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Acoustic Guitar

Looking for Music Lessons in Singapore? (Part 1)

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

Looking for Music Lessons in Singapore?

Many music schools

So you’ve decided to take up music lessons. Now you need to decide which music instrument you want to master. These include piano, keyboard, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, ukulele or drums, just to name a few. After that, there are many avenues for learning music in Singapore. The proliferation of music schools just means that your choice becomes more difficult because too many options can sometimes lead to confusion! There are also many different music genres and styles: classical music, traditional folk, pop, rock, country, jazz, and blues. The list goes on. Most schools offer classical music training but some focus on more contemporary Pop and Rock music. Whatever you choose, remember to learn at your own pace, at your own convenience and timing to get the most out of the experience.

Should lessons be exam-based?

Singapore is all about qualifications. However, should music lessons revolve around prepping students for exams only? While this may be the case for some music schools, there are others that cater to a more well-rounded student. Afterall, there is certainly more to learning music than exams. Some schools organise ensembles or recitals where students learn how to perform in front of a ‘live’ audience. They also get to experience working as part of a band. Another possible avenue of creativity is having students learn how to perform in recordings for Youtube videos that will be eventually uploaded onto the internet. All these add variety and a different learning experience for students!

Music Lessons for MEP or DSA

The Music Elective Programme (MEP) is offered by the Ministry of Education to provide students with an aptitude for music to pursue a deeper study in music listening and music making. Music lessons at a good music school can boost and equip young musicians with musical knowledge to support performance and any other musical endeavours they may embark on even after leaving school. Students aiming to qualify under the Direct Schools Admission (DSA) programme can also bolster their music repertoire. This is especially so if they are exposed live performances offered at some music schools, apart from the usual examination-based syllabus.

Whatever your reasons for pursuing a music education, rest assured that there are good schools out there who can partner you in your search for quality and provide many opportunities to improve your playing standards. Look out for Part 2 of our post on Music Schools in Singapore. Coming to you soon!

 

 

mid-autumn festival

Mid-Autumn Festival and Music

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In Chinese culture, music is an expression of the perfect harmony between the Earth, human beings, and the heavens above. Many ancient Chinese scholars composed music and poetry to praise the moon’s celestial power and its beauty. The Mid-Autumn Festival began in the early Tang Dynasty (618–907). It is now almost as important as Chinese New Year as one of the top traditional Chinese festivals.

The Mid-autumn Festival is associated with the moon and “moon appreciation” (shangyue) parties. This is partly because the moon is at its brightest during this time. This Festival is also known as the Reunion Festival. Not surprisingly, mooncakes, shaped round like the full moon, signify reunion. Origin stories of the festival can be found here.

Called Mid-autumn because it falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, the Festival is on 13 September this year. As you celebrate it, remember the connection between music and the moon – whose eternal nature inspired Chinese artistic tradition.

People always recall this song “The Moon Represents My Heart” during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Given the significance of the moon in Chinese culture, it expresses a love that is unchanging, like the moon. You too can learn how to play this piece on an acoustic guitar or the piano!

VCR4

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VCR4

A Solid 'One-Night Only' Performance!

VCR4, held on 29 June 2019, comprised lively pop hits from different genres.

Our playlist was an eclectic mix of familiar favourites like Bohemian Rhapsody, Perfect and Rosanna to Chinese, Japanese and K-pop tracks and even a jazzed-up version of Chopsticks and an original teacher-composed Cabbage song!

Click on the link to see more photos of our students lighting up the stage!

See More Photos
Anyone Can Do It

We were simply born to make music

Are you feeling inspired? Do you want the experience of playing in a real band in front of a live audience?

Just sign up at Vinnie Classroom and you can be part of a band and join in the fun at our next recital!
2020 promises to be a year of great musical expectations!

how to create a prodigy

How to cultivate a child prodigy!

