fbpx
All Posts By

Vinnie Mah

who is Funtwo ?

Who is Funtwo? | Youtube’s earliest viral guitarist!

By | Music Articles, Videos | No Comments

Who is Funtwo?

Just who is Funtwo? Well at the very beginning of youtube, people were deeply rooted in the idea that famous people must appear on TV. They are also unable to comprehend how a boy in his bedroom can play his guitar as well as big names out there. That was the start of Funtwo’s career as a guitarist. While we know he became a viral sensation, we really want to know more about who this guy is! So we gave him a call and had a chat with him!

who is Funtwo ?

Video Interview at bottom of page

“this guy iz great!!!”

Back in 2005, a young computer science student played a cover of JerryC’s rock guitar arrangement of Pachelbel Canon. The video was then uploaded by a user “guitar90” and it racked up at least 6 million views. Nobody knows who guitar90 was and the account was later removed. Arguably, there are other guitarists who gained more view count for covering “Canon Rock” today. Youtuber Vi Gi tops the chart at 87 million views, Sungha Jung ranked second at 56 million views and JerryC himself at 23 million. However, we cannot deny the fact that it all started when Funtwo recorded that dorky video!

funtwo youtube

Can you spot Funtwo in the Most Viewed category of Youtube 2005?

Who else is Funtwo performing with?

Funtwo recently joined the ranks at Yamaha and made a cover of Michael Jackson’s Black or White with Jack Thammarat and Jane! In our video interview, Funtwo also shared how he is looking to collaborate with other great guitarists. Funtwo is definitely not stopping at Canon Rock.

Here’s the fun thing about this video cover. It is done with 3 very different video angles! This means while we linked Funtwo’s version here, heading over to Jack Thammarat or Jane‘s youtube channel will allow you to view this cover in a totally new way! That is really fun t0o!

Instagram Filter for Funtwo!

funtwo Instagram Filter

Click on the icon above to load the Instagram filter we made for Funtwo!

Conclusion

Funtwo is a definitely “twice the fun” to us. His guitar playing is extraordinary and has great vibes to his phrases. We highly recommend you to follow his work and subscribe to his youtube channel. You may witness the birth of another of his viral video!

zoom setup for mac

How to set up ZOOM for drum lessons | You probably missed those advanced functions

By | Drum, Music Articles | No Comments

How to set up ZOOM for drum lessons

Our chief drum teacher and a fellow industry friend share how to set up your ZOOM for drum lessons! Zoom, although it has its share of bad publicity, is the most popular and versatile video conferencing software today. With the system set up correctly, you won’t need to worry about intrusion in your video call or bad audio quality. Let’s dive right into the setup!

Security

how to secure zoom

Security is the number 1 concern for parents. While the can monitor their child’s video call session, they won’t be able to stop an intruder in time. An intruder can send photos containing nudity or profanity if a chat room is not secure. They can also harass the users in the chat room. This is why we do our part in making sure that the system is set up correctly.

In case you are unable to view the image above, below are the points we share with all our students.

SECURING OUR ONLINE LESSONS

  • UNIQUE MEETING ID – Generated randomly at each new session.
  • PASSWORD-PROTECTED – Passwords are required for all meetings & changed regularly.
  • SCREEN-SHARING – Only VC teachers have permission to share their screens.
  • WAITING ROOM – Students will join a waiting room before teachers allow them to enter the meeting.

The drum teacher’s setup for online drum lessons

Alfe’s Setup

  • Windows 10 laptop
  • Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB audio interface
  • Electronic drum
  • Assorted cables

Unique setup: clip-on fish-eye so that students can see a more complete drumming angle

Vics’s setup

  • Mac laptop
  • iPad
  • Electronic drum
  • Assorted cables

Unique setup: 2 different video angles. This is useful in some teaching situations. However, this means there will be a 40-min limit for free account.

