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Looking for Music Lessons in Singapore? (Part 3)

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Looking for Music Lessons in Singapore?

Looking for music lessons in Singapore? Read on and find out more in this 3rd and final installment in our series.

Should you choose a ‘music school near me’ ?

It is tempting to opt for convenience when it comes to taking music lessons. However,  this may not be the wisest choice to make. A good music school must have an environment that is conducive to learning. Choose a music school with dedicated studios that are well-maintained and equipped with quality instruments. Some schools may also hold recitals which go a step further by allowing students to integrate performing and all its benefits as part of their learning experience.

VCR 3 Final shot          electric guitar lesson singapore

Should you sign into a music school for children only?

Your child actually benefits if he learns at a music school that is open to both adults/teenagers and children. They grow by getting to experience and interact with peers and older students who are at different levels. What’s more, there is the benefit of being exposed to a variety of musical instruments. With only 30 minutes to one hour of lesson time per week, a music school environment produces better results as the focus at that time is on learning music.

Look out for credible partnerships

Aside from certification, a school that works with multiple other organisations makes it more trustworthy as it has achieved a level of success at an organisational level. When a music academy partners with other schools, it shows that it has proven itself as an academy that is able to provide an all-rounded music education.

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Posted by Vinnie Classroom on Wednesday, 4 May 2016

What should you look out for before signing up?

Do the owners of the school know about music? Have they taught or performed professionally? Do they have the credentials required to appropriately address the needs of students? It is important that the school you choose has the right values to nurture and develop that passion for music.

Not all students fit the same mould. A fixed curriculum or program may restrict learning and exploration of a student’s potential. Check if the school has one-on-one sessions that can be tailored to the student’s musical background and interests. The school should also use recognised teaching materials and exam syllabi or have developed their own syllabus that is student-centered and adaptable to individual needs.

 

Looking for Music Lessons in Singapore? (Part 1)

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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!

 

 

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!

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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!

Mark Murphy ANZCA Drum Examiner Singapore

ANZCA Drum examiner, Mark Murphy, shares insights!

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Mark Murphy ANZCA Drum Examiner Singapore

Mark Murphy is the author and examiner for ANZCA drum examination. Mark is a very inspiring drummer to watch. Every of his note is musical! You could say that his drumming is melodious! 

Anzca drum exam singapore

The workshop organised by the school gave me a deeper understanding on the syllabus and how entire grading system works! The pieces from the different levels was really good because it covers a lot of technicality, genres and wide arrangements of playing styles. It urges me to take on their diploma program! Hoping to start it real soon. Thank you Mark Murphy and Greg Stone for sharing so much of stuffs in the short time and answering all the questions thrown to you guys, also great shout to both key person that organised this for us, Vinnie and Zee.
– Joash

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“I really appreciate the effort from Mark Murphy and Greg Stone for making the trip down to Vinnie Classroom, ensuring that we understands the ANZCA syllabus. The session was informative, and at the same time inspiring. Not only did Mark showed us how were the syllabus structured, but also explained why did he craft it in such a way that it’s going to help all drummers out there eventually. It was an awesome experience chatting with the man behind the books.”

– Vics Vapor Mah

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The meeting was informative and an eye opener to the syllabus. I learned a lot about the syllabus and will definitely consider the syllabus for my students. Mark is very knowledgable and passion about drum education, very impressed.
– Zhiyang

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Thank you for dropping by and sharing all the knowledge so selflessly! Mark Murphy and Greg Stone, we were all very thankful for your visit and the insightful session! Looking forward to meeting you again!

social outreach program singapore

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

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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!