P.B.E.S™ Pop Piano Improvisation Course
(for adults)

P.B.E.S™ Pop Piano
Improvisation Course
(for adults)

Course description:

We have been providing Pop piano lessons for adults for beginners and all levels since 2003. Unlike traditional piano, a pop pianist takes the basic skeleton of a song and then plays and embellishes the song as he sees fit. Our Pop piano lessons (for adults) cover improvisation techniques that can be used for almost any song (including English, Chinese, Jap/Korean OST, or even contemporary worship). There are just too many ways to play any specific song. Start your Pop Piano lessons today with us and learn the true art of improvisation on the piano.

Administrative information:

Course title: Pop Piano Improvisation Course (for adults)
Mode of coaching: one-on-one lessons (individual)
Age group: for Adults and Teens
Lesson duration: 45 minutes
Lessons frequency: 1 lesson per week
Prerequisite: Zero music background
Available levels: P.B.E.S™ Level 1 / 1B / 2 / 2B / 3 / 3B / 4 / 4B
Monthly fees: $172 / $180 / $188 / $196 / $204 / $212 / $220 / $228 respectively

Adults with little to zero background can enroll to P.B.E.S™ Level 1. The entire course can also be fully customized upon request (without following the P.B.E.Syllabus™) Upon enrolling into the Pop Piano Improvisation course, you will receive the following, exclusive to PBE students:

– P.B.E.S™ Student Edition Textbook (for your current P.B.E.S™ Level)
– P.B.E.S™ Song Excerpts Black Booklet
– Login ID and Password for P.B.E.I.S™ Online Student Portal
– Whatsapp Newsfeed & admission to PBE Club where you can enjoy the free usage of the practice studios, discounts on musical instruments & more

P.B.E.S™ Level 1

Syllabus content for P.B.E.S™ Level 1

(in conjunction with P.B.E.Syllabus™)

1:1 | Fundamentals of music notation

Reading staff (optional) / Note values

1:2 | Posture and fingering

Playing posture / Drop technique / Hand shape

1:3 | Use of the Sustain Pedal

1:4 | Play Single Note Melody

1:4b | + LH root note

1:4c | + LH basic intervals

1:4d | + LH variations I

1:5 | Triads Part (I) *how to teach

1:6 | (1 + 3 + 5) Block Chords

1:6b | + LH root note (comping)

1:6c | + LH variations II

1:7 | (1 – 5 – 8) Broken Chord

1:7b | + rhythmic variations (4 & 8 beat)

1:7c | Introduction to

2 hand patterns (comping)

1:8 | Improvisation I

1:9 | Basic coordination skills and rhythm training

Objectives for P.B.E.S™ Level 1:

  • The ability to play an elementary piece of music on the piano
  • Applying the rudiments of music
  • Developing proper fingering and basic coordination skills

Prerequisite for P.B.E.S™ Level 1:

  • Total zero music background

Duration for P.B.E.S™ Level 1:

1-3* months (depending on individual's progress) *maximum

Download Level 1 syllabus

P.B.E.S™ Level 1B

Syllabus content for P.B.E.S™ Level 1B

(in conjunction with P.B.E.Syllabus™)

1B:1&2 | Keys and scales

1B:3 | (1 – 5 – 10) Broken Chord

1B:3b | + LH variations (1-5-10) I

1B:3c | + LH variations (1-5-10) II

1B:3d | + RH fill ins using intervals

1B:4 | (1 – 5 – 1 – 3 - 5) Broken Chord

1B:4b |+ 2 hand patterns

(comping) I LH-1-5s

1B:4c | + 2 hand patterns

(comping) II LH-1-8

1B:5 | End a song with C(add2)

1B: 5a | + Song arrangements for

verse and chorus

1B:6 | Improvisation 1B

1B:7 | Basic coordination skills

and rhythm training

1B:8 | Ear Training (Part 1)

ANNEX A - Recap/revision of Level 1 subjects

Objectives for P.B.E.S™ Level 1B::

  • The ability to play in both 4 & 8 beat rhythm (with or without reading)
  • Able to apply basic improvisationc

Prerequisite for P.B.E.S™ Level 1B:

  • Able to play elementary tunes with two hands
  • No chord knowledge required

Duration for P.B.E.S™ Level 1B:

1-6* months (depending on individual's progress) *maximum

Download Level 1B syllabus

P.B.E.S™ Level 2

Syllabus content for P.B.E.S™ Level 2

(in conjunction with P.B.E.Syllabus™)

2:1 | Fingering Techniques

(Left hand fingering for 1-5)

2:2 | Sustain pedal application

2:3 | The 9th Note

2:4 | Two-hand Patterns (comping & solo)

2:4b | + RH fill-ins using chord notes

2:5 | Broken Chord Technique II

2:6 | (5-notes using 9th) / (Broken+Block)

2:7 | Basic block chord variations

2:8 | Octave Displacement

2:9 | RH 2-Note harmonization

2:10 | Triads Part (II)

2:11 | Improvising in D &Bb

2: 11b | + Song arrangements for

verse and chorus

2:12 | Improvisation 2

2:13 | Level 2 Rhythm Training

2:14 | Ear Training (Part 2)

