Pop Piano lessons
for adults

Since 2003, we have been providing pop piano lessons for adults in Singapore, for all levels including beginners. In contrast to a traditional pianist, a pop pianist takes the basic skeleton of a song and then plays and then enhances the song as he sees fit. Our Pop piano lessons (for adults) cover improvisation techniques that can be mostly 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.

Pop Piano lessons for adults (administrative information):

Course title: P.B.E.S™ 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: $196 / $204 / $212 / $220 / $228 / $236 / $244 / $252    respectively

Adults with 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™) In addition, when you enroll for the P.B.E.S™ Pop Piano Improvisation course, you will receive the following incentives, exclusive to PBE students:

a) P.B.E.S™ Student Textbook for your current P.B.E.S™ Level (Singapore edition)
b) P.B.E.S™ Song Excerpts Black Booklet / CE card
c)  Login ID and Password for P.B.E.I.S™ Online Student Portal
d) Whatsapp Newsfeed & admission to PBE Club where you can enjoy free usage our practice studios, free scores transcribing, discounts on musical instruments & more

Learn the right way to play Piano

MOST people are learning to play piano the WRONG way through rote memorization and playing note for note. (Watch the video below to understand) When people talk about Grade 1, grade 2, grade 8, etc. it often refers to the Classical piano grading coupled with the examinations. Each grade takes an average of 1 year to pass, where you will be given 3 exam pieces to prepare for the year. So a student will practise the 3 pieces and play them well, which is ALL you need to pass each grade. Once you pass a grade, you move on to the next. And the cycle repeats.

So, here’s the problem. Ask any of your friends who had their classical piano grades. Give them a piano and ask them to play ANY simple song with 2 hands on the fly. Like a happy birthday song, OR Mary had a little lamb. It’s likely they can’t. Because they need the scores. We have met countless of grade 8 and diploma classical pianists who cannot play anything aside their exam pieces. Doesn’t this contradict the objectives of learning music?

Pop Piano Improvisation P.B.E.Syllabus™

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)

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 improvisation

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

3:4-5 | Voice leading & accenting on last beat

3:6 | Advanced close playing

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

3:8 | Approach notes

3:9-10 | Motifs & Compound time

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
  • Application of maj7 , m7 and sus4
  • Triplets in 8 & 16beat rhthm
  • 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 comping 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 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 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 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 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

How are we different from
other music schools?

pop piano - headphones

Free practice studios for active PBE students **No booking required**

If you are an active PBE student, you are entitled to use our practice area, furnished with digital pianos and individual lamps dedicated, for personalized enclosure. We provide complimentary earphones as well.
pop piano - smile

We testify as a team of teachers with no attitude issues, during piano lessons

This is a peculiar way to depict our friendliness, but the truth is that musicians are well known for their eccentricity. Nevertheless, this is not an excuse for musicians to exhibit any sort of attitude.

pop piano - teacher

During your piano lessons, you have the liberty to
change your teacher if necessary

This can be due to varied reasons that may not necessarily be negative. For example, contrasts in personality or musical influences. Rest assured, we are more than cool with it. Above all, this is one of the advantages of joining a music school.

pop piano - sheep

Play the Pop songs you listen to,
not 'Mary had a little Lamb'

It is of utmost important to learn and play something that you would prefer (even for complete beginners), may it be Chinese, English, K-Pop, OST, contemporary worship, etc. We have a library of 2000 over fake sheets readily available.  View Library

pop piano - money

Hollow prosperity do NOT motivate us.
Money isn’t our passion.

During piano lessons, every textbook, scores and materials are typically provided for free. You will never be made to purchase any instruments, score sheets, instructional books, etc. Most schools do, we don’t. Our teachings have a high value which conveys our message of integrity.

pop piano - japan

Invitation to perform at our annual student recitals:
Singapore or in Shinagawa (Japan)

Every year, there are 2 annual student recital concerts. One is held in Singapore and the other is held in Shinagawa (Japan) – 5 Chome – 18 – 1 Higashioi, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo-to 140 – 0011. We showcase our students of different levels, even complete beginners.

Pop Piano lessons for adults - How are they carried out?

Our flagship school in Singapore has 2 floors with facilities such as practice rooms, state of the art studios and waiting areas. The lesson timings are controlled by a systematic school bell which assures every student has the complete 45mins time span for every lesson.

