Music to Our Ears Thinking of starting music classes for your little one?We posed some readerquestions toESTELLETEOH, a piano teacher at Yamaha Music School , to find out everything you need to know. What’s a good age for my child to start learning music? The key is to find a music programme that is ideal for a child. Many children start at four years in the Yamaha Junior Course which has a group learning environment. By the age of 12, they’re able to take up keyboard (piano/electone), violin, cello, guitar, drums and singing. Being exposed to music at ages two to three years can increase brain power, and there are courses specially tailored for that particular age group. While there are benefits for both group and individual lessons, group classes are the best choice for young preschoolers. An age-appropriate programme where music is introduced at a specific time, depending on the development levels of students, is recommended. A comprehensive programme that focuses not just on the playing aspect, but also training the ears, fingers and how to express music is ideal. The aim is to arouse interest in music and inspire kids to learn. In group lessons, team spirit can be developed and singing fostered. Students strive to do their best with the support they gain from one another; they also feel a sense of belonging. Interacting and playing music with peers will motivate them to enjoy making music together – and that means practicing may not be such a huge struggle. How often should my child attend lessons? Once a week is a common practice. However, at Yamaha it’s also possible to attend twice a week, such as with a package course of one group and individual lesson each week. How should I decide between choosing individual or group lessons?

Will I need to purchase the instrument? Yes, it’s recommended if you’re keen to see steady progress in your child. Will my child have opportunities to perform? Definitely! An established school will organise regular concert recitals. Children benefit greatly from the opportunity of performing in front of an audience. The exposure gained from these concerts is enlightening and instils a lifelong passion for music. What are some ways I can help grow my child’s interest in an instrument and encourage practice? • As a parent, be engaged and show interest in what your child is learning by finding out what pieces they are working on or new skills learnt.

• Play recordings of music in various genres and styles. • Invest in music books containing popular current songs. • Attend musicals or children’s music concerts. • Create a rewards scheme.

What should I look out for when engaging a music teacher? One that encourages and inspires students to love music, not just focusing on how to play the instrument. The teacher should also be patient and allow children to learn at their own pace. It’s also important for the teacher to make learning fun and enjoyable in a stress-free and comfortable environment.

Yamaha Music School has multiple locations islandwide. Visit sg.yamaha.com for more information.



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