Monday, March 9, 2015

Aureus Academy Giveaway!

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination
and life to everything.” - Plato

It's been 2odd years since Dumpling started her music education. She has been enjoying her classes and I came to know of Aureus Academy as some of Dumpling's friends are attending and enjoying their lessons there. I am excited to share that Aureus is giving away some Spring Camp passes (happening next week!) worth more than $400! 

Before we get to the giveaway, I wanted to add that I have been receiving questions via PMs on and off and thought to take the opportunity to reach out to Lawrence (co-founder of of Aureus Academy) and pose some of these questions to him! :) 

Me: Let's start off by telling us a bit more about Aureus Academy. 
Lawrence: Aureus Academy opened its first branch in September 2013 at Delfi Orchard. We currently have 3 locations which are at Delfi Orchard, Forum Shopping Mall and our new flagship at Rochester Mall. We have plans to open 2 more centres in the next year as well!

I was trained professionally as a concert pianist, and often received requests to teach privately. As we did more research, we realised there was a huge demand in Singapore for music teachers, but that the quality and experience varied greatly. We decided start Aureus Academy, that only hires professionally trained musicians who are able to work well with young children.

Me: how is Aureus Academy unique or different from the other music schools?
Lawrence: Our goal is to ensure that each and every child receives an excellent foundation and an enjoyable learning experience. Because of this, we only hire teachers who hold qualifications (Bachelor’s and Master’s) from performing arts universities. Several of our teachers even have glowing reviews from the Straits Times as solo performers! 

While these qualifications are very important, an equally important step is a training and assessment process that is unique to Aureus that ensures that teachers are able to communicate and work with the youngest students.

In addition to this, we allow, and encourage, parents to sit in lessons so they can actively participate in the development of their child’s musical journey. We understand that parents are busy and can’t always make time to sit in, so we've also designed our very own student handbook that allows for communication and updates on a weekly basis. Teachers keep parents informed of each lesson by writing in the student handbooks - technique, pieces, aural, sightreading, theory, and practice notes.

Our lessons are also specially designed to engage each student in a way that suits their learning style. Whether our students are interested in learning an instrument for fun or looking for exam certification, Aureus Academy teachers tailor the lessons so they are specific to the learning goals of each student. We have students who have never touched an instrument before, students who want to learn pop music such as Coldplay, and students who are preparing for exams (grades 1 - diploma). All of these students have their music lessons tailored to their goals by our highly qualified teachers!

Lastly, Aureus Academy parents don’t have to worry about make up lessons as we are extremely flexible. We understand that things come up last minute, children wake up sick, or you just forgot! Because all of our teachers are full-time, we are able to give you make up lessons whenever your schedule allows. We often extend lessons or arrange lessons on other days based on your preference and availability.

Me: I often receive questions from readers on how to choose a music school. Can you provide us with some tips?
Lawrence: I think that the most important thing is that the student and teacher have excellent chemistry. All parents should request a trial lesson (preferably free!) that allows you to see whether or not your child is receptive to the teacher and his/her teaching styles. We have always made it part of our core philosophy to offer free trials at Aureus Academy, as it is critical to see how your child and teacher work together before making any commitments.

Some things that you may like to look out for also include:

  • Make up lessons - What is the policy for make up lessons? Short notice and Vacation?
  • Changing times - Do they allow you to change times if needed? Sometimes activities come up in advance and you should be able to arrange for another day/time.
  • Changing teachers - Do the teachers change (frequently)? Sometimes, you pay for lessons and half of them are not with the teacher you want / had the trial with. What would be the reasons a teacher would be changed?
  • Response times - How long does it take for them to reply to emails or answer questions on the phone?
  • Hidden Fees - Are there any fees that are not made clear from the ads/brochures?
  • Parental involvement - Do they allow parents to sit in lessons? If not, what is their reason? Are you briefed after the lesson as to what happened in the lesson, what the homework is and what areas to support in child in?

Me: Should a child start with music appreciation?
Lawrence: At Aureus Academy, we believe that individual lessons are fundamental to ensure consistent learning and progress. While group lessons do allow for exposure, I have always felt strongly that the personalised attention received in an individual lesson allows for a more progressive and enjoyable learning experience.