Each lesson is carried out on a private one-on-one basis by your assigned permanent teacher. Every teaching studio is rigged with authentic weighted keys (with hammer actions, similar to acoustic piano keys), coupled with a studio 4:1 sound system.

Pop Piano Syllabus for adults - Piano studio Play by Ear Music School

You would select a song in accordance with your P.B.E.S™ level, while your teacher provides the ‘stripped-down’ scores (fake sheets), consisting of the melody and chords only. The picture shows an average students’ hand out sheet with teacher’s handwritten notes, encouraging spontaneity using techniques from P.B.E.S™.

In addition, you can choose to read proper notation or not. On average, you will learn between 1-4 songs per month (4 lessons). A progress system (CE card) has been enacted for student monitoring throughout the entire course.

Pop Piano Syllabus for adults - scores
P.B.E.S™ techniques (both practical and theory) are usually used to teach every song that is fitting and ‘compatible’ with other songs.
The picture shows an excerpt of P.B.E.Syllabus™ – A guideline that is applicable to any song of your choice that you plan to learn. Every lesson is customized and yet structured simultaneously, with or without following the P.B.E.Syllabus™. Learn more
Pop Piano Syllabus for adults - 2 hand pattern

PBE students showcase

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. 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.

PBE Student testimonials

KarenIT Sales
Read More
Incidentally, I Google for 'piano lessons for adults', and there, I came across PBE Music School. To begin with, I did not enjoy classical music as much as pop piano. One of the videos on the website was an improvised version of Jay Chou’s medley. So then it blew me away and I decided to signed up as a student.
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As a retiree and an adult, it is the best time for me to take some pop piano lessons. Before, learning piano is a luxury. Initially, i was hesitant about signing up for piano lessons at my age. However, I was able to overcome my fear because my teacher was very patient with me!
NickHospital administrator
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I take up piano lessons with PBE because I wanted to surprise my girlfriend. In conclusion, she accepted my proposal. I booked a concert hall and played “Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence” and she was very touched. To summarize, thank you PBE for making my dream come true.
DarylNUS student
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I got to know PBE through Nicholas. When I saw what he could do on a piano, I came and took up Pop Piano. I didn't know where to go after Grade 8. For classical, you have the scores to follow. However, contemporary is scary, yet exciting, especially the improvisation. By the way, my piano teacher is amazing!
JingQiAcademic Teacher
Read More
My mum thought she was listening to a music CD when it was my playing! LOL. I learn what i want through the PBE syllabus and it’s really amazing that they came up with this. My friend is learning Jianpu from another music school whereas compared to here, we learn how to read the notes, which is better.

Singapore & International celebrities / guest artistes / music collaborators

For the most part, PBE was 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 brand identity has attracted local celebrities (Chen Xiuhuan, Jeremy Chan, Maxi Lim, Sora Ma, Zhang ZhenHuan) to learn from us and we are really very honored.
We also like to take the opportunity to thank all of our PBE guest artistes and music collaborators we have worked with since 2003.
FAQ about time slots:

1130am & 83opm for weekdays and 11am & 415pm for weekends

When you postpone a lesson, you gain a makeup lesson which has a 1 year expiry. In brief, you need to give 3 days advanced notice and 1 day advanced notice for peak and off peak lessons respectively.

You may sign up online or at our school physically or via whatsapp at 91798110.

Yes, however, you are typically required to form your own group. For example, you and your friend can enroll together and opt to be in the same class.

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.

Other FAQ:

Our trial lesson (45mins) is payable at $65.

The monthly charges are

$180 (Level 1)
$188 (Level 1B)
$196 (Level 2)
$204 (Level 2B)
$212 (Level 3)
$220 ( Level 3B)
$228 (Level 4)

Charges above based on per month (one lesson per week). $20 one time admin fee and $100 refundable deposit (upon giving a 1 month advanced notice for termination) All textbooks and scores will be provided for free.

For the most part, yes it is OK. In fact, once you are a registered student, you are able to use our practice rooms (with pianos) for free.

Our materials are not for sale to the general public.

In brief, yes. Half the student population of our school are adults with zero music background.

It does not matter which part of the month you register and commence your first lesson, as school fees will be fairly prorated accordingly.

Your school fees will be prorate accordingly.

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



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