 

Advanced Setup (you likely missed)

ZOOM Audio setupZOOM Audio setup best
Before we figured out this audio setup, we had a hard time to get the drum to work over ZOOM. The system is designed for speech and not sudden spiking audio. So while the default setting allows your voice to sound loud and clear for your participants, it compresses and mutes the drum as soon as we hit it. Go to your ZOOM’s audio setting and set it up like this! You can thank us by sharing this to your friends, colleagues and students.

Conclusion

While it is not ideal to have drum lessons over video call, we are happy to be able to continue our lessons with our students! To all music teachers out there, stay strong and positive!

Rock Band Challenge IG Filter | Can you Play/Sing a tune right away?

By | Music Articles | No Comments

Rock Band Challenge IG Filter

From the makers (us) who brought you the SG United face mask Instagram filter, we now present the ROCK BAND CHALLENGE IG FILTER! The challenge is simple, get your instrument ready before hitting your video record button and wait for the random generator to show you the band logo. Once the band logo is up, play a short tune from the band! Or you can simply sing a line of that band! Sounds easy? We don’t think so!

Rock Band Challenge IG Filter

Do you dare to take on the Rock Band Challenge?

Rock Band Challenge IG Filter

Click on the icon above to get your daily dose of challenge! However, do remember that you do not need to play an instrument to this challenge. We welcome people to sing or get creative over this challenge. As the creator, we are curious to see how creative people can get. With the number of people being kept at home, I’m sure this can even become a family event! Or a community can get together over a video conference? Anyway, get started by clicking onto the icon above!

Share your challenge!

If you did try our challenge, share it and tag us @vinnieclassroom ! We will share our favourites on our Instagram and maybe even a compilation on our youtube channel!

SG United

SG United Instagram Filter | Let’s show how united we are!

By | News | No Comments

SG United Instagram Filter

We created some Instagram filter (s) to show our support to the SG United spirit! By now, most of us are probably used to the WFH and HBL lifestyle. The amount of time we saved on travelling also means that we gained time for other things! Some use this to bond with their family better and some take physical health more seriously. For Vinnie, apart from teaching and practicing his guitar, he took the chance to pick up a new skill. Making Instagram Filters!

SG United Instagram Filter

SG United Face Mask

The idea behind creating this filter is to get people to spread the important message of wearing a mask. So while we ask you to wear a mask when you are out doing essential work, we encourage you to continue to spread the message through social media too. To date, we still see endless reports of people disobeying the Circuit Breaker rules. Citizens are not taking the CB seriously enough. This means the effort of those who obey the rules will go to waste. So let’s continue to share the important message in our fight against this pandemic.

How to use the filter?

Unfortunately for Facebook users, these filters are currently only available on Instagram. If you have an Instagram account, click on the link below to access them. Alternatively, you can search for Vinnie Classroom on Instagram and look for the filter in our profile.

SG United Instagram Filter

SG United Instagram Filter

Stay Home Instagram Filter

Stay Home Instagram Filter

Click here if you wish to find out more about SG United!

covid 19 on air

We shared how the COVID-19 has affected us on radio | Didn’t went well…

By | Music Articles, News | No Comments

We shared how the COVID-19 has affected us on air

We went onto the radio to share how the COVID-19 has affected music schools in Singapore. Although we are supposed to be in a technological advance phase of human history, we are still not savvy enough! The live video call was hit hard by audio issues, viewers could not hear from our side. We tried all settings and nothing works. In the end, we had to ignore the video function and go old school.

covid 19 on radio

We shared about our challenges

We talked about how we tackled the restrictions due to the COVID-19 situation. Basically, our business is now fully dependent on the power of video conferencing. Thankfully, there are plenty of apps out there to help us out! Zoom, Skype, Facetime, Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger!

What are the basic requirements for Home-Based Learning?

home-based learning singaporefull home-based learning

Home-based learning isn’t as daunting as many would have thought. All you need are a reliable internet connection, a device that allows video calling and a room without your little brother disturbing you. If the piano sits in the living room of the household, family members will simply have to find a place to “hide” while the music lesson is taking place. However, with the new WFH and HBL going at full force, we are certain that families out there are readjusting their furniture to meet the new work and school requirements.

