Learning Music in Singapore and Why You Should Apply For A Music Instrument Loan (2018 Update)
Are you planning to learn music in Singapore? Are you planning to pick up an instrument? It could be the piano, violin, the guitar, saxophone or more. Or maybe you want to sign your child up for music lessons?
It doesn’t matter whether it’s for fun or with the aim of becoming a professional musician; learning music is a form of enjoyment, said to stimulate a person’s brain more and is a well-known method to relieve stress. However, in Singapore, learning how to play a music instrument isn’t cheap. You not only have to consider the costs of the classes, music exams, but also have to purchase or rent your own instrument in order to practice and perform. For example, if you plan to learn the piano, you will need to purchase a keyboard or a piano to practice. You can also choose to rent the instrument to practice, but it will be even costlier in the long run.
The cost of learning music in Singapore
Singaporeans are known to invest heavily in education. Parents spend more than S$100,000 a year on their children’s education. This figure is steadily increasing as parents see the benefits of enrolling their children in classes outside of the curriculum offered by their schools. These classes include music, martial arts, fine arts, dance and many more. Parents enroll their children in these classes with the aim of giving them a good head start in life, hoping to give their children more options and enjoyment.
Not only do kids benefit from learning a new skill, adults benefit as well! Studies have shown various benefits of learning musical instruments including:
1. Improved coordination
2. Increased self-confidence
3. Improved memory
4. Increased discipline, perseverance and patience
5. Improved knowledge of other cultures
Despite all the benefits of learning how to play a musical instrument, many people still shy away from it. This is because the costs of musical instruments are quite high. Music lessons can cost several hundreds of dollars per month. The cost of the lessons will depend on your level of progress, the location of the lessons (in your home or at the school), the experience and level of qualification of the teacher, and the type of music. You are likely to spend an average of $20,000 if you plan to go the whole way from beginner level to advanced level. The course fee usually increases with every level.
Aside from lesson costs, you will also have to consider the cost of purchasing a music instrument. This is where the costs of learning to play a music instrument sky-rocket. An instrument of good quality does not come cheap.
Many people would know that guitar is one of the most affordable instruments to learn. You can easily get a decent guitar at around $100 at any music shop and learn easy chords online. However, better guitars, such as from popular brands such as Ibanez, Maestro, Taylor costs hundreds and thousands of dollars.
For people wo are interested in learning the piano, a student who just started learning will usually purchase a keyboard to practice at home. Alternatively, they can choose to rent piano studios at music schools to practice. In the long run, it is costly and inconvenient. The more affordable pianos cost around $3,000. Upright pianos of better sound cost a minimum of $7,000 and grand pianos, the dream of many pianists, usually cost $100,000 and above. However, students can choose to get a second-hand instrument if they are facing budget constraints.
4 reasons why you shouldn’t go cheap on musical instruments
Many people are tempted to purchase the cheapest musical instruments they can get in order to pursue their dreams, or to allow their child to learn to play. However, cheap instruments are often poor quality instruments.
The problem with buying cheap instruments is that you or your child is likely to become frustrated with the instrument and lose interest. Other than giving on their pursuit of music, players may have lesser performance opportunities.
1. Poorer structure and appearance
Usually, instruments of lower price will be made of poor materials. This does not mean that the instrument is bad, it simply means that it will not sound extremely nice. The instrument may not be able to last very long and may also bend, break, tear, split, corrode or tarnish more quickly.
Poor quality build also results in poor intonation and sound quality. It will be difficult to play to an audience and produce a quality performance. You will thus get frustrated and throw in the towel.
2. Poor sound quality
Poor sound quality isn’t just bad for performance; it is also bad when learning to play an instrument. If the intonation of the musical instrument is poor, you will not be able to tune your instrument correctly. This means in the long-run, your pitch will be incorrect and inaccurate.
You or your child will not develop the skill to hear pitch or intonation correctly. You will therefore not learn the skills required to play correctly. Pitch and intonation is especially important for violinist, cellist and string instruments because these instruments have no frets and require great precision. Your cheap instrument will hinder your progress and prevent you from reaching your full potential.
3. Poor response and feel
Cheap instruments are made with little attention to the action of moving parts. These mechanisms are crucial for ensuring a great feel and response when playing the instrument. If your instrument doesn’t respond as it ought to or if you don’t feel good while playing the instrument, you could lose your motivation to learn or practice and eventually give up.
4. Requires more maintenance
If your instrument is of poorer quality and breaks down often, you will most likely spend a lot of money for its maintenance. You will need to carry out more repairs to ensure that the instrument can be played.
Buying cheap instruments is a waste of your money. You will not only be frustrated, but you will also not be able to recover any of your investment since these instruments have no resale value.
Top 10 places to purchase music instruments in Singapore (Not in sequence)
- Yamaha Music
- Swee Lee Music
- City Music
- Davis Guitar
- Maestro Guitars
- Tong Ming Xi
- Synwin Music
- Luthier Guitar
If you are unsure of the model or brand of instrument that you wish to get, you can visit Synwin or Gramercy for string instruments (violins, cellos) or Peninsula Shopping Complex for guitars, drums and amplifiers. Larger shops such as Swee Lee Music carry keyboards while Yamaha carries pianos.
Getting the funds for your music instrument
There are several ways to get enough funds to purchase your music instrument.
If one is lucky enough to have enough savings or an income, purchasing the music instrument with their own money is the best option. However, saving up enough funds for the purchase may take a long time. During which, the student’s learning may be compromised.
2. Credit cards
This is the most common way musicians purchase music equipment. Using a credit card allows you to pay for the equipment later. However, if you fail to pay the credit card debt, you will be subject to hefty fines. Do note that the interest rate for credit cards are usually quite high and there is a chance that you main ruin your credit score as well.
3. Financing from retailers
Some music instrument retailers offer financing for customers. You can apply for the financing online or in their shops. These financing options are often very flexible and will allow you to pay at a reasonable interest rate.
4. Traditional lenders
Banks and other financial institutions may be willing to lend you money if you can show that the purchase of the music instrument is an investment in your career. You will have to demonstrate how you will make money using the instrument.
How a music instrument loan can help
If you want to reach your full potential with the musical instrument of your choice, it’s important to buy the best quality that you can afford. However, you don’t have to purchase the most expensive instrument; you only need to ensure that you are investing in quality.
Finances are often an obstacle when it comes to purchasing musical instruments. This is where music instrument loans come in handy. These loans will help you purchase high-quality instruments without putting a strain on your finances. You can thus pursue your dreams with the best possible tools and teachers.
Music instrument loans are an investment in you or your child’s life. They will open you up to opportunities that has never been possible before. You can opt for a career in music, or simply benefit from the many psychological advantages of playing a music instrument.
Be sure to take your time and find high-quality musical instruments. Just because the price is high doesn’t mean that the instrument will provide you with the quality that you’re looking for. Do your research to ensure that you won’t regret your purchase.
A music instrument loan is an investment in your future if you are able to use it correctly. Click here to apply one now.