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How To Score Better For Your ABRSM Piano Exams In Singapore

If you are a local Singaporean student looking to pass your piano ABRSM examinations, then here are some tips to help you score better for this examination. Anyway, I recommend that you take home music lessons over school lessons if you want to score better for your piano exams as well – reasons are provided here.

First of all, you should practise your singing. Many Singaporean students do not do well at singing, not because they do not know how to sing, but because they do not dare to truly sing out. Many Singaporean students dare to sing at karaoke sessions and in front of their friends, but due to the conservative culture, do not dare to sing out loud in front of strangers – e.g. the piano examiner. You want to practise singing in front of people. If that is not possible, simply care less about trying to impress others (e.g. the examiner) and instead try to impress yourself. Too many local students in Singapore mess up the aural part of the piano exam because they try too hard to impress the examiner, but at the same time, are afraid of messing up, and so do not sing properly and naturally. Although the overall percentage from the aural part of the piano exam is relatively small, you should work hard and use the tips I mentioned to score better. Every score is important to get the distinction for your piano exams.

Second of all, another weak point of Singaporean students is the sight reading. That is right. This is also due to the culture in Singapore – but instead of the conservative culture which affects the aural segment, I am referring to the perfectionist culture present in many top Singapore schools. Since most music and piano students in Singapore hail from primary, secondary and JC schools in Singapore, the students most likely suffer from a perfectionist syndrome. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage at the same time. It is an advantage because you will usually perform better for the three exam pieces. However, it is a disadvantage when it comes to more spontaneous piano playing like sight reading part of the piano ABRSM exams in Singapore. This is because nearly all local students in Singapore like to replay the entire piece if they hit one single wrong note, or are so caught up with trying to play the right note that they mess up the entire rhythm of the song. The rhythm of the song gets a much heavier weightage when it comes to the scoring for the sight reading segment of the piano ABRSM segment, so you must work much harder on getting the rhythm right, than getting all the notes right. This is something that can be deeply uncomfortable for many local students, but you must get used to this change if you want to succeed at the sight reading segment of your piano examination.

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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

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 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.