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Music Examinations Preparation

Top Tips From Professional Music Teachers

Pieces and Studies

~ Choose the pieces you really like with your teacher.

~ Practice slowly. Once you know the piece, practice it through without stopping, keep going and even if you make a mistake.

~ Tackle on short section you encounter with difficulties at a time with patience.

~ Practice with metronome, always work on a slower pace and gradually increase the tempo as you practiced on.

~ Prepare in good time – do not practice last minute before your exam. Practice regularly.

Suggested Books: Abrsm Exam Pieces Book  (Abrsm Publishing)

Grade 8 Piano Anthology (Edition Peters)

Josephine Koh Teachers’ Choice 2011-2012 (Wells Music Publishing)

 

Scales And Arpeggios

~ Practice daily as they are essential for building good technique.

~ Practice slowly with metronome.

Suggested Books: Piano Scales & Arpeggios (Abrsm)

Improve your scales! (Faber ff)

Hanon (Alfred / RhythmMp / Schirmer Performance Editions)

Czerny (Alfred / RhythmMp / Schirmer Performance Editions)

 

Sight-Reading

~ Keep going without stop is the key to a Pass

~ Watch out for the key and other details.

~ Do more

Suggested Books: Piano Specimen Sight Reading Tests (Abrsm)

Joining the Dots (Abrsm)

Sight Reading (Alfred)

Sight Reading For Today (Bosworth)

The Sight-Reading Sourcebook For Piano (Chester Music)

Right@Sight Piano (Edition Peters)

Improve Your Sight-reading! Piano (Faber ff)

Perfect Your Sight-reading! (Faber ff)

Piano Time Sight-Reading Book (Oxford)

Sight Reading for Young Pianists (Poco Studio)

Progressive Sight Reading Pre-Grade One (Simon Soh)

 

Aural

~ Listen to as much music as possible and attend live concerts whenever you can.

~Sing more or back to the tunes you have heard for the first time you on the Television or radio.

~ Join choir, band, chamber group or orchestra.

~ Read more books on the composers, their background, style and their work.

Suggested Books: (NEW) Specimen Aural Tests Grades (Abrsm)

Aural Training in Practice (Abrsm)

Ear Training Book (Alfred)

Prep Course For the Young Beginner Activity & Ear Training Book (Alfred)

Aural Time! (Bosworth)

Aural Test Survival Book (Edition Peters)

Improve your Aural ! (Faber ff)

ABC Of Aural Awareness (RhythmMp)

 

Other Advice From Professional Musicians

~ Practice separate hand at slow pace (be patient) , only speed up when you are “note perfect”

~ Practice everyday, of course. Everybody says “Practice make perfect!”

~ Concentrate and ignore any distractions

~ Warm up 10-15 mins before lesson, try to include scales, arpeggios, and sight reading each time you practise

~ Perform more often to family and friends, play with confidents.

~ Keep your instrument tuned and clean all the time

~ Ask if you do not understand, and jot it down

~ Listen to lots of music – pop, classical, jazz etc..

~Take good care of yourself by – eating a healthy, varied diet

– drink lots of water

– getting lots of sleep

– aiming for a good posture

– avoid real loud music that could damage your hearing

~ Enjoy and appreciate all kinds of music

2018 ABRSM Music Theory Syllabus Changes

ABRSM has made some minor changes to their Music Theory exams at Grades 1 – 5.  The new focus is on essential music theory knowledge and understanding at these levels. But there will be no changes to Grade 6 – 8 questions.

The key changes are:

  • Implementing multiple choice questions for musical signs and terms
  • Simplying questions so they are easier to understand. For instance:
    • -minimizing the amount of information on Time Signature questions (Grades 1 – 3)
    • -Simplifying Intervals questions layout (Grades 4 and 5)
    • -Simplifying the format for Grade 5, Question 7 (chords at cadence points), where Roman numerals are used to describe chords
  • Removal of word-setting, melody-writing and rhythm-writing questions, and the Grade 5 SATB short/open score question (these will be replaced by some questions based on existing focus on specific areas of theory knowledge familiar to candidates)
  • Renewing the format of all exam papers so they are more visually appealing

Overall, the underlying knowledge for each grade stays the same. Candidates are not required to learn anything new to prepare for the exams.

Grade 5 in Music Theory (or in Practical Musicianship or any solo Jazz instrument) remains a prerequisite before candidates could enter for Grades 6 – 8 Practical examinations.

