I was greeted by a sparkling bright studio as I entered Amadeus Music Academy situated at level 3, in Centrepoint @ Somerset.
I tried to imagine myself as the 6-year-old child once again, who would always enter the music school with mixed feelings, depending on how diligent I had practised the music piece over the past week at home.
This would be the place where I would be harshly berated by my teacher, fighting hard to suppress the tears that were swelling up in my tear duct. This would also be where I would be lavishly praised by my teacher in front of my dad for surpassing my old self.
For one thing that music lessons had taught me as a child, it was GRIT. To win the praises and approval of my teacher and hence parents, I had to work SUPER HARD to delight them.
I will always remember how cramped the room was and how I felt so suffocated as I scrambled to play the music under the intense glare and expectation of the teacher. The students in Amadeus Music Academy will likely have more breathing space when they are tensed up as the rooms are at least 3 times bigger than the room I had when I was young.
The founders must be insane to allocate so much space to each student in a country and shopping mall that has skyrocketing rental costs, the pragmatic side of me can’t help musing silently in my head. I guess, the founders just prioritise the well-being and learning environment of the students above anything else. I just hope parents are able to see the value of a bigger studio room as it could easily be overlooked.
Why did the founders set up Amadeus Music Academy?
Amadeus Music Academy is the brainchild of Jo and Tim. Jo, the music school principal, has accumulated a wealth of teaching experience stretching more than 2 decades. With just 24 hours in a day, she always wished that she could be like Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series, having the ability to time travel so that she could have extra hours in a day to reach out to more students. It is her dream to impart her years of research, teaching techniques and methodologies to more teachers and students. Setting up Amadeus Music Academy is an extension of her dream and life’s passion.
In Amadeus Music Academy, the teachers are curated and categorised into 4 categories ranging from leisure to competitive level to meet every budget and expectation of parents.
You could sign up for a paid trial class with Amadeus Music Academy here to find out if your child is keen to pursue music classes.
What are the pianos used at Amadeus Music Academy?
Amadeus Music Academy uses the Boston Pianos, designed by Steinway & Sons, which are higher-tier pianos mostly used at public performances and International competitions.
If you have read Michelle Obama’s biography, Becoming, you would remember her account of how she had a rude shock at the disparity in the piano’s quality at the recital hall as compared to the piano which she was used to practising at her aunt’s place when she was 5-6-year-old. She felt utterly lost and foreign at the recital hall because the two pianos sounded worlds apart. She was only able to begin her performance when she saw her aunt Robbie’s familiar face and signal to nudge her to start playing.
My parents never bought a piano for us and we were fortunate to receive a piano from my mum’s friend who was migrating to another country. A piano often requires regular tuning and maintenance which you may have to include inside your child’s education budget.
The entry-level music schools in Singapore will be equipped with pianos that have a lower pitch richness that are largely made in China. While the mid to upper-tier music schools will be equipped with pianos that are designed by renowned manufacturers from the USA and Japan. I think it would be difficult for you to understand the difference in the richness of the tone and the firmness of the keys if you have not played them on your own.
I would strongly recommend that you should sign up for two different trial classes at both spectrums to decide which school is more suitable for your budget and expectations. You can find a list of music schools with updated rates here.
Will I enrol my child at Amadeus Music Academy?
A pertinent factor of consideration would be the rapport that our children have with the teacher. Amadeus Music Academy places a great emphasis on the quality of teaching. The teachers are highly attuned to the needs of the students. The teachers will customise their teaching methodologies and pace to suit the learning style and ability of their students. I will enrol my child for a trial class to ascertain if my child can grow with the teacher. While Amadeus specialises in piano classes, there are also other types of music lessons to choose from such as guitar, violin and vocal classes.
Through the trial class, I can also observe if my child is comfortable with the learning environment. As I had my lessons in a very constrained space, the claustrophobic experience was deeply etched in my memory. My music journey wasn’t just filled with tears and mental distress. There were many moments of triumphs which I deeply cherished, without which, I would have never understood the value of grit and persistency.
Learning a new skill is never just a walk in the park. We will marvel at the ease of great musicians performing and perhaps project that vision on our children. However, we may overlook the many thousand hours of practice that went behind each great performance. As parents, we have to be cognisant, realistic and firm with our decisions. It is of paramount importance that you evaluate the priority of music classes in your child’s education. This will also help you to decide on the category of teachers to engage. As the child may want to give up at the first sign of difficulty, you have to stand strong and not waver in order for the child to learn and grow.
Hopefully, through this write-up, you have a better idea of how to shape and steward your child’s music education.
当我踏入艾玛迪斯音乐学院时（Amadeus Music Academy）， 明亮的音乐室点燃了我的心情，令人觉得精神奕爽。艾玛迪斯音乐学院位于萨默塞特郡 （Somerset) 的购物商场 （The Centrepoint），三楼。
艾玛迪斯音乐学院是Jo 和 Tim的心血。Jo 拥有超过二十年的丰富教学经验。因为意识到个人的时间有限，她一直希望自己能像《哈利波特》系列中的赫敏·格兰杰 （Hermione Granger ）一样，有穿越时空的能力以致她一天能有更多的时间传授她的经验。她的梦想是将自己多年的研究，教学技巧和方法论传授给更多的老师和学生。建立艾玛迪斯音乐学院是结合了她毕生的梦想与热忱的延伸。
在艾玛迪斯音乐学院（Amadeus Music Academy），老师被归类为四大类，从休闲到竞技，以满足父母的预算和期望。
如果您读过米歇尔·奥巴马（Michelle Obama）的传记《成年》（Becoming），您可能会记得她回顾自己在五到六岁时首次公开演奏钢琴地诧异经验。对比她在姨妈家练习的钢琴， 独奏会厅的钢琴质量远远超越了她一贯练习的钢琴，导致她在演奏厅里完全感到迷茫和陌生。只有在看到罗比姨妈熟悉的面孔与信号时，她才能开始演奏练习了数百个小时的曲子。