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VCRX Vinnie Classroom Recital

VCRX – Vinnie Classroom 10th Anniversary

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VCRX – Vinnie Classroom 10th Anniversary Recital

VCRX Vinnie Classroom Recital

Vinnie Classroom 10th Anniversary Recital – VCRX

VCRX – Vinnie Classroom 10th Anniversary Recital
Celebrating a Decade of Musical Excellence: Reflections on Our 10th Anniversary Recital

As we gather to celebrate Vinnie Classroom 10th anniversary of our music school (VCRX), we are filled with immense pride and gratitude during this recital. Our recent recital was not only a showcase of our students’ incredible talent but also a testament to the journey we have undertaken together. This milestone is a significant one, marked by perseverance, dedication, and the unwavering support of our community.

Vinnie Classroom Music Lessons

Students performing at Vinnie Classroom Recital

A Journey of Perseverance

Our music school’s inception was fraught with challenges. Establishing a place where aspiring musicians could nurture their talents required hard work and determination. From finding the right instructors to creating a curriculum that balanced technical skill with artistic expression, every step was a learning experience. We faced skepticism and financial hurdles, but our belief in the transformative power of music kept us going.

Overcoming the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic was an unprecedented challenge that tested our resilience. As the world went into lockdown, we had to swiftly adapt to ensure our students’ musical journeys continued uninterrupted. Transitioning to online lessons was no small feat; it required upgrading our technology, training our instructors, and reimagining our teaching methods. We encountered obstacles, from technical difficulties to maintaining student engagement, but our community’s spirit never wavered.

During this period, the support from parents and adult students was invaluable. Parents trusted us with their children’s musical education, adapting to new routines and ensuring their children remained committed to their practice. Adult students, too, embraced the new normal, finding solace and joy in their lessons amidst the uncertainty. Their dedication reinforced our belief in the importance of music as a source of comfort and resilience.

Post-Pandemic Growth

As we transitioned out of the pandemic, we faced new challenges. Returning to in-person lessons required careful planning and adherence to safety protocols. However, this period also presented opportunities for growth. We integrated the best aspects of our online teaching into our in-person classes, offering a hybrid model that catered to diverse needs. This adaptability allowed us to expand our reach and accommodate students from different geographical locations.

Students of Vinnie Classroom putting their best foot forward

Students of Vinnie Classroom putting their best foot forward

A Heartfelt Thank You

Our 10th anniversary recital was a resounding success, a celebration of not just our students’ progress but also the collective effort of our entire community. We owe this achievement to the unwavering support of parents who entrusted us with their children’s musical education. Your belief in our vision has been the cornerstone of our success. To our adult students, your enthusiasm and commitment have been truly inspiring. Your passion for learning and growth has enriched our school in countless ways.

Looking Ahead

As we look to the future, we are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. We remain committed to providing high-quality music education that nurtures talent and fosters a lifelong love of music. Our journey has been shaped by the challenges we have faced and the community that has supported us. Together, we will continue to create beautiful music and inspiring stories.

Thank you for being a part of our musical journey. Here’s to many more years of harmony, growth, and success! Empowering the next generation through music!

With heartfelt gratitude,

Vinnie, Zee, Leonard and Victor
Vinnie Classroom

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Vinnie Classroom Reunion 5

Vinnie Classroom Reunion 5

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Vinnie Classroom Reunion 5

Vinnie Classroom Reunion 5

Perhaps the best reunion of the year! The Vinnie Classroom Reunion!

Vinnie Classroom Reunion was perhaps the main highlight for many of us! It was an event that was shelved for 2 years due to the pandemic and its regulations. Most of us ended up forgetting what it is like to be on stage, to perform with others, and the point of learning an instrument altogether. But that 2 years of darkness are over and we are so glad we did this.

VC recital

Why Reunion?