Here’s the radio interview!

Conclusion on the COVID-19 sharing session on radio

Firstly, a big THANK YOU to Kenneth Jianwen, Nana and Love 97.2fm for this opportunity to share our thoughts on the current situation! Though the session was short but it gave us an opportunity to share with everyone that music schools like us in Singapore are ready to provide the best music education for your child! Covid-19 or not.

While our *Free Trial Lesson is usually conducted in our centre, we now do it over a webcam! The experience you get will be beyond your expectations! If you are not sure, you can drop us a text on facebook messenger too!

massive guitar lesson on zoom us

Massive Zoom Guitar Lesson! | Fighting the COVID-19 with Guitar!

By | Music Articles | No Comments

Massive Zoom Guitar Lesson

We just ended our first massive ZOOM guitar lesson today! What an experience! The COVID-19 has suspended lessons in enrichment centres in Singapore since 26 March. Lessons will remain conducted over web conferencing until the end of April. However, this isn’t stopping us or slowing us down. Instead, we found a new way to connect with our students! We got everyone available together for our first ever guitar masterclass over a webcam!

Massive Zoom Guitar Lesson

Ok maybe not that massive 😀

Teething issues from our first group lesson

To organize a massive ZOOM guitar lesson isn’t easy! We found out some teething issues and hopefully they can help you run your lessons successfully!

Muting

Muting is a function available for both the host and the participants to use. Although weird at times to have nobody talking to you but we recommend to mute everyone when you are delivering your lesson material.

Screen Sharing

ZOOM US screen sharing option

If left unchecked, a mischievous participant can potentially jeopardize your lesson. We recommend you set this to “Host Only”. This function is only accessible through their setting page on their website.

Prepare Slides

Zoom Screen Sharing

This is more of a tip than an issue. Learning by a person talking away can be difficult for some. Slides provide a great way to get the points delivered easily! I also allow the students to be able to use the slides for a recap of the lessons later!

Conclusion

While it is never better than having a group lesson physically together,  it was great to see everyone again and learn something! The group agreed that this is meaningful and helps them get out of the dreary COVID-19 situation. The students were given assignments after the session and were looking forward to another round of web conferencing! Some suggested a longer session with more interaction!

While our *Free Trial Lesson is usually conducted in our centre, we now do it over a webcam! The experience you get will be beyond your expectations! If you are not sure, you can drop us a text on facebook messenger too!

Video snippets of our first virtual group lesson!

SYF 2020 cancelled

Singapore Youth Festival 2020 Cancelled | A tribute to our students!

By | Music Articles, News | No Comments

Singapore Youth Festival 2020 Cancelled

The Singapore Youth Festival 2020 is cancelled and it caused waves of sadness. Students put in endless hours of dedicated hard work to improve their skills. Some soldiers on with practices despite blisters or abrasion, others sacrificed their little free time for the team. It was a mammoth task, to begin with. Going from zero to hero in just 4 months time means every practice session must be as intensive as it can get. So one can imagine the level of disappointment when the students learn about the news. They were ready to take on the stage but it was not meant to be.

Singapore Youth Festival 2020 Cancellled

Photos of the students during their practice session

Leadership, teamwork, and creativity

Developing qualities like leadership, teamwork, and creativity is a real challenge for our academic driven education industry. Only through activities can we discover and mold the next generation of leaders. Allowing them to work together to understand the true meaning of being in a team. Giving them the tool and instrument to create something completely new. CCA, or Co-Curricular Activities, is the backbone of creating the next generation of amazing citizens. There is no argument that every child in Singapore must participate in a CCA and why it is good for their development. In fact, it is compulsory from a certain grade onwards to take part in a CCA. The importance of such activities goes beyond the classroom.

