Tag Archives: Student

Soundhouse Music Alliance and Gigajam

Australian music educators and their schools can receive a free annual licence from to Gigajam VLE when they take up the new Soundhouse Music Alliance offer.

Soundhouse® Music Alliance oversees and promotes multi-media, music making and education for teachers and students. Its contemporary focus engages those interested in modern music-making. Each Soundhouse® enhances the curriculum of a school and provides a learning opportunity that is respected and admired. Soundhouse® facilities are specially equipped classrooms where students and teachers can learn, explore and experiment with their own music-making. Soundhouse® has individual studios equipped with modern multi-media equipment and digital technology enabling experienced and novice musicians to create their own composition or learn from prepared recordings. The Soundhouse® Music Alliance is a Registered Charitable Foundation.

For further details visit Soundhouse Music Alliance @www.soundhouse.org.au

 

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

If you are having trouble viewing this email, please view our web version:
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

Bolton LA gets Gigajamming

Gigajam’s award winning Essential Skills Course has been chosen for Bolton LA’s Learning Platform. This means that all students in Bolton will be able to learn guitar, bass, keyboard and drums at school and at home.

Bolton joins the growing number of local authorities who are keen to develop the use of their Learning Platforms to harness technology for more music making opportunities.

There will be four mentor centres working together to begin the roll out of Gigajam and training will commence shortly after the Bolton LA ICT conference on June 30th 2009.

More details will follow shortly so that all Bolton Schools, their teachers, and students can make the most of the resources which will be available free at the point of access.

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 supports Tiverton pupils composition skills

Tiverton High, which is a Specialist Visual Arts School, has a wonderful music team and department led by Ian Wright (Head of Music) and supported brilliantly by Joel.

Ian and Joel work together to provide a flow of activities all of which are focused on providing students across all their KS3 year groups with tangible instrumental skills that enable them to access the curriculum. These skills are essential for students who wish to proceed to accreditation in KS4.

The music team provide a range of activities, based around units of work, Gigajam lessons and musical futures activities that all build up and contribute to achieving the desired outcomes of the National Strategy for Music.

The video attached to this blog is just one of the many activities all the students are involved in. This one is based on a unit devised by Ian and Joel to write a song called Valentine Rock.

In essence it is an outcome which demonstrates the range of knowledge, understanding and skills the students have acquired through their classroom work.

1. The students develop rhythm, chords, time keeping and performance skills by working with Gigajam lessons for guitar, bass, keyboard and drums.

2. Ian and Joel take time each lesson to take groups of students to play together in a small band, whilst the other students are working with the Gigajam lessons. In a Gigajam lesson you will have students learning four different instruments at the same time, say 6 guitarists, 6 bassist, 6 drummers and the remainder learning keyboards.

3. Small bands are created and rotated so that 6 or 7 bands have a 5/10 minute band workshop with Ian each lesson, in addition to their time developing their instrumental skills. This is great for the students and the teacher as they get some quality attention from Ian and he learns about what they are doing and how they are developing.

4. The individual skills learned with Gigajam are enhanced in the second teaching area by Joel in a different unit of work as he takes groups of individual instrumentalists (say all guitarists) and provides teacher led whole class activities, focusing on the instrumental skills learned with Gigajam.

5. Over a period of time the students are building the skills that enable them to play the songs, written specifically by Gigajam, that are built with the skills the students have developed.

6. What then is really lovely, is that Ian and Joel provide them with an additional opportunity to take their skills and Gigajam songs to create their own versions by writing a song based around the components of a Gigajam song’s rhythm, style, chords, and then add their own lyrics and melody.

7. You can see that the framework of our song, The First Time (audio file) has been quite radically altered into Valentine Rock by the young ladies in the band. They captured their performance on video.

The chords in the Gigajam song The First Time are Am, F, G, C.

Gigajam is about providing structured lessons that support the development of instrumental skills. Ian uses the Gigajam courses as a ‘platform’ for supporting his students when they need  to learn skills to perform, compose, improvise etc.

This is just one of the ways Ian and Joel create music making opportunities for their students. If you are interested in knowing a bit more Merlin John wrote an article for Futurelab on their work.

http://www.futurelab.org.uk/resources/publications-reports-articles/web-articles/Web-Article930

Ian and Joel place a huge emphasis on knowing what their students can really do. Really understanding what skills the students possess is possible because they have created a model that gives them time with students so they can really work with them, but whilst a class lesson goes on and the other students are engaged, working and on task. Additionally, the Gigajam analyser software means that students are continually assessed, so both they and their teachers know what skills they have.

Bucks Gets Gigajamming

Mike Woods explains how the School Improvement Service for Music and ICT worked together with Music Services at Bucks County Council to create a simple model for every child in the county to have access to musical instrument tuition.

Schools across Buckinghamshire are now able to offer all students the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, thanks to a project involving ICT, classroom teachers and music specialists across the county. This has been the first project of its kind in terms of creating dissemination centres and collaboration on such a large scale; utilising broadband technology as the delivery mechanism.

As Buckinghamshire County Council ICT adviser, it is one of my priorities to look for ways to develop the creative use of ICT across the curriculum. When I came across Gigajam’s Essential Skills Course, I could see the potential for rolling this innovative software out across the county via BucksGfL, the Buckinghamshire Grid for Learning Broadband Network, as a cost-effective way of linking ICT with music. Also, I envisaged that students would be able to develop their ICT skills using a practical application linked to our VLE (Virtual Learning Environment), either as part of their music lessons, or as an extra curricular activity.

