Saturday, 21 June 2014

How do you play the piano

The piano was once an essential additional to the home, a source of family entertainment and personal musical enjoyment. Today, it continues to be an important and beloved music instrument. Knowing how to play it can give one many opportunities to enliven a party, join a music band, or compose your own music. Learning the piano requires commitment, dedication, a love of music, and a willingness to keep discipline.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The Proven Benefits of Piano Lessons for Children

Children can benefit greatly form taking piano lessons. This is especially true as young children are developing their senses and piano playing can help to improve hand and eye coordination, focus and concentration. Piano lessons for children can create a sense of accomplishment, as they learn and gain more skill the will feel that they are able to be successful if they put in the effort. It has been shown that practicing the piano can also help children do well in school and this has been backed up by research that has been ongoing for over10 years. This is an important thing to consider when contemplating piano lessons for children.

A study was conducted to monitor the effect of piano lessons singapore for children and the effect that is generated on the minds learning process. The introduction of the arts showed that neurological growth was stimulated by playing and learning the piano. In February of 1997 Dr. Frances Rauscher a psychologist, worked with physicist, Dr. Gordon Shaw to conduct a study of preschoolers and the impact that musical education had on their learning. There were 3 groups of student in the study, one group was given piano lessons and the other 2 groups were the control groups, these groups were not given piano lessons. With the analysis of the research an interesting conclusion was discovered. The piano lessons for children had proven beneficial enough to enable the children to increase their math and science scores at an average of 30% over the control groups. This firm evidence shows that the arts and the piano lessons for children can positively affect students learning and problem solving abilities. Dr. Frances Rauscher working with, Dr. Gordon Shaw also noticed an increase in reasoning ability amongst college students who listened to piano music regularly. These results are interesting as they show that the mere hearing of the pianos music is beneficial to the minds reasoning process.

Other similar studies have shown that children who have taken piano lessons will score higher on IQ tests and in general will perform better in math, reasoning and science testing. This testing lends to the theory that piano lessons for children are very beneficial as while the child is playing and learning the piano, neural pathways are stimulated to the point of accelerating the learning process. These results lead some to believe that this piano practice may even be useful to those children who suffer from developmental conditions such as autism. This information will cause many parent to want to investigate piano lessons for children who may not be the most likely candidates for piano lessons. All children who are interested and willing to practice will be available to take advantage of these benefits, your child may not become a genius but they will produce results. If you are interested in using piano lessons for children as a tool to help develop your child's mind then it’s a good idea to start early in their lives. Although the benefits are there for teenagers as well as adults, its just the learning curve may not be a fast or as noticeable early on.

The information we have seen shows that there are many benefits of piano lessons for children that can be realized early on in life. If you have a small child now would be a great time to start thinking about looking for a piano teacher to help your child along with the development of the minds neural pathway development. To start the piano lessons are usually only 15 to 30 minutes and they can be at your home if you have a piano or at a local studio. By providing piano lessons for children parents are allowing their child a head start in life. You are enabling them a special advantage to excel later on in school and college.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Piano Exams in Singapore Grade 1 to 8 - ABRSM and Trinity Guildhall

Many parents in Singapore like their children to go for piano exams. The most popular piano lessons singapore exams are conducted by ABRSM and Trinity Guildhall which are UK music exam boards. Exams range from pre-graded to diploma level with tens of thousands of candidates each year.

This page gives you a quick information on grading piano exams in Singapore, especially if you are looking to enroll your child in Grade 1 piano exams.

Please refer to the respective representative websites if you would like to know more about diploma exams.

What is the purpose of Piano Exams?

As with any exam system, it serves its purpose, although paper chase should not be the main objective of musicianship.

Exams with reputable exam boards provide a reliable measurement of personal progress and standard against internationally recognized benchmarks. With the many levels of grading, students can use them as milestones to progress in order to attain long term goal of standard. Exposure & performance opportunities from exams can allow students to grow.

Should a student take grading piano exams every year?