ANNEX A - Recap/revision of Level 1&1B subjects

Objectives for P.B.E.S™ Level 2:

  • The ability to interpret fake sheets with basic improvisation techniques
  • Use of right hand in playing harmony and basic fill-ins (2 hand patterns)

Prerequisite for P.B.E.S™ Level 2:

  • Previous classical piano background (Grade 3 & above) or self taught

Duration for P.B.E.S™ Level 2:

4*-9 months (depending on individual's progress) *minimum

Download Level 2 syllabus

P.B.E.S™ Level 2B

Syllabus content for P.B.E.S™ Level 2B

(in conjunction with P.B.E.Syllabus™)

2B:1| Major minor and dominant 7th chords

2B:2| Two hand patterns (with voice leading)

2B:3| Right hand fill ins using chord notes (7th & 9th)

2B:4| Wide playing

2B:5| Block chord (1+5+7)

2B:6| Variation between (1+5+7) and broken chords

2B:7| Basic syncopation

2B:8| Block + broken chords

2B:9| Broken + broken chords

2B:10| Suspended chords

2B:11| Key modulation

2B:12| End a song with minor 6th and major 7th

2B:13| Level 2B Rhythm Training

2B:14| Ear Training (Part 2B)

ANNEX A - Recap/revision of Level 2 subjects

Objectives for P.B.E.S™ Level 2B:

  • The ability to comfortably execute improvisation variations on left and right hand with song arrangements
  • Usage of 9th notes for all major and minor triads in easy keys

Prerequisite for P.B.E.S™ Level 2B:

  • Completion of P.B.E.S™ Level 2

Duration for P.B.E.S™ Level 2B:

4*-9 months (depending on individual's progress) *minimum

Download Level 2B syllabus

P.B.E.S™ Level 3

Syllabus content for P.B.E.S™ Level 3

(in conjunction with P.B.E.Syllabus™)

3:1 | Minor and Dominant 7th chords

3:2 | Relative major and minor

3:3 | 16th beat patterns (‘hold & run’)

3:3b | + Comping application

3:4 | Voice leading

3:5 | Accenting on last beat II

3:6 | Advanced close playing

3:7 | Right hand fill-ins (in triplets)

3:8 | Approach notes

3:9 | Motifs

3:10 | 12/8) & Rock Piano style

3:11/12 | Major 7th & sus chords

3:13 | 3-note right hand harmonization

3:14 | Chord progressions Part 2

3:15 Applications of Scales (E key)

3:16 Song arrangements f chorus

3:17 Improvisation 3

3:18 Level 3 Rhythm Training

3:19 Ear Training (Part 2B)

Annex A Recap/revision of Level 2&2A subjects

Objectives for P.B.E.S™ Level 3:

  • The ability to play in 16 beat rhythm
  • Able to apply maj7 , m7 and sus4
  • Able to apply triplets
  • Able to improvise a song at will with or without fakesheet

Prerequisite for P.B.E.S™ Level 3:

  • Completion of P.B.E.S™ Level 2B

Duration for P.B.E.S™ Level 3:

4*-9 months (depending on individual's progress) *minimum

Download Level 3 syllabus

P.B.E.S™ Level 3B

Syllabus content for P.B.E.S™ Level 3B

(in conjunction with P.B.E.Syllabus™)

3B:1 | Minor and Dominant

3B:1a | Advanced voicings

3B:2 | Major 7th chords (voicings)

3B:3 | ‘in betweens’ (16th)

3B:3b | + Comping application

3B:4 | Right hand fill-ins (Scale notes)

3B:5 | Accenting on last beat I

3B:6 | Approach notes II (in 16th beat)

3B:7 | Application of slash chords

3B:8 | dim7 II VI & Aug7 chords

3B:9 | 11th chords

3B:10 | Motifs with harmony

3B:11 | RH approach notes

3B:12 | Ending with chord progressions Part 2 / application of Ab key

3B:13 | Introductions

3B:14 | Improvisation 3B

3B:15 | Level 3b Rhythm Training

3B:16 |Ear Training (Part 3B)

ANNEX A - Recap/revision of Level 3 subjects

Objectives for P.B.E.S™ Level 3B:

  • The ability to play in 16 beat rhythm with 8 beat variations
  • Able to apply voice leading
  • Able to improvise a melody with given chord progressions

Prerequisite for P.B.E.S™ Level 3B:

  • Completion of P.B.E.S™ Level 3

Duration for P.B.E.S™ Level 3B:

4*-9 months (depending on individual's progress) *minimum

Download Level 3B syllabus

P.B.E.S™ Level 4

Syllabus content for P.B.E.S™ Level 4

(in conjunction with P.B.E.Syllabus™)

4:1 | ii-V-I progressions and

substitute triads in improvisation

4:2 | Advanced right hand fill-ins I

4:3/4 | 4-note right hand harmonization

4:5 | Advanced 16th beat

4:6 | Pentatonic & blues scale

4:7 | Motifs as a source of improvisation

4:8 | Key modulation

4:9 | Basic jazz theory applicable in Pop

4:10 | Walking bass for Pop

4:11 | Pop reharmonization I

4:12 | Bossa Nova & Latin / Rock

4:13 | Advanced comping I

4:14&15 | Ending with chord progressions Part 3 / application of B key

4:16 | + Song arrangements for bridges

4:17 | Case study I

Objectives for P.B.E.S™ Level 4:

  • To explore other uptempo contemporary genres
  • To introduce to Pop-Jazz
  • The ability to improvise a tune with advanced arrangements

Prerequisite for P.B.E.S™ Level 4:

  • Completion of P.B.E.S™ Level 3B

Duration for P.B.E.S™ Level 4 :

4*-9 months (depending on individual's progress) *minimum

Download Level 4 syllabus

P.B.E.S™ Level 4B

Syllabus content for P.B.E.S™ Level 4B

(in conjunction with P.B.E.Syllabus™)

4B:1 | Performing/keyboard techniques

4B:2 | Advanced right hand fill-ins II

4B:3 | Swing improvisation (Pop context)

4B:4 | Reggae improvisation

4B:5 | Advanced song interpretations

4B:6 | Musicianship in band setting

4B:7 | Advanced modulation

4B:8 | Song composition

4B:9 | Solo and compoing improvisation

4B:9 | Solo and compoing improvisation

4B:10 | Blues improvisation

4:11 | Pop reharmonization II

4B:11 | Free styling improvisation

4B:12 | Applications of Scales (C# & F# key)

4B:13 | + Advanced song arrangements

4B:14 | Advanced melody improvisation

Objectives for P.B.E.S™ Level 4B:

  • The ability to play by ear
  • To be able to interpret songs with self arranged rendition using rhythmic displacement and re-harmonization

Prerequisite for P.B.E.S™ Level 4B:

  • Completion of P.B.E.S™ Level 4

Duration for P.B.E.S™ Level 4B:

4*-9 months (depending on individual's progress) *minimum

Download Level 4B syllabus

Below is a case study example of an excerpt from the song “Sadness and Sorrow (Naruto OST)” improvised using techniques from each of the 4 P.B.E.S™ levels (Level 1-2-3-4). The following 4 videos will give you an idea on what you will learn for every level during your piano lessons. Note: The chosen song example is random. As a student, you will learn the song of your choice and apply the same techniques.

This is what you should achieve by the end of P.B.E.S™ Level 1 / 1B

Techniques included (but not limited to) LH 1-5-8 | 1-5-10 Broken chord patterns | RH Single melody note | Basic ending with 9th note

This is what you should achieve by the end of P.B.E.S™ Level 2 / 2B

Techniques included (but not limited to) broken chord patterns with 9th note | 2 hand-patterns | RH 3rd & 6th interval harmonisation

This is what you should achieve by the end of P.B.E.S™ Level 3 / 3B

Techniques included (but not limited to) 16 beat rhythm | 7th & 9th notes | 3 note harmonisation | fill-ins using scale notes | voice leading

This is what you should achieve by the end of P.B.E.S™ Level 4 / 4B

Techniques included (but not limited to) rhythmic displacements | (V) reharmonisation | RH octave harmonisation | 4-3-1 motifs

Have a listen to some of our students’ playing and true feedback. We promise no bribing, biasness, or fabrication was made during the filming process.

Video title: PBE student interview  | 2mins 43secs

✅ As a team of instructors together, we can testify that no attitude issues are present during your piano lessons

It is a peculiar way to deliver a message to say that we are a friendly team of such, but the truth is that musicians on a more general scope, are infamously known for their eccentricity, sometimes even on an accidental and negative manner (though this is somewhat controversial).

We are musicians and we know how our brains are wired and backed by numerous scientific studies and it is proven that we think differently. However so, we want to highlight that this is no excuse for musicians to behave with any sort of attitude. We cannot deny still that on a certain level, we are displaying a certain preconception towards such ‘musicians’ as well. We can confidently say that over the past 18 years, we have grown, not just as a business but in the way that we think. We understand the importance of developing good people and teamwork skills. To an extent, we studied and implemented it at PBE and we believe that it is the key to success, in almost whatever you choose to do in life and not just in teaching music

It is a peculiar way to say that we are a friendly team of such, but the truth is that musicians on a more general scope, are infamously known for their eccentricity. Nonetheless, this is no excuse for musicians to behave with any sort of attitude. Over the past 18 years, we have grown, not just as a business but in the way that we think. We understand the importance of developing good people, and teamwork skills. As service providers, we are accustomed to adapting our mode of delivery to suit our students’ needs.

We were never a ‘star-struck’ music school or at least our culture was never about grooming students to be artistes but rather hobbyist musicians. Nevertheless, our identity has attracted local celebrities to learn from us and we are really very honored.

Maxi Lim "Wayang King"
best known for acting in the movie 'Ah boys to men'
Sora Ma 马艺瑄
Voted top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes in 2017 StarAwards
Zhang ZhenHuan 张振寰
The actor named as one of the 8 Dukes of Caldecott Hill.
Chen XiuHuan 陈秀环
Top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes in year 1994 & 2019 (Star Awards)
Jeremy Chan
made his film debut in 'Being Human', a Jteam Productions movie.
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✅ We want you to play the Pop songs you listen to. Not 'Mary had a little Lamb'.