Me: How would I know if my child has a flair in music? Should my child specialize in a particular instrument? If so, how do we choose it?
LawrenceMusic is a fundamental part of what makes us human. We believe that all children have equal potential, and while certain aptitudes or strengths may manifest themselves in different ways, it is the responsibility of the teacher to help discover and develop natural talent. When students are very young, we recommend learning the piano or violin in an individual setting as they are excellent instruments for developing a strong foundation.

Me: How is music is important to children?
LawrenceThe benefits of learning a musical instrument are too many to number! By learning a musical instrument, children develop motor skills, cognitive abilities, discipline and are able to broaden their emotional horizons. We fundamentally believe that learning a musical instrument can have a tremendous number of benefits later in your life, even if you choose a completely different profession. 

Many of the world’s greatest minds and leaders, such as Albert Einstein, Bill Clinton and recent Nobel Laureate (Nobel Prize for Medicine 2013) Dr. Thomas Sudhof all emphasize how important learning a musical instrument was to achieving their great successes.

Me: My child finds it tiresome to practice; is there any hard and fast rule about home practice? How do I make it interesting?
LawrenceThe key to success in practice is developing a regular routine. Children thrive on structure, and it’s critical that regular practice (even if only for 5-10 minutes) becomes a part of a daily routine. People often get stressed out about practice as they reserve everything at the last minute, which results in the negative learning experience. If parents can make practice a positive part of a daily routine (using rewards help!) it becomes a much more positive, and beneficial, experience for all.

Me: What do you think of exams? Is it a must?
LawrenceOne of our core values at Aureus Academy is helping each and every child (and their families) develop at their own pace and preferred method. We have students who do not take exams, while we have others who design all of their learning around them. We recommend that exams function as a  meaningful part of a learning process, and not just an end goal. In addition to this, 2 of our 3 centres (Delfi and Rochester) are exam centres for the Associated Board of the Royals Schools of Music. 

Keen to experience Aureus Academy's pedagogy and approach?  

I am pleased to share that Aureus Academy is giving away 2 passes to its Spring Camps! 
1 x 2 days of camp (Worth $274)
1 x 1 day of camp (Worth $149)

In this camp, your child will get a chance to be introduced to the great Masterworks of the Western Classical repertoire in its Musical Masterwork segment. Students will be exposed to the great performances of works such as the Beethoven Symphonies and Stravinsky’s Ballets. 

Not sure what instruments are suitable for your child? This camp also features a Instrumental Exploration where he/she is exposed to the various instrument families, the instruments of the orchestra and are even given the chance to try their hand at a variety of instruments! A hands-on introduction to orchestral instruments and guitar in respective families (strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion).

More details in the flyers below:

If you wish to register for the camp prior, Aureus Academy has extended some really attractive discount codes! Call 6235 6488 (after 11 March!) and:

Be the first 2 callers to quote Beanie’n’us 50% to get a 50% Discount (savings of more than $70!)

The next 5 callers to quote Beanie’n’us 1-5 will receive a 25% Discount (savings of almost $40!)

The last 5 callers to quote Beanie’n’us 6-10 will receive 10% Discount

Earn credits using Rafflecopter below: 
Do remember to leave a comment on the comment section on "Which is the activity that you look most forward to in this Spring Camp and why?"

You can share this post with your friends on your FB page for extra credits!
(For Singapore residents only) 
The more credits you earn, the higher your chances! :) 

:: Terms and Conditions:
- Camp is for children who are between 4 - 13 years old. 
- Entries that do not fulfill the requirements stated will be disqualified without notice.
- Winners will be notified by email, through the email address provided. 

- This giveaway is for Singapore residents only. 

About Lawrence Holmefjord-Sarabi 

Hailed by The Straits Times as “Awe Inspiring”, Lawrence Holmefjord-Sarabi is an active 
pianist on the international
 musical scene.  As a concerto soloist, Lawrence has performed Beethoven’s
 Piano Concerto No. 1 and Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Philharmonia Healdsburg and Ukiah Symphonies. Lawrence worked both privately and in public masterclasses with various artists such as Evelyne Brancart, Tomislav Baynov, Yong Hi Moon, Marian Hahn, Leif Ove Andsnes, Lori Kaufman, Melvyn Tan and Andre Watts.