We are a very rural authority with many small schools spread across a wide geographic area and the project also had to involve primary, secondary and special schools, so the solution I chose had to tick as many boxes as possible for all the schools.

Gigajam’s software-based curriculum for the guitar, bass, keyboards and drums provides high quality educational pathways that teach musical theory as students learn how to play a modern musical instrument. To make best use of the software, students progress through the lessons using a computer and a Yamaha MIDI-enabled musical instrument. The suite of instruments chosen for the schools provides students with access to keyboards, drums, guitars and bass guitars, and consist of PSR E403s, DD-55s and two EZ-AGs, to complement the software.

The user-friendly lesson instructions include ‘how to’ videos with professional musicians, audio files, backing tracks and an electronic performance assessment facility for immediate feedback. Students can select multimedia to suit their individual learning styles and the analysis software allows them to evaluate their own progress. The interactive courses are carefully structured so that students learning different instruments develop complementary skills, enabling them to play as a band from the very first lesson.

Thirty schools have been given access to the full Gigajam Essential Skills Course for all four instruments together with the Yamaha musical instruments to carry out the lessons. The schools were chosen in consultation with the advisers responsible for the Buckinghamshire Music Service, not only because of their enthusiasm for the development of music within the curriculum but also because of their interest in the use of ICT. Over an initial two year period we are providing training for them and working with them to develop sustainable curriculum models suitable for each school’s needs.

Five of the thirty schools were selected to take a lead role as mentor schools to become ‘music education hubs’ due to their geographic location across the county and their high level of expertise in music and ICT. Each of these mentor schools was nominated to be the hub for support and best practice guidance for five protégé schools, creating a web of support between all thirty schools. They were also tasked to provide further musical instrument opportunities for curriculum development, as well as after school and out-of-hours community projects.

Access for schools to Gigajam content is through BucksGfL, the County Broadband VLE (www.bucksgfl.org.uk). Gigajam created a website specifically for the project, which was then integrated into the VLE by Atomwide, providers of technical support for BucksGfL. This means that we now have an interactive music school sitting on our Virtual Learning Environment, and our ‘single sign-on’ user authentication system makes the software available to all Bucks students who can log on to the VLE at any time and from anywhere, whether it’s from school or from home.

Via the Bucks Grid for Learning, mentor and protégé schools also have access to a wide range of support resources, including the opportunity to use our Adobe ‘Connect’ video conference system to communicate with each other, as well as with Gigajam’s head office. We are also planning to provide Video Conference Master Classes, demonstrating both musical developments and the effective use of ICT. Schools within the project are already discussing joint rock band performances over the video conferencing link!

All of the other schools in the county who use the VLE have been provided with access to the first five Gigajam lessons for the guitar, bass, keyboards and drums. The Buckinghamshire Teaching and Learning Centre and Music Services Centre in Aylesbury also have full access to Gigajam content and software to enable them to support schools, and a set of loan instruments is also available to any school who would like to join in and ‘have a go’.

This is a huge project in terms of its collaborative elements, and as I write we are only just over a term into the project, but we can already see benefits for pupils and schools beyond those originally envisaged. Schools across all phases and of all types are working together in imaginative ways, delivering true personalised learning to pupils. A whole year of planning has produced a sophisticated, yet simple model of delivery that gives every single child within Buckinghamshire access to music lessons in a new and exciting way.

Feedback from pupils and teachers has been incredibly positive:

Staff have commented that:

“Gigajam has brought my music department into the 21st Century.”

“The project has provided me with the chance to learn to play an instrument in an interactive way and at my own pace.”

“The software has enabled a different group of children to access music in a totally practical way – another pathway to learning has been opened to them.”

Pupils say that:

“It’s fun and easy to use.” Hannah yr8

“The software gives a good insight into new instruments and is great to use at home.” Nathan yr11

“I didn’t know that a PC could be used to teach an instrument, and my Dad’s a computer technician!” Maryam yr8

“It rocks!” Darius – yr8

Can technology be part of a solution that provides sustainable, tangible, progressive musical instrumental skills?

Merlin John writes on Futurelab about the use of technology in teaching music.

http://www.futurelab.org.uk/resources/…/Web_Article930

The search for an effective solution led Ian to the online music service Gigajam,
which became the digital ‘glue’ to hold together the learning and teaching and to
make the resources – PCs and instruments and rooms – go further. “I looked at Gigajam
for all sorts of reasons but particularly the

personalisation

,” says Ian. “In reality this is the first time children in our music lessons have
genuinely had the opportunity to work at their own pace, at their own level.

Being part of a broad music offering for students, and playing a part in providing
more music making opportunities is everything Gigajam was ever created for. Thank
you to Ian and his team at Tiverton.

Tiverton High School is one of the 400 schools in the UK using Gigajam regularly.

Gigajam’s early content (first five lessons) is freely available to the 4 million
UK school students in 6 of the 11 UK Regional Broadband Consortia (RBC).

  1. London Grid for Learning
  2. West Midlands NET
  3. South West Grid for Learning
  4. Northern Grid for Learning
  5. Scottish Schools Digital Network – Glow
  6. East of England Broadband Network

as well as across the following Local Authorities;

  1. City of Salford
  2. City of Sunderland
  3. Buckinghamshire CC
  4. Cheshire CC
  5. Leicester City
  6. Argyll & Bute

Please contact your RBC if you would like to try a few lessons out. Please also contact
your RBC or LA if they don’t have it yet, they will consider purchasing content and
services if they know their schools want it.


Brian Greene