A student may begin with the grade that best suits their ability. Yearly exams are not necessary. It is not necessary to take every grade. Grades may be skipped or not, depending on the progress of the student. Enough time should be invested to develop musical and technical skills in between exams so that a student is well-prepared for the intended grade.

Pre-requisites to taking piano exams

There are no pre-requisites for grades 1-5 piano exams.

However, grade 5 Theory of Music or Practical musicianship must be achieved before sitting for the grades 6-8 piano exams.

What is the difference between ABRSM and Trinity Guildhall

ABRSM consists of well-established music colleges in the UK, namely the Royal College of Music, the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal Northern College of Music and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

Trinity Guildhall exams are conducted by Trinity College London, also a well-reputed music college in the UK. They have slightly different requirements but generally reflect a similar standard to ABRSM exams.

Components of exam
There are 4 different components to a graded practical music exam:

1) Prepared pieces:
3 piano pieces are chosen from a set lists, practiced at home and performed during the exam.

2) Technical requirement:
Specified scales and technical exercises are to be practiced and prepared at home and tested during the exam.

3) Sight-reading:
Candidate is to play a short piece of music new to him after half a minute of preparation. Graded specimen sight reading tests are available for practice at home.

4) Aural Tests:
A group of tests are used to assess listening skills and musical understanding. Specimen aural tests which involve rhythmic, melodic and other musical skills are available for practice at home.

For specific ABRSM grade syllabus download, go to

Assessment criteria for piano exams
In general, the pass mark for graded exams is 66%. Marks are given for technical competence, musical understanding and communication through the music.

For detailed ABRSM marking criteria, please refer to

Here is a general quick glance of Exam Assessment Criteria.

How to register for exams

You may register through your piano teacher, your music school, as a parent or as a candidate. Please note that from 2010 all ABRSM exam entries will be accepted by online registration only.

Contact Information

Representatives for ABRSM and Trinity Guildhall exams are:

Singapore Symphonia Co. Ltd
11 Empress Place
3rd Storey, Music Exams Office
Victoria Memorial Hall
Singapore 179558
Tel: (65) 6339 2624
Fax: (65) 6334 3507


Trinity Guildhall Music Examinations Centre
TCM Examinations Centre
80 Marine Parade Road
#03-08 Parkway Parade
Singapore 449269
Tel: (65) 63463612
Fax: (65) 63447345
Email :
Website :

ABRSM Piano Exams Syllabus
ABRSM's Piano Exams Grade 1 - 8 Syllabus
can be found on ABRSM's website.

ABRSM Grading / Marking Criteria
For ABRSM Grading/ Marking/ Assessment Criteria for Grade 1 to 8, click here

Sunday, 18 March 2012

ABRSM Exam Grading Criteria for Grade 1 - 8

There are Pass, Merit, Distinction & Fail results for ABRSM Grading exams. Examiners do not deduct points nor add up points to derive the results. It is based on the different aspects of qualities and proficiency.

The following are the components that make up the marking scheme for ABRSM Exam.

Components of exam
There are 4 different components to a graded practical music exam. Specimen tests are available for home practice.

1. Pieces - Performance of 3 pieces chosen & prepared, from a list during exam
(Pass: 20 onwards, Max: 30) for each piece

2. Technical - Scales & Arpeggios
(Pass: 14 onwards, Max: 21)

3. Sight-reading - With 30s of time given preparation given on the spot, student is to play a new piece of music provided
(Pass: 14 onwards, Max: 21)

4. Aural Tests - Rhythmic, melodic and other music skills
(Pass: 12 onwards, Max: 18)

ABRSM Exam Marking Criteria - Pieces

Please refer to ABRSM for more information on the Grading / Marking Criteria.

For pieces, students are assessed based on accuracy, continuity and fluency, tonal awareness, musical character and a sense of performance.

For Grade 1 to Grade 8, to achieve the following band of results, one has to achieve the marks:
Distinction - 27 to 30
Merit - 24 to 26
Pass - 20 to 23
Fail - 19 & below

For Scales, Arpeggios / broken chords ABRSM Exam marking criteria,

please refer to ABRSM for more information on the Grading/ Marking Criteria.

