Looking for piano lessons for beginners can be a daunting process for parents. With a plethora of music teachers, schools, and programs all over Singapore, it is no surprise that parents are often overwhelmed. Hence, this blog aims to guide parents in their search for piano lessons for their young children.
The piano teacher is debatably the most important factor when it comes to enrolling a child for piano lessons. Teachers are the role-models for their students — they must walk the walk and talk the talk. They inspire, encourage, impart knowledge, support, motivate, and the list goes on. Not only should the piano teacher be good at performing the piano, but the teacher should also be great at teaching as well. The teacher should be able to connect and communicate clearly, and build a long-lasting relationship with the young student. At Aureus Academy, our teachers are all of that, and more! Teachers at Aureus Academy are fantastic with young children, have a fun and energetic personality, yet patient and kind, have extensive knowledge in music and their instrument, and are highly trained professionals with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in music.
Individual or group lessons are the most common medium of instruction for beginner piano lessons. Students in group classes enjoy the benefit of having social interactions with others, and they love the companionship of learning alongside their peers. While all the students in the group class may be beginners, each student is unique and they each progress at a different rate. As a teacher who has taught group piano classes at the collegiate level, I can attest that it is often challenging to find the perfect pacing for the group class. Fast learners get bored quickly when the material is repeated or is too easy for them, while students who need more time to master a certain concept or technique may fall behind if the class moves ahead too quickly. At Aureus Academy, we believe that individual lessons are the best option for piano lessons for beginners, especially for young children. Individual lessons allow teachers to personalize and tailor their instruction to meet the needs of the student, and the student gets the full attention of the teacher throughout the entire lesson.
Individual piano lessons also provide flexibility to both the student and teacher in terms of content or course material. Piano lessons for beginners are often presented in several ways, such as popular/contemporary piano classes, jazz or classical music classes, play-by-ear courses, or the standard examination syllabi, among others. The beauty of having one-on-one piano classes at Aureus Academy is that the teacher could easily change their lesson plans should the student at any time decide that they want to pursue a certain genre of music, or learn the skill to play by ear, or take graded examinations.
While there are plenty of courses (as mentioned above) for parents and teachers to choose from, piano lessons for beginners should always include fundamental techniques of playing the piano. My
goals as a teacher are to instill a lifelong passion and love for music making in my students, as well as for them to achieve excellence in music making at all levels. To achieve these goals, all my students begin developing their technique right from their initial trial lesson. Although technical work is essential for longevity and for being able to play literally any piece of music on the piano, practicing technique is often boring, repetitive, and mechanical. This is why parents should look for teachers who are creative, engaging, and inspiring.
At Aureus Academy, piano lessons are taught in a fun, yet effective manner. Fun activities, such as balancing a soft plush toy or a paper cup on the student’s head help achieve a proper sitting position that is ideal for piano playing. Imagining a bubble or an egg in the student’s palms also helps them achieve a natural, rounded hand shape. Students enjoy the challenge of not bursting the bubble — this prevents them from collapsing and playing with very low wrists. Other engaging activities, such as rhythm games, singing, clapping, story-telling, dancing or moving to the beat of the music, develops fundamental elements of music making in young beginners.
The current global pandemic has dawned upon us a new medium of learning — online lessons. While piano lessons at Aureus Academy have returned to in-person (with strict standard operating procedures in place, such as temperature taking, using hand sanitizers, sanitizing of instruments and frequent touch points, and social distancing), parents also have the option of choosing online lessons should they feel uneasy or wary of in-person lessons. Although nothing beats the experience of having in-person lessons, online learning has proven to be as effective as in-person classes. As long as both the student and teacher have good internet connection, the online lesson is seamless and flows as if it were in-person. For very young students, parents are encouraged to participate and supervise their children during online lessons.
When it comes to choosing a particular music center or school, there are a few things that parents should consider. The first is the location of the school or center. Fortunately, Aureus Academy has branches strategically located all over Singapore — From north to south and east to west, there is an Aureus Academy that is likely very near to you. However, If traveling to the lesson is time consuming and inconvenient, fret not. Parents can opt for at-home lessons with the Aureus@home program, where a traveling piano teacher will teach the lesson at the student’s home. However, note that this is a premium service and it often costs higher than regular lessons at the center.
Last but not least, parents should also consider the facilities and other services provided by the school. For instance, at Aureus Academy, students take lessons in state-of-the-art facilities, which include high quality instruments and equipment, as well as recital halls that host performances, recitals, masterclasses, and ABRSM examinations. At Aureus Academy, we believe that it is important for students to share their love for music, as well as their hard work and dedication in learning to play the piano. As such, teachers at Aureus Academy often host recitals and performance opportunities for all their students, regardless of whether they are beginners or advanced pianists.
Parents of young beginners also need not look any further if they are in need of an instrument as Aureus Academy provides rental services at affordable and competitive rates!
If you are a parent and you still have concerns, worries, or questions about piano lessons for beginners, fret not! Book a trial lesson with a teacher and see for yourself a sample of what lessons will be like when you sign up for lessons with the teacher. At Aureus Academy, trial piano lessons for beginners are free-of-charge. Simply drop by or give us a call and our amazing team of customer service executives will help you schedule the free 30-minute trial piano lesson and pair your child with a teacher that fits your needs and schedule. During the trial lesson, the teacher will (through various musical activities) teach and assess your child’s musical abilities. The trial lesson also allows the teacher to carefully plan for future lessons with the child based on his/her interests, needs, and goals. At the end of the trial lesson, parents will receive professional feedback about the child’s progress, advice about lesson duration, and suggestions for books or course material.
Alvin Kong is an impassioned and dedicated teacher of Piano, Clarinet, and Music Exploration at Aureus Academy @ United Square. He received his Master’s degree from the University of Idaho, USA and Bachelor’s from Gustavus Adolphus College, USA. Teacher Alvin sees it as his goal to foster a lifelong passion and love for music-making in his students, and for all of his students to achieve excellence in music making at all levels. He is an extremely experienced educator, lecturer, and performer, having taught both local and international students in the U.S. and Malaysia. With his wealth of knowledge in various pedagogical techniques and experience in teaching, Teacher Alvin is excited to give a fulfilling musical learning journey to all his students!