Tag Archives: Bass Lessons

New National Music Qualifications designed for Schools

The University of West London/London College of Music Examinations in partnership with Gigajam have created the School Music Performance Qualifications for guitar, bass, keyboard and drums.

These new and innovative qualifications, regulated by Ofqual, have been created in direct response to the government’s National Plan for Music and are designed to enable more students, at school and at home, to learn to play a musical instrument and receive recognition for their progress.


The School Music Performance qualifications are suitable for beginners through to intermediate players through a series of graded exams. Debut to grade 5 are available for guitar, bass, keyboard and drums.

Students learning using Gigajam simply complete the exercises in their chosen instrument and upload and store their performances in their e-Portfolio. They can do this using either the video capture or award winning Analyser software. At the end of each grade they then have five songs to perform and store, proving their skill and fluency in performing on their instrument. Their class teacher will then verify two specified exercises from the course, along with one song to confirm that the portfolio is consistent with the level the student is performing at.

Using technology to support teachers in the delivery of a progressive pathway of study, as well as provide meaningful assessment will enable more pupils to:

• Receive instrumental instruction
• Actively learn a musical instrument
• Play together in bands and ensembles and
• Receive formal recognition for their hard work

Examination Costs

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



QCF Credit



Debut Entry Level




Grade 1 Level 1




Grade 2 Level 1




Grade 3 Level 1




Grade 4 Level 2




Grade 5 Level 2




Gigajam Online Music School

Gigajam courses are just £1 per pupil per annum, minimum charge £150 per annum. Hub licences are negotiable on an individual basis to include all schools and educational establishments in a Music Education Hub, but based on 1.5% of Music Education Grant.

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

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

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

Gigajam & Casio Music Class @BETT Show 2012

Brian Greene was a guest presenter for CASIO Music Class at the British Education Teaching with Technology (BETT) show last week at Olympia, London.

Brian was demonstrating Gigajam with CASIO’s new range of keyboards which are ideal for schools.

The keyboards on show included the CASIO CTK3000, which has 61 touch sensitive keys, GM soundset, great sounds, plug and play USB Connectivity, built in speakers and audio out socket, as well as the incredibly useful audio in, which allows sound from PC’s to be mixed into the keyboard – this means you can mix sound from the video and narration contained in Gigajam lessons and monitor through the keyboard!

The CTK3000 is priced for schools as well at just £99, so provides huge benefits over controller keyboards.

The Digital Pianos and full range of CASIO keyboards are all compatible with Gigajam and support the brand of interactive learning that helps students benefit from continual, formative and summative assessment at the heart of Gigajam’s VLE http://gigajamvle.com

For more information about Gigajam’s interactive instrumental lessons and Casio keyboards for schools please contact Brian Greene

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

Making Even More of Music

Technology helps you make more of skills based music making in the classroom 

It is widely recognised that learning to play an instrument has huge musical and educational benefits for students, although providing every child with the opportunity to do so remains one of the greatest challenges in music education.

As Ofsted reported in 2009:

“The provision for music was good or outstanding in around half the schools visited. However, the quality and range of the provision for music varied too much. While  many pupils were benefiting considerably, others were missing out.”

There is much that is more than good in music education in the UK, but Ofsted’s  findings included concerns around; assessment, progress and progression, quality, duration of Study, KS4 and under use of ICT. We have mapped Gigajam’s main benefits and features against those areas in a short online which can be viewed online.

Gigajam would like all children to have the chance to learn to play a musical instrument   and we have a licensing model and special deals that will make Gigajam affordable.  Gigajam is just £1 per pupil per annum, but see what other special deals are available.

For more information, or if you have any questions visit our website or give us a call on 01494 534880.

You can also email any questions directly to Brian Greene.




Henley Review – Exploring and understanding musical instrument tuition through eLearning

In responding to the Henley Review on Music education, we sought to present the case for technology, as part of a solution, for a music education system that delivers excellence, in the practice of opportunity and, in higher levels of attainment. 