It cannot be further stressed how important it is, to learn and play something that you would prefer. Aside from the daunting drilling and Hanon finger exercises, which we cannot deny are beneficial to every pianist – ultimately you should be playing the songs of your choice.


This is your life, your music and your choice. Not ours. Even as a complete beginner, we have a solution in place. Out of the billions of pop songs, we have carefully filtered out the easiest songs for learning purposes. And for the more modern popular songs, we have used excerpts from sections which are easy for beginners. While you, as a student, have the opportunity to learn the songs of your choice, it is also our responsibility to ensure that the song is suitable for learning.

It is important to learn and play something that you would prefer. May it be Chinese, English Pop, OST, contemporary worship, etc. We have a library of 2000 over fake sheets readily available.

For beginners, we have painstakingly filtered out the easier songs for learning purposes. While you have the opportunity to learn the songs of your choice, it is our responsibility to ensure that the song is suitable for learning.

✅ You have the option to change your teacher during your piano lessons should you need to do so (and we will never be offended!):

We have lived up to our promise that we will never be offended should you make this decision. Never. As our primary business is providing services to the public, individuals that accept these services do have different chemistry. It can be due to any reason that may not necessarily be negative, for example the differences in characteristics – whether animated or soft spoken, musical influences, language barriers or simply the matter of not being able to ‘click’ with another character.

We know how tough it is for students to voice out their inner concerns
, which is why sometimes we do periodically ask them and in the most casual manner to provide a sense of ease. Many may view this as an insult to the school, but the truth is we more concerned than you are, if you do not allow us to substitute your instructor, should another work better for you. Our deep-rooted culture and belief act as reminders that it is impossible for anyone to be pleased in this world, through positive thinking. In retrospect, this really is one of the perks of joining a music school, because you are not bound by just one instructor (should things not work out).

It can be due to any reasons that may not necessarily be negative, for example the differences in characteristics – whether animated or soft spoken, musical influences, language barriers, etc. We know how tough it is for students to voice out their inner concerns, which is why sometimes we do periodically ask them and in the most casual manner to provide a sense of ease. In retrospect, this really is one of the perks of joining a music school, because you are not bound by one instructor (should things not work out).

✅ We are not driven by hollow prosperity. Money isn’t our passion.

All textbooks, scores and materials will be provided for free during your piano lessons. You will NEVER be forced to purchase any instruments, score sheets, instructional books or anything of the sort. Most schools do, we don’t. Our teachings, lessons and methodology has a high value which carries our message of integrity. We are passionate about getting our teachings right and making each lesson count for our students.
 

All textbooks, scores and materials will be provided for free during your piano lessons. You will NEVER be forced to purchase any instruments, score sheets, instructional books or anything of that sort. Most schools do, we don’t. Our teachings, lessons and methodology has a high value which carries our message of integrity.

 

PBE Student interviews:

Our establishment had over 6000 Pop Piano enrolled students over the past 18 years, arguably making us the most popular music school for Contemporary Piano in Singapore. Have a listen to some of our students’ playing and true testimonials. We promise there was no bribing or biasness, or fabrication made during the entire filming and editing process.
Karen
KarenIT Sales
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I learned to play the classical piano when I was studying in Primary 5, only to find the learning journey short-lived; I did not enjoy classical music as much as pop, and was quickly bored by it. . I don't listen to classical music at all!

It has always been one of my biggest dreams to be able to play the piano. One day, I decided to Google for pop piano music schools in Singapore, and there, I came across PBE. One of the videos on the website was featuring an improvised version of Jay Chou’s music composition. That blew me away and I decided to put my foot down and signed up as a student.

I have been enjoying every piano lessons since.. The syllabus is very comprehensive and very much tailored for beginners with little or no music background. PBE has a very updated library of songs. Most are my favorites and I like them very much.

Besides, playing the piano, I enjoy playing online games and spending time with my daughter. I am quite a foodie too! Try out the Chicken rice at AMK Interchange market! LOL.



Susanne
SusanneRetiree
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I found PBE on the website. The concept of learning to play music by ear was what got me signing up with the school. Ever since I was a kid, I have always liked the sound of the piano. However, back in the early Singapore days, piano learning was a luxury. So, I did not get to learn it. Now that I am retired, it is the best time for me to take some piano lessons and to fulfill those dreams that I could not due to the busy working days. I want to live my life to the fullest and have been keeping my days purposeful with many exciting activities such as dancing, painting, playing pop piano, volunteering for missionary work, traveling and many more. I was initially hesitant about signing up for the piano lessons only now, at my current age. I had doubts if I could still play but finally chose not to believe in the myths that piano learning is only for the young and as one ages, our fingers just get too stiff to be playing the keys.

It was mind challenging as I was conscious about my fingers flexibility. However, the instructor was very patient with me, and with his loving guidance, I was able to overcome my fear and first obstacle. In all learning, it will always be the most challenging at the beginning. However, once you become more familiar with the playing techniques, the learning curve gets easier too. With that in mind, I persevered through patience.
Steven
StevenProject Manager
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It was an encounter with a pianist who was playing a Super Mario tune at a café in states that intrigued and stirred my passion. I mean, he was playing SUPER MARIO and played it very well; I like video games and had played Super Mario on several game stations. That impressionable moment of the pianist playing at the cosy café, sparked an idea in me. “How nice if I can too, play on the piano as entertainment to a bunch of friends.” Besides, piano seems to be the only musical instrument that appeals to me more for its enchanting sound. So, when I found PBE , I took the step to sign up for piano lessons.