By | Acoustic Guitar, Classical Piano, Drum, Electric Guitar, Music Articles, Music Instruments, Pop Piano, Ukulele | One Comment

Is your child a Mozart in the making? How does one identify a child prodigy? At some point in parenthood, we all wish that our kid will one day become a child prodigy. But what is a prodigy? Is it possible to cultivate a child prodigy or does it take certain prerequisites? In this article, we discuss how to discover the prodigy in your child and how you can help your child become one.

Step 1: Start early!

LIKE FROM 9 MONTHS OLD!

Recent research show that the golden window for music education starts as early as 9 months old and can significantly enhance a child’s neural response to both speech and music. While music lessons for babies are readily available, bringing an infant for music lessons may seem like a far-fetched idea to some. So here are some ways you can provide your child with music education from the comforts of your own home:

Play soothing and easy-to-listen to music to your child regularly. While listening to the music,

  • Tap to the beat on their hand (or buttocks if you wish).
  • Gently move their arms and sway to the rhythm.
  • Do the good ol’ peek-a-boo but in sync with the beat.
  • Dance rhythmically in their view as a form of entertainment for them.
  • Hold their hands and assist them in playing simple rhythms on any percussion.
  • Let them watch you play a music instrument.
  • Sing the pitch C when you teach the alphabet C.

The ideas are endless! Simply run a search on Google and see them flood in!


Step 2: Create a musical environment at home!

Studies have shown that children who learn music from young age also show signs of excellence in other aspects of their development. Playing music is like doing a workout for your brain. As we play music, our brain forms signal paths in our nerve system to perform the complex task of playing a piece of music.

Let us illustrate this remarkable process with a step-by-step example:

*Ryan plays the C major scale with 4 correct notes and 4 wrong notes* 
Ryan's brain records 8 notes played  
*Teacher points the wrong notes out to Ryan* 
Ryan's brain updates and replaces the wrong note 
*Ryan attempts playing the C major scale again but with 2 wrong notes. Teacher corrects Ryan.* 
Ryan's brain updates and replaces the wrong note  
*Ryan attempts playing the C major scale once more, and this time he played every note correctly* 
*Teacher notes that Ryan has now corrected his neural connections and encourages Ryan to continue practicing to strengthen neural plasticity*
This is an ideal situation where the student learns quickly under a teacher's guidance, usually possible with children who have been exposed to music from as early as 9 months old (as described at Stage 1 of our article). What has happened seems straightforward – the student is able to play correctly soon after the teacher points out the mistakes. However, the underlying process is more complicated than that; it involves the child's cognitive ability to read the music score, converting that information into fine motor skills, receiving feedback from the various sensories (eg. sight, sound and touch) before forming a neural path and then into the memory storage. There are multi-level neural processes that happen simultaneously even though the student only has to play one note at a time, and they take place at various speeds, depending on the child’s brain development (remember the golden window for music education?). Some children are able to acquire new skills after just one lesson while others may some take months. However, it is almost certain that as long as the brain gets its required amount of training, the neural paths will always be able to form to achieve the desired outcome.

 

In early childhood education, play is crucial. Unstructured play, especially, enhances the child’s brain development and nurtures their creativity when they form their own play rules and come up with solutions to problems.

In early childhood stages, children spend most of their time at home when not in school. By creating a musical environment at home, parents set the stage for creative learning with games like guessing the note, drawing a picture based on what a song makes them feel, pretending to be a rockstar at home, call-and-echo games and creating a dance to a song. The ideas are endless, but it must be noted that it is important parents set aside some time to engage their children.

If parents are equipped with basic music knowledge and are able to engage their children in musical activities right at home, it could be a very rewarding bonding experience that is efficient at the same time. Imagine saving thousands of dollars a year on music education!

This is testing the limits of Dylan’s ears. Dylan has been exposed, from 5 months prenatal,
to the same high information music education system now available in the baby brain training app found at nuryl.com
Vinnie Classroom Recital 3

VCR3

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VCR3

Music of the Eras

Our students and teachers put up a fantastic 16-band performance during our 3rd annual recital!

Held at the Gateway Theatre Black Box, VCR3 tracked the different music genres through a timeline that started from the 1940s all the way through to the 21st century! Educational as well as inspirational!

