Thursday, November 24, 2011

cbox Removed...

I have removed the cbox from my blog as someone is trying to impersonate me by using my username "Pooh Bear" in providing comments that does not originate from me. I don't like people to "put words into my mouth", although I am ok if that someone had just used your own username to provide your own comments.

To that someone:
Be daring to speak up your own views, and don't hide behind another person's identity. If you really think something is better, just share your views and reasons using your own identity.

To NW:
I don't know who that someone is, but please ignore the last message in the cbox. Someone is obviously trying to be funny.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My little boy arrived...

My dear little boy arrived on 20 Oct 11. This is much earlier than what I expected and hence I was caught unprepared. Luckily he is my 2nd one, so I have some prior experience which came in useful.

I will be returning to work on 20 Feb 12. So I have a full 4 months break from work to spend time with my 2 little ones and my hubby and of coz to try to prepare for the Grade 5 exams.

My goals for these 4 months would be:-
1. Re-establish a routine with my hubby which is sustainable when I go back to work.
2. Fully toilet-train my girl.
3. Wean my girl off her pacifier.
4. Settles my girl well and manage sibling rivalry.
5. Train my boy to sleep through the night without any night feeds.
6. Settles my boy well in the infant care before I start work.
7. Breastfeeding my boy for at least 4 months.

With the encouragement and support from my hubby, I will be registering for the
17 Mar 2012 Grade 5 Music Theory exams and the July 2012 Grade 5 practical exams. He thinks since I am already preparing for it, might as well give it a try. If fail, then so be it. Haha, just waste money on the exams fees lor.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

If I am taking my Grade 5 exams...

If I am still taking the Grade 5 exams, below will be the planned schedule...

Grade 5 Theory exam:
Fees: SGD 130
Exam Date: 17 March 2012 (Saturday)
Registration Dates: 28 Nov to 9 Dec 2011

Grade 5 Practical exam:
Fees: SGD 240
Exam Dates: July to September 2012
Registration Dates: 13 Feb to 2 Mar 2012

Friday, September 9, 2011

Taking another break...a long one this time...

FY2011 had been a very busy year for me so far, where I had to cope with so many things happening at the same time. It wasn't really a smooth year for me with many bad events, but there were good ones too. As much as I want to continue learning my piano, I have decided to take a break indefinitely, so that I can free up more time to welcome another new member into my family soon and spend more time on other aspects of my life. Yes, a little boy will come into my life next month. With that, I have done my "national call" of replacing my hubby and myself, saying goodbye to baby bumps. =)

I will still play the piano when I need it to relax, but I will not be doing any exams or going for lessons until maybe when my 2 little ones are much older. And yes, it is going to be a few years.

I am glad that my girl sticks to me quite a lot and with another one coming along, I do not want her to feel upset when she realises that she needs to share my time with a "competitor". I believe that sibling rivalry can be managed and minimised, but all that will require effort and time. I am grateful to my hubby for trying all efforts to make sure that I get to pursue my hobby, but I also think I need to spend more time with him and my mummy who is growing old faster especially after my dad moved on just a few months ago. And of coz, as I wish to progress in my career, my work also require more time. So until I can say that I have that extra time to spare without affecting my other aspects of life, I will put piano learning on hold.

It is obvious on what are my priorities and though I do feel sad that I have to put piano learning on hold, I think there are a lot of things that are "fighting" for the limited resource (time) which are more important to me. Definitely, I will introduce music to my 2 little ones and hope that they will enjoy it as much as I do. =)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Higher Music Theory Courses

Places where higher music theory courses are offered (for my own reference):-

185A Upper Thomson Road, Singapore

Tel: 65 6455 6647
Grade 6 - $140, Grade 7 - $150, Grade 8 - $160
Duration (about 21 months) One hour per lesson, with four to six in a group, taught by specialist with a Master degree of Music Education, and author of Theory examination Model Answers.
Estimated Total Damage (Grade 6 to 8): S$3,150 (assuming 21 months)