I only wanted to learn piano and play during leisure. It is a hobby to me, and I am happy to be able to play my favourite songs. That is what I like about learning piano here in PBE; music examinations are optional. On the contrary, most music schools in Shanghai emphasize a lot on academic achievements which I am not keen in at all. I am glad that PBE promotes fun and leisure piano playing.

Professionalism is the word I will use to describe PBE. The instructors are very polite and helpful too. I enjoy my lessons very much as well. I have learned to play many songs that I like, especially the Korean pop and anime songs, like The Final Fantasy.
HuiYi
HuiYiSocial Worker/Church Keyboardist
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I used to take classical piano lessons in my secondary school days but I stopped eventually due to my increased school assignments; you need time to practice the piano, and I could not the time to do that back then. I would rather have some fun time with my friends and family whenever I was free from studies. The desire to learn pop piano came, when I started to play for my church. I want to improve, and it seems that signing up for proper piano lessons is the best way to help my progress. So, here I am! (Smiles)

During the last 4 months with PBE, I have learned a lot of new playing techniques and theory and also realized that my playing style in the past were wrong! Now, it is more on the application of the rules that I have learned from my music instructor, which can be quite confusing at times. However, my instructor is very patient in guiding me. He is also a very, very good pianist. I learn a lot from him and personally feel that his guidance has provided me a strong foundation, knowledge and groundings for my piano playing.

Classical music is based on accuracy and playing according to the composer. In pop, theory is very important as you need them to help you with your improvisation. You also need more inspiration and ideas in playing pop. I listen to artists like Jason Mraz, and Michael Buble.
Nick
NickHospital administrator
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I first took interest in pop piano since young. I have always admired people who can play the piano I was even envious of my cousins who could play the piano very well. That became a dream that I want to achieve – to be able to play the piano.

I learned how to read the music sheets and also how to play a song in various different styles. It is very interesting to know how you can play a song in so many different ways; I like Jazz and ballads more. .

The truth is, I actually decided to take up piano lessons with PBE because I wanted to surprise my girlfriend when I propose to her. I booked a concert hall at Newton, and played “Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence” by Ruichi Sakamoto, and she was very, very touched. .

It was at the French Alliance Theater. Erm, I think I did well. No one was there; there were no audience, just my girl friend and I. So no one could judge my playing that night. *Laughs!* That was a difficult piece, and took me quite awhile.. To me, I still have not mastered it well.. I guessed I wanted to do something special for her, putting my efforts and all... Well, the whole process was fun!
Daryl
DarylEconomics, 4th year in NUS – Honors
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I got to know PBE through a friend, Nicholas. He was learning from my current Jazz music instructor – Jonathan. When I met Nicholas and saw what he could do on a piano, I asked him about it. Nicholas then told me about Jonathan, so I came down to PBE to learn from him as well.

The reason why I chose to learn to play the piano was because I learned classical piano previously until Grade 8 and stopped when I was in Secondary 4. The biggest take away was that I did not know where I could go after Grade 8, but PBE showed me where I can go from there, new possibilities and more things I can do with the keyboard. It was very scary mostly because when you learn classical, you have the score to follow. Everything is more or less decided what you should do and you just follow the instructions. Jazz is scary, yet exciting because it is more or less up to me to decide what I want to do, especially the improvisation. I enjoyed playing the keys more after I learned here in PBE.

And my instructor? He is A—mmmazing… The things that he can do, blows your mind away. He is also very friendly; always laughing. Haha. The first song I learned to play was “Summertime”. The most recent ones that I learned are “Cry Me A River” and “Overjoy”, by Stevie Wonders. Very challenging songs, I must say..
Ying Er
Ying Er Chemistry, 2nd year in NUS – Honors
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Back in the tertiary years, I was in the music elected program and had many performance opportunities with the school orchestra. I was also a member of the Singapore National Youth Orchestra. Today, learning pop piano is a new musical journey that I have embarked on with Play By Ear Music School. This experience has opened me to a whole new level in the area of music, and I am excited by it. When compared to classical piano playing, pop playing infuses self-expression and creativity into the songs. That encourages me to improvise the music pieces I play, to my own liking and style. Also, I get to play many Korean, Chinese and English pop songs that I like.

Over here, instead of reading off the notations (one by one) in the music score and being fully independent on what is written on it, you learn to read simple notes and play a song by ear, alongside with the various playing techniques or patterns taught in the PBE syllabus. It was challenging to switch from classical to pop initially. The fact that the music sheets are in simplified versions (single right hand melody notations and chords only), made me feel handicapped; I had to visualize how to play the music piece with my own expression. However, with the help of my instructor’s guidance, I was able to grasp the playing techniques quickly. Soon, I am able to play the music piece with much ease.
Slim Tan
Slim TanClinic Assistant
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I see playing the piano as a lovely way to prevent dementia, because it pushes you to engage your mind as you coordinate between reading the music sheet and moving both hands. I was on my way to Raffles Hospital one day when I chanced upon PBE signboard. Since I have always wanted to learn music since young, I decided to find out more about the courses and went to the reception without a second thought. My first lesson was just a trial to ensure that I had made the right choice. After the trial lesson, it got me more determined and enthusiastic to take up the piano lessons with PBE.

