The end-of-year school holiday is my favourite-est time of the year. In no small part due to the fact that I can take a break from waking up at 6am!
It is also truly a blessing to have time with my kids to do as we please. Of course, if my kids had their way, their ideal holiday break would involve watching copious amounts of TV and unlimited time playing games on the tablet. Fortunately (or unfortunately for them), I’m the one in-charge!
One of the things I love best about the long break is that it offers us a chance to try something new that we did not have the time to do during those precious term-time waking hours. So when we were offered the chance by Aureus Academy to pick up a musical instrument for the holidays, I thought it was the perfect opportunity for both children to explore music and pick up some skills, or at least some exposure to a new instrument apart from the piano, which they both have some degree of proficiency in.
Aureus Academy offers an impressive range of lessons to choose from, and I felt a little spoilt for choice when trying to decide between the ever-popular Strings like the Violin or Cello, and the Guitar and Drums, and even Brass instruments or Vocals. Mei however was surprisingly clear about what she wanted to learn. Almost without listening to all the options I was spelling out for her she decided: It was the Cello she most wanted to try. I was actually quite taken aback — I didn’t even know that she knew what a cello was! Then I told me that a K2 student at her kindergarten performed with her cello during the kindy year-end concert and realised that that was what triggered her interest.
She was super excited and raring to start, and enthusiasm, as we all know, is half the battle!
Arrangements were quickly and readily made at the Aureus Academy branch that was most convenient to us, Forum the Shopping Mall. There she was introduced to her cello teacher, Teacher Ling Yi. During the first lesson, Noey and I had the opportunity to sit in as Teacher Ling Yi patiently taught Mei the different parts of the cello and the bow and how to hold them. She then guided Mei to try her hand at plucking to some simple songs. I was glad to see that Mei caught on quickly, easily remembering the four different strings and had no difficulty following along and plucking to different rhythms. She then spend some time teaching Mei the proper bowing technique, which I frankly thought was not quite as easy as it looked.
It was only 30-minute session but I felt like we covered quite a bit of ground!
The little miss had the most serious expression on her face the whole time, which made me wonder if she was really enjoying herself. But the answer was evident in the HUGE smile she broke into when she finished the lesson. That and the resounding “YES!!” she gave me when asked if she enjoyed playing the cello and wanted to continue!
She’s since had a couple of lessons which she has looked forward to and enjoyed tremendously. Most of the time has been spent on improving her bowing technique as Teacher Ling Yi is of the view that it is important to build a good foundation from the start, something that I subscribe too as well. Mei therefore still thinks that “the cello is very easy because there are only four notes”. Haha. But I’ve seen her steadily improving as she grasps the bow with increasing confidence and I think she’s on the right track.
Check back with us in a month for an update on how she’s doing!
If you’re thinking of letting your children try something new, or if you’ve always been wanting to learn some music yourself, the good news is that Aureus Academy offers lessons for both children as well as adults, and they offer a FREE, NO OBLIGATION TRIAL CLASS. This way you can get a taste of what to expect and the teachers can assess your proficiency and pitch the lessons at an appropriate level for you.
Special Discount: Just for the readers of this blog, get a one-time $50 discount off your first lesson upon registration by quoting “LIFE IS IN THE SMALL THINGS”!
If you’re staying in town for the holidays like we are, Aureus Academy is also running their popular Winter Camp this November and December where students would get the opportunity to try different instruments in the An-Instrument-A-Day programme, attend master classes to sharpen their skills and improve their musicality and develop a better appreciation for the study of music through various activities. Check out this page for more details!
Noey’s also been learning something new, with some surprising results. I’ll share more in my next post!
Aureus Academy is one of Singapore’s fastest growing music schools with over 1,800 students enrolled. Specialising in providing individually tailored piano, violin, guitar, and vocal lessons to students of all ages and abilities, Aureus Academy is conveniently located in 5 centres covering most parts of Singapore:
|Forum The Shopping Mall
583 Orchard Road
#B1-18, Singapore 238884
35 Rochester Drive
#03-08/15, Singapore 138639
112 East Coast Road
#03-10, Singapore 428802
53 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3
#03-03, Singapore 569933
3 Gateway Drive
#03-18, Singapore 608532
*This post is the 1st in a series of posts written in collaboration with Aureus Academy. We were invited to experience a term of lessons with Aureus Academy, and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.