Blk 713, Ang Mo Kio Ave 6, #01-4040 (2nd Storey), Singapore 560713.
(take the staircase beside Banquet Food Court)
Duration: 12 to 15 months
The course fees for our Music Theory Accelerated Course Grades 6-8 level is $600 per term (approx 3 months) on an individual basis covering 11 lessons of 60 mins each. There is also a one-time registration fee of $20.
Phone: 6554 4097
Estimated Total Damage (Grade 6 to 8): S$3,020 (assuming 15 months)

157 Toa Payoh Lor 1, next to MRT
Fees for grade 6 are $120 per month for ten lessons per quarter. This class will start on orchestral scores/instruments and harmony.
Estimated Total Damage (Grade 6 to 8): S$3,120 (assuming 24 months)


Contact Number : 8388-6876 (Janice)
Email :
(If you decide to email us, kindly provide your name, age, contact number).
Duration: 1 hr/session (4x per month)
Grade 5 $230 (3 mths)
Grade 6 $260 (3 mths)
Grade 7 $280 (4 mths)
Grade 8 $280 (4 mths)
Estimated Total Damage (Grade 6 to 8): S$3,020 (assuming 11 months)

Music Theory Lessons taught by highly experienced music graduate teacher
Individual 1 to 1 and group theory.
Grade 5 at $120 for 4 hourly lessons,
Grade 6-8 crash course at flat rate of $130 for 4 hourly lessons.
The fees for 1 to 1 theory is $150 for 4 hourly lessons.
* For students doing crash course, fees is paid the 1st session of every lesson month for the total no of sessions conducted in that particular lesson month. That is if he or she is able to pack 6 lessons, payment therein will be of 6 sessions, if only 4, then will be just 4 sessions.
Email for enquiries and lesson structures
Estimated Total Damage (Grade 6 to 8): S$1,200 (assuming 32 lessons)

29B Binjai Park, Singapore 589831

Turn in from Dunearn Road, before Caltex petrol station.
5 minutes walk from the main road.
Walk past the antique shops and Ivins restaurant.
Go up by the last stairway to the top floor.

Theory Classes

Grade 6 (group) $145 per month 1 hour
Grade 7 (group) $155 per month 1 hour
Grade 8 (group) $165 per month 1 hour
Grade 6-8 (individual) $360 per month 1 hour
Professional Consultation Lessons $100 per hour -

Estimated Total Damage (Grade 6 to 8):$3,720

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Updates on my Piano Learning

Just wanted to post some updates...

My Grade 5 piano lessons is suppose to be 45 mins per lesson. Although, the lessons usually span from 45mins to 1 hour. In fact, I have checked with my teacher and she says that all her lessons will be 45 mins even when I move up to Grade 6, 7 and 8.

And the tentative charges will be as such:

Grade 5 --- $160/4 lessons (45 mins each including Theory)

Grade 6 --- $180/4 lessons (45 mins each excluding Theory)

Grade 7 --- $200/4 lessons (45 mins each excluding Theory)

Grade 8 --- $220/4 lessons (45 mins each excluding Theory)

And my teacher shared that she will not be teaching Grade 6 and above Music Theory. So which means, if I want to continue to learn my Music Theory up to Grade 8, I will need to look for another teacher who just teach Grade 6 to 8 theory or who can teach both Grade 6 to 8 piano and theory. But I start to like my current teacher, so maybe, I am not that keen to change a piano teacher. Maybe I will look for group lesson for my theory. Anyway, that is an arrangement that I will need to make next year after I sit for my Grade 5 theory and practical exams and receive my results.

I have started to learn my exam pieces and my Grade 5 scales. This first exam piece is A:2 Joseph Hector Fiocco (1703-41) Andante: from Pieces de clavecin, Op. 1. I managed to play through the whole piece. But not at performance level yet. I am actually surprise that I can still play the piece. Haha, I had always think the Grade 5 exam scores look scary and is impossible. And ya, I noticed my sight-reading has improved alot since I completed my Grade 2 exams. Thanks to Nancy for forcing me to learn a new piece every week. But I think I have much to brush up before I am ready to sit for the Grade 5 exams, hence keep practising! =)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Planning to teach my 4 year old niece

My sister had wanted me to try teaching her 4 year old girl piano, hoping test out to see if she is interested in learning piano. And if the test is positive, then my sister will look for a qualified teacher to teach her and get her a new piano! My niece will be using the old Schubert piano which I have given my sister when I bought my Hailun piano.