My music instructor’s explanation made the theory and playing techniques in the syllabus easy to comprehend. The syllabus works as a very good follow up whenever a lesson is concluded. It is something you would want to go back over and over again to re-enforce what has been taught. I am totally in-sync with the slogan because the slogan reflects my learning style. 'Life is like playing the piano. First you play by the rules. Then you forget all about the rules and you play by ear.' Absolutely brilliant! The instructors are really good. They customize lesson plans according to each student’s learning style, and always get feedback from us if we are achieving what we wanted to learn in PBE. Overall, PBE provides a very conducive learning environment for the adults.
JingQi
JingQiAcademic Teacher
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I have learned pop piano for about 1 ½ years. I used to learn classical piano but it was too hard to pick up so I decided to try learning pop piano instead since it is all about improvisation and playing by ear. I was googled on the internet for pop piano music school and chanced upon PBE website. After my first trial lesson, I decided to pick up some piano lessons with PBE.

My first lesson was just a trial to ensure that I had made the right choice. After the trial lesson, it got me more determined and enthusiastic to take up the piano lessons with PBE. I am glad that I can now play a music piece beautifully; My mum even thought she was listening to a music CD when I told her that it was actually my playing! I thought it was quite an achievement that my mom praised my playing for the first time!

The syllabus is very useful and structured. Unlike classical where the teacher would just tell you what to play and you play accordingly. The Syllabus allows me to learn progressively. Yes, it’s really amazing that someone could actually come up with such a syllabus. It has helped me a lot. I heard from my friend who is learning in another music school says, she is actually learning by numbers (Jianpu) whereas here, we learn how to read the notes, which is better.
Nigel
NigelSecondary School student
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I first learned classical piano when I was in kindergarten, then I stopped due to PSLE. Only recently my mum told me about your school - PLAY BY EAR. That is when I started playing pop piano.

She wanted me to try something new and also because I wasn’t interested in classical. I supposed she wouldn't want to waste the classical piano training I had when I was a kid.

I was surprised at how easy and stress-free playing pop can be. It is more “free-style” playing compared to classical where you need to read off a piano score, which can be quite intense. My teacher is funny and teaches well; jokes and teach at the same time. That made me feel relieved and more relaxed learning piano, especially in my first lesson with him, as I was not sure what to expect.
We were never a ‘star-struck’ music school or at least our culture was never about grooming students to be artistes but rather hobbyist musicians. Nevertheless, our identity has attracted local celebrities to learn from us and we are really very honored.



Maxi Lim "Wayang King"
best known for acting in the
movie 'Ah boys to men'
Zhang ZhenHuan 张振寰
The actor named as one of the 8 Dukes
of Caldecott Hill.
Chen XiuHuan 陈秀环
Top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes in year 1994 & 2019 (Star Awards)
Jeremy Chan
made his film debut in 'Being Human', a Jteam Productions movie.

Commonly asked questions (FAQ):

Each lesson is 45mins. 1 to 1.

The monthly charges are

$172 per month (for P.B.E.S™ Level 1)
$180 per month (for P.B.E.S™ Level 1B)
$188 per month (for P.B.E.S™ Level 2)
$196 per month (for P.B.E.S™ Level 2B)
$204 per month (for P.B.E.S™ Level 3)
$212 per month (for P.B.E.S™ Level 3B)
$220 per month (for P.B.E.S™ Level 4)
$228 per month (for P.B.E.S™ Level 4B)

$20 one time admin fee and $100 refundable deposit (upon giving a 1 month advanced notice for termination) All textbooks and materials (scores) will be provided for free. The school fees above is based on 4 lessons in a month (4 weeks – One lesson per week). Should the month has only 3 weeks (due to a public holiday) or 5 weeks, the school fees will be prorated accordingly. There are no ‘school holidays’ or ‘school terms’ where you pay school fees for literally no lessons. As such, It does not matter which part of the month you register and commence your first lesson, as school fees will be prorated accordingly.

You may sign up online or at our school physically. If you require assistance, do whatsapp us at 91798110.

Yes we do. Our trial lesson is payable at $65. It will be a one-time lesson with no obligations to sign up for the regular course.

The earliest slot will start at 1130am for weekdays and 11am for weekends. The latest slot will start at 830pm for weekdays and 415pm for weekends.

The lesson(s) that you postponed will be credited as makeup lesson(s) which has a 1 year expiry. You are required to give 3 days advanced notice and 1 day advanced notice for peak and off peak lessons respectively.

Please whatsapp us at 91798110, as our schedule changes every other day.

Send us an email, we should be able to work out something for you.

That is ok. In fact, once you are a registered student, you are able to use our practise rooms (with pianos) for free.

All P.B.E.S™ textbooks and materials (scores) are provided for free when you enroll. Our materials are not for sale to the general public.

Yes, we have the facilities to conduct group lessons, usually 2-3 students to 1 instructor. However, you are required to form your own group. For example, you and your friend can enroll together and opt to be in the same class. Do contact us for group course fees.

