“Gigajam has enabled us to expand the range of contemporary music activities we offer in school. As a Specialist Music College this is vital to ensure that we engage as many students from as many musical backgrounds as possible”
Greg Myles, NSG

Northampton School for Girls

Introduction

Northampton School for Girls provide four weekly Gigajam sessions as extra curricula activity. It has become so popular that all sessions are now full and there is an ever growing waiting list. NSG have been using Gigajam for a full term now and are looking at how they can develop events for the students to perform at in the future.

Objectives

NSG had over 600 instrumental lessons taking place each week, but there were many students who missed out on this opportunity as the school simply did not have the resources to cope. Gigajam was seen as a way to provide musical instrument tuition to all of our students alongside the current offering from the Music Services. The alternative would have been either no lessons at all or expensive private tuition which would run to around £20 per hour, per student.

Implementation

Gigajam is being run by Northampton School for Girls as optional after-school activities. Initially there were two hour long back to back sessions catering for 30 students each. Gigajam though, has proved to be so popular that this was quickly expanded to a second evening with another two sessions. These four weekly sessions are now attended by over 70 students learning either Guitar, Bass, Keyboard or Drums.

The sessions are run by Greg Myles, the schools ICT Technician, who happens to be a gigging drummer. The ICT suite is used to host the sessions where all of the equipment is stored between sessions.

On the subject of implementation Greg says, "The learning experience is often driven by the students when following a Gigajam course. The students become competitive and want to beat each other’s scores, making it easy to get them motivated. When running a Gigajam session I find myself just providing technical support and offering the odd word of advice rather than teaching full on."

Gigajam Director Brian Greene says, "NSG is a great example of how our resource can be implemented to create greater music making opportunities for a larger number of students. A key factor in the success of this project is the way the students have been directed to work independently in a class situation."

Timetable

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Before School              
During School              
After School   16:00-17:00
17:00-18:00
16:00-17:00
17:00-18:00
       

Impacts and Outcomes

"Gigajam has enabled us to expand the range of contemporary music activities we offer in school. As a Specialist Music College this is vital to ensure that we engage as many students from as many musical backgrounds as possible." - Greg Myles, NSG.

"The most innovative element of the Gigajam courses is the Analyser software. The idea that a computer could in any way simulate the experience of one to one tuition seemed a long way off until I’d seen the Gigajam courses in action." - Greg Myles, NSG

Future Developments

Northampton School for Girls is planning to further expand their Gigajam offering in September 2006 with a series of developments including, community work with local schools, VLE based home access to Gigajam, and using Gigajam within the curriculum.

Participants

Northampton School for Girls, Specialist Music College.