Introduction to P.B.E.S™

Play by Ear Syllabus™ (Study of Contemporary Music Improvisation & Aural Techniques – PBES) 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 novice, to acquire essential musical knowledge and gain the ability to play the instrument in a reasonable span of time, without going through years of traditional or classical training.

A decade in the 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.

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 Improvisation, Jazz Piano Improvisation, Pop Vocal Improvisation & Pop Piano Junior. Each course comes in 4 levels of difficulty (with the exception of Jazz Piano Improvisation).

P.B.E.S™ uses a modular approach, in which students can choose to learn what they like and apply them to the choices of songs they prefer. Because all students are from various walks of life, P.B.E.S™ ensures that what is learned will only complement and not conflict with previous music training (if any). Above all, the training never disregards the rudiments of music such as proper posture, fingerings and notation reading. It is the fundamental assurance that every student learns only what is deemed correct in the educational system of music. Today, P.B.E.S™ is a widely accepted teaching methodology available as a franchise in selected world centres.

“It was a long and rigorous journey but on a very enduring road. It took years to understand that musicians are able to improvise without restriction and do so unhindered however, the very basis of teaching becomes a struggle because of its distinctive nature. This was how P.B.E.S™ managed to bridge this gap.” – Founder of PBE