If you plan on taking up an Intensive Music Theory Lessons at our school, give us a call or drop us a note and we’ll contact you soon..

Choose the right violin/cello/guitar sizes

Following is a simple guideline on how to choose the right sizes for Violins, Cellos and Guitar players.

Sizes of Violins

  • 1/16 – Suitable for young children age 3 to five years old. with an arm length of 14 to 15 3/8 inches.
  • 1/10 – Also for young musicians age 3 to 5 years old, with an arm length of 15 3/8 to 17 inches.
  • 1/8 – Again, for young violin enthusiasts age 3 to 5 years old with an arm length of 17.1 to 17.5 inches.
  • 1/4 – This violin is suitable for children 4 to 7 years old with an arm length of 17.6 to 20 inches.
  • 1/2 – For children ages 6 to 10 years old, with an arm length of 20 to 22 inches.
  • 3/4 – Children 9 to 11 years old with an arm length of 22 to 23.5 inches will enjoy playing this size violin.
  • 4/4 – For violinists age 12 and above with an arm length of 23.5 and up. This is the size for adults.

Sizes of Cellos (By Age Group)

  • 1/8 size – 4 to 6 years old
  • 1/4 size – 5 to 7 years old
  • 1/2 size – 7 to 11 years old
  • 3/4 size – 11 to 15 years old
  • 4/4 size – 15 and above

Sizes of Guitars (Acoustic/Classical)

  • 30″ (1/4 size)  –  Age 5 to 7
  • 34″ (1/2 size)  –  Age 7 to 9
  • 36″ (3/4 size)  –  Age 9 to 13
  • 38″ (7/8 size)  –  Age 14 to 20
  • 39″ – 42″ (Adult sizes)  – >Age 20

How To Rosin Your Violin Bow or Cello Bow For First Time Use

Most students and parents who bought their first Violin or Cello are excited to test out the instrument when they brought it home, only to be bewildered that no sound is produced when they put the bow to the strings. What’s missing? Well, it is the Rosin!

Bows are made from Horse tails and they’re obviously really dry when they’re new. These are some simple steps to rosin the bow for first time use:

  1. Use a sandpaper to remove the glossy surface of the rosin (optional but recommended)
  2. Start from the bottom of the bow, work out a 6 inch section for about a minute each time, all the way to the top.
  3. Be patient. It may take a few minutes during the initial bow preparation process.
  4. Wipe off any excess rosin powder on the bow or violin strings with a lint free cloth.

School Calender

EMusic Calendar

Students Performance

Ensemble Music Recital Jul 2019:

EMusic Recital Nov 2018:

Our Students and Teachers’ public performance  on June 5, 2018:

EMusic Studio / Ensemble Music

 

 

 

 

Testiomonials

Testiomonials

Very friendly and efficient staffs. They sent the books I need urgently very quickly. I would strongly recommend to my music teachers friends to get books from them. Thank you very much!

 

Vivian, Piano Teacher
Bukit Merah

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My son Jason upgrades his violin from 1/8 size to 1/2 size with you. He grows with your violin!! Haha… He always misses your sweets at your counter… See you soon when he needs a 3/4 size. Thanks for your great service!

 

Denise Chua, accountant

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Thanks for recommending a good theory teacher to me, she’s a very nice lady, my daughter didn’t take grade 1 to 4, but still managed to pass her grade 5 exam in just one attempt, with only 3 months preparation. Now she can move on to take her grade 6 violin exam. Appreciate your help.

 

Tanya’s Mother

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Thanks for reserving the books I need for my exam=)

 

Kimberly, Student

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Bought the mini uke from Ensemble Music… A Big Thanks for the great service and follow up to the requests I made…

 

Andre Poh

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Suggest more informations and sales of exam books of other exam centre will be helpful for us teachers. Thank you.

 

Clare

Piano Teacher

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Happy New Year Ensemble Music ! Thanks so much for your ongoing support for our activities!

 

From All Staff & Management of Aurora Enterprise

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Happy New Year to All Staffs of Ensemble Music , Have a Blooming Year Ahead… Cheers!

 

Terence & Brothers

Music Arranger / Composers

 

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Merry Xmas, Ensemble Music !

 

Yi Xiang

Singapore Poly Student

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To the management & all the staffs of Ensemble Music, Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year. Cheerio!

 

Fanny & All Students

East Coast

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 It saves me a lot of time to get books from here. Friendly staff with all the prompt email reply. Ensemble, more books on Cello please. Thanks. 