I guess, this is our cheaper way to test out the interest of our child. I intend to also self teach my girl when she is older to see if she is interested before sending her to formal lessons. I have seen many cases where the child is not interested but being forced to learn piano and never enjoyed it, which I think it is simply a waste of money, coz in the end, these children will never touch the instrument ever again. So if my girl or my niece is not interested, we shall stop and maybe re-introduce it again when they demonstrate that they are interested when they are older.

I will be starting my first lesson with her this coming weekend. This is my first time formally teaching piano to another person and of course, my first time teaching a young child. Hence it is also a learning experience for me. Hope that with this experience, I will also learn how to teach a young child better and apply it to my girl when she is older. Hence, I made my way down to Bras Basah to look for method books for my niece.

I had chosen 2 books for her, not sure if they are the best, but I thought it has lots of activities and pictures in the book which hopefully can keep her interested. And at the same time, they are prepared to prepare young children to move from beginner to Grade 1. There are 4 levels for this series, and of course, I bought Book 1. The 2 books is $17.40 together, so it is not that expensive.

The 2 books chosen are:
(1) Poco Piano for Young Children – Book 1
(2) Music Theory for Young Children – Book 1

I have went through the books and understand the syllabus covered. I have also been trying to plan out my lessons. How fast or how slow I go will depend on how long I can keep my niece interested. I may start with a 30 mins lesson for a start and see how she response. I guess I may need to prepare some self-made teaching materials too, so trying to surf the net to get more ideas.

Will share again after my first lesson with her, and from there, I will see how I can improve and make the learning more interesting. Come to think of it, teaching young children is not an easy task. Teaching adult beginners could be much easier.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

3 exam pieces selected (tentative)

The 3 pieces which my teacher has chosen for my Grade 5 practical exams are (tentatively):

A2: Joseph Hector Fiocco (1703-41) Andante: from Pieces de clavecin, Op. 1
B1: Aleksandr Fyodorovich Gedike (1877-1957) Miniature in D minor: No. 2 from Dix Miniatures en forme d'etudes, Op. 8
C1: Eric Thiman (1900-75) Flood-Time: No. 5 from Water Pieces

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Officially promoted to Grade 5?

My piano teacher has promoted me to Grade 5, that is, charging me Grade 5 fees since 1 April 2011. But I have not totally moved into Grade 5 in all the aspects of my piano learning. Hence, I do think she is charging a Grade 5 fees prematurely. But afterall, she is not charging as much as other piano teachers, hence, I took the "give and take" approach and allowed to be prematurely promoted to Grade 5. Afterall, don't want her to feel unhappy and she did touch on Grade 5 stuff, and with that, hope she will focus more on me.

Although prematurely, below is the time I have moved from one Grade to another.
Not counting the 3 months which I rested when I gave birth. This is the start of the 33th month into my piano learning. I will be in Grade 5 for quite a while as the exams is tentatively schedules on the 2nd half of 2012.

Beginner --- 6 mths (no exams)

Grade 1 ---- 8 mths (no exams)
Grade 2 --- 10 mths (theory & practical exams - 7 mths of alternate week lessons)
Grade 3 ---- skip
Grade 4 ---- 7 mths (no exams,alternate week lessons, including the 3 mths break I took to catch up)
Grade 5 ---- starting from Apr 2011

The fees she charges are below, which includes both theory and practical. Reasonable?
Beginner ---- $100 / 4 lessons
Grade 1 ----- $110 / 4 lessons
Grade 2 ----- $120 / 4 lessons
Grade 3 ----- $130 / 4 lessons
Grade 4 ----- $140 / 4 lessons
Grade 5 ----- $160 / 4 lessons
**Noted that most teachers increases the lesson time from 45 mins to 60 mins in Grade 5. Maybe I should ask her too...