If you are a long-time student of Vinnie Classroom, you would have noticed the change in our recital name. Coined by our dear Ms. Zee, we changed the title from Vinnie Classroom Recital to Vinnie Classroom Reunion. The new word couldn’t be any more appropriate, the event is literally a reunion of everyone from VC. We get together to mingle, feast(on light snacks), perform, and cheer each other on! While it does move away from our big and formal show, this new format gives us the warm and fuzzy feeling of a big family coming together!

The Quiet Set

VCR 2022Piano Recital Singapore

Piano Lessons SingaporeGuitar Ukulele Singapore

We had a very different recital format as compared to our previous attempts. There are no dim lights, no colorful moving lights and the room isn’t black! Instead, the stage was presented with this clean and white look, representing a fresh start like a blank canvas. The performers were also separated into 2 different sets, the Quiet and the Noisy. For the Quiet set, the audience was treated to a collection of beautiful performances from our Piano, Acoustic Guitar, and Ukulele students.

The key advantage to this format of performance is to allow our students to have the freedom to choose a song that represents them the best. They can go for a technical piece to showcase their current abilities or a song that made them fall in love with their instrument. Compared to performing in a band, performing solo/duet means they can express themselves better!

The Noisy Set

Drum Lessons for kidsDrum Lessons Singapore

Drums Sg

As the name implies, the Noisy Set definitely changed the atmosphere with all the loud thumping! Drummers provide the heartbeat to a song, setting the grooves and tempo right! Our new recital format allows our drummers to shine by choosing songs that best allow them to demonstrate their level of musicianship.

Band life forever

Rock band Singapore

Students performing Sweet Child O Mine

Although it is a great idea to showcase our student’s musicianship, nothing beats the fun of jamming in a band! Solo performances focus on technicality and individuality, lacking the option for students to practice teamwork and coordination skills. So why only 2 bands for this recital? Well, long story short, COVID. The ever changing rules and regulations made it impossible for us to plan our recital and to coordinate students for rehearsals. It wasn’t until mid 2022 that we were given the green light to run live performances, but by then it was already too late. Students are budding musicians, not seasoned performers. They need a good amount of preparation time to get themselves ready before they can hit the stage.

Kids band Singapore

Students performing Bad Guy

If you have noticed, there are no singers on stage! And yet, the kids band performed Bad Guy – Billie Eillish and the adult band performed Sweet Child O Mine – Guns and Roses. 

The secret is… AUDIO ENGINEERING! 

Students were actually performing to a backing track that contained parts like vocal, sound effects and misceallaneous percussion tracks. Sent directly to their In-Ear-Monitor (and not to the audience) includes the metronome and various guides to keep them oriented throughout the performance. This type of performance requires musicians to be extremely sensitive to the tempo with no room for errors. The tempo sensitive nature allows syncronized background video. Enhancing their performance and bringing the quality of the show to the next level.

Vinnie Classroom is planning on offer Rockschool’s Music Production . Contact us if you are interested!

Any videos?

Yes! But they are still baking in the oven. Check back often!

Plans for next recital?

With Covid-19 restrictions out of the way and our first recital in 2 years done and dusted, we feel the confidence on embarking onto the next one. The next recital will definitely feature more bands, more impressive solos, more jaw dropping duets and most importantly another round of happy reunion! Join us for lessons today and be part of our next reunion!

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 One Comment

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

TO PUSH OR NOT TO PUSH?

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Do we push our children or not, to learn a musical instrument? Even if you didn’t know before, you will – after reading this – value the cognitive benefits learning an instrument can give children. And help them later on as adults too. Based on our experience at Vinnie Classroom, we firmly believe that having a healthy passion, like a musical instrument, can also help keep kids on the straight and narrow.

To force or not to force?

We’ve never heard an adult say “I’m so glad my parents let me quit piano lessons.” Instead, nearly every adult that was once taking piano lessons says: “I wish my parents made me keep up with piano lessons and not give up so early.”

Based on studies (read below), it can only be beneficial to direct our children to take lessons of some instrument. Possibly even one of their choosing. And can’t we also tell our kids – much like we do with studying – that they must practice an instrument? And do this without bringing out the Tiger-parent in us?

