Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Review + Giveaway: Aureus Academy!

Dumpling has been learning the Violin for more than 2 years. Learning this instrument has brought out both the good and the bad in us. :p I personally find the violin a hard instrument. Unlike a piano / organ that rarely goes out of tune and the notes are as what you play on the keyboard, for a string instrument, it is so much more technical and even by moving slightly, a different note is played.

Learning an instrument to me, may not be the same thing as appreciating music. I ,sometimes, find the daily practice a tad too routine and as it leads up to exam days, it can get very dry. So I have always been quite conscious of introducing Dumpling to a range of musical exposure – from attending the Children’s Carnival by SSO to watching musicals and to listening to various genres of music in our car.

What I also wanted to do very much was to also expose Dumpling to camps and acquire a wider exposure to music. So we were really happy and excited when she got to attend a 2-day Camp at Aureus Academy: Aureus Spring Camp.

Aureus Academy specializes in 1-to-1 classes and is started up by 2 brothers. I had the opportunity to understand more about its approach in a recent interview

:: Synopsis
The 2-day camp is the first public camp by Aureus Academy; the previous camps were only offered to its existing students.

The Spring Camp is designed to introduce and exposure children to a musical knowledge, not limited to their existing instruments (if applicable). 

For the 2-day camp Dumpling attended, on a daily basis, the rough structure of the programme is as below:

- Ice breaker games
- Instrument Exploration / An Instrument a Day / Musical Masterworks
- Studio time
- Theory 
- Performance / Concert

The ice breaker games were really fun for the children and all the games played were related to music. It was a great way for the children to warm up. Based on my understanding, the children were pre-grouped to age and if they have any prior musical experience for a better fit of class dynamics.

(Above: "passing the parcel" game where the children learn something about music eg: fun fact about the 
 orchestra or experience something that is written on the card that they draw - eg: blowing the trumpet)

The Instrument Exploration was something which I feel was fun for kids as they got a chance to try out various instruments. Dumpling had the chance to have a go on the trumpet as well as the piano.

This was something which she really enjoyed as she got the chance to go beyond her comfort zone, and it is rare that she is able to try out the trumpet. They were taught the various parts and terms of the instruments and how to play them. For eg for trumpet, she learnt how to position her mouth and what force to use to blow a higher note and for the piano, the position to take on while seated, what the octaves are, etc. 

Other instruments available during the Spring Camp included the guitar, flute, piano and the violin.

The children were also introduced to different works by famous masters and the pieces. Dumpling was introduced to was Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 while on another day, the children explored Peter and the Wolf, by Sergei Prokofiev. 

In the latter, the teachers introduced the various instruments and its sounds to them and explained how different instruments take on a different 'persona' where they represent a different animal.

Children also had the opportunity to be split into various groups for private studio time.

This means that for children who are learning an instrument, they will then move on to a studio to have 1:1 time with the teacher that is teaching that instrument.

(Pic above: teacher leading children through their pieces during Piano Studio time. Each child gets a 1-1 time with the respective teacher.)

Additionally, for those who are learning an instrument, they had the chance to practise some pieces for a recital at the end of the day. 

Now, for others without the experience, the children will be grouped and would for eg be exposed to rhythm and beats using percussions (photo below).

:: What I like about the camp

From a parental standpoint, as an introduction for children to music, I like that there's many layers of musical elements being introduced. The children did not just had the chance to work on their own instruments for the end-of-day recital but also had the chance to learn about note values and even singing. 

From warm up games to trying out the various instruments, it gave the children a chance to understand the different facets of music and that it is so much more than perhaps learning to perfect a song on their instruments. 

I like that the games also teach team work - different children has different parts where all elements come together to form a tune / a musical show. (Clip is taken during the 'rehearsal'. As I was trying not to draw too much attention so as not to disturb the class, the clip is a tad 'dark' due to where I was standing)

During dumpling's studio time, there was no rush and I like that the teacher did not just zoom into the prep work for the performance piece but she checked and corrected the basics such her posture which is an important aspect in playing the violin.

For Dumpling, she enjoyed learning about the various popular works as well as the chance to try her hand at the trumpet. Being the performance bug that she is, she also enjoyed the end-of-day recital. I like this element too as the recital gave children a chance to build up their confidence as well as to have a platform to perform.  

What I would like more of is for Aureus Academy to have a Masterclass which caters to the various instruments where it further adds more understanding and depth of the instruments and the pieces the children are learning. The technical bit are delved further into, pieces are explained and explored further which leads to a longer studio time. 

All in all, Dumpling enjoyed herself tremendously. Surprisingly she enjoyed the singing classes and exploring the famous masterworksz We will definitely be keen to try out the next camp with the addition of Masterclass!

Interested to know more about Aureus Academy and its unique approach? 

I am pleased to share that I have 10 FREE TRIAL passes worth more than $500 to give away!

Enter the giveaway using Rafflecopter below: 

Do remember to leave a comment on the comment section on "Which instrument would you like your child to trial 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 of winning! :) 

:: Terms and Conditions:
- Entries that do not fulfil 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 and for new students only. 

That's not all! Aureus Academy is running its Summer Camp in 2 weeks too! 

Aureus Summer Camp

QUOTE BEANIE N US AND RECEIVE A ONE-TIME 20% DISCOUNT OFF THE CAMP! Call Aureus Academy (Rochester Mall) at 6235 6488 to register!


  1. Hello!

    Would really like kid to try the trumpet, he has been asking for the longest time - would definitely bring him great joy and an entirely new experience this holiday if he could join the camp.

  2. My post didn't appear!
    B is learning the violin now but would love him to try the flute. He would sure be delighted to try a wind instrument! Mostly because i love the sound of the flute!

  3. My boy loves piano. His love for it started from Sparkanauts and has always been asking us to send him piano lesson

  4. Would like my son to try the Violin. He's currently in elementary music(piano) course. So that I know which instrument I shall branch him to after this course.

    Thanks for the giveaway !!!

  5. I would like my boy to try out trumpet, since currently he just started learn piano, so he can experience other instrument.


  6. Piano as he is always shows interest in playing when he is at his cousin's place

  7. Piano as she has been talking about piano recently.

  8. Violin... as he recently asked to take classes but im unsure as he is still young.


  10. Think mine would like to try trumpet or flute.

  11. My kid is not exposed much with musical instruments...except for the piano. This will give him a chance to try out

    1. He might like to try the trumpet.

      Eunice Wee

  12. I would like my son to try out piano as it is easier for beginner to start off with. He is new to music and has not been expose to any music formally.

  13. i like for my girl to try piano

  14. My boy would like to try out piano or violin. Thank you!

  15. I would like my boy to try out the piano because he has been saying he wants to learn the piano.

  16. I know my son would love to have a try on the piano as I believe piano is one good musical instrument to let him set his heart on.


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