In competition, Lawrence was awarded two of the top prizes at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music Concerto competition. He is also the very first American in the history of the competition to become both a finalist and a multi-prize winner. His performance of the Bartok 2nd piano concerto received enthusiastic reviews from The Straits Times which stated “It is not every day one gets to hear Bartok’s thorny Second Piano Concerto, and one played with such finesse and ferocity as the American Lawrence Holmefjord-Sarabi”. 
Lawrence was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and began his piano studies with Virginia Cayton followed by Dr. John Robert Ringgold, a pupil of Artur Schnabel. Lawrence’s prestigious teaching lineage (through Dr. Ringgold and Artur Schnabel) goes all the way back to Beethoven!
Lawrence completed his high school studies at the age of 16 (in an accelerated programme) before pursuing his conservatory auditions. Lawrence is a graduate (and full scholar) of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory where he was the first American pianist accepted in the history of the conservatory. 

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

:: Delfi Orchard
402 Orchard Road
#04-03/04, Singapore, 238876
Monday – Friday: 2:00pm – 8:00pm
Saturday – Sunday: 9:00am – 7:00pm

Phone: +65 6235 6488


  1. Im looking forward to the Instrumental Exploration!! It definitely helps and gives us a bigger exposure & understanding to the variety of instruments provided.

  2. This would definitely give kiddo a different prospective to his music appreciation, looking forward if we win!

  3. Instrumental Exploration to let the kiddo explore all kinds of instruments and see what he likes


  4. Instrumental Exploration for me!

    Kids have been asking for piano classes but I am afraid to take that 1st step with such a bulky instrument...... :(

    Shirley Yong

  5. Instrumental exploration, because it will be a useful intro and overview to the various musical instruments for my son to decide which to pursue.

    Robert Sim

  6. Instrumental exploration, as my kids are not sure which instrument they are really keen in.
    Jaime Chan

  7. We have a piano at home, but my second boy has expressed that he prefers drums or guitar. Before we commit to any instrument, i think exposing him to the Instrumental Exploration at the Aureus Academy's camp will be helpful.

    Carol Lim

  8. It has to be instrumental exploration cos my girls have not been exposed to music yet. I hope this could get them kickstart somewhere somehow.

    Michelle Ng

  9. My daughters like music and have not explore on music instrument. Hope to win it to let them try on it

    Patrick poon

  10. Instrumental exploration for more exposure to different instruments

  11. Knowing my kids who are very hands-on and experimental, they would look forward to the Instrumental Exploration!
    I am also excited to see how they handle, react and take to to the different types of musical instruments.
    Thanks for the unique giveaway!

  12. Instrument exploration since it will let my boy try out diff instrument that he have not tried before ....

    Mona -

  13. Every student gets to perform at the end of the camp.
    Serene Leow
    Fb: Ace Serene

  14. An instrument a day . It will provide an answer to her why and how each instrument works . Hope to win the music pass to let her have a hands on experience


  15. I look forward to 'An instrument a day' activity. It is such a rare opportunity for my boy to have a first-time experience in an instrument. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway!!!

    Nancy Koh

  16. I actually like the Musical Masterworks the best (it is not listed in the flyer but in your website). It is because usually we do not have time to go through this during the usual individual lesson. This session allows the kids to better understand the various great composers and their works. They will then better appreciate what they are learning and playing :)

    Chan Wai

  17. Instrumental Exploration so that we know what my girl likes.

  18. The girl would totally love trying out different instruments in An Instrument A Day though it might well mean that she'll want to do them all! Then I'm doomed. :)


  19. A unanimous yay to " An Instrument A Day" for us!

  20. Instrumental exploration would be wonderful as my child does learn an instrument but is always curious if he can manage another!

  21. Instrument Exploration for me too.

    Carol Khoh

  22. Instrumental exploration will be great for my child to explore, learn and enjoy music.

  23. I am looking forward to the Instrumental Exploration in this Spring Camp because it will gives an opportunity to my child to try a variety of instruments and helps us to see which one is of interest to my child. Thank you for the giveaway :-)


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