It does not matter which part of the month you register and commence your first lesson, as school fees will be prorated accordingly. You won’t be short changed. If you register at the end of the month with only 1 lesson left for the month, you will only pay for 1 lesson for the month.

Yes! Half the student population of our school are adults with zero music background.

Online registration form for Pop Piano Improvisation course (for adults)

Student testimonials:

Karen
KarenIT Sales
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I did not enjoy classical music as much as pop, and was quickly bored by it. . It has always been one of my biggest dreams to be able to play the piano. One day, I decided to Google for pop piano music schools in Singapore, and there, I came across PBE. One of the videos on the website was featuring an improvised version of Jay Chou’s music composition. That blew me away and I decided to put my foot down and signed up as a student.

I have been enjoying every piano lessons since.. The syllabus is very comprehensive and very much tailored for beginners with little or no music background. PBE has a very updated library of songs. Most are my favorites and I like them very much.
Susanne
SusanneRetiree
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The concept of learning to play music by ear was what got me signing up. Back in the days, piano learning was a luxury. Now that I am retired, it is the best time for me to take some piano lessons. I want to live my life to the fullest with many exciting activities such as dancing, painting, playing pop piano, volunteering for missionary work, and many more. I was initially hesitant about signing up for the piano lessons only now, at my current age. I had doubts if I could still play but finally chose not to believe in the myths that piano learning is only for the young and as one age, our fingers just get too stiff to be playing the keys.

It was mind-challenging as I was conscious of my finger's flexibility. However, the instructor was very patient with me, and with his loving guidance, I was able to overcome my fear and first obstacle. In all learning, it will always be the most challenging at the beginning. However, once you become more familiar with the playing techniques, the learning curve gets easier too.
Steven
StevenProject Manager
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It was an encounter with a pianist who was playing a Super Mario tune at a café in states that stirred my passion. I like video games and had played Super Mario. That moment of the pianist playing at the cozy café, sparked an idea in me. “How nice if I can too...” Besides, piano seems to be the only musical instrument that appeals to me more for its enchanting sound. So, when I found PBE, I took the step to sign up for piano lessons.

I only wanted to learn the piano and play during leisure. It is a hobby for me, and I am happy to be able to play my favourite songs. That is what I like about learning piano here in PBE; music examinations are optional. On the contrary, most music schools emphasize a lot on academic achievements which I am not keen at all.

Professionalism is the word I will use to describe PBE. The instructors are very polite and helpful too. I have learned to play many songs that I like, especially the Korean pop and anime songs, like The Final Fantasy.
HuiYi
HuiYiSocial Worker/Church Keyboardist
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I used to take classical piano lessons in my sec school days but I stopped. The desire to learn pop piano came when I started to play for my church. I want to improve, and it seems that signing up for proper piano lessons is the best way to help my progress. So, here I am! (Smiles)

I have learned a lot of new playing techniques and theory and also realized that my playing style in the past was wrong! Now, it is more on the application of the rules that I have learned from my music instructor, which can be quite confusing at times. However, my instructor is very patient in guiding me. He is also a very, very good pianist. I learn a lot from him and personally feel that his guidance has provided me a strong foundation, knowledge, and groundings for my piano playing.

Classical music is based on accuracy. In pop, the theory is very important as you need them to help with your improvisation.
Nick
NickHospital administrator
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I was even envious of my cousins who could play the piano very well. That became a dream that I want to achieve – to be able to play the piano. I learned how to read the music sheets and also how to play a song in various different styles. It is very interesting to know how you can play a song in so many different ways...

The truth is, I actually decided to take up piano lessons with PBE because I wanted to surprise my girlfriend when I propose to her. I booked a concert hall at Newton and played “Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence” by Ruichi Sakamoto, and she was very, very touched. .

It was at the French Alliance Theater. Erm, I think I did well. No one was there; there were no audience, just my girl friend and I. So no one could judge my playing that night. *Laughs!* That was a difficult piece, and took me quite awhile.. To me, I still have not mastered it well.. I guessed I wanted to do something special for her, putting my efforts and all... Well, the whole process was fun!
Daryl
DarylEconomics, 4th year in NUS – Honors
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I got to know PBE through a friend, Nicholas. When I met him and saw what he could do on a piano, I came down to PBE to learn as well.

The reason why I chose to learn to play the piano was that I learned classical piano previously until Grade 8 and stopped when I was in Sec 4. The biggest take away was that I did not know where I could go after Grade 8, but PBE showed me where I can go from there, new possibilities, and more things I can do with the keyboard. When you learn classical, you have the score to follow. Everything is decided what you should do and you just follow the instructions. Jazz is scary, yet exciting because it is more or less up to me to decide what I want to do, especially the improvisation. I enjoyed playing the keys more after I learned here in PBE.

And my instructor? He is A—mmmazing… The things that he can do, blows your mind away. He is also very friendly; always laughing. Haha.
Ying Er
Ying Er Chemistry, 2nd year in NUS – Honors
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When compared to classical piano playing, pop playing infuses self-expression and creativity into the songs. That encourages me to improvise the music pieces I play, to my own liking and style. Also, I get to play many Korean, Chinese and English pop songs that I like.