Help your child get curious about music so that he or she can develop a desire to engage with music. Let your child play around with different instruments. Listen to music, attend concerts and sing together. Your child will naturally want to imitate you. So a big motivation for children to practice is seeing their parents getting involved with music themselves.

Sometimes lack of enthusiasm may be a signal that it’s time to switch instruments. This also means you may need to be flexible. While it may be expensive to allow a child to start and stop several different activities, try to work with your child to find one he or she enjoys and is motivated to practice.

Evidence-Based Benefits of Learning an Instrument (And Learning It Early)

It increases brain matter

A Harvard neurologist in a 2003 study found that adult professional musicians have a higher level of gray matter volume in the motor, auditory, and visual-spatial regions of their brain than non-musicians. A later study showed that positive structural brain changes take place in young children – average age of 6.3 years – after only 15 months of musical training.

It helps stave off the effect of aging on the brain

A 2011 study demonstrated that having learned an instrument can slow the aging process on your brain. In the study, researchers divided 70 older adults – ages 60 to 83 – into three groups. Those who had studied an instrument for more than ten years, those who had played for one to nine years, and those who had never learned an instrument.

Each group was then given a battery of neuropsychological tests. The group that had played an instrument for the longest scored the highest. In these areas: nonverbal memory recall, visuomotor speed and sequencing, and cognitive flexibility.

The same researcher in a 2012 study confirmed the findings of the previous study. It also suggested that learning an instrument before the age of nine and studying that instrument for at least ten years results in the greatest benefits. Those who met these criteria in the study outperformed non-musicians. In these areas: verbal working memory, verbal memory, verbal fluency, visuospatial, and planning functions.

So, let your child learn an instrument, especially early in life, and stick with it. You won’t regret it because this has positive, long-lasting effects on your child’s brain!

Ukulele for the Young and Young-at-Heart

By Music Articles, Newsletter, Student's Videos, Ukulele, Uncategorized No Comments

Ukulele for the Young and Young-at-Heart

Popular with the Young and Old

Why do we recommend Ukulele lessons for the young and the young-at-heart? That’s because the ukulele is arguably the easiest instrument to pick up! Some of us have had a chance to play the ukulele. Some have even strummed it randomly without any attempt at making it musical. After all, it does look like a miniature toy guitar!

In truth, the ukulele is really a fun little instrument! And very friendly on the fingers with its nice soft nylon strings. Plus it’s light and easy to carry around! And there’s no pressure on you to do anything fancy or complicated on it. In fact, when you show off what you can actually do on the ukulele, you will surprise and impress many with this unassuming yet awesome instrument!

Custom-tailored Ukulele Lessons

We can get you started quickly with song-based, custom-tailored lessons designed specifically for ukulele. Learn how to coordinate rhythm and melody as you sing along to the chords you’re playing. In addition to a variety of techniques, you will learn to read notes and chords which will allow you to play and sing along to fingerstyle, single-line melodies.

There are actually a lot of skills that transfer easily from the guitar so if you’ve been playing the six-string guitar for a while, you’ll probably find the four-stringed ukulele pretty easy! Whether you’re a beginner or have some experience, we hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we will teaching it! We have also conducted workshops for corporate organisations and schools. From traditional Hawaii music to modern and beautiful fingerstyle arrangements, the ukulele offers a wide range of music to suit everyone!

Contact us for a free Trial Lesson today!

Looking for Music Lessons in Singapore? (Part 2)

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Looking for Music Lessons in Singapore?

Our Views on Yamaha and Cristofori Music Schools

If you are looking for music lessons in Singapore, two names that pop up are Yamaha and Cristofori because they have centres dotted all around Singapore. They are well-known mostly for group music lessons that cater to younger children with the option for one-to-one lessons as they progress through the years.

