Step by step guide: Your child’s musical journey
Step 1: Deciding whether your child should take music lessons?
According to research, music not only improves your motor, auditory and visual skills, but develops your discipline, thus furthering enhancing these three skills. After which, the enhancement of these skills can be applied to any other activity that you engage in, which makes learning much more effective. This is why we have seen many studies on how students who play classical music do much better academically than their peers in school. Of course, many have also wondered if this could be a chicken and egg situation where students who were naturally smarter tended to play classical music more, but neuroscientists have proven that learning music as compared to any other arts activities like painting provides maximum benefits to the brain as it is the only activity that engages almost every area of the brain. These benefits are further enhanced when children start young as their brains are still developing. It is also interesting to note that playing music exercises the brain like a full body work out does. We all know the benefits of exercising our bodies, but we must also understand that the brain equally needs it as well!
Step 2: How to decide which music school to join?
According to research, parents choose schools based on convenience and friendly and understanding teachers. In today’s context where students have many other enrichment activities outside of school, flexibility is also another highly valued factor when considering a music school.
Silversnow Music School is one which offers flexibility in quality lessons, and is conveniently located in Katong (nearest MRT Paya Labar / Eunos). Silversnow Music School has also received many positive reviews from parents and students alike as shown below:
“Ms Tan is patient and friendly with kids. She conducts the class in a fun way without compromising on standards. Ms Tan also provides timely feedback to parents on their child’s progress. My girl enjoys coming to the piano class and we are happy with her progress so far. I like Ms Tan’s class as she teaches music as a life skill rather than another examination course.” Candice, Mother of piano student Pei Ni (Age 5)
“Glad to join Silversnow Music for my children’s piano classes. The school’s environment is cosy and a nice waiting area is provided. It’s a sweet gesture as there are no waiting area/cafes available in the mall. Ms Tan is very friendly and patient towards my 4 & 5 year old. Thus, the children are always looking forward to piano classes. While the lessons are usually funloving, Ms Tan would not overlook on what the lessons have to cover on, and would feedback to me on their pace/improvements timely. I would definitely recommend friends/relatives here for music lessons.” Stephanie, Mother of piano students Octavius & Avril Sim (Ages 4 & 5)
I really like to play the piano and I really like this music school! Piano student, Jorja Hernandez (Age 7)
Step 3: Which instrument should your child start with?
Currently piano seems to be the favourite amongst parents and kids as it is easy enough even for a 4 year old to pick up. As compared to other instruments like the violin or guitar, each note is always played at the same spot whereas in violin or guitar, the same note can be played on different strings, which may be confusing to children. It also helps when a child does not need to worry about intonation in piano as compared to violin where it can take years to build up. Or if we compare the flute for instance, children at 4 years old can only start with a piccolo (higher pitched) as a flute may be too big to hold. Unlike the piano where a note can be easily attained by just pressing on a piano key, a flute beginner would have to spend the same amount of time trying to make a sound on the flute. In terms of understanding music concepts for children, it is also easier to learn through the piano as the keys start from low to high (left to right). This is why most parents usually send their children for piano lessons at Silversnow Music School.
Step 4: How to choose a musical instrument for practice?
We generally recommend students to buy instruments for beginners and not immediately invest in an expensive and better instrument right at the start. This is because most students who are just trying out a new instrument would not know if they would want to learn it long term or switch to another instrument along the way. For students learning piano, we usually recommend Casio digital pianos (which we offer at a discounted price to our own students) at as low as below $1k as it is much cheaper than an acoustic piano which may cost more than $4k. As for other instruments like the violin, we also only recommend and sell well known brands like Eurostring, a European brand, at affordable prices (a beginner or intermediate violin is only $100200). For advanced students or those who are certain that they are ready to invest in a better instrument, they can get acoustic pianos or better quality violins from European brands. Silversnow Music School would typically recommend our instruments to students based on their budget and what type of tone quality they are looking for.
Step 5: How to help your child practice?
1) Go slow to go far For learning or practicing a difficult piece, most students would just play the entire piece over and over again, often gaining little or no improvement. It is usually best to practise one bar at a time, and at a slower tempo, and only proceed to the next bar after mastering the preceding bar.
