PIANO LESSONS IN SINGAPORE

Individual piano lessons are suitable for those who wish to seriously develop their pianistic abilities, maximise their musical potential and talents, and study the piano at an in-depth level. This includes students preparing for music examinations (ABRSM, Trinity, MEP assessment), diplomas, auditions for conservatory admission, solo or chamber music performances. We seek to nurture engaged and interested students and to develop a strong technical foundation, so that musical possibilities can be realised at the piano. 

Lessons take place in the context of a patient, encouraging, and positive learner-centric environment, with much emphasis on self-awareness and the inculcation of healthy and conscientious practising habits. Grounded in rigour, pedagogical ethics, and responsibility, our aim is to support every student's development of musical sensitivity, taste, discernment, and independence in the long run. 

We believe that these values will endure, regardless of whether the student performs on stage, participates in ABRSM examinations, or simply enjoys piano as a passionate hobby.

The content on this page address a few generic issues and commonly asked questions related to piano lessons (free trials, readiness for ABRSM exams, costs, etc.) 

TRIAL piano LESSON FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

Many music schools in Singapore such as the Aureus Academy offer free piano trial lessons and discounted fees for the second month off to entice students, a marketing strategy that is possible because of the economies of scale. 

Some other private piano teachers and music schools such as the Mandeville Conservatory, offer music trial lessons or consultative lessons at a premium rate that is slightly more than a typical lesson's fees.  

 

At Musical Dialogues, we offer trial piano lessons at a reduced rate. We believe that trial lessons are necessary to

establish several issues:

  • the student’s goals and aspirations.

  • assessment of technical and musical abilities.

  • physical posture, musical responsiveness and adaptability. 

  • theoretical knowledge, aural, listening, sight-reading and communication skills

  • mutual rapport which is necessary for a successful partnership between teacher and student.

piano trial session

Many music schools in Singapore such as the Aureus Academy offer free piano trial lessons and discounted fees for the second month off to entice students, a marketing strategy that is only possible because of the economies of scale. 

Some other private piano teachers and music schools such as the Mandeville Conservatory, offer music trial lessons or

consultative lessons at a premium rate that is slightly more than a typical lesson's fees.  

 

At Musical Dialogues, we offer one-hour trial sessions at a

reduced rate of S$50 for prospective students. We believe that trial lessons are necessary to establish several issues:

  • the student’s goals and aspirations, and whether or not this is compatible with what we offer.

  • physical posture, musical responsiveness and adaptability. 

  • theoretical knowledge, aural, listening, sight-reading and communication skills

  • mutual rapport which is necessary for a successful partnership between teacher and student.

appropriate age to start

We generally accept students above the age of 5. Beginner students should have already undergone a foundational introductory music class and exposure to a variety of different instruments, before contacting us for individual piano lessons.

Elementary music pedagogy is a very specialised area and there are pre-school classes offered at music schools such as The Music Circle or Staccato!, which focus on general music exposure instead of individual instrumental lessons. 

PHILOSOPHY AND APPROACh to teaching music 

With the expectation that dedication and commitment comes from both parties, we recognise that every individual progresses at his/her own pace, with a complex range of factors at play that determine one’s progress. For young students, parents are encouraged to be pro-active in supervising practice sessions and we believe in maintaining in close communication regarding your child's progress.

 

We believe in positive reinforcement and a firm but gentle style of communication, with no compromises when it comes to musical principles and execution.

thoughts on music exams

We believe that ABRSM examinations are just

one mode of assessment and while good results give the

individual a sense of achievement and validation, certificates should never be the primary goal.

Being aware and sensitive to the academic pressures of mainstream Singapore schools, we aim to teach in a succinct and concentrated way, to diagnose errors and recommend how to practice correctly to avoid repetitive errors, so that the student can improve in the best possible way within the shortest possible time.

Parents who are only interested in their children passing exams, should look elsewhere for a teacher who shares the same mentality. 

MUSIC SCHOOLS VS.

PRIVATE music TEACHER 

There are numerous online articles concerning this debate. 

Music tuition agencies are also prominent players in the music education scene in Singapore, providing a kind of matchmaking service for students and teachers (using budget and geographical location as the main parameters). 

 

Music schools pride themselves on being able to organise performances and student showcases, an aspect that some private teachers may overlook.  However, we would like to point out the undeniable, blatant consequences of going to a music school. Due to the exorbitantly high rents and overheads that Singapore music schools have to reckon with, this can translate into several undesirable outcomes: very small teaching rooms 4 square meter cells in order to optimise commercial space, lack of proper facilities, poorly regulated pianos, low-quality pianos, teachers' schedule being excessively crammed on weekends etc.

At Musical Dialogues, we offer one-to-one piano instruction and a variety of activities to bolster student motivation, confidence, and renew inspiration. We also offer the best possible pianos (our personal cherished instruments), environment, and share our space and library, with students who come to us. We strive to be positive and nurturing mentors, and distance ourselves from any authoritarian top-down approach in music teaching.

COST/duration OF LESSONS

We do not subscribe to the commonplace notion that higher grades automatically warrant higher fees, as this devalues teaching at a "lower" level. While being aware of frequently discussed topics such as the "market rate" for piano lessons in Singapore, we think this mentality perpetuates the idea that beginner students are easier to teach and hence do not require highly qualified teachers. 

We offer professional music instruction with a three-tier fee system (45 minute lessons for beginners to early intermediate and 60 minute lessons for intermediate to advanced). Our rates are commensurate with our credentials and studio facilities and we strive not to be prohibitively expensive or to perpetuate the idea that music lessons are a luxury item only for the rich. 

For consistent progress to be made, we recommend that students receive approximately 46 lessons annually, with regular opportunities to perform for friends, fellow studio mates and family members.

 

Other studio policies related to cancellation and holidays, will be discussed upon confirmation of enrolment. 

Pamela Krakauer was a participant in my seminars on Piano Pedagogy and

Teaching Methodology at the University Mozarteum Salzburg from 2009 to 2015 and it was my pleasure to witness her development over the years. During this time as a student in my seminars, Pamela demonstrated plenty of empathy and musical sensibility in her teaching demonstrations with her own students. Throughout these demonstrations, Pamela played music in a cultivated way with a variety of tone colour and stylistic nuances, which led to a refinement of her students’ musical perception and in turn, motivating them to practise. At the same time, she could offer explanations and give feedback with precise clarity as to what steps had to be taken, so that a student could improve and attain an astounding level of playing in

a short time. Her compassion and warmth are qualities that enable her to work with many different types of student personalities. I can only recommend with wholehearted enthusiasm, Pamela’s competency as a pianist and piano pedagogue!

-- Univ. Prof. Thomas Böckheler. 

Professor of Piano and Piano Didactics at the University for Music

and Theatre, Munich, and University Mozarteum Salzburg.

studio facilities

  • 45 sq m spacious music studio with excellent acoustics

  • Quiet and peaceful environment

  • Temperature and humidity is constantly regulated for optimal care of the instrument

  • August Förster 190cm and Steinway M 170cm.

  • Complete edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians

  • Extensive library of music scores, pedagogical books, games, reference books. 

  • Recording possibilities (mikme microphone, tripod, video camera)

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