For Scales, Sight Reading ABRSM Exam marking criteria,
please refer to ABRSM for more information on the Grading/ Marking Criteria.

For Aural Tests ABRSM Exam marking criteria,
please refer to ABRSM for more information on the Grading/ Marking Criteria.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Quick Tips to Choosing the Right Piano Teacher in Singapore

Practicing and learning the piano is becoming more and more popular in Singapore. Many parents are looking to enroll their children in piano lessons, yet the challenge is where do they go to find a professional and experienced piano teacher? When planning your child’s musical education there are many issues that should be considered, one of the most relevant is the selection of the piano teacher. This choice will have a very important impact on your child’s piano learning and the way they see the piano in the future. If you select the wrong piano teacher you may accidentally cause your child to develop an aversion to learning the piano. Yet there is no need to worry, if you live in the Singapore, you should be able to find a wide selection of qualified piano teachers.

If you do not know how to search for a piano teacher, or you do not understand the general costs involved, this task can be very confusing. For a popular piano teacher the rate can be quite expensive. If you find an open seat for a lesson, make sure not to choose the first piano teacher that comes into view. Different options are to ask around the area, or you may find a quality piano teacher by looking online. But remember the piano learning process takes place over a generally long period of time, possibly for many months. It’s important to make the right decision and meet a piano teacher who will have chemistry with your young student. It’s no easy task to find that special piano teacher, one that can stimulate a child’s commitment to learn. A piano teacher that can keep the student interested as well as have the skills to put together interesting and fun lessons is one that you want to work with.

Credentials and Chemistry
At first you may think that a piano teacher singapore with a box full of credentials would be a fantastic candidate. However this is not necessarily the case. Many teachers may be fully accredited with years of experience but if they do not like to work with children they may not have much long term success with your child. If you mistakenly hire this type of teacher, his style may not be one that allows a teacher-student chemistry to develop. If you find a piano teacher that is able to build confidence as well as keep the piano instructions moving towards a constructive goal, that is a great start. Just remember, for the lessons to be fun you don’t have to find a young teacher. Likewise, to find a talented piano teacher with loads of experience and certifications, don’t think the teacher has to be old.

Rates & Cost
Depending on the piano teacher, the rate of pay here in Singapore will vary greatly. The more certifications and verifiable experience, the more often you will find higher rates, as with anything in life. But these piano teachers know that these lessons, many times will go on for years. Because of this, some teachers try to offer rate decreases for prepayment and long term agreements. Do not be misled to think that just because someone has years of experience and high fees that they are a superior option. By evaluating the costs of the piano lessons, their schedule for your convenience and the way the get along with your child, you will be more able to see the picture of how this piano teacher will rank for your needs. The next step is a mini lesson.

An Intro Lesson Speaks Volumes
If you have found a prospective piano teacher, now is the time to setup an introduction lesson, a lesson of about 15-20 minutes. This intro lesson will take place at the place where the normal lessons will be conducted, either in your house or at the piano teachers’ studio. You should plan to be there to see how things go with the lesson and see how the student and the piano teacher get along. The benefits of this mini lesson are many:

Things to Look Out For:
1. This shows how the student will respond to the teacher in the learning environment
2. You can see how the teacher will interact with your child
3. If the teaching is at a studio you can inspect the piano teachers’ facilities.
4. You can learn what the teacher expects from your child

Be a Supportive Parent
Piano teachers are always looking for new students who are passionate about learning They are expecting you to do you job though also; things like making sure to be on time for lessons and ensure that the young student is up to par with his or her practices are things to keep in mind. By looking for the right teacher with discipline and keeping up on your responsibilities as a parent, your child should be very prosperous in their new piano playing learning. If you feel that the task of finding a piano teacher is somewhat daunting don’t be concerned. Here in Singapore there are many qualified piano teachers who are ready to take on new students. With all of this information you are now more equipped to make an educated choice. Good Luck!