Wandsworth CLC students enjoying Gigajam

"With the emphasis on playing together the product fosters the building of groups within a music culture. There really are few products on the market that encourage this team building and this has led to many enjoying the results of the bands when they perform."
Simon Elledge,AST Wandsworth CLC

 

 

 

 

Wandsworth CLC case study

Introduction

Gigajam had been invited by Wandsworth City Learning Centre to run a four day course for the children of Wandsworth as part of the LEA’s Gifted and Talented Scheme

Wandsworth CLC is a unique learning environment and is well equipped with state of the art recording equipment, musical equipment and modern networked ICT suites.

As the first CLC in the UK to buy Gigajam Lesson Content and Interactive Music Education Software, they were keen to demonstrate the power of learning using ICT and how it could be used in both a Classroom environment and also as personalised learning.

Objectives

  • To provide an enjoyable and rewarding Gifted and Talented programme for the children of Wandsworth using the unique opportunities available at Wandsworth CLC to study and play music.
  • To demonstrate the power of using Gigajam lesson content and software as an ICT led ‘Virtual Music Teacher’ model that could be used in schools and at the CLC.

Background

As part of the Gifted and Talented programme in Wandsworth, to take 20 Year 7 pupils of mixed ability, but no specific music skills and provide them with 4 days of music tuition on a first and second instrument so that they could form and then play together in their school Rock band.

After the first 4 days, allow the software, lesson content and musical instruments to be taken back to their 5 schools and for the students to continue their studies, working together in their bands.

Implementation

  • Encourage learning of music through the performance of a musical instrument.
  • Encourage performance in a band.
  • Utilise ICT to facilitate personalised learning in a classroom environment.

Physical Implementation

Main area for group discussion and band performances.

4 individual areas were assigned - Drum room, Guitar Room, Bass Room and Keyboard Room.

Each room consisted of:

  • Interactive Whiteboard
  • 5 workstations with Computer (pre-loaded Software and lesson content), connected to midi instrument
  • 1 tutor

Classroom Session
At the beginning of the morning session, the tutor would engage the class in a demonstration of the lesson on the Interactive Whiteboard. The class would work through the objectives of the lesson, the instructions and then the first few exercises, including a performance, recording and Analysis of how the exercise was played.

Private Study
Once the lesson had been demonstrated to the group the students were then encouraged to work with the lessons at their workstations. They would read through the instructions, play the exercises along with the musical examples and then record to see how they were developing. Students were encouraged to compare their recorded performances by listening to them and then looking at the software Analysis for feedback. Once satisfied with an exercise they would then move on through the lesson and even onto the next lesson where appropriate. Performances were saved as a record of performance and also as a guide to how well the students were constantly honing their skills as they progressed as musicians.

Live Performance Workshop
At the end of a private study session and after a break, the students would then play a tune that encompassed the skills that they had been developing, enabling them to play together as a Rock Band.

Impact and Outcomes

  • Personalised Learning
  • Playing together
  • Identifying un-nurtured talent
  • Provide an opportunity for students to play a musical instrument
  • An increase in motivation to develop with immediate feedback
  • Encourages and allows self-teaching, allowing time for the teacher to focus on those that need help
  • Provides demonstrable records of progress and achievement.

E-Assessment

During the course the students were encouraged to use the recording function on the X tractor so that they could analyse their performances using the Gigajam Analyser.

The students would then be encouraged to listen to back to their recordings and use the GigajamAnalyser software to assess:

  • The Accuracy of their timing by looking at the position of the notes
  • Their interpretation of pitch, identifying that they were in fact playing the correct notes
  • Their understanding and performance of note lengths.

The next two examples illustrate how we can identify issues for students to review so that they can focus on the areas of their performance that need attention.

Example 1. Bass Guitar (Naima-Chestnut Grove)

Analyser screen shot

In our first example, our student starts off well and plays the first 3 notes in the first bar in time and for good lengths. However, at the end of the first bar the timing drifts and it starts to come back in time in Bar 3. There is a wrong note struck at the beginning of Bar 3, shown by the red note (F).

This was a good performance. The student can, however see and hear that when the timing goes wrong a little, it is because she is slightly late on the beat.

Example 2. Drums (Naima-Chestnut Grove)

In our second example, the drummer is focused on pitch and position only. Here all the notes are correct but there is a pattern occurring where the bass drum on the + of 3 is rushed and that is in turn pulling the Snare Drum backbeat on 4 forward slightly. Look at bars 3, 5 and 6.benefit of recording performances into the computer is so that the performance can be analysed both audibly and graphically, giving the student a number of ways of looking at their performances and progress.

However, there are a number of other very useful functions:

  • The student can email homework to their teacher
  • Student and class profiles of progress and completion of work can be collated easily into teacher accounts
  • Marking of work is done automatically
  • The whole of the terms results can be easily kept, as the files are very small and reviewed at anytime by the student, teacher, or by OFSTED
  • Students can study their results themselves. For instance, we dropped the scores into Excel and looked for patterns in the scores to assess how the students were developing and also to develop the student’s ability to interpret scores in a meaningful way.

Below is an extract from Joshua Lee’s work compiled from his recorded performances on Guitar and Drums.

We have taken the % scores and dropped them into Excel. We have then produced a simple bar chart to show the % achievement in each subject.

Example 3. E-Assessment Data (Joshua Lee-Southfields)

User comments

Criteria User comments (Simon Elledge AST Wandsworth CLC)
Innovative Nature of the Resource This product is innovative as it operates on many levels. It can be used as a teaching tool with opportunity for assessing pupils but it can also be used with unskilled tutors to build groups of children into bands. This in turn allows for the promotion of after school activities. Having a product that can be used with a whole class or a small group and that can be differentiated to different levels is very unusual and should be commended highly.
Impact upon learning and the work of the teacher in the classroom, to what extent and in which areas There is the clear use of this product to teach music instrumentation in a classroom at secondary level however this product goes significantly further.

With the emphasis on ‘jamming’ the product fosters the building of groups within a music culture. There really are few products on the market that encourage this team building and this has led to many enjoying the results of the bands when they perform.

How the resource supports or enhances the everyday life or work of teachers pupils or schools We have seen success at primary and secondary level with this product and the building of self esteem as the music skills spread through a group of any age should really be considered here.

The assessment tool within the product is also very useful as it motivates the children and moves them on at their own pace but within a framework that can still be closely monitored by the teachers and assistants working with the software.

Cost effectiveness in terms of educational aims and results — not just price This is a very cost effective product as it offers expert help and guidance on four instruments. Many of us can teach one or two instruments but not four.

Additionally it allows the teacher to set groups off individually and the after school provision could easily be charged for to recoup outlay.