Students deserve a pad on their back

As mentioned in the SYF website, the decision to cancel this year’s SYF Art Presentation is not easy. However, in view of the evolving COVID-19 situation, we agree this painful decision is best for everyone. Nonetheless, we feel students all over Singapore who worked really hard for this year’s SYF deserves a pad on their back. All of them are a champion to us! We hope they will be able to pick themselves up quickly and proceed to soldier on like they always do!

 

video call music lessons

Video Conferencing for Music Lessons | Does it actually work?

By | Acoustic Guitar, Classical Piano, Drum, Electric Guitar, Music Articles, News, Piano, Pop Piano, Ukulele | No Comments

Video Conferencing for Music Lessons Experience!

While we are no strangers with conducting our music lessons via video conferencing for our students. some as far as Shanghai. The new measures from the Ministry of Health have effectively forced all our students to have their lessons over video calls! But does this mean the end of the music education industry? Probably not!

video conferencing music lessonsMusic Lessons | The COVID 19 style

Ideally, music lessons should be done in a conducive room with proper instruments and equipment. The acoustics of the room should also be treated properly with professional-grade acoustic treatment walls to remove unwanted reverb and echo. The lighting of the room must be at the right lux level. These are now considered luxuries.

With the current COVID-19 situation, we converted all our music lessons to video conferencing! Though easier said than done, we really wanted the best for our students! Rooms have to be rearranged, workstation setup to match the requirement of video calling and endless troubleshooting. At the end of the day, the smile on our student’s face is what that matters.

With that, we bravely embraced our first day of full-on online lessons today!

video call music lessons

Video-calling problems we faced and how we solve them

We would be lying if we were to say that it went smooth sailing. With all the issues, we had to put all our brains together! Sometimes to the extent of researching through the entire ocean of articles online. So if you are a music teacher, perhaps we might be able to offer some tips!

Audio Troubleshooting

  1. Make sure students always uncheck the “automatically adjust microphone volume” function.
  2. If you are using the laptop’s mic, keep a distance from your device.

Even with the automatic volume adjuster unchecked, a spike in volume will still cause the app to compress the audio hard. As we would have guessed, apps like this are created with speaking in mind. When a loud volume is detected, the app will push it down to prevent the other users from blowing their speakers. We had no issues with Ukulele and Piano but all the trouble with Drumset.

To combat the issue of feeding the drum’s signal in without having a problem, we mic-ed the entire drumset! Signals are sent into a USB audio interface that is then connected to the computer. The microphone source will be the USB device. This allows us to tweak the input volume accordingly. Things will definitely be easier if you have a digital drumset with a USB connection.

Our guitar rooms are also rigged with a USB mixer. As such, we line our electric guitar directly into the mixer with IR technology. We line our acoustic guitar and ukulele into a DI box and speak through a condenser microphone.

Video Troubleshooting

  1. Daylight from windows will help with illuminating the video
  2. Using a decent stand to help with adjusting the camera angle

piano room lightingMost of us hardly use the camera on our laptop, some don’t even know it exists! Some of us live in a dimly lit room and that is bad for video conferencing. So the first requirement is for the student to be able to have decent lighting in their room. While this isn’t an issue with most instruments, this is a common problem with Piano students.

The user back face the room’s light source with the piano to the wall. This results in the shadow of the student to cast on their hands.

Thankfully, solving this is easy! All you need is to place a small table lamp on your piano! This is especially cool on rainy nights when the table lamp is all you turn on to practice your piano with.

 

The camera angle for chatting with your friends or for a business meeting is very different from teaching and learning musical instruments. The laptop-camera was not designed for music lessons in mind. As a teacher, we want to view the students’ playing from a high to low angle. Think of how teachers usually sit next to the student in the room. So the same height and angle are important. As for demonstrating, various instruments require different angles. Piano prefers a top-down angle, guitar prefers a slanted front angle and drum prefers an over the shoulder angle. So the most basic requirement for video music lessons is perhaps a good stand to hold your device. Watch the video posted by Vinnie demonstrating to his students to get a better understanding!

