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Are Private Piano Teachers Or School Teachers In Singapore Better?

If you are intending to take piano lessons in Singapore, you have two options. You could either learn from a private home piano teacher or you could go to a nearby music school and take up lessons from a teacher there.

Which one is the better option? The answer is that it is dependent on you. There are various factors which will affect your decision.


Is the student an adult or a child?

If the student is an adult, then traveling to and fro is not a big issue for him or her. This means that regardless if you get a private teacher to go to your house or you go to a music school, it will not be too inconvenient.

On the other hand, if the student is a child, home lessons are usually more convenient. This is because some children start taking piano lessons very early on. They may only be 5 to 10 years old. There is no point to worry about your child consistently if you send them to a music school. You either worry about them taking the public transport or have to fetch them to and fro.

For students, home piano lessons are recommended in Singapore. For adult learners, the choice is not so clear.


Do you have a piano of your own?

Although I strongly recommend anyone serious about learning the piano to get one of their own, some do not. In such cases, you have no choice but to either go to a private home studio or to a public school.

In such cases, I would then recommend you to actually go to a public music school instead. The reason for this is because you can then rent practice sessions without a teacher to practise on the piano easily. However, if you learn from a teacher from his or her home studio, but you have no piano, it can be inconvenient to practise on his or her place as and when you like.

Keep in mind though, that you should get a piano of your own. Even if it is an older, second hand one, it is still recommended over not having one!

Practising on the piano daily for a short period of time is absolutely essential for you to become a master at it. Here is my other post on what is the best way to practise on the piano. Read it if you want to learn the best ‘hack’ to master the piano.


Let us talk about the finances

Are you already straining in terms of your finances monthly? Then you might want to look at private home piano lessons in Singapore instead.

Some fixed costs which will be required and are highly similar for both private and public teachers are examination application fee, costs of books, the piano.

However, the largest variable cost if the cost of the piano lessons itself. Since I strongly recommended that you get a piano of your own, that is an unavoidable cost, similar to the above mentioned fixed costs. However, with a private home piano tutor, you can save a lot on transportation as well as marked up school fees. Schools need to cover for their administrative and accountant costs, as well as their rental and PUB costs. As a result of that, they tend to mark up their prices quite sharply. So, if your goal is to save money, then you should definitely pick private piano lessons over school teachers.

How To Properly Choose A Piano Teacher In Singapore

A common challenge for many parents in Singapore is where they should go to find the best experienced and professional piano teacher for their kids.

Picking the right piano teacher will have a very important impact on your child’s learning. Picking the wrong teacher can cause your child to develop a hatred for learning the piano, while picking the right teacher will not only ignite the passion in your child but also enable your child to become a great pianist eventually.

First of all, not all parents and children manage to find the ideal piano teacher on their first try. Therefore, do not be discouraged nor feel married to the teacher you first engage for your child. You want to take your time to find the right teacher.

Here are some elements that should go into your decision making process when finding a teacher and getting local piano classes for your child.

Rates – depending on the teacher, the rates that teachers charge in Singapore can vary greatly. Generally speaking, the more years of teaching experience and certifications the teacher has, the higher the rates charged by the music teacher.

Chemistry – you should not hire a teacher based purely on his or her level of certifications. A teacher with lots of certifications may not be the best teacher for your child, and vice versa. Of course, you want a teacher who is at least a Grade 8 qualified or Diploma and above. However, other than that, it depends whether the teacher has the right chemistry with the student. Some teachers prefer working with children, while others prefer working with adults. If you are going through an agency to find this teacher, make sure to mention this point to the agency so that they will find the right type of teacher for you. Likewise, age has no indication of a music teacher’s ability to teach well. Just like some young people are weak and unhealthy while old people are poor and dead broke, age means nothing when it comes to music teachers too. You want to find the right one who is most suited for your child.

You are also recommended to first have a trial lesson or month with the teacher you pick for your child to see if they bond well and your child works and learns well with the tutor.

Here are some things you should be looking out for when your child goes for that first, trial lesson.

You want to see how the student responds to the teacher.

You want to see whether the teacher is just highly qualified, or is also capable of passing knowledge to his or her students in a super easily understandable way for your child.

You can judge the teacher’s way of teaching and personality as well usually just through the first few music lessons.

With all of the above mentioned information, you are now certainly better equipped than many other Singaporean parents in making a good, educated choice.

What Is The Best Way To Practise On The Piano?

Some piano teachers in Singapore recommend that you take every practice session like the actual examinations, and go through in sequence every time. On the other hand, some piano teachers tell you that you should set aside for e.g. the weekends for intensive hours of practice.

However, what I recommend the best way to practise and master playing the piano is to actually practise daily, albeit for no more than 15 minutes each time.

Why do I recommend that you practise daily, and why only 15 minutes each time? I have reasons for each of that.

First of all, consistency is key when it comes to playing the piano. It is more important to practise consistently, and on a daily basis to get your muscle memory right rather than trying to cram in last minute. The best method to get muscle memory right is to practise consistently on a daily basis, rather than practising for 5 hours straight once or twice a week.

Second of all, why do I recommend only 15 minutes practice sessions? The reason for this has to do with human psychology. If you had to practise for 1 hour daily, you may not be able to do so on certain days because of your school/work e.t.c. If this happens often enough (which is likely possible), you will definitely break the habit of practising daily. That is bad. To prevent this from happening, you only want short piano practice sessions so you always have time for it daily, and also feel motivated to practise even on days where you do not feel like it, simply because it is so short and easy to get it over and done with.