Classical refers to a genre of music, not a methodology. The genre of music dates back to historic years of music, the actual birth of music and the era that classical musicians such as Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin dominated the scene. We can define ‘classical’ music as any music that was composed before the 19th century that includes amalgamations of sub genres such as baroque, romance etc.
We will begin with the ongoing debate, that is the dilemma with taking music examinations or not. Are they necessary? For ease of use, we will consider the piano as the principle instrument.
In today’s context, it becomes a widely accepted fact that music examinations are intended for the standard purpose of classical training and not for contemporary (pop). In any case, even though it is often associated with examinations, classical music is not the same as the examinations that often accompany them. Basically, you can learn how to play classical music without taking any examinations. It is not a necessary prerequisite to the genre.
There is nothing wrong with learning Classical music. All musicians have a great deal of respect for the genre because they consider it to be the holy grail of music. The point is, it is not the end phase but the journey you begin that can be the biggest challenge and it comes down to the way people are learning classical music. Again, we mean no sleight to classical music itself. The debate is not why your child should learn music, but whether your child should be required to undergo an examination and if it can be an option to avoid, should you want your child to learn music, whether classical or pop.
These are the conclusions
  1. Examinations can kill interest in music.
  2. Examinations create stress.
We will never completely eliminate all examinations because, in many industries, there is no viable alternative. For example, if you want to be an engineer or architect, you’ll need to pass the proper exams to get certified to start constructing buildings. After all, our lives are in their hands. This same principle applies to many other significant professions such as, pilots, physicists, dentists, surveyors and almost every other occupation you can think of.
Moving back to the subject of music examinations, here are statistics that were gathered over the past 15 years. These are through our students’ database and includes a public survey that was made on the 20th December 2018, of 50 individuals between the ages of 21-50 who learned classical music and went through to completing classical examinations.
  • More than 42% of people who took exams attained the maximum Grade 5 or less.
  • Less than 22% of people who took exams attained Grade 8 or higher.
  • More than 91% of people who took exams have hardly played the piano since they were young, due to a loss of interest.
Everyone listens to music in some capacity. No one detests music. The fact still remains that the majority of people with desired objectives to learn music, these wishes do not match the results in reality. Imagine that your child decides that he or she would like to learn to play music. What is your real and honest objective? Here are the common ones.
  1. You want your child to have a skill that they can develop in the future or possibly an opportunity to have a career in music.
  2. You want your child to enjoy playing music and this in turn would ignite areas in your child’s development.
  3. Your child seems to have a flair for music, so you decide to let him/her learn on that basis.
  4. It’s not something you’ve thought about deeply.  You just want your child to learn something while he or she is still young.  A sense of achievement in life is all that matters to you and for your child.
We will go through each of these reasons in turn and give a response.
  1. Having an extra skill is good. Perhaps they could become a piano teacher or a concert musician, especially if they don’t do well in academic disciplines. While there are many possible career trajectories in the music industry, more than half of them require absolutely no certification. Yes, a certificate is useful for certain music occupations, but for most of the others, all that matters is that you can play. Click her to learn more.
  2. It is definitely true that learning music aids your child’s development. Music helps them both academically and physically. It also boosts their self-esteem because it gives them credibility with their peers. With or without the exams, your child will gain all the benefits that music education has on their development.
  3. If your child shows an early proclivity towards music, you should absolutely help to expose them to music as soon as possible. Perfect and relative pitch hearing skills, alongside the motor skills necessary for playing an instrument, are best cultivated at a young age. Whether or not exams will aid your child really depends on their unique.
  4. Your goal is that you and your child are able to gain a sense of achievement in life.  For you, it doesn’t matter if your child indulges in music which later develops into a career, or whether his certificates will be of any use, or the concerns you might have of whether this interest will even continue when he or she grows up. All these thoughts are reasonable; but you will have to understand, that the journey to learning music and playing any musical instrument efficiently will take years of practice.  For that sense of achievement, actually is a commitment because if your child loses interest and no longer wants to continue, that sense of achievement cannot be fulfilled.
If you feel examinations are the right way to go, click here to find out more about the popular examinations in Singapore.