Music Lessons: Selecting the Piano Wizard Music Academy

I decided to get the Piano Wizard Music Academy instead of sending Gavin to Suzuki music classes. Initially, I put off Suzuki music classes because I was pregnant with my third baby and I knew I wouldn’t be able to commit to the classes. That was the real reason why I started looking for other options to teach Gavin music. Perhaps this is just me on retail therapy but I really do think this is the best option for us right now.

I did look at some other options as well, like Music for Little Mozarts, Classical Magic, and Soft Mozart. I chose Piano Wizard Music Academy in the end because it was a more practical and hands-on approach to music. It gets the children playing music almost immediately so they can get right into the fun part. Although Soft Mozart is pretty similar to Piano Wizard, Piano Wizard Music Academy gave me the option to pay with Paypal which I prefer. I also feel that the Piano Wizard Music Academy support is more comprehensive.

Why Piano Wizard Music Academy and not the Suzuki Method?

1. Time Commitment

I can teach Gavin music without having to leave the house. Saves me time on travelling and I don’t need to find someone to look after Gareth while I take Gavin to music classes.

2. Cost

The Piano Wizard Music Academy is more cost efficient. I can use the same program to teach Gareth music when he’s ready. The product plus shipping charges and the keyboard (which I am purchasing locally) will cost me about RM2100 approximately, depending on the exchange rate.  This covers a two year music curriculum plus the option to download more music pieces.

The cheapest music classes I have seen so far is about RM20 per class (this is without deposit, books, etc.). The Suzuki Method can cost as much as RM100 per class depending on where you go. Two years worth of music classes at RM20 per class, once a week will cost RM2080 (this is not inclusive of books, registration and other miscellaneous fees).  If I send two children, it will be RM4160 (assuming no inflation on music class fees).

So although the Piano Wizard Music Academy requires a heftier upfront payment, in the long run, it is the cheaper option. If the kids enjoy music enough to want to continue with classes, I can send them for professional music classes after they have completed the Piano Wizard Music Academy. By that time, they will have built the basic foundation in music and will be more motivated to learn. I will also know whether they are keen to continue with music lessons or if this endeavour is a waste of time.

3. Sight Reading

The reason I liked the Suzuki Method initially was because of the focus on training the ear and listening skills. I later read that Suzuki students have a harder time transitioning to reading music. Compared to students who learn using the traditional methods, Suzuki students  have more trouble reading musical notation. It almost seems like learning music by ear first can be a bit of a handicapp. I don’t know if this is truly the case as I have no experience with the Suzuki Method. I hope parents whose children have been studying music through the Suzuki Method can shed some light on this matter.

Ordering the Piano Wizard Music Academy

The Piano Wizard Music Academy comes with two packages – with the keyboard and without. The keyboard costs an extra $100 which I reckon is a bargain. The only problem is getting it into the country. I’m sure that by the time I’ve gotten the keyboard through customs, it won’t be $100 any more.

You can use any electronic keyboard with the Piano Wizard Music Academy as long as it has a USB cabel to connect it to the computer. I took a look at some Casio and Yamaha keyboards but they were just ridiculously expensive (RM1500 for the Casio and RM4500 for the Yamaha). After enquiring, I was told that the keyboard that comes with the Piano Wizard Music Academy is the M-Audio KeyRig 49 (which has four octaves). I found a local supplier selling it for RM505. The supplier is Sinamex and they are located in Berjaya Times Square:

SMX Electronics Sdn Bhd
07-67&68, 7th Floor,
Berjaya Times Square,
Jalan Imbi,
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
Tel: +603 2142 8657
Fax: +603 2142 6657
Email: smx@sinamex.com

They are currently out of stock of the M-Audio KeyRig 49, but they recommended an alternative – the Alesis Q49 which costs RM545 and is currently in stock.

Stay tuned and I’ll let you know how we go with the Piano Wizard Music Academy.

Comments

  1. No problem, Jen. I learned that the hard way. Only started doing it after a friend told me that all the stuff she sends to the office usually arrives. It’s only the ones that get sent to a home address that sometimes go missing.

  2. Jen says:

    Dear Shen-Li,

    Thanks again for your feedback. I always ship items purchased online to my office.

  3. Oh, one more thing Jen… They also advised me that it would be safer to get it delivered to a business address so see if you can have it sent to your office or your hubby’s office.

  4. Hi Jen,

    You might need to email them and tell them that you want the Express Mail International cost because it wasn’t listed as an option when I initially ordered it. Don’t know whether they have adjusted their order page to include it since.

    When I ordered, they emailed me back and told me they could send it via Express Mail International and offered me a partial refund on the shipping.

    You can tell them I told you about it. The person who contacted me through email was Myko – myko@musicwizard.com.

  5. Jen says:

    Dear Shen-Li,

    Thanks for your prompt response. Fully agreeing with what you mentioned on the import tax. The Express Mail International’s cost is reasonable.

  6. Hi Jen,

    I’m assuming you are in Malaysia, too? If not, all you need to do to check the shipping price is to go to their sales page and place an order. They will adjust for shipping prior to asking you for your confirmation on the order and you will be able to see how much it will cost you.

    For me, there were two options. I could get them to send it via UPS Worldwide Expedited for $125 or via Express Mail International (which is through the US postal service) for $53. I ordered mine without the keyboard so I don’t know how much shipping will cost if you get the package with the keyboard. I don’t think it is advisable to get the keyboard from them because you’ll probably have to pay an import duty on it and who knows how much that will cost.

  7. Jen says:

    Hello, do you mind sharing how much did you pay to ship the items back? I emailed them but no response is forthcoming so far.

    I wanted to send my daughter to Musikgarten but the classes are full and the other available times are inconvenient for a working mum.

    This sounds like a much better alternative. Still wavering between this and Soft Mozart. Shall be waiting anxiously for your review.

  8. LM’s Mum – No problem. I write about it as soon as we’ve had a chance to give it a go. They told me it’s been shipped so just waiting for it to arrive then gotta go look for a compatible keyboard.

    Irene – Suzuki classes are also afternoon – at least the ones by the teacher I wrote about are. They also have weekly group classes on Saturday afternoon which is apparently part of the Suzuki Method training. The children need to learn to play in a group as well which is great for developing their confidence. But that means you’re effectively having two classes a week.

  9. Irene Ng says:

    Haha……my idea of retail theraphy will be clothes or a pair of shoes! I checked out JMC courses at Hartamas and the classes were all at 3pm. So I will be going the same way as you. Thanks for the research! Makes my find so much easier!

  10. I will be looking forward to your updates on this subject, Shen-Li. I am currently looking for ways to finance this purchase, as this would be a considerable investment for us in our current financial situation. I would buy for the same reasons as you listed. I also like the game-like approach, which may be more successful with LM as it is likely to leave her feeling “in charge” of it, as opposed to more formal one-to-one classes.