P.B.E.S™ Pop Piano lessons
for adults

We have been providing piano lessons for adults for beginners and all levels since 2003. Unlike a traditional pianist, 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.

Piano lessons for adults (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:

a) P.B.E.S™ Student Edition Textbook (for your current P.B.E.S™ Level)
b) P.B.E.S™ Song Excerpts Black Booklet
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 the free usage of the practice studios, free scores transcribing, 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 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 | 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
  • 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 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

Free practise studios for students

Free practice studios for active PBE students

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. You will be provided with complimentary ear phones as well.
Happy piano instructors

We as a team of teachers can testify that no attitude issues are present during your piano lessons

A peculiar way to say that we are a friendly team of such, but the truth is that musicians 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 and understand the importance of developing good people skills. 

Changing piano teacher

You have the option to change your teacher during your
piano lessons should you need to do so

It can be due to many reasons that may not necessarily be negative, for example, the differences in personality or musical influences. Rest assured, we will and never be offended. In retrospect, this is one of the perks of joining a music school, because you are not bound by one instructor (should things not work out).

Mary had a little lamb

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

It is 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. 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.

Money isn't our passion

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 that sort. Most schools do, we don’t. Our teachings, lessons and methodology has a high value which carries our message of integrity.

Perform with PBE Japan

Invitation to perform for our annual student recitals locally or in Shinagawa (Japan)

Every year, there are 2 annual student recital concerts. One is held locally 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.

How are the piano lessons carried out?

Each 45mins piano lesson is personalized and yet structured simultaneously (with or without following the P.B.E.Syllabus™).
You would select a song in tandem with your P.B.E.S™ level and your instructor will provide the ‘stripped-down’ scores (fake sheets), comprising of only the melody and chords.
Each song will be taught using P.B.E.S™ techniques (both practical and theory) that are appropriate, which are ‘compatible’ for other songs.
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 has been implemented/enacted for student monitoring throughout the entire course.

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.
KarenIT Sales
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I did not enjoy classical music as much as pop piano, and was quickly bored by it. One day, I Google for 'piano lessons for adults', and there, I came across Play by Ear Music School. 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.
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Now that I am retired as an adult, it is the best time for me to take some pop piano lessons. You know when I was young, learning piano is a luxury. Initially, i was hesitant about signing up for piano lessons at my age. After a few lessons, I was able to overcome my fear because my instructor was very patient with me! My advice is, you never know till you try. My fingers can actually move!
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. So, when I found PBE, I took the step to sign up for pop piano lessons. 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.
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) My piano teacher 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.
NickHospital administrator
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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.
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. Because i didn't know where to go after Grade 8, but PBE showed me a new path. When you learn classical, you have the score to follow. However Jazz is scary, yet exciting because it is up to me to decide what I want to do, especially the improvisation. And my piano teacher? He is A—mmmazing… The things that he can do, blows your mind away.
Ying Er
Ying Er Chemistry, 2nd year in NUS – Honors
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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 it, you learn to read simple notes and improvise a song alongside with the various improvisation techniques taught in their syllabus. Initially, tt was challenging to switch from classical to pop. I had to visualize how to play the music piece with my own expression. However, with the help of my piano teacher’s guidance, I was able to grasp the playing techniques quickly.
Slim Tan
Slim TanClinic Assistant
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Piano is the way to prevent dementia, because it pushes you to engage your mind. While on my way to Raffles Hospital one day when I chanced upon a sign that reads "piano lessons for adults". I said, why not? PBE has been my 2nd home since 2007. The teachers 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.
JingQiAcademic Teacher
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My mum once 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 PBE syllabus is very useful. It 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.
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. Over here, it is more “free-style” playing compared to classical. My teacher is funny and teaches well; jokes and teach at the same time. That made me feel relieved and more relaxed learning piano.

The trend for adults learning Pop Piano

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 to learn from us and we are really very honored.
In alphabetical order, Chen Xiuhuan, Jeremy Chan, Maxi Lim, Sora Ma, Zhang ZhenHuan
FAQ about time slots:

1130am & 83opm for weekdays and 11am & 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.

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

Yes, 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.

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 is payable at $65.

The monthly charges are

$172 (Level 1)
$180(Level 1B)
$188 (Level 2)
$196 (Level 2B)
$204 (Level 3)
$212 (Level 3B)
$220 ( Level 4)
$228 (Level 4B)

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.

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

Our materials are not for sale to the general public.

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 prorated accordingly.

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



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