Over here, instead of reading off the notations (one by one) in the music score and being fully independent on what is written on it, you learn to read simple notes and play a song by ear, alongside with the various playing techniques or patterns taught in the PBE syllabus. It was challenging to switch from classical to pop initially. The fact that the music sheets are in simplified versions (single right-hand melody notations and chords only), made me feel handicapped; I had to visualize how to play the music piece with my own expression. However, with the help of my instructor’s guidance, I was able to grasp the playing techniques quickly. Soon, I am able to play the music piece with much ease.
Slim Tan
Slim TanClinic Assistant
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I see playing the piano as way to prevent dementia, because it pushes you to engage your mind. I was on my way to Raffles Hospital one day when I chanced upon PBE signboard. Since I have always wanted to learn music since young, I decided to find out more about the courses and went to the reception without a second thought.

The syllabus works as a very good follow up whenever a lesson is concluded. It is something you would want to go back over and over again to re-enforce what has been taught. I am totally in-sync with the slogan because the slogan reflects my learning style. 'Life is like playing the piano. First you play by the rules. Then you forget all about the rules and you play by ear.' Absolutely brilliant! The instructors are really good. They customize lesson plans according to each student’s learning style, and always get feedback from us if we are achieving what we wanted to learn in PBE. Overall, PBE provides a very conducive learning environment for the adults.
JingQi
JingQiAcademic Teacher
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I have learned pop piano for about 1 ½ years. I used to learn classical piano but it was too hard to pick up. My first lesson was just a trial to ensure that I had made the right choice. After the trial lesson, it got me more determined to take up the piano lessons with PBE. I am glad that I can now play a music piece beautifully; My mum even thought she was listening to a music CD when I told her that it was actually my playing! I thought it was quite an achievement that my mom praised my playing for the first time!

The syllabus is very useful. Unlike classical where the teacher would just tell you what to play and you play accordingly. The Syllabus allows me to learn progressively. Yes, it’s really amazing that someone could actually come up with such a syllabus. I heard from my friend who is learning in another music school says, she is actually learning by numbers (Jianpu) whereas here, we learn how to read the notes, which is better.
Nigel
NigelSecondary School student
Read More
I first learned classical piano when I was in kindergarten, then I stopped due to PSLE. Only recently my mum told me about your school - PLAY BY EAR. That is when I started playing pop piano.

She wanted me to try something new and also because I wasn’t interested in classical. I supposed she wouldn't want to waste the classical piano training I had when I was a kid.

I was surprised at how easy and stress-free playing pop can be. It is more “free-style” playing compared to classical where you need to read off a piano score, which can be quite intense. My teacher is funny and teaches well; jokes and teach at the same time. That made me feel relieved and more relaxed learning piano, especially in my first lesson with him, as I was not sure what to expect.

Commonly asked questions (FAQ):

Each lesson is 45mins. 1 to 1.

The monthly charges are

$172 per month (for P.B.E.S™ Level 1)
$180 per month (for P.B.E.S™ Level 1B)
$188 per month (for P.B.E.S™ Level 2)
$196 per month (for P.B.E.S™ Level 2B)
$204 per month (for P.B.E.S™ Level 3)
$212 per month (for P.B.E.S™ Level 3B)
$220 per month (for P.B.E.S™ Level 4)
$228 per month (for P.B.E.S™ Level 4B)

$20 one time admin fee and $100 refundable deposit (upon giving a 1 month advanced notice for termination) All textbooks and materials (scores) will be provided for free. The school fees above is based on 4 lessons in a month (4 weeks – One lesson per week). Should the month has only 3 weeks (due to a public holiday) or 5 weeks, the school fees will be prorated accordingly. There are no ‘school holidays’ or ‘school terms’ where you pay school fees for literally no lessons. As such, It does not matter which part of the month you register and commence your first lesson, as school fees will be prorated accordingly.

You may sign up online or at our school physically. If you require assistance, do whatsapp us at 91798110.

Yes we do. Our trial lesson is payable at $65. It will be a one-time lesson with no obligations to sign up for the regular course.

The earliest slot will start at 1130am for weekdays and 11am for weekends. The latest slot will start at 830pm for weekdays and 415pm for weekends.

The lesson(s) that you postponed will be credited as makeup lesson(s) which has a 1 year expiry. You are required to give 3 days advanced notice and 1 day advanced notice for peak and off peak lessons respectively.

Please whatsapp us at 91798110, as our schedule changes every other day.

Send us an email, we should be able to work out something for you.

That is ok. In fact, once you are a registered student, you are able to use our practise rooms (with pianos) for free.

All P.B.E.S™ textbooks and materials (scores) are provided for free when you enroll. Our materials are not for sale to the general public.

Yes, we have the facilities to conduct group lessons, usually 2-3 students to 1 instructor. However, you are required to form your own group. For example, you and your friend can enroll together and opt to be in the same class. Do contact us for group course fees.

It does not matter which part of the month you register and commence your first lesson, as school fees will be prorated accordingly. You won’t be short changed. If you register at the end of the month with only 1 lesson left for the month, you will only pay for 1 lesson for the month.

Yes! Half the student population of our school are adults with zero music background.

Online registration form for Pop Piano Improvisation course (for adults)​