 

Pamela

Music Teacher, Cello

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Thanks & Merry Christmas to Ensemble Music 8)

 

Jiale , Student

Yishun

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Thanks so much for your santa claus, it’s a “BIG” Surprise! Merry Christmas to Ensemble Music! God bless!

Lee,
Upper Thomson

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Do Ensemble Music organise singing or song writing competition, something like Superstar or Singapore Idol? My friends and I will definitely take part. (must not be for more than 16 years old).

Student of Tanjong Katong Girl’s school

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Thanks for the Christmas Complimentary Gift =) You are so generous! My children love it! 

Celine

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Suggest Ensemble Music sell instruments like violins and guitars too.

Alvin,
Music Teacher

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Wow…I ordered at 8pm and they delivered by 9pm on the same day, just like ordering PIZZA! Thanks anyway.

Jia Cang,
Anchorvale Lane

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Too busy to shop for my student’s book after work. Here I can take my time to search for what they need since I could buy anytime when free.

Jesslyn,
Music Teacher

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21st century music book shop?? Will there be a robot doing the delivery??

Musicologist

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I’m really impressed with the service because my books was delivered on the same day I ordered them. I totally didn’t expect the books to arrive so fast and the purchase was a breeze ?

Keep up with the good work and I will definitely recommend Ensemble Music to all my music friends.

Desmond Chew,
Bishan

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It’s good to know now Singapore have our own music books online store, I need not pay for the freight charges by ordering from overseas. Very cost saving.

Mr Lim

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I would strongly recommend Ensemble Music to all my students. (thumbs UP!)

Geok Choo

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There are books that I need but cant find, thanks for replying my email and I manage to get them days later with your help.

Huiling,
Thomson

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Although I did not do any shopping here, I enjoy reading the discussion at their facebook, very interesting and meaningful.

Juliet,
Presbyterian High School

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I can order my student’s books, even ABRSM exam materials anytime round the clock and have the books send over to my home without paying any extra. It’s very convenient. I can find all the books I want easily and the discounts which I enjoy is more than any other stores offer.

Jenny Tan,
Piano teacher for 17 years, Mayflower Road

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Great selection, good prices, convenient and attractive discounts!

Ken Lim,
Violin Teacher, Sengkang

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Good service, thank you so much for the prompt delivery.

Vivian,
East Coast

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Great selection, good prices, convenient and attractive discounts!

Sammi,
Music teacher, Novena

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Wide selection, just like a 24 hours convenient store for a music student, I can get all the music books my gal needs from here, save the trouble of driving, parking, searching high n low, carrying and paying more still.

Zenny,
Housewife, Marine Parade

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It is now very convenient to get my music books with the free delivery service. I no longer have to carry heavy books from the music books shop.

Dawn,
Student, Sembawang

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This site allow one click access to the music books I want without having the trouble to travel out to the music book shop and ended up cant get the book I want due to sold out which happen very often.

Dew Yang,
Student, Sembawang

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My piano teacher, Miss Lee go online with my mother and teaches her how to buy all my music books here as both of them are always busy to find time to go out and buy my new books.

Yixing,
Student, Katong

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I attend music concerts very often and it’s great that I can get grab my concert full orchestration scores from here at low cost.

Alex,
Clementi

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I can find more and get more reference books from here to study for my music exam. Very easy to access this site.

Audrey,
Student, Ang Mo Kio

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Nice store, this solve my problem of searching my student’s books or exam papers around the whole island which is always running out of stock especially before their music exams. Where else I could think of can take my orders on sunday evening.

Mrs Tan,
Piano Teacher

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My son’s piano teacher normally write down a list of books what he needs and I feel extremely tired after work to go and get those books, so I always delay their lesson plan. Thank god now I can get them all from here.

Cheryl,
Working Mother, Tampines

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My children like the books I get for them, and they have chosen from here what they want for their May birthday already! 

Mabel Ho,
Boon Lay

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Will strongly recommend this site to all my students, not just for the books, they have tuning service as well, they have provided almost everything my students will need.

Madam Kang,
Music Teacher, Upper Thomson

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I used to pay a lot on the freight charges to get the books I need from Europe, it cost more than I get it from here. I dont have to pay so much anymore.

Rayner,
Sixth Avenue

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Should you have testimonials for us, please use our Contact Form, or send us an email tofeedback@ensemblemusic.com.sg.