Rawmarsh City Learning Centre

Needs

  • To provide an opportunity for young people and adults to learn how to play a musical instrument.
  • To use Gigajam as a solution to providing an innovative method of engaging young people and adults in education.
  • To create a free resource for the local community, including the host school, primary schools and community groups.
  • To engage with people who would not normally access this kind of activity due to financial constraints.

Trish Sharp, Rawmarsh City Learning Centre: “Gigajam has been a roaring success at Rawmarsh CLC. It has enabled us to train up to 20 students at any one time, which has allowed us to engage with many. The very nature of delivery, a combination of software and support from a professional musician, has proved to be dynamic.”

Solution

Rawmarsh CLC was actively looking for new ICT-based projects for teaching young people and adults. All CLCs have to have an ICT focus in each activity they run. Trish Sharp came across Gigajam at the BETT show in 2005 and saw in it the mass opportunity for learning using ICT. At the time, the CLC had no musical instruments, so invested in five drum kits, five bass guitars, five electric guitars, five keyboards and the necessary amplification for use in a large training room. High quality soundcards were also purchased for the computers in the training room, to give users the best possible experience of listening to the video footage and backing tracks.

Users

The CLC uses Gigajam with participants aged between 10 years and 70 years old. Four sessions are run per week and there are around 50 active learners at the moment. Rawmarsh CLC’s ‘Rock School’ has taught over 150 people in the past 12 months, with lessons delivered by Trish Sharp and Rik Smith.

Trish Sharp said: “Pupils using Gigajam have gained performance confidence and ability, and have gained a knowledge of music theory. Our young people have progressed so well that they have had the opportunity to record an original song written by a local songwriter. The staff from the recording studio in Sheffield were impressed by the level of skill our young people had. The track will be professionally mixed and produced on CD.

“The Rock School students will also be performing for the Rotherham Celebration of Success event in November.”

In the future, the CLC is planning to form small bands from the participants who will then perform in public.

Brian Greene, director of Gigajam said: “Rawmarsh City Learning Centre is another example of where students now have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, where previously it wouldn’t have been thought possible. CLCs are becoming the music schools of the future by providing community learning for host schools, surrounding feeder schools and adult education for local residents.”