Thank you to all our students and parents... for all the kind words of encouragement, and for giving us the opportunity to showcase what the teachers and students of Vinnie Classroom can achieve together!

social outreach program singapore

5 Reasons why you should send your kids for lessons this 2016!

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

1) COGNITIVE TRAINING

 

As from the Wikipedia source:

The term brain fitness reflects a hypothesis that cognitive abilities can be maintained or improved by exercising the brain, in analogy to the way physical fitness is improved by exercising the body.

In order for us to be smarter, we need to exercise our brain. This can be achieved through music playing. It is a common sight to see top students doing well in music. It is an equally-common misconception that these students are able to play a musical instrument well because of their ability to study well. Actually, this could work both ways.

There are indeed many ways and methods to do cognitive training but what else can be more fun and enjoyable than picking up a music instrument?
Watch former U.S. President Bill Clinton on the saxophone!


 

2) CREATIVE THINKING

In music, there is never a one-way path or model answer. Music is an art form and because of that, there are always multiple ways to solve a problem using different approaches! This improves how a child would tackle daily problems – they would be able to come up with various ways to complete a certain task better! Creative thinking is also something that is fundamentally-lacking in most people born and raised in Singapore. Most of us are “model answer” and “10-year series” students. But in life, there is hardly a model answer to things.

Watch our how our lessons are conducted!


3) TEAMWORK AND SOCIAL SKILL

In a musical band, there is no place for anyone to stand in a corner and simply ‘play along’. There is a high need to interact with the other musicians. The next time you see a ‘getai’ performance, take a walk to the back of the stage area where the band is. You’ll be surprised they are able to communicate to each other without the need to talk. The common words used in the music industry to describe this would be “tight” or “solid”. This refers to the band being able to play as one. Try clapping 10 claps with someone next to you now and try doing that with a group of 5 or more. You will realize it gets more difficult as the number of members increases. This is when teamwork comes into play. Behind glamorous stage performances, band members often have to go through multiple conflicts and conflict resolutions. They will learn to exhibit a high level of teamwork as they grow as a band. They will learn how to be more sociable, which in turn increases their EQ level.

Watch the Vinnie Classroom Band perform Mr Big – Nothing But Love! See how important teamwork is in a band!


4) LEADERSHIP SKILL

Needless to say, in order to get a group of people working together, there must be a leader. I’m sure you’ve been into this awful situation where you meet up with a group of friends but have no idea where to head after dinner! This doesn’t mean that everyone will need to fight to be the leader of the band. There’s always the possibility of taking turns to have a say in a band and that’s what playing in a band is about. Students lack sufficient opportunities to develop their leadership skills in a typical classroom environment. Or even, should they join any CCA, they’ll need to be the the selected few in order to have any say. On the contrary, in a typical 4-piece band for instance, your child is responsible for 25% of the overall decision making.


5) GAIN CONFIDENCE AND BE HUMBLE AT THE SAME TIME

There are only a few types of activities that will help your child gain confidence and be humble at the same time, and they are usually extreme sports and the less extreme music. A budding musician will learn that there are many others who can play as well or even better than them. This keeps them checked and forces them to stay humble. They gain confidence by gaining valuable experience from performing their music. Be it on camera or in a live performance setting, their confidence levels increase as they perform.

Watch a performance from our first recital last year!


CONCLUSION:

Here at Vinnie Classroom, we want to empower the next generation through music. We believe music education is the key to bringing out the potential in everyone, young or old. Music lessons can be a great alternative to boring tuition which often comes at a hefty price. If your child has never learned any musical instrument, why not give it a try? If they took lessons but stopped, find out why and encourage them to pick it up again. If you are the child, show this article to your parents and start your musical journey! ☺

Find out what we have to offer here!

Vinnie Classroom Recital 1

VCR1

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First ever recital!

We held our inaugural Vinnie Classroom Recital in December 2015 at The Analog Factory. The atmosphere was cosy and family-like and this maiden performance was an unforgettable experience for our students. Definitely a good learning event for us and we have built upon that for our subsequent recitals which have become bigger and better over the years!