Thursday, October 1, 2015

Review! Our Music Journey: Piano Trial @ Aureus Academy!

Aureus Academy at Rochester Mall is the organisation’s third centre in 18 months. Conveniently located just outside the lift lobby on level 3, the Rochester centre houses 8 studios and a recital hall, that can sit up to 40 people.

Aureus Academy employs 30 full-time music teachers between its 3 centres: Forum Shopping Centre, 112 Katong (Opening in October) and Rochester Mall. Recognising convenience as an important consideration for parents, all centres are either located near bus stops or within walking distance to the MRT stations. 

The 3 Aureus Academy centres now boast of more than 1000 students, an impressive feat since the Academy started only 2 years ago. Dumpling was invited for a series of private 1:1 trials, a teaching philosophy which Aureus is known for having won the “Best Enrichment and Learning School” for 2014/2015 award by Parents World. 

:: Piano Trial
Besides the Spring Camp which she attended earlier in the year, Dumpling has no prior experience in piano as she has zoomed in, from a rather young age, to the violin. I do think fundamentally, that keyboard experience is important for intonation so I was actually looking forward to the kiddo attending this trial.

:: Lesson time

The lesson was done in Rochester Mall where the private trial is a 30-minute lesson and was with her Aural teacher, Ms Yun Shi who has a Masters in Music Education (read more about Yun Shi below). It is evident that Ms Yun Shi is familiar and at home with teaching young children. From the few months that Dumpling has been attending Aural with her, I have observed that her students are mainly young children. 

Upon entering into the studio, Ms Yun Shi immediately sprung into action and started got the kid to do a bit of warm-up and started singing and clapping together with her. From someone who works in the Early Childhood Education industry, I like that approach as I can almost “see” most children being able to identify with the melody and would likely join in the singing and settle down immediately.

Thereafter, Ms Yun Shi took out a music book filled with colourful illustrations. She proceeded to introduce Dumpling to the various characters in the course book which appear in the book to elaborate on various techniques and activities.

In the half an hour we were there, I felt that Ms Yun Shi managed to cover a fair bit of things. She started off by introducing Dumpling to the various terms / parts of the piano and to observe the right distance.


She then moved on to teaching her on maintaining the right posture and


To also  understanding how sounds are produced from the keys by inviting Dumpling to peek into the piano.


It was a really detailed and meaningful lesson.

Towards the end of that lesson segment, Ms Yun Shi also introduced the correct wrist movements to playing and these were done through some activities from the coursebook. The kiddo was told to picture herself picking up pebbles and rolling it in her palm to obtain the “right” wrist movements. Dumpling was quite tickled with this as she was giggling throughout while “picking” up her purple and red pebbles. :p The lesson ended with the kiddo learning  to play a melody (read below) :)


:: What we like about the lesson
At Rochester Mall, each studio was fitted with large glass panels for natural light to filter in. That gave the studios a bright and airy feeling which I feel sets the mood for the lessons too. What I also like was that Aureus Academy encourages parents to sit in to observe and take notes as the academy believes strongly in parent-school collaboration.

I was also impressed that the academy and teachers do try and set the children up for “success” through positive reinforcements. For e.g. through a simple color coding method, the kiddo managed to ‘play’ “Twinkle twinkle little star”on her own and was mighty pleased with herself as this was her first lesson. I felt that this would have surely served as a great motivation for most children; that they are able to produce a melody from the first lesson. (See clip below)

From a lesson objective basis, the melody enabled the kiddo to practise what she just learnt: posture, distance and wrist movement. Importantly, it also cemented the understanding that the higher the keys go, the higher the pitch and vice versa.



I thought that the lesson flew by really quickly! I am actually pretty amazed that the teacher was able to introduce the basics to the Dumpling and still had time for the kiddo to experiment on the keyboard and finish off with the playing of a song! It was also interesting to note that during the whole lesson, there was no note / sight reading and this was because the trial was for children who are 6 and below. For parents who wish to introduce your children from a young age to music, this approach will build up the children’s confidence slowly and will definitely work well with these younger children; before sight reading is introduced later.



:: Teacher’s profile 
From my chats with the founders of Aureus Academy, I understood that the academy is known for employing and working with highly qualified teachers and importantly, teachers who are patient and are passionate on sharing that musical knowledge and experience with children.

For the convenience of its clients, most teachers at Aureus Academy travel between the various centres to conduct lessons. Ms Yun Shi teaches both the flute and the piano. 


Keen to experience Aureus Academy's pedagogy and approach? 


Aureus Academy is offering:
a FREE 1:1 TRIAL +
$75 gift card*! 

Terms and Conditions:
- Only valid for new students
- Must be redeemed by 31 Oct 2015
- Can only be used towards music lessons (not for products, etc.)
- Cannot be converted to cash value
* Offer ends 9 October 2015

HOW TO QUALIFY? 4 simple steps!
- Leave a comment on this post on why you wish for your child to learn the piano! (PLEASE LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS!)
- "Like" the post on my FB page here
- "Like" Aureus Academy's FB page here
- Tag 3 friends on the post to share the love and offer!

You can read about our experience at the Violin Trial here and our experience at the Guitar Trial here

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored series of conversations and music trials between Aureus Academy, Dumpling and I so that we can share our experience and opinions from the sessions. All opinions expressed are entirely our own. 

About Aureus Academy:
Aureus Academy is Singapore’s fastest growing music school with nearly 1,000 students enrolled amongst its 3 centres. Aureus Academy specializes in providing individually tailored piano, violin, guitar, and vocal lessons to students of all ages and abilities. It also believes that one-on-one is the best environment to learn a musical instrument. Recently awarded “Best in one-to-one Music Lessons” by Parent’s World Magazine, Aureus Academy offers free trial lessons so you can experience it yourself!

Aureus Academy is located at the campuses below:
:: Forum The Shopping Mall
583 Orchard Road
#B1-18, Singapore 238884
Monday – Friday: 10:00am – 8:00pm
Saturday – Sunday: 9:00am – 7:00pm

:: Rochester Mall
35 Rochester Drive
#03-08/15, Singapore 138639
Monday – Friday: 1:00pm – 8:00pm
Saturday – Sunday: 9:00am – 7:00pm

:: 112 Katong
Opening in October!
112 East Coast Road
#03-10
Singapore, 428802

You can also connect with Aureus Academy through its Facebook page!

5 comments:

  1. Hi,

    I wish for my child to learn the Piano, as Music always make us calm & composed. I want her to feel that inner happiness , which not only boost her confidence but also her focus.. I simply like to expose them to different option & let them choose their passion where they will give there 100%..

    Thanks a lot
    email..jainash6677@gmail.com
    Ashmika Jain

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi...am looking for a new music school to have a more holistic music education for my boy! Looking forward for a change!
    Thanks so much.
    Email : yabbie@gmail.com
    Mary Lim

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi, I used to learn the piano so hoping to expose my child to the same wonders of music! Thank you!

    Email: hsuann.yap@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I hope he can experience the joy of music-making as I did.
    cmeilim@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete

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