 

Conclusion

Our first day of video conferencing music lessons went fairly smoothly! Classes went on as scheduled without much hiccups. Students were happy and satisfied with the lessons. It gave us the confidence to proceed with more of such lessons! With more fine-tuning, we will be able to provide lessons with even better quality and efficiency!

Normally we ask you to sign for our free trial lesson, we now ask all those who are interested to join us for the music lesson experience of 2020!

piano lesson video call

COVID 19 STATEMENT

26 March 2020 | Covid-19 Vinnie Classroom Update

By | News | No Comments

Vinnie Classroom Singapore26 March 2020

Dear Students/Parents,

On Tuesday, when new measures were introduced to curb the coronavirus outbreak, we were hesitant to adopt them and were even hoping we could somehow be excluded from them.

But the Covid-19 update yesterday was unsettling. Compared to Tuesday’s update, the number of local cases doubled from 17 to 35, of which 8 were unlinked, and 14 cases were linked to PCF Sparkletots at Fengshan. This is, by no means, indicative of any upward trend, but a reminder that we cannot afford to take chances anymore. Vinnie Classroom has precautionary measures in place, but the latest cluster reminded us that no set of measures will make us an impenetrable fortress.

It is not our intention to spread panic, but it is a fact that about 400 infected patients have now come under the care of our healthcare workers, who still have to attend to their regular load of patients. We do not wish to contribute to the burden, so the next best thing that we can do is to keep our physical social interaction to a minimum.

Therefore, in the interest of our students and the community,

  • We will suspend all lessons from 27 March to 15 April.
    To facilitate this, we will bring forward the course holidays in Term 2.
    Please refer to the updated course calendar for Term 2.
  • From 16 April to 30 April, only online lessons will take place.
    To facilitate continual learning, we will conduct online lessons via Zoom, and technical guidance will be provided.
    Tentatively, from 1 May onwards, we may or may not resume normal lessons within the premises of Vinnie Classroom, depending on the situation.

The Covid-19 situation changes every day. We acknowledge that what we have is not a perfect response and will present different challenges to different students. We will fine-tune them accordingly. Over the next few days, we will get in touch with every parent or student individually to provide more details and guidance on the setup requirements.

In this trying period, very few aspects of our lives are shown mercy. While we hope that you will understand our difficulties, we urge you to be open about any difficulties you may be facing as well, so that we can work towards a sustainable solution together.

Stay home. Stay strong. Stay optimistic. Stay united.

Yours sincerely
Vinnie Classroom

COVID 19 STATEMENT

20200325 Covid-19 Vinnie Classroom Statement

By | News | No Comments

Vinnie Classroom Singapore25 March 2020

Dear Students/Parents,

As many of you may have read yesterday, the Covid-19 multi-ministry taskforce introduced additional precautionary measures to be implemented from this Thursday, 2359hrs onwards. Of them, one was that center-based tuition and enrichment classes will be suspended. Another restricted certain gatherings to a limit of 10 people.

At this moment, we are unsure whether we will be required to suspend all our lessons as well. 95% of our lessons are held one-to-one. During our peak hour on Saturday, we are able to keep below the limit of 10 people within our premise. We have proper hygiene practices in place, disinfecting common surfaces at least twice a day, temperature-taking, compulsory handwashing, etc.

The teachers had a meeting last night to discuss contingency plans and we are in close contact with industry partners and sharing information. We have reached out to the Ministry of Health, and once we receive a confirmed directive, we will update you right away.

Some of you have expressed that it is ok for your child to continue to come to our school for lessons. Vinnie and I are extremely heartened to have your continued support during this tough period. We foresee tougher times ahead, but because of you, we are able to keep our spirits up and continue to have faith in the work we do.

Yours sincerely

Vinnie & Zee