Group photo of participants with ANZCA Piano Asia Representative Ms. Audrey Chin.
An ANZCA Piano syllabus refresher!
Following our introductory ANZCA session in 2017, Vinnie Classroom organized a refresher session for the local ANZCA community yesterday. The ANZCA Seminar 2019 for Piano Syllabus was a success! Hands were shaken and new connections were made, as both existing and new ANZCA teachers came together in our humble little music school in Upper Thomson.
Piano teachers sharing their ideas and experiences.
ANZCA Piano Asia Representative, Ms Audrey Chin
Ms. Audrey Chin, the Asia representative for ANZCA, gave an overview of the syllabus for Modern and Classical stream students. She also treated us with a sampler of ANZCA’s new Jazz Syllabus, targeted at students Grade 4 and above. Audrey also shared some new insights regarding the Performance Syllabus and answered many of our questions about various aspects of the syllabus requirements. It was such a content-packed session!
Jazz Piano Syllabus (ANZCA)
ANZCA community in Singapore
Although ANZCA examinations may not be familiar to some, but the community for ANZCA in Singapore is supportive and welcomes every dedicated teacher! Therefore, if you’re a teacher and would like to be kept updated on the latest ANZCA events in Singapore, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
May the fourth be with you! #guitar #guitarensemble #singapore #vinnieclassroom #upperthomson #acoustic #acousticguitar #starwars #imperialmarch #starwarsmaintheme #nlps #eatsleepguitar #sgguitar #sgmusic #sgmusiclesson #maytheforcebewithyou #maythefourthbewithyou #maytheforkbewithyou #maythefoxbewithyou #maythefrostingbewithyou #maythefrothbewithyou #maythefrogbewithyou #maythefoodbewithyou #maythefunkbewithyou
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.
2017 was an exciting year for us, as we formally adopted the ANZCA syllabus as our main offering for piano students. This brought us more in line with our teaching aim, which is to provide an all-inclusive music education that grooms students to be versatile musicians who are able to put their skills to practical use in various settings.
Audrey demonstrating the songs from the syllabus effortlessly
Teachers, students and parents has been praising the syllabus for its varied repertoire and flexible choices! Especially for those moving away from a more traditional approach to learning the piano.
Vinnie Classroom is no stranger to ANZCA Piano Syllabus
ANZCA Piano Examiner Maureen Grieve when she was here to conduct the piano examination in 2018.
ANZCA Examiner Misa Yamamoto was here in Vinnie Classroom to conduct the piano examination 2019.
Vinnie Classroom had the honor to conduct 2 rounds of ANZCA Piano Examination back in 2018 and 2019. We had received positive feedback about our location and facilities. Because we understand how it can be stressful to perform at a new venue, therefore we provide our candidates with a warm-up room. As a result, private piano examiners were very delighted! They now have a couple more minutes to prepare their students before entering the examination room. Certainly a bonus for everyone participating.
ANZCA Piano in Singapore
This year, we are very happy to receive Audrey once more. Vinnie Classroom will be hosting a Q&A session as a step-up, for fellow teachers of the ANZCA community in Singapore. The event will take place on 17 October 2019, from 9.30am to 12.00pm, and it is free.
Star Wars fans out there will need no reminder that May 4th is Star Wars Day!
Remember too, Yoda’s famous quote:
Do. Or do not. There is no Try (From The Empire Strikes Back).
Commit yourself to something completely, win or lose.
May the Force be with You!
Vinnie’s guitar heroes at the Singapore Youth Festival Arts Presentation Guitar Ensemble.
When Practice makes almost Perfect
A big pat on the back for our student,
Nigel Oh who was awarded a distinction
for his Grade 1 Acoustic Guitar exam,conducted by the London College of Music.
Nigel started learning the instrument a
little more than a year ago. Nigel’s teacher
Mr Tan Swee Siang said, “It’s a
pleasure to teach Nigel. He’s a keen learner and
interested. I’m seeing talent in him
and I’m proud of his achievement!”
Nigel said, “I feel this sense of accomplishment
and satisfaction for my first exam! I am
determined and looking forward to
master more from my mentor!”
Well done, Nigel!
The fact that Avengers: Endgame was 3 hours long and no one so much as complained says something about this epic superhero movie. We pay tribute to the Avengers theme song which carries so much power and heart. Vinnie Classroom salutes this iconic finale with an acoustic fingerstyle arrangement, so enjoy!
YouTube Drumming Sensation in Singapore German drummer Anika Nilles built up a name for herself with 17 million views of her videos. Anika’s playing style is distinguished by her strong groove, her finesse in technique, and her unique sound! Born into a family of drummers, she started drumming herself at age six. Anika is conducting a Masterclass on 18 May at 6.30pm, B1 Star Plaza at the Star Vista. The event is open to the public. We will be there to watch this drum maestro live in action, so join us if you can!
14 -16 May Vinnie School Holidays
15 May – 12 June Registration open for ANZCA Exams Series 2
(Speak with your piano teacher if you think you’re ready)
1 May – 25 Sept Registration open for Rockschool Exams Tour C.
(If you want to register let your guitar/drums teacher know)
29 June VCR 4 (watch this space for more details)
10 – 12 June Rockschool Tour B Exams
16 – 18 June Asian Supreme Drum Competition Qualifying Round
Music Facts You Didn’t Know Listening to music while working out can improve performance. It’s true! Music provides an ideal accompaniment when you exercise. Not only does music divert the mind from sensations of fatigue, loud, upbeat music can also
“psych you up”. Musical tempo helps synchronize movements which leads you to perform more efficiently and trains endurance! So next time you work out, choose a
playlist that will make you feel good. And also lets you burn more calories at the same time!
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
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!
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.
“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.”
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.
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!
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!
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! ☺