Play by Ear Music School (Singapore) is the official school for P.B.E.S™ - Play by Ear Syllabus™ (Study of Contemporary Music Improvisation & Aural Techniques). It is a teaching methodology that was written by an international team of teaching professionals and performing musicians, designed to make the experience of learning music and improvisation easily accessible to all ages, regardless of their experience with music. It helps any student, even a complete beginner, to acquire essential musical knowledge and to gain an ability to play the instrument in a reasonable span of time. A decade in making, the meticulously crafted approach has been evolving and improving since 2003. The holy grail of textbooks - the first book published by the Play-By-Ear publications, ‘How to Play Pop Piano by Ear’ (ISBN 981-05-2071-9 archived in National Library) in 2004, was the first primary textbook used for teaching our students in Singapore.
The journey was rigorous and it took years to understand. Musicians improvise freely, yet they struggle to teach the very basis of it because of its instinctive nature. As educators, we were able to understand the subject and distil it into a teachable method. We approached the task process of course-designing seriously. Quantity does not equal quality. Our approach was never to add more content for the sake of content, but to be progressive, to refine and to elaborate. Music is a wide subject that it is impossible to cover every aspect of it. Over the years since 2003, P.B.E.S™ was repeatedly overhauled, with the involvement of performing musicians and educators who have all come to come a consensus that P.B.E.S™ is both a theoretically sound and a practical teaching method, which is of utmost importance.
Our courses, in-conjunction with P.B.E.S™, pave the way for anyone to attain their desired musical proficiency – be it as a subject of academic study, for proficiency of performance or for personal enjoyment. The courses available include Pop Piano, Jazz Piano, Pop Guitar, Pop Vocal, Pop Piano Junior & Pop Piano Kids. Students may also learn ‘backwards’ – that is, go back to earlier subjects in more detail, after they have completed the regular P.B.E.S™ program under the Advanced P.B.E.S™ Understudy program. Any prior experience, knowledge of music or raw talent, or the lack thereof, creates no obstacles for one to study at our school, since the teaching method is highly adaptive to each individual student’s needs and wishes. Complete novices will benefit from P.B.E.S™ by being able to play without going through years of traditional or classical training; however, not disregarding the rudiments of music such as proper posture, fingerings and notation reading.
Today, P.B.E.S™ is a widely accepted teaching methodology available as a franchise in selected world centres, i.e. Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada. All newly enrolled students and existing students who upgrade to subsequent levels will receive a complementary P.B.E.S™ student edition textbook relevant to their level, in order to make the learning experience easier and more efficient.