Gavin has been really keen on the Angry Birds Rio movie lately, particularly the music. He’s been singing “Real in Rio” and pretending to play imaginary drums so I thought he might like to try music lessons for drums. I arranged for him to have a trial drums and percussion lesson at the Bentley Music Academy and he came out of it eager to sign up for lessons. Unfortunately, by the time we were back in The Curve and on the way to lunch, he decided he didn’t want music lessons any more. I’m still puzzled about the sudden change of heart, but he still ranks Monster Tennis at the top of his ECA list.
At any rate, I have him down for two more trial music lessons – piano and violin – so let’s see how those go. The great thing about the Bentley Music Academy is that if your child has never really tried any music lessons before, you can do a trial for a variety of instruments to see what he or she likes before signing up for classes. Unfortunately, for a child Gavin’s age (4 years old), the only viable instruments are piano, violin and the drum kit. All the other instruments do not have child-size versions to make learning to play them practical for a small child. Even vocals aren’t recommended because the voice box is apparently not ready until at least 7 years old. The best you can do at this age is singing for fun.
If you have an older child, however, you can definitely try out a whole range of instruments first before settling on a specific instrument. And if you’re thinking about a second instrument, the recommendation is at least 7 years of learning the first instrument before introducing a second instrument.
The benefit of learning music at the Bentley Music Academy is the range of instruments and the style of music they have lessons for. They also have individual instrument classes and group classes.
- double bass
- classical guitar
- french horn
- music theory
- harmony and composition
- electric guitar
- electric bass
- drums and percussion
- acoustic guitar
- orchestral percussion
- music technology
- music theory
- music appreciation/history
- music adventure
- senior orchestra
- senior choir
- junior orchestra
- hands on percussion (e.g. xylophone, etc.)
- big band
- wind band
- musikgarten (for babies, toddlers and Mums)
Trial classes offered can be half and hour or an hour in duration. Generally, for the younger children, half an hour is advisable. The cost of the class depends on whether the teacher is a junior, senior, or masters in music. For example, Gavin’s percussion trial class was half and hour with a junior teacher so it cost us RM37.50. And hour long trial would be double the price.
I was pretty sold on having Gavin learn music and was delighted when he came out of the trial class being so excited. Unfortunately, his enthusiasm fizzled out very quickly and now he’s quite adament about not wanting to learn music.
However, if you are going to send your child for music lessons, the Bentley Music Academy is great because they focus first on performances before grades. That means your child will be preparing to play in front of an audience which I think will be great for developing self-confidence.
The additional benefit of taking lessons from the Bentley Music Academy is that they have a music showroom where you can purchase your instruments at students’ rates.
Here are the details for the Bentley Music Academy:
Address: 4th Floor, Wisma Bentley Music, 3, Jalan PJU 7/2, Mutiara Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. (Opposite Tesco in Mutiara Damansara).
Tel: +603-7727 3333 ext. 112/113
Operating Hours: Mon – Sat (10.00 am – 9.00 pm), Sun (11.00 am – 7.00 pm)
The original idea for letting Gavin trial a variety of classes was so that he could:
- broaden his experiences
- add some variety in his daily routine (while he was on extended school holidays)
- discover his passion
The intention is to let him sign up for the one class that he enjoyed most out of all the trial classes he attended. Secondly, even if he decides he doesn’t like these activities now, he may come to enjoy them later in life when he encounters them again. Thirdly, it might also help him open up to the idea of trying new things.
If you would like to follow us on this journey, this is the list of extra-curricular activities that have been planned so far (click the links to read about the activities we have tried so far; more links will be added as we get through the list):
- Gymnastics (alternative Gym class with Adventure Maze)
- Rock Climbing
- Metalwork – Royal Selangor Pewter School of Hard Knocks
- CT Workshop
- Speech and Drama
If you know of any other activities that might be fun for a child to experience, please leave a comment – thank you!
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