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How To Be A Piano Teacher In Singapore – 3 Steps!

Now, I am assuming that by you reading this post, you have already made up your mind earlier on that you want to be a piano teacher in Singapore. With that said, let us move on proper with the 3 steps I promised you in the title above on how to become a piano teacher in SG.

Step number 1: Get a piano Diploma instead of just a Grade 8 ABRSM certification. Not only can you charge higher as a result of this, it helps you stand out slightly more than the other ‘normal’ Grade 8 ABRSM ‘amateur’ piano teachers. By taking a Diploma, you will be seen more of an authority, and you can then charge higher and still get students, or charge the same as a ABRSM Grade 8 teacher would and get more students than they ever can due to students seeing you as a better pianist and hence teacher. It can be quite competitive to be a private piano teacher in Singapore, and you need to do everything to differentiate yourself and get more customers. You also need more than just a Diploma to get students quickly so you can kickstart your career as a music teacher. Check out steps 2 and 3 to find out more.

Step number 2: Apply for a job or rather, find a music teacher-student agency online and then work with them. These agencies, usually established ones (e.g. linkedin.com/company/sglearnpiano) tend to get a healthy amount of students requesting for teachers per week. This ensures that although they may take a big chunk of your initial first month income, you will get a steady rice bowl because of the steady inflow of student. My take? A good exchange for stability and quick growth in my student base.

Step number 3: Ask for referrals. That is right. At the end of the day, as a private piano teacher in Singapore, you are self employed. No one is going to put a fixed salary into your bank account or CPF at the end of the month. This means more freedom and also more work at the same time. You need to go all out and teach students as best as you can. But if you want to stay in the business, you need to ask for referrals, and get your name out there.

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3 Quick Lessons To Help You Learn To Play The Piano

In my previous article, I talked about how you can quickly master playing ABRSM piano songs. However, if you just want general piano lessons in Singapore, and not necessarily learning piano for only the specific purpose to pass the ABRSM piano examinations in Singapore, then you should check out the following piano tutorials. If you are looking for a private music teacher instead, then check out https://www.sglearnpiano.com.

I have compiled several great tutorials I have found on YouTube, and collated them all below for your easy reference. The following piano lessons are really basic and yet such explanatory by itself that any beginner will be able to listen to the lessons below and quickly become a decent pianist. Of course, you will still need lots of practice to truly become a great pianist and be able to bring out every music piece out perfectly like a professional. When it comes to music, practice still makes perfect. However, at least with the lessons below, you will quickly be able to a decent player, and be able to easily play chords and impress your less musically inclined friends!

The steps taught in the videos below will also help you master classical music songs, which are typical in ABRSM exams and very important if you want to eventually become a public performer at piano concerts.

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How To Quickly Master Playing ABRSM Piano Pieces

If you are a piano student in Singapore and want to master ABRSM piano pieces quicker, here are some tips from a person who has been playing classical piano songs in Singapore his whole life.

When it comes to mastering ABRSM piano pieces, it is important to note that the examiner will put much more emphasis on getting the overall rhythm and ‘feel’ of the piece right, rather than the individual notes (if forced to choose). Therefore, it is important to practise with the rhythm and ‘feel’ as the top priority, followed by the technical accuracy. This is something that many Singaporean students tend to mess up, as most Singaporean piano students are perfectionists, and keep practising the ABRSM piano songs by trying to get it technically perfect first, before adding in the right rhythm and ‘feel’. Although it may sound plausible in theory, it is not the case in real life. You need to make sure to practise with the purpose of getting the rhythm right first, followed by adding in your own interpretation and ‘feel’ of the piano piece, followed by the technical aspects of the piece. This does not mean pressing random wrong keys, but simply putting a higher priority on the rhythm and ‘feel/personal interpretation’ of the piece yourself.

An additional tip that I have for piano students in Singapore is that it is practice that makes perfect, not studying. Many students in Singapore, perhaps due to the national school / academic system, like to study instead of practise (regardless of whatever we are talking about). However, when it comes to acing the ABRSM exams, simply listening to the ‘perfect play’ on the ABRSM CD and reading the notes over and over again, or even reading this article won’t help you as much as actually practising it in real life. You need to practise over and over again, which then leads us to the next tip.

