Thursday, October 15, 2015

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

In this second post on our series of trials at Aureus Academy the kiddo and I headed to one of its newest centres at Forum Shopping Mall. Forum Shopping Mall is definitely a familiar ground for many parents who schedule weekend classes for their children. This outlet is Aureus Academy’s second centre at Forum, opened 23 months after its first centre.

:: Facilities
This new outlet functions like an extended “wing” from its other outlet a few doors down and boasts of 10 studios and a half glass panelled (which can be covered up) concert hall that can seat up to 70 people. This allows shoppers / visitors to look in while it encourages students to be used to playing / performing in front of parents, something which I think is important for showmanship.

This centre also includes a retail space selling 2nd hand pianos (price includes free delivery, free adjustable bench, 1 x free tuning, a set of 4 caster cups and a 1 year all part and labour warranty with enrolled students enjoying a further $199 OFF lessons if they were to purchase a piano at Aureus Academy) and other instruments such as violins and guitars. From my chat with Julius Sarabi, Managing Director of Aureus Academy, the centre offers an instalment free payment option too, via UOB credit cards. 

:: Guitar Trial
The kiddo had her first ever piano trial with Aureus Academy the week before this post, with her Aural teacher, Ms Yunshi. For the second trial, Lawrence suggested the guitar. When I first heard about the guitar suggestion, I was surprised. It is an instrument that I would not have considered for the kiddo. I am not sure if it is a Singaporean / Asian preference but most of my friends have kids who are learning the piano, violin and cello. :p

However, upon chatting with Lawrence Sarabi (co-founder of Aureus Academy), I got to learn that the guitar is gaining popularity and there are now 4 full time guitar teachers at Aureus! A good age to start guitar, I was told, is 6 where the child’s motor skills are developed and is now able to follow instructions.

Progression wise, students can opt to take ABRSM exams for the guitar too. 

:: Our Lesson 
Our Guitar Teacher was Nikhil who has a Degree in Music Therapy from the prestigious Berklee College of Music and has 10 years of teaching experience. Nikhil was full of energy and started the session by asking if the kiddo and I know Taylor Swift. Unfortunately, I am not a big fan and the kiddo prefers listening to audio CDs than pop songs (which happens to be something I wish to rectify :p) 

Unfazed, Teacher Nikhil introduced Dumpling to Taylor Swift!

He then linked the song to the 3 chords she will learn that afternoon – A minor, C and G minor.

Teacher Nikhil then proceeded to introduce the kiddo to the various parts of the guitar and taught her to strum. Considering that it was near to the kiddo’s nap time, she was still able to catch on and was actually quite attentive.

 :: What we like about the lesson
The kiddo had her lesson at the recital hall and there were curious passer-by looking on. She remained unfazed with the attention and was totally un-bothered as she sat on, getting acquainted with the new instrument. For “shy” performers, I think that the exposure in “performing” in such a room can only gradually aid and increase their confidence.

I like the energy that Teacher Nikhil exudes and that he tried to bring the lesson to a level where children can relate to, with the introduction of Taylor Swift. With the introduction of the 3 chords, the kiddo can basically do the accompaniment for “Shake it Off”. It was also a good choice of song as the song was upbeat and catchy. :) 

Though we had only gone for one lesson, by the end of the lesson, the kiddo managed to remember the placements for the 3 chords. I would think that she probably will be able to master these 3 chords by lesson 2 or 3 and play/sing alongside to the video.

The guitar is an accompaniment instrument and I like that with it being so portable, it is easy for anyone to pick it up, learn it on a song-by-song basis and can immediately strum / sing to it in 1 – 2 months time.

Nikhil was also very encouraging throughout the lesson and though she was a bit tired that afternoon, she was mighty pleased with herself for mastering the 3 chords! After we got home and when she has woken up from her nap, in her words, she said “Mama, actually the guitar session was quite fun!” and proceeded to ask me for Taylor Swift YouTube clips. LOL

And a high-5 to end off for a job well done!

:: Teacher’s profile 

Aureus Academy is now offering a FREE 1:1 GUITAR TRIAL! But that's not all! A beginner's guitar worth $100 will be given to the first 5 students who sign up for term classes! 

Trial is FOC and is for children from 6years old. 
Trials are also on a non-obligatory basis.

Keen on trying out the guitar? Just leave your name and email address in the comment section below so that we can be in touch! :)

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

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored series of conversations and music experiences between Aureus Academy, Dumpling and I. 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
Now Opened!
112 East Coast Road
Singapore, 428802

Phone: +65 6235 6488
You can also connect with Aureus Academy through its Facebook page!


  1. Ratna Mishra

  2. Pamela Gordon

  3. Jennifer Quek

  4. Jennifer Quek

  5. Serene Lim

    Would love to register both my older boys for the trial class 😊

  6. Thank you so much for making this website! It has been very useful and awesome.

  7. Really very informative tips and thanks for sharing


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