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How To Ace Piano Aural Exams For Singaporean Students

The aural segment of the ABRSM piano examinations is the weakness of many local Singaporean students, and some reasons for that is as follows.

Singaporeans tend to be more shy when it comes to singing compared to their western counterparts. Their western friends generally have a very high threshold before they feel ’embarrassed’. This means that most Singaporean music students are shy and do not fully sing out loud comfortably even if they are actually very good at singing. A simple way to overcome this issue is to simply just go ahead with it. Just imagine that the opinion of whoever’s listening does not matter. Then you can easily sing in front of friends (it can be random songs!) or family members. Over time, you would not be bothered by other people’s opinions, regardless of who they are.

Second of all, many Singaporean students tend to be perfectionists. However, it is very difficult to be a perfectionist when it comes to the aural segment for the ABRSM piano examinations. This is why local students tend to put their effort and focus into the exam pieces and scales only where they technically can be ‘perfect’. However, aural examinations is one of the easiest portions to improve in and score well for! It is one thing to put more effort into pieces and scales. It is another thing (and this is bad) if you practise them at the expense of aural segment. Do not forsake the aural segment. It is very easy to score in.

Getting a good private piano teacher from a local teacher-student agency like SG LEARN PIANO is of course very useful as well. Watch the following video and download the official ABRSM aural exam help application to practise so that you can truly be an all rounder in the ABRSM piano exams in Singapore!

Are There Benefits To Having Your Child Take Piano Lessons?

A lot of parents think that learning the piano is only for letting their children learn a musical instrument which will have no benefit to the child’s future life other than potentially being a music teacher. Therefore, many parents think that if a child does not intend to become a piano teacher, or if a parent snubs at a piano teacher’s salary, that their child should not learn the musical instrument. However, they cannot be more wrong. There are way more benefits to learning the piano (including material/pragmatic benefits) for your children. Anyway, if you are sold on the idea of getting music lessons for your child, then here are some good local piano teachers you can engage for your child.

First of all, children who learn the piano at a young age tend to develop more grey matter in their minds. The amount of grey matter is directly correlated with IQ, and so if your children learn piano from a young age, they tend to grow up smarter. With a higher IQ, your child will be able to do better in all areas of life, not just academic, as he or she will be able to better critically analyse everything. Remember, while academic results are not the main determinant of a child’s future success, a good and high IQ is still required to succeed in life. This is especially the case in Singapore where everything is expensive. Succeeding in his or her career is of utmost importance to lead a good life.

Second of all, learning the piano allows your child to work out both sides of his or her brain. There is a linguistic/artistic part of the brain, as well as a mathematical part of the brain. When your child plays the musical instrument, he or she works out both hands independently of each other and in doing so, ‘exercises’ both sides of his or her brain. This way, your child can perform equally well academically as well as in his or her future life as an adult in Singapore,  because he or she will be a well-rounded person!

As you can see, learning the piano as a musical instrument is very beneficial for your child. Sure, you can let your child learn the drums or guitar e.t.c. But I think you can agree that most people think piano looks the most cultured as well as sounds the best among all the musical instruments in the world. It is also one of the most versatile ones ever! Imagine if your child wants to perform and be a professional performer in future. Can you imagine him or her as a professional trombone player? That will be just weird and difficult to make a living off. However, as a composer or a professional pianist, if your child chooses so, he or she can make a full time income doing what he or she is passionate about! How amazing would that life be for your child?

Kiasu Singaporean Parents – How To Find Good Piano Teachers?

As a kiasu Singaporean parent, you are probably worried about where and how to find the best private piano teachers in Singapore. I will share with you some of the best ways to look for a teacher in Singapore.

Going through a private piano teacher agency in Singapore

First of all, I strongly recommend that you consider going through a Singapore private piano teacher agency. One of the biggest benefits of going through a Singapore piano teacher agency is the instant access to a lot of teachers all at once. If you were to find your own teacher one by one (which I will talk more later), that is not efficient, and there actually is no real benefit – I will explain why shortly. Agencies usually have access to more than a handful of piano teachers scattered all around Singapore. Whether you want lessons at the teacher’s studio or in the comfort of your own house, you will be able to find the right teacher through an agency. Of course, not all agencies are equally recommended, and a good one I know of is SG LEARN PIANO.

Another benefit of going through an agency is because the way it works is that you never need to pay extra to the agency. The agency only charges the teachers if they get them students. This means that you get the benefits of the agency (e.g. such as time saving e.t.c.) without any downsides or extra costs compared to if you had searched for independent teachers yourself.

If you are a busy and kiasu Singaporean parent, there is no better way to find a good teacher than through an agency. They will not risk destroying their own reputation by recommending you a lousy teacher. On the other hand, individual teachers tend to risk that because they can only recommend themselves. I strongly recommend to find a teacher through an agency for you if you are a kiasu parent.

Finding a piano teacher through online forums

There are mummy forums online throughout Singapore, and you can easily find teachers who are tooting their own horns on these forums. While obviously not all teachers are good, you can read the recommendations of the other forum posters online. Usually, if a teacher is good or bad, you will be able to read reviews of them on these forums.

However, one bad thing about looking for a piano teacher independently is that their adverts tend to be very biased. This is because while an agency can simply recommend you another teacher if they find one to have bad reviews, an independent/individual teacher cannot do so. They will not be able to make any kind of income if they referred you elsewhere. Therefore, they have a higher incentive to lie. Does this mean they all lie? No. But does this mean that the reliability will fall? Yes.

Final tips and thoughts for looking for a piano teacher in Singapore

Regardless of the way you decide to find a piano teacher for yourself or for your child, you should always ask to verify the teacher’s certifications. The agency or the teacher will be able to furnish you with photocopied versions as well as the original on the first lesson as proof of his or her competency.

Additionally, if you choose to use an agency like the way I recommend it above, always request to have a teacher who lives nearby you if possible. This way, you can easily make future schedule changes e.t.c. if required without inconveniencing the teacher too much in the unlikely event that is required. Of course, always make changes only far in advance, and try to steer clear of last minute changes in timing.

Do I Need A Piano At Home To Take Piano Lessons?

Whether you are a Singaporean parent looking to get your child(ren) home piano lessons in Singapore or are looking for piano lessons yourself, you must have heard that most learners have pianos in their own homes. However, is this really necessary?

Buying a piano in Singapore is not the cheapest thing, especially first hand. Therefore, it is normal to ask if you really need a piano of your home to master playing the musical instrument.

Technically, as a private music student in Singapore, you could go to a private teacher studio/apartment to learn your lessons. However, when it comes to practice time, it is where things get more complicated, because you will now probably need to rent a studio at a public music school for each practice session. This is because you cannot simply rely only on practising during the actual lesson itself if you want to truly master it. You will need to practise often. This can be a hassle, and the eventual costs added up may not be cheap at all.

If you are going for graded examinations, you definitely need the most amount of practice. In this case, it is recommended to go for a piano purchase, and even purchase a higher end upright piano, so that it can last you or your child until the higher ABRSM piano grades. If you find it too expensive, then make sure to buy a good second hand higher end upright one instead. If you are thinking of buying a Yamaha piano, then picking the Yamaha U series piano will be a good choice.

If you are not going for ABRSM graded musical examinations, and are just learning the musical instrument for fun, then the choice is not so clear. You can either simply buy a keyboard, purchase a cheap second hand piano, or simply rent studio to practice. However, I strongly recommend the first two – either buying a keyboard or a cheap second hand piano instead. When it comes to mastery of any musical instrument, it is practice that makes perfect. No amount of talent or gift will help you master it magically without hard work.