2) Play your favourite songs Choosing pieces that students like is also important as interest can be easily lost if the pieces are boring to the students. So it would be good if students let their teachers know their favourite music pieces so they can learn them concurrently with their exam pieces for example if they are preparing for grading exams.
3) Practice less, frequently In terms of practice length, do not subscribe to long hours of practice if you know you have a short attention span. Though depending on individuals, it may be better practicing 10 minutes a day as compared to 1 hour all at 1 shot once a week. This is because with shorter practice duration, we are forced to focus and ensure that we make the best out of the practice time. It is also easier to find the motivation to practice 10 minutes as compared to an hour. This allows it to become a habit more effectively as studies have proven that it takes 21 consecutive days for a habit to form.
About the author:
Ms Tan is the founder of Silversnow Music School. She graduated with a Masters with Merit from King’s College London, with her thesis on the marriage of classical music performances and YouTube. She was also given the prestigious King’s Interdisciplinary (Thinking Creativity) Award by the university. Prior to that, under the LASALLE Scholarship, she conducted a research on how to improve the quality of classical music education in Singapore, and achieved her Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours. She has years of experiences teaching in music schools with 100% passes for her students’ ABRSM & LCM music examinations. Besides her other numerous performance experiences, she was given the opportunity to perform in the heart of London in various famous landmarks like Southwark Cathedral. She is a AMIS and MOE-certified music teacher.
● DipLCM Popular Music Vocals, Distinction
● ABRSM Grade 8 Piano
● ABRSM Grade 8 Flute
● ABRSM Grade 8 Theory of Music
● NUS Grade 8 Dizi / Chinese Flute
Hope this post by Silversnow Music School has helped you and your child in his/her musical journey.
Thanks Ms. Tan for this beautiful article elaborating the stepping stones for kids to embark their musical journey! It will certainly make parents’ decision-making easier.
We all agree that kids need to experience different kind of enrichment, outdoor and other activities for the healthy physical and mental growth. My readers keep on asking me about the ideas where to take kids every weekend. Recently I discovered a website that gives parents loads of ideas on how to engage the kids.
BYKidO is a platform aimed at helping Parents with Promotions, Ideas and Activities to Bring Your Kid Out in Singapore. In fact, I explored about the amazing Silversnow Music School through BYKidO.
At BYKidO, which is formed by a Parent too, they understand that parenting is tough – there are always limited resources, namely, money, time and effort. There are 3 areas to consider before you Bring Your Kid Out – Promotions, Ideas and Activities. BYKidO helps in all these 3 areas:
Promotions are sourced from Partners, who are providers of Kids Activities. BYKidO promises to help them introduce their services to you and in return, they give us promotions to help you save money when you Bring Your Kid Out.
Ideas are from BYKidO’s own experiences as Parents with Kids. Posted on Facebook and BYKidO Website, these are meant to help you with “Places to Go”, “Activities to Do” and “Promotions to Share”. They share ideas, so that you have more time to Bring Your Kid Out.
Activities are events that BYKidO organises. It may be Play Dates, Parenting Talks or Group Trial Classes. They organise activities to help reduce the effort for you to Bring Your Kid Out.
♥ RainbowDiaries Giveaway ♥
I am sure that after reading this article, you can’t wait to start your kid’s musical journey.
Thanks to Silversnow Music School for this giveaway!
- 3 lucky winners get an opportunity to experience 1 Free Piano Lesson at Silversnow Music School.
Steps to participate:
- Like Silversnow Music School on FB [https://m.facebook.com/silversnowmusicschool/]
- Follow them on Instagram [https://www.instagram.com/explore/locations/1024218505/]
- Follow RainbowDiaries on IG and regram this post with #silversnow and #rainbowdiaries. Tag as many friends as you can. [https://www.instagram.com/Shub_SG]
- Like RainbowDiaries on FB and share this post. [https://www.facebook.com/SingDesi]
- Comment on the blog post mentioning your child’s name and age.
Let our lives be filled with sweet music!