Ever since MF started Primary School, my life has been kind of depressing. Gone were the days where I could spend hours cafe-hopping or singing KTV. Now I only have a few hours to destress before having to pick MF up from school. That’s hardly enough time to do anything!
So when Believer Music asked if I would like to try out their one-hour music classes, I was thinking, “Sure! Why not?” It was just ONE HOUR, so it fit perfectly into my super-sad schedule. I could get out of the house, meet people and sing some songs as if I was in KTV once again!
Better yet, I could pick up a new skill. Believer Music had SO many classes I could choose from. Guitar, electric guitar, keyboard, drums, cajon, ukulele. Or I could simply join a voice class to *ahem* improve my singing so that I don’t torture my friends so much at KTV sessions. But it’s okay. I enjoy torturing my friends. KTV is fun when you sing horribly.
When it comes to learning musical instruments, I can’t say I’m a very good student. I’m not interested in being a professional or getting a certificate. The idea of building a strong foundation and learning to read scores BORE me. My parents enrolled me in piano classes when I was a kid and I quit right after Grade 1.
But that’s not to say I don’t like to play musical instruments. In fact, I LOVE playing musical instruments.
When I was in Junior College, I would play around with the guitar in our CCA room. There was no such thing as YouTube at that time. So I borrowed books on learning to play a guitar from the library and learned to strum a few chords. I remembered learning only a few basic chords, and I could strum and play along to songs like 关怀方式. There was a superb sense of satisfaction – to be able to play a guitar and sing along!
So where music classes were concerned, what I really wanted was a fast-track to be able to play some songs without having to practice fingerings and stuff for multiple lessons before I could play a song. Which was exactly what Believer Music’s classes were about.
Their lessons promised to be fun and stress-free, and