First of all, the tips in this article will only be specific to local students taking their ABRSM examinations in Singapore, and is not general tips for the piano exams. If you are instead looking for a private piano teacher to teach you regimental lessons for your piano exams in the comfort of your home instead, then check out SG LEARN PIANO.
Firstly, the examination room is really cold to suit the foreign examiners who usually hail from cold European countries. As a local in Singapore, you are probably not used to the extreme cold, and even if you are, you may not be able to play the piano properly due to your forearm muscles feeling much colder than usual. Therefore, it is important to keep yourself sufficiently warm when you are in the examination room. It is better to err on the side of being slightly warm than slightly cold, so that your piano playing will sound normal and not forced.
Secondly, many Singaporeans are shy during the vocal part of the ABRSM piano examinations compared to their foreign counterparts. This is because most Singaporeans are relatively shy of publicly showing their singing skills. Therefore, make sure to practise this singing and always imagine there are lots of people in front of you. In fact, get over your awkwardness by getting family members to sit in front of your while you practise. Over time, you will grow numb to this supposed ‘awkwardness’ and you will also feel comfortable during the piano examinations.
Thirdly, a lot of local students use the examiners’ facial expressions to judge whether they have performed well or not. However, that is a mistake. These examiners are there because their job forces them too. Therefore, if they look unhappy, it probably means they want to be back home (let’s be realistic if your exam is late in the day) and has nothing to do with your scoring. However, if they look happy, it may not necessarily mean you performed well – it could simply mean that they just had a full lunch. Do not take their facial expressions as cue of how well or poorly you have performed. Just focus on doing well.
Have you ever wondered how much piano lessons cost in Singapore, especially if you want your child to attain the prestigious grade 8? Here is a breakdown of all the costs that you may experience when trying to get your child to piano ABRSM grade 8 proficiency level.
First of all, you will most likely need your child to invest in a piano at your own home. Practice is the number one thing that is needed to get your child up to the necessary proficiency level to pass his/her grade 8 examinations eventually. If you want to buy an upright (regular) piano, you can get a second hand one for around $4000, while you can get a new one from $7000 to $15000. There is no need to get a grand piano when he/she is just starting out.
Second of all, let us take a look at the piano lesson fees. You could either send your child to a music school, or the popular choice is to simply engage a private piano teacher to your home to teach him/her. This is the popular choice as they are usually cheaper than schools, more convenient than schools, and your child gets to learn on his/her own piano. Piano lessons are usually once a week. If you were to take private home piano lessons in Singapore, you will need to pay between $130 for Grade 1 and up till $350 for Grade 8 monthly. This is the rates for a private piano teacher, and it will be higher if you were to learn from schools. Just get a private piano teacher, and if you do not know how to find one, ask for an agency on Google or ask a friend for referral (only use this method if your friend’s child actually passed the exams on the first try.) Most children in Singapore take 1 year to pass each grade. Taking an average of $250 per month and $3000 per year, total piano lessons over 8 years will cost around $24000. Add in inflation and price hikes, you will be looking at around $30000.
Third of all, ABRSM piano exams cost money. To take all of the examinations once and pass it on the first attempt, you will need approximately $3700.
As you can see, piano lessons are not cheap. However, they are a great form of investment in your child. Some people say that they want their child to learn the piano so that they can teach others piano part time in future to earn extra income. That is true. However, another great benefit of having your child learn the piano, especially if your child is still in his/her primary school years, is that there are many studies which show that playing the piano is directly correlated to increase in a child’s IQ. Therefore, if you want your child to go to a good school, perhaps invest in getting him/her piano lessons too on top of regular tuition classes! After all… you cannot be overly kiasu.