Frequently Asked Questions
1) How are we different from other schools?
- We teach according to our in-house syllabus and provide tailored lesson plans to help our students meet their desired goals. We believe that quality is more important than quantity and strive to help students to gain strong foundation in theory, aural, techniques and sight reading.
- We adopt standardised teaching style/books/syllabus/methodologies and consistently maintain a high standard of teaching in all our studios.
- We provide many platforms for students to become independent learners and confident performers. One of which is performance class, which is held every quarterly.
- We record their performances in class to encourage them to perform confidently in front of the video camera. In the long run, student will feel comfortable performing in the presence of audience.
- We keep in contact with the parents and communicate regularly to update them about their children’s progress.
- Our teaching studio provides a very conducive environment for learning. There are readily available resources like books, audio, learning applications (iPad), percussion instruments to enhance the learning process.
2) How do we conduct a typical class for students?
Beginner students (45 minutes)
Allocated Time Components
5 – 10 minutes Technique
20 minutes Repertoire
10 minutes Ear training, sight reading (frequent use of percussion instruments to strength hand-eye coordination).
5 – 10 minutes Theory
Graded students (60 minutes)
At least 3 – 4 components will be covered in a typical class.
Allocated Time Components
10 minutes Technique
30 minutes Repertoire
10 minutes Sight reading
10 minutes Theory or Aural
The above breakdown is just a guideline and not a standard formula to be adhered to. If students are preparing for theory/practical examination, more time will be devoted to that and vice versa.
3) Why do we emphasize on wholesome learning?
We emphasie on teaching skills and not just learning piano pieces. We teach students the right techniques to produce the desired sound, the way to sight read and also train their aural skills, theory skills, rhythm and applications of these to their repertoires.
When more time is devoted to teaching important skills, students actually learn all pieces faster and better.
That is why our students are able to prepare for their examination and yet concurrently play other supplementary pieces (which are usually pop, disney, jazz, christmas, kids songs etc.).
4) How do we make sight reading training fun?
First and foremost, it is important that student/parent understands the importance of sight-reading. Being able to sight-read is an essential skill that all students must have when they are learning classical piano. Any student who hasn’t been taught this fundamental skill would have missed out a very important aspect of piano learning. Therefore, we emphasize very strongly in this area.
With technological developments, there are readily available applications on iPad, which we use during training for sight-reading examination. For a regular lesson, we use materials like duet, fun music like pop songs, Christmas songs, and nursery rhymes etc. that fall within the ABRSM sight reading syllabus requirements.
5) Will student be exposed to repertoires other than their exam pieces during the course of learning?
Yes, they will definitely be as we encourage playing of supplementary pieces for sight-reading training and for expansion of repertoires.
The performance class also creates a platform for playing duets with the teachers or other students.
6) “Playing scales etc., sight-reading is boring”. How do we make the learning of these fundamentally important skills fun?
Our teachers are trained to inject enthusiasm, fun and creative thinking in their teaching. Playing scales and arpeggios can be very fun too if you associate it with climbing up a mountain and trying to put that flag on top of it and many more.
Other than using the ABRSM scales and sight reading book, we include technical exercises from the Piano Adventures book.
7) Are students allowed to skip examination grades?
Student can skip an official exam but they would still need to have their progress reviewed internally. They are not allowed to skip grade per se because it would be unfair for them to move on to another level without having the relevant skills.
8) Can student learn without going for the official examination?
Yes, they can. The principal will assess their performance internally for all the grades until grade 8. Although it is not necessary to sit for the official examination for Grade 1 - 7 before promoting to the next grade, we encourage the students to take an examination at some point in order to ascertain their skills by an official party. All the students are encouraged to complete grade 8 as it is an important milestone.
9) What are the benefits of learning with us?
- We created our own teaching syllabus and lesson plans and adopt a structured and systematic approach to teaching.
- We are dedicated to creating the most conducive, fun and innovative environment for learning.
- We train your child to perform confidently.
- We provide training for any students who would want to become a music teacher in future.
- We provide value added services like performing opportunities, annual recitals, in-house activities, ordering of books and registration for examinations.
- We train and equip your child with the essential skills so that they may tackle the challenges of timing, technique, sight reading, fingering, pedalling, developing the hearing, improvisation and harmonization which all contribute to students becoming well-rounded pianists, capable of lifelong and independent learning on the piano.
- Most important of all, our piano teachers are dedicated and passionate in what they are doing.
10) How do we create a fun and motivational environment for learning?
- We award stickers to the students during every lesson. They will collect and exchange their stickers every quarter for prizes (minimum number of stickers applies).
- We give a test/quiz every month to ensure they are learning and progressing. More stickers will be awarded and this will add on to their sticker collection.
- We get the students to write down their short/long term goal and together, we work towards it.
- We reward and give recognition to students who get a merit or distinction for their practical exams.
- Additional project work (e.g. to learn more about composers, theory) can be assigned to interested student. They will be awarded a badge for completion of the project.
- Parties are organised to stimulate a fun learning environment.
- Birthday gifts
- Student of the year award.
- Themed recitals
11) Do we send students for competition?
Yes. We encourage students to benchmark their own playing by competing with others. We send our students for competitions organised by Yamaha, National Competition (Biennial) and also the Performer’s Festival organised by SMTA.
12) How do you review student’s performance?
We review every student’s performance quarterly. For January – March and July – September, we will send parents via email a review on your child’s learning progress in different components. For April – June and October – December, a teacher-parent meeting will be set up for further interaction and detailed review.