Gigajam in Schools
Gigajam Online Music school is available to over 2,000 schools in the UK and abroad. In 2017, The Highland Council collected a series of customer testimonials for Gigajam in schools as part of their application for funding through Creative Scotland. They were kind enough to share these with us. The Highland Council has used Gigajam since 2005. It is used by 76 of their Primary Schools, providing an opportunity for pupils to have the chance to learn guitar and drums.
Norman Bolton, the Head of the Music Service said “We certainly DO intend keeping Gigajam in our schools for as long as possible. Gigajam continues to be well received in our schools – as you’ll see from the attached comments sent to me from some of our schools.”
The customer testimonials for Gigajam in schools are provided by some of the schools who use Gigajam through the Highland Music Service. The Highland Council use a music specialist teacher to support the schools in the delivery of the lessons. Gigajam Online Music School enables schools to provide guitar lessons, bass lessons, keyboard lessons and drum lessons to whole classes by harnessing technology.
There are a selection of pictures next to each customer testimonial. We have used pictures from a variety of schools illustrating how Gigajam is used in different settings. Some are indeed from schools in the Highlands, but others are from Primary Schools across the UK, as well as from Schools in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
“I am writing in support of the Guitar/Drumming classes we currently have for our P7s
We feel it enormously beneficial to our pupils as we believe that music participation plays a part in helping our pupils in their learning and especially in maths- it helps them see patterns which is the basis for mental agility.
The fact that it is 100% inclusive is a positive as music can often be selective; meaning those who can afford it, get music. This was all our pupils get the chance to see if it is something they would like to pursue in secondary school.
The pupils report to us that they love it and I very much hope it will continue.”
Mrs Lorna Sim
“The primary 7 pupils at Culbokie Primary thoroughly enjoy their guitar/drumming sessions. They benefit from the chance to try out instruments which they might not otherwise be exposed to and it is also good for them to be instructed by someone other than their class teachers!”
“Just to say P7 thoroughly enjoyed the sessions.
Words used to describe the sessions- enjoyable, good experience, worthwhile and fun! They would have liked more sessions!
Clear instructions always given and Mike helpful. Enjoyed being able to “experiment” when introduced to the guitar and drumming.
Jamie has now got a guitar and partly because he enjoyed the sessions.
We would be delighted to have you cover music for us!
I feel it is a very important” therapy” for our children . They relax, don’t feel judged by what they cannot do – more to do with them enjoying the experience and working at their level. The technology used appeals very much to P7!
Thank you too for always being so flexible with grouping and accommodation available! Your positive and cheerful way with the children has contributed greatly to their enjoyment of the sessions.”
“On behalf of P6/7, I’d like to thank you for the excellent guitar and drumming lessons.
The P7s benefited hugely from your instruction. The P6s are delighted to be able to benefit from your tuition in drumming. These lessons are hugely important as it is the only specialist music input that they will receive before making the transition to high school. As a class teacher, I value the expertise that you provide, which in turn challenges the most able musicians and fosters creativity in a way that I could not.
Gigajam interactive music technology provides a useful crossover between the technologies curriculum and the expressive arts.
Once again, many thanks from my pupils and I.”
Miss Kirstine Mullin
“Pupils across the years have thoroughly enjoyed guitar/drumming sessions.
This is an area which class teachers often find difficult/time consuming etc. to deliver in an already overstretched curriculum.
It is of great benefit to both pupils and staff and I would wish for this valuable input to continue.”
“Each year the Primary Seven Pupils really enjoy Mr Simpson’s guitar and drum lessons. The pupils are always eager to attend each week and ask repeatedly when Mike will be back for the second set of lessons. All pupils are able to access these music lessons regardless of any additional learning needs they may have, which is a very important for inclusion. These lessons help us to meet the Curriculum for Excellence experiences and outcomes:”
I can sing and play music from other styles and cultures, showing skill and using performance directions and/or musical notation
I can use my voice, musical instruments and music technology to experiment with sounds, pitch, melody, rhythm, timbre and dynamics
I have listened to a range of music and can respond by discussing my thoughts and feelings. I can give and accept constructive comment on my own and others’ work
“I have spoken to the P7s who loved the sessions and they gave me the following info:
Mike was really approachable and his explanations were very good and totally understandable.
It was really good being able to try two instruments as we all got to try something new. The computers made it very exciting as they were helpful at learning the notes.
We really enjoyed the scoring system as it helped to progress our knowledge and make us improve. It was a great experience and we would love to do it again.”
“Hope you are well. We are missing you and the P.6s have already started to ask about their sessions with you next year – they’ve had to wait a long time to get their go! If that’s not evidence of how much we enjoy our sessions with you then I don’t know what is!
I think I’ve had 4 years of you taking the P.7s and all the children have loved their sessions. So much so that one pupil even went and bought his own guitar and electric drums and guitars have been incorporated into our School Plays. Those with all musical abilities learn something (think about amazing Molly and also how much Poppy enjoyed it too) and those who didn’t even realise that they have it in them catch the bug!
You are a ray of sunshine and not only do you love your music but you care about the kids you teach and always go out of your way to accommodate everyone’s needs. We highly value our sessions with you and are willing to shout it from the rooftops for all to hear!”
“The P7 children at Strathpeffer Primary enjoy the session they receive each year and look forward to the experience.
This type of experience is invaluable and allows children a chance to play, who would otherwise not get the opportunity to try out instruments.
Our P7 children gain a great deal form these sessions.”
Carolyn A. Ritchie
Pupil customer testimonials
“It was good to know what your score was in guitar so that you could challenge yourself to do
better the next time.”
“I enjoyed the part where you got to listen to the music and then you got to start playing along with it. I would like to do it again and I am looking forward to the drums.” – Amie P7
“I really liked the guitar because you got to do stuff you haven’t got to do before, I liked playing it when you got tested to see how good you were. I am really excited for the drum lessons because I have never done drumming before.” Gordon P7
“It was fun to learning both guitar and drumming because we got to play the instruments but it
wasn’t embarrassing because you had headphones.”
“It was really interesting learning new instruments that we don’t normally get to play at school”