What I have covered so far:-

Scales and Arpeggios:
Using the ABRSM Grade 5 Book now.
Learnt all the major scales (both hands together and hands separately)
Learnt 9 harmonic minor scales
(both hands together and hands separately)
Learnt 3 harmonic minor scales (hands separately only)
12 melodic minor scales (not yet)
Contrary-motion scales (not yet)
Chromatic scales (starting from all black keys only, white keys not yet)
Chromatic contrary-motion scales (not yet)
6 Arpreggios
(both hands together and hands separately)
18 Arpeggios (not yet)

Exam Pieces:
Just bought the ABRSM Grade 5 book, but not yet started.

Not yet started. Will be using Nancy's book.

Just bought the ABRSM Grade 5 book, but not yet started.

About 66% through Grade 4 theory.

Keys to Stylistic Mastery 2:
3 more new pieces from contemporary period before I finish the book.

John W. Schaum Piano Course F - The Brown Book:
Learnt 6 pieces.

A Dozen A Day Book 2:
Have not touched it for a real long time. Guess Nancy is not keen to touch on this.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Reviewing 2011 Music Resolution

After one quarter into FY11, just wanted to see how I have progressed on the Resolution which i set in the beginning of the year, and what is the exam plan which my teacher proposed.

2011 Resolution

1. Return back to Piano Learning with a Teacher! [Completed]

2. Able to work out a more sustainable practice routine! [In progress]

3. To complete my Grade 4 Theory (Music Theory in Practice & Past Year papers) [In progress]
4. To learn and master at least 12 new pieces (1 piece a month) [In progress]
5. To complete the "A Dozen A Day Book 2" [Not on track]

6. To learn the scales and arpeggios needed for Grade 5. [In progress]

Exams Siting (tentative plan from my teacher)

Grade 5 Theory ............ Mar 2012 (register in Nov 2011)

Grade 5 Practical ......... Sep 2012 or Mar 2013 (register Feb 2012 or Sep 2012)

Yes, I will not be taking the Grade 3 and 4 exams. This is also so that I can spend more time playing more pieces. =)

Monday, February 21, 2011


Yesterday, I officially restarted my piano lessons. Great feeling! Glad that I am back in action after a break. My hubby will bring my girl to play at the playground downstairs @ my piano teacher's house, while I am having lessons. This is also to ensure that she gets some workout!

I had a discussion with my teacher, and we decided that my theory and practical shall progress separately. So the plan is that I will take my Grade 5 theory either Oct 2011 or Mar 2012. And either take the Grade 4 practical in 2012 or Grade 5 practical in 2013. Still undecided.

This is so that I have enough time to pick up and not feel too stress about it. I guess she also gathered that I am facing problems finding time to practice the piano.

The examination dates and registration dates for my reference:-


Examination Date

Registration Dates

Theory of Music
Grades 1 - 5: 1000 - 1200
Grades 6 - 8: 1400 - 1700

Saturday 5 March 2011

15 - 26 November 2010

Saturday 29 October 2011

1 - 12 August 2011

Practical Examinations
Mon - Fri: 0900 - 1715 except on public holidays

Grade Exams

February/March 2011

20 September - 8 October 2010

Diploma Exams

April/May 2011

3 - 7 January 2011

Grade & Diploma Exams

July - September 2011

14 February - 4 March 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

Restarting Piano Lessons...

Time flies. Feb 2011 is coming. I was targeting to restart piano lessons in Feb 2011 when I decided to take a 3 month break in Oct 2010. Ya, I have been 3 months plus into my new role, but I am still learning and picking up. It is better now, in that, I do not need to bring work home over the weekend. So the weekend is now mine totally. =)

But I have yet establish a routine to ensure that I have at least half an hour a day to spend learning piano., especially on weekdays. Sigh, guess I need to sacrifice half an hour of my beauty sleep everyday!

Yes, I am still planning to have lessons on alternate weeks, so that I don't feel so rushed. Hoping to take it slowly. Jennifer does not have any weekend slots available this year. And Nancy only have Sunday afternoon available. So I'll restart again after Chinese New Year.