We feel that personalised lessons tend to provide better attention to detail for each individual student. Therefore, it is important that the group is not so big that the teacher cannot focus on each student properly. In our humble opinion, music schools that offer one-to-one sessions are preferable. This is especially so for beginners who need to develop and train good techniques and habits.

The most crucial step you must take before signing up with a school is to audition the music teacher. This means you must know if the music teacher you or your child is taking lessons from is qualified. And we don’t mean just paper qualifications. When a music school has many branches, the quality of their music teachers could suffer. It’s important to check if music teachers are hired based not only on their certifications but also their years of experience and their attitude towards teaching.

Some music schools offer a Free Trial Lesson for all new sign-ups. Aside from being able to audition the teacher, you will also experience a lesson first-hand and have a clearer picture of how lessons are conducted.

Is it important to attend one of the Top 10 Music Schools in Singapore?

A top-listed music school may not necessarily improve your musical ability nor ensure you’ll learn any faster than a smaller, more dedicated music school. Every student is unique and has a different learning rate. In the same way, music schools are also varied and offer different advantages.

The list of top 10 schools you see is likely an inaccurate representation of the music school demographics in Singapore. There are many music schools in Singapore and it is unlikely that the selected top 10 schools on that internet list are compiled with a proper point scoring system or an objective assessment of each and every school. This creates a biased and skewed image of the music school scene. What’s more, the list you see might also be dated.

Just remember that big doesn’t necessarily mean best. Smaller music schools may be able to cater to your needs more personally and follow-up on your music education more efficiently.

What’s Music Education like in Singapore?

With the proliferation of music schools in Singapore, what should you look out for when signing up for music classes? Obviously, the teacher is very important. He or she needs to be qualified and experienced. It also helps if he/she can establish a good rapport with students. Aside from this, look for a school with a different approach from the others.

Some schools offer an approach that is performance-oriented. This means that while striving for good academic results is important, these schools place great value on gaining experience as performers. Students will learn more beyond the exam curriculum and understand the tough requirements needed to put up a good show. This ultimately trains and improves students who will grow as artists and overcome performance-related anxiety. You’ll see that attention to these small details plays a big part in ensuring a good music education.

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

By Acoustic Guitar, Music Articles, Music Instruments No Comments

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!

learn the ukulele

Ukulele And You

By Music Instruments, Newsletter, Ukulele No Comments

Have you always thought the ukulele was for children? Watch the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain play Lady Gaga's Born This Way, live At Sydney Opera House. Ukeleles whether small or large, can play intricate melodies, simple tunes, or complex chords and surprise you with the sound. You'll never look at ukes in the same way after this!

This Is the Ukulele

Thinking of learning to play the ukulele? You might like to know some interesting facts about it first! 'Ukulele' translates as 'jumping flea', likely after the movement of the player's fingers. It originated in the 19th century as a Hawaiian adaptation of the Portuguese machete, a small guitar-like instrument. Since those early days, it has steadily gained great popularity worldwide.

The ukulele is a fun instrument. Some may call the ukulele a toy but it really isn’t a toy at all. It’s a true instrument that you can do wonderful things with. Are you inspired to learn to play the ukulele? You will need to practice to master it, but even when you only know the basics it is already so much fun!

Say what?

For the record, Hawaiian’s say “oo-koo-leh-leh.” So, since the ukulele originated in Hawaii, it makes sense that they get first dibs on how to say it.

If you pronounce ‘ukulele as “you-ka-lay-lee” that's no surprise as this is the most widely used pronunciation outside of Hawaii. Call it what you will but appreciate this four-stringed instrument for what it is and remember its roots!

Fun Facts

The first pineapple ukulele was created by Kamaka, a Hawaiian maker of ukuleles. The idea behind the design was to produce a small ukulele with a fuller and warmer sound. Most pineapple ukuleles have a somewhat flat bottom to them.

Jason Mraz’s 2008 single “I’m Yours” is the best-selling ukulele song of all time.

VCR4

By Acoustic Guitar, Drum, Electric Guitar, Events, Pop Piano, Ukulele One Comment
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!

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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!