Learning. All teachers and students can login at www.bucksgfl.org.uk  or go straight to http://gigajamprem.bucksgfl.org.uk  from school and at home and learn to play guitar, bass, keyboard and drums.

The first part of the workshop will cover how the Online Music School works and how schools and students can access and interact with the lessons, software and resources. Videos of Gigajam in action will be presented to demonstrate the wide and varied use being made in schools across the UK.

The second part will be a hands on demonstration of the latest version of Gigajam VLE, which includes an e-Portfolio that automatically scores and stores students’ performances, as well as provide house points and the automatic production of lesson completion certificates. Teachers are also able to view and comment on students’ progress.

If you want a quick overview then visit our page on 6 simple steps to learning an instrument.   http://schools.gigajam.com/6steps.aspx

For more information on Gigajam in Bucks then please contact Brian Greene

T:01494 534880

M:07976 208859


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


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