How often should you practise to see the best results and eventually ace your piano exams? I recommend approximately 5-7 times per piano exam piece per day. Yes, that may sound like a little, but you do not want to go overboard with the daily practice as well. Why do I recommend this? Because I want you to practise for every day, no days off, regardless of birthday, public holiday or school exams. 5 to 7 times per exam piece is the ideal so that you won’t be spending too much time practising that you feel that you do not have time to do anything else, but it is sufficient enough for you to eventually master the piece as long as you also follow the first two pieces of advice I have for you in the above paragraphs. The key to keeping each practise session relatively short is to keep your motivation high to practise again the next day, as the overall goal is to make sure that you are able to practise every single day without fail and excuses! This is the real key and everything is to support this – consistency in practice. So make sure to take this advice from me, do NOT play more than 5-7 times per exam piece per day. Do not go crazy with practice frequency for 2 weeks and then stop for 1 week. This is bad. You want consistency. The name of the game is consistency. Of course, picking a good piano teacher from a good piano teacher match up agency is necessary as well. Here are some tips to help you achieve that.

So there you have it – the three tips which will help you master the ABRSM piano exam pieces in Singapore!

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How Do I Pick A Good Private Piano Teacher In Singapore?

If you are looking for a private piano teacher in Singapore, here are 3 big tips in 2018 for you to help you find the best piano teacher.

First and foremost, I strongly recommend that you pick a piano teacher from a teacher-student match up agency. A quick example of such an agency in Singapore is SG Learn Piano. The reason you should pick from a teacher-student match up agency is because they have a pool of teachers which you can pick from. This means that if the agency is large enough, they will have a large enough pool of teachers, such that their recommendations can be unbiased. However, if you were to look for independent and individual music teachers, do you think they will be able to give you recommendations to other teachers and tell you that they are bad? No, they simply wouldn’t due to conflict of interest. However, when it comes to a teacher-student agency, they still make the same money regardless of the teacher they actually match you up with! This means that their interests are more in-line with yours and will not make bad recommendations – take their advice if they recommend you to/against a particular teacher they say is good/bad.

Second of all, most of your problems will be solved if you had gone to an agency. However, there are some things you should also raise up to the agency so that they can find a more suitable teacher. Make sure to tell the agency whether you or your child intends to learn piano lessons for leisure or for the purpose of passing the formal ABRSM exams. Some teachers specialize only in teaching students who want to learn for the purpose of acing the ABRSM exams. However, other teachers teach both leisure and regimental lessons.

The third and last tip I have for you to pick the best private piano teacher in Singapore is to make sure to tell the agency where you stay and that you only want teachers who stay near you. For instance, if you stay in Jurong West, ask for a teacher who also stays in the West. This is because if the teacher stayed too far from your home, they will charge you a transportation fee. Additionally, any last minute rescheduling with the teacher will need much earlier notification if he or she stayed too far from you. Also, trust me when I say that if the teacher is near you, he or she will be more motivated to teach your or your child music lessons.

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How Much Do Piano Lessons Really Cost In Singapore?

If you are intending to let your child learn the piano, then it is important to understand the financials being making it work out for you as well.

So how much do piano lessons cost in Singapore if you want your child to reach ABRSM grade 8 level proficiency level?

First of all, there are basically 3 parts to the financial aspect of learning the piano:

  • Purchasing the piano
  • Piano lessons itself
  • Registering for the examinations

Part 1: Purchasing the piano

Depending on whether you are living in a landed property or an apartment (be it HDB or condo), you may want to opt for either an upright piano or a grand piano. A grand piano can cost upwards of $20,000, while a usual upright piano costs around $8000. Purchasing a piano is a must, because practice is the one of the main things which will allow your child to truly master playing the piano. Purchasing a mid to high tier model from a good piano brand like Yamaha or Cristofori will usually already allow your child to use the same piano till he or she reaches grade 8.

Part 2: Piano lessons

Monthly costs of piano lessons for four lessons per month starts from around $150 in grade 1 and up till $350 in grade 8. Taking an average of $250 per month, that will be around $250 x 12 months x 8 years = $24,000. This is the average cost you can expect to shell out for your child’s piano lessons over 8 years if your child passes each piano exam the first time he or she takes it and only takes 1 year to master each ABRSM grade.

Part 3: Registering for the piano examinations

The ABRSM practical grade 1 examination registrations cost around $185, and increases until around $480 at grade 8. The ABRSM theory grade 1 examination registrations cost around $105 for grade 1 till $195 for grade 8. If your child were to take each exam once and pass it on the first try, it will be around $3640 as of today, if there is no major changes to ABRSM’s fees.

This means that all in, it will be approximately $35,000 for your child to reach grade 8, or approximately $4,375 per year.

Therefore, make sure to find out if your child is truly interested in learning the piano first. Although playing the piano has great benefits and correlation to higher IQ in children, it is still important to seek the understanding of your child before proceeding.

Despite the high price tag, if your child is able to reach grade 8 piano proficiency level, your child can easily earn $30 per hour by teaching others to play the piano! This means that your child has the future option to work part-time as a piano teacher to supplement his or her income.