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Hidden Fees In Piano Lessons – BEWARE!

If this is the first time you are taking piano lessons in Singapore, or the first time you are enrolling your child for private piano lessons, here are some ‘hidden’ costs (or rather, unexpected costs) you may not already know.

First of all,  the following costs are not hidden, they are just usually not known to first time learners of music. While not expensive, there are still costs. For example, your piano lessons will require you to purchase music books. Your teacher will pay in advance for you or your child, but you will then need to reimburse the teacher for the respective books in which you want to use to learn piano. These books usually cost between $15 to $30, and are necessary if you want to take music lessons. Even if you do not wish to buy additional books, you still need to pay for the minimum – which is the ABRSM related books if you want to pass the ABRSM practical examinations.

Exams cost money. This is referring to the ABRSM graded examinations. Both the theory and practical lessons cost money, and it costs around $150 for the lower grades and up till $500 for the higher grades. This is a cost that cannot be avoided whether you go to private piano lessons or schools, as long as you want to get accredited by ABRSM. This is because these costs are charged by the international music body ABRSM.

Last but not least, you are strongly recommended to rent the music studio rooms for practice sessions in preparation for the ABRSM graded practical examinations. Every piano student is strongly recommended to book at least 2 to 3 lessons there if you want to score better in the examinations. This is because every piano feels slightly different, and the examination piano keys are usually more polished and waxed, making it feel slightly slippery compared to your home piano, and you may not feel comfortable with it if you do not practise on it beforehand. Once again, this cost will only happen if you want to be graded officially under the ABRSM music framework. If you are just taking casual piano lessons in Singapore, then this won’t be affecting you at all.

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Piano Lesson Finances In Singapore – What You Must Know

Before you enroll yourself or your child for piano lessons in Singapore, is important that you understand the finances of it. Don’t wing it. Learning to play the piano is a hefty financial decision and you should be 100% comfortable throwing yourself into the music industry. Let us not just get our hearts too excited – everything is a financial decision. So let us make sure that your finances are properly in order and taking piano lessons won’t affect you at all. This way, you will be able to enjoy learning the piano lessons when you take them instead of constantly complaining about rising costs.

First and foremost, if you want to be a serious student of the piano, buy a piano. There is no exception to the rule. If you do not have a piano in your house to practise on daily, you will never become a great pianist. There is no exception to the rule. Period. Getting a first hand or second hand upright piano is enough. You do not need to spend over $15,000 trying to get the best grand piano when you have not even started learning the piano. Most first hand upright pianos goes for around $8,000 to $12,000 in Singapore. A lot of piano shops also allow a 12 or 24 month interest free loan – make use of it! A second hand one in Singapore will go for approximately $4,000 to $8,000. If you are wanting to save some money for renovation or for your child’s other expenses, then go for a second hand upright piano. That is good enough.

Second of all, whether you decide to enroll yourself or your child into school or private piano lessons, these lessons cost money per session. Starting from around $140 per month for Grade 1 students and up till $350 for Grade 8 students, this is the general range of lesson fees that you can expect to pay to take music lessons in Singapore from a private piano teacher. Add an extra $50 to $100 per month if the student is learning from public music schools.

Third of all, you will need to tune the piano approximately once to twice a year. This will cost around $70 to $90 each time. Although not a must, it is highly recommended if you want to keep the piano in good condition.

Next of all, if your or your child goes to the private piano teacher’s studio in Singapore or go to a public music school at a local shopping mall, then you will need to factor in travelling costs as well.

Finally, one of the most important and somewhat significant financial costs when it comes to learning the piano that many first time students did not expect is the exam application fees. You will need to pay money to register for each and every single ABRSM graded examinations to get certified. This is the case for both theory and practical exams. This can cost around $100 to $200 each time, depending whether ABRSM changes the price over the future years.

So there you go, make sure to understand these finances before jumping through loops to take piano lessons. The stupidest thing you can do is to make a financially unwise decision and then end up with no money and unable to continue learning the piano.