We, as a private sector contributor to music in the state sector, are encouraged by our partners, which include: Yamaha, Steinberg, ilearn2play and Pure Solo, to state that the opportunities presented by digital learning need to be better understood. We hope that the review will acknowledge that our curriculum for music could do more to deliver the aspiration, that every child should have the chance to learn a musical instrument, if we integrate technology in support of our skilled music workforces.  

In the same way that we explored how Gigajam provides some of the solutions to the problems, in music education, identified by Ofsted’s Making More of Music report, we have looked carefully at how Gigajam contributes to harnessing technology in education.

Below, we have taken BECTAs priority targets, for the use of technology in teaching and learning, and responded by stating how Gigajam can contribute to the achievement of those targets.

Harnessing Technology Priority Targets Gigajam Contribution


Put young people in the driving seat Pupils control their learning when using Gigajam. Gigajam VLE allows pupils to move through their lessons at their own pace and provides a blend of lessons and activities that the students can chose to suit their learning style.1. Each lesson provides a student with the choice of how to study. They can:

  • Follow the full multi-media lesson, using the narrated text, interactive diagrams, videos and play along interactive software.
  • Follow a television show of the lesson presented by the course writer and guided by a presenter
  • Print out the lesson instructions from a PDF
  • Interact with the lesson using the videos only version, encouraging imitation and modelling.    

eg; View the four different lessons for the first lesson of the drum course http://gigajamvle.com/content/drums.aspx

2. Students can perform together as a band at the end of each lesson allowing them the opportunity to demonstrate their progress and develop their individual instrumental skills into enssemble skills.

eg; Watch Gigajam  in action here at Bradley Stoke Community School. At the end of this, there second lesson, they come together and apply the skills they have learned to play, as a band, in a Live Performance Workshop.


3. Students can access the materials via a browser and continue practising out of lesson time. 

eg; Gigajam Online Music School – http://gigajamvle.com

Personalised learning space/ e-portfolios Each lesson contains small learning chunks, each of which has an exercise for the student to practise. Students use our simple interactive software (Xtractor) to support them practise and record their performances.eg Have a look at the learning chunk here in lesson one of the drum course:http://gigajamvle.com/content/lessons/edsLesson001/2.htmlStudents can listen back to their performances in Xtractor, as well as receive a graphical readout of how they performed comparing to how they should have performed.eg; How Gigajam workshttp://schools.gigajam.com/videochannel.aspx?id=8When happy with an attempt, they can upload their performance, directly from the software and store in an online portfolio. The protfolio utomatically scores their performance (%) and shows achieved both in terms of quantity and quality.

Students can also link video, audio and documents to each exercise to show further learning.

Learning to be fun, challenging and more productive Gigajam is a fun, hands on and engaging way to learn to play an instrument.The perception that you cannot learn a musical instrument ‘properly’  with the use of technology is a view that traditionalists alone, may hold. Sudents will acquire the ability to play, read music and knowledge of theory. They will have the essential building blocks of musical literacy that will allow them to , not only, engage more deeply with the curriculum, but be able to transfer their skills to performing live, recording and composing music.Gigajam is highly efficient, cost effective and scalable and enables whole classes of students to learn different instruments at the same time. Music education has yet to see the elephant in the room, when it comes to the scale of instrumental tuition for all, and we hope will soon begin to recognise that technology provides part of the solution that will enable all children to have the chance to learn a musical instrument.eg; Teachers can organise classes and have a variety of views to support continual, formative and summative assessment.http://schools.gigajam.com/videochannel.aspx?id=9
Use of technology in personalised learning – more flexible study Gigajam can be used at anytime, and broadly, anywhere there is a browser connected to the internet. It can be used:1. In class within the curriculum2. To support instrumental tuition with visiting instrumentalist specialists3. As part of  extended days/after school clubs/community learning/family learning, etc4. At home.
Flexible-learning resources Gigajam can be accessed in a number of ways to suit the learner, as detailed above and is also personalised so that students can see where they are in their studies.The assessment for learning engine enables teachers to communicate with students and provide commentary on students progress.
Ability to collaborate Gigajam is about developing real and transferable skills that will enable students to play in bands – a collaborative activity by definition.eg; Here are some students playing live in class during a lesson using skills they have learned and which have been applied by the teacher to learning and performing a songhttp://schools.gigajam.com/CaseStudySouthManchester.aspx

eLearning priorities

The quantity and range of resources available to teachers and learners Gigajam is a great example of a high quality eLearning resources and interactive technologies.
The quality and degree of innovation of those resources Gigajam won a BETT award  (British Education Teaching with Technology) – for innovation in ‘Content and Tools
The embedding of eLearning and ICT across the curriculum Gigajam embeds eLearning and ICT into the Music curriculum


to deliver quality and cost effective services to all …and… extend the variety of places where people learn Gigajam can be deployed across a VLE. Students can access the materials wherever they have access to a computer. The software can also be purchased by individuals for personal use.Education Service for Schools http://gigajamvle.comHome users site on monthly subscription http://www.gigajamonline.com

Enabling students to move on

Help students to move on in their careers Gigajam has an accredited programme of study that will provide Level One NQF Bronze Arts Award.These can be used as evidence of achievement for progression into FE/further study.Completion of the Gigajam courses meet the entry requirements for the 1 Year Foundation course at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance [www.icmp.uk.com] .

Support for practitioners

Good quality ICT training and support package for practitioners – a new understanding of the pedagogies appropriate for a 21st century education system. Gigajam provides training days which address the learning and teaching, and technology issues associated with delivering Gigajam in a school. Many of these are fundamental to delivering personalised learning via elearning materials.


For more information on Gigajam and teaching with technology, then please feel free to contact us at:

Brian Greene


0800 055 6797

Henley Review of Music Education – Explore the role of technology in increasing instrumental skills in the curriculum

Learning with the aide of online lessons and interactive drum kit from Yamaha

At this years British Education Teaching with Technology conference, Ian Wright presented a 30 minute seminar on his use of technology for music. He wanted to help students’ engage more fully with the music curriculum, learn a musical instrument and succeed at music.

You can view the video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfe5Bguwwrc

We have transcribed the contents below.

Ian says, “Let’s imagine that you are bit nervous and you are; in a big class and you have been to primary school and sung in assemblies and then you come along in year 7 and start at your high school. You have one hour a week and you are expecting, as a music teacher, for your students to take an option of going on to Key Stage 4 in music. So what skill have you given them? What confidence have you given them, to enable them to make that decision and take that choice?

So, I was looking at package that would help the students; follow their progress, help them develop a sense of their independence, in their learning, give them responsibility for their progress, as well as give them the skills they would need to go on to KS4 and succeed.

Most childrens’ experiences are limited to, perhaps, not always, but perhaps, a bit of keyboard work, or, a bit of samba drumming. I wanted something more than that though, which would give them skills to step outside of the classroom and keep going.

Students don’t use Gigajam all the time, please do not misunderstand me, we do, do; the Samba, we do the singing, the composition, all these other great things. This is one part of the curriculum that we offer within Key Stage 3. But, what’s different about this is we are pushing them to develop instrumental skills that they might not otherwise have. Giving them an opportunity to perform with their friends as a band, not just in the classroom, but breaktime, lunch time, after school, in the youth centre and so on.”

“I am Ian Wright, Head of Music at Tiverton High School in Devon. Its a high school of 1300 pupils 11-16 and we started using Gigajam around 4-5 years ago. At that time we had very few children learning a musical instrument and I was very aware that there was a large number of children that were not engaging with the curriclum. They weren’t really succeeding in music and I wanted to find a way to support every child in the classroom, find a way that we could help these children engage with the curriculum and help these children learn a musical instrument, so we looked to technology and found Gigajam and started to embrace Gigajam.

To know more about how Gigajam integrates with Ian’s approach at Tiverton High School, please watch this video of Gigajam in Action


Read Futurelab’s case study with Ian Wright – ‘Music for all at Tiverton” Merlin John


Tiverton students perform a rearranged version of Gigajam’s “The First Time”, now called Valentine Rock. (This is a Level One piece = Grade 3 – Level One NQF)


For more information contact:

Brian Greene

Creating More Musicians for Less

Gigajam&Yamaha - Learning the drums

Affordable instrumental tuition in the curriculum

If you feel that your students would benefit more from the music curriculum, if they had more instrumental skills, then perhaps this is a good time to consider how using Gigajam could help you to support more students learn to play a musical instrument.

Gigajam’s award winning Essential Skills Courses for guitar, bass, keyboard and drums can now be delivered online to students at school and at home and provides each pupil with an e-Portfolio to store their work and online classroom reporting for teachers.

With funding under the spotlight you may be interested to know that Gigajam is just £1 per pupil per annum and can be purchased for just one key stage, making it affordable for the smallest music department budget.

We also offer discounts for longer licencing, providing security and legacy for your programmes of study.


Secondary School KS3 Licence for 4 form entry 360 pupils

Term of licence years No’ of Pupils StandardCost


Saving Annual Cost £ Discount price per pupil
01 360 360 360 £1.00
02 360 720 72 648 £0.90
03 360 1080 162 918 £0.85
04 360 1440 288 1152 £0.80
05 360 1800 440 1350 £0.75

For our full list of options See our Products & Pricing  

Benefits of Gigajam

  • individual, small group and whole class instrumental tuition
  • personalised and collaborative learning
  • independent and skills based learning
  • continual, formative and summative assessment
  • progressive pathways of study (equivalent to debut-grade 5)
  • embeds ICT in music
  • affordable, with flexible licencing options
  • student individual ePortfolio
  • online reporting for teachers
  • Arts Award programme of study for Level One Bronze Award – NEW *Contact us for details*


Curriculum classroom instrumental tuition

For more information about Gigajam please contact us:


0800 0556797

 07976 208859

Gigajam upgraded on London Grid for Learning

Schools connected to the London Grid for Learning can now experience  the first level of GigajamVLE on the LGFL platform.

Gigajam have increased the functionality to include the much acclaimed assessment for learning functionality that provides pupils with an ePortfolio for students and automatic marking and online reporting for teachers. Pupils can learn to play guitar, bass, keyboard, drums and follow the new theory lessons.

Teachers and pupils can access the content by logging into the LGFL www.lgfl.org.uk and visiting the Gigajam content pages at:


Access to the content is restricted to LGFL users and can be accessed by users using their LGFL shibboleth username and passsword.

For more information and to access Gigajam’s Level 2 and 3 content, then please contact us:


Tel 0800 055 6797

Mob 07976 208859

Gigajam extended in Buckinghamshire

All Buckinghamshire schools, connected to the Bucks Grid for Learning, can continue to learn: guitar, bass, keyboard and drums with Gigajam online.

Teacher guiding online keyboard lesson

The licence to the Bucks Grid for Learning, which started in 2005, has been extended until 30th June 2011 so that students can continue to study in school and at home simply by logging onto www.bucksgfl.org.uk and searching for Gigajam.

Brian Greene MD of Gigajam said, “Bucks have been a terrific partner for us over the last 5 years and we are delighted to continue to provide great quailty digital curriculum and interactive software for all of their students. The Bucks Grid is one of the most effectively deployed VLE’s in the UK and makes access to our content, in and out of school, very simple and safe for the county’s teachers and pupils. We hope that we can upgrade the service to our flagship GigajamVLE in the new year, with the additional student ePortfolio and teacher and parent reporting functionality and will be working with Mike Woods and his team to integrate with the Bucks Learning Gateway.”

Gigajam’s agreement with Bucks includes supprt to schools, so if any Buckinghamshire School needs any further information on how to get the most from Gigajam the please do not hesitate to contact us:

Brian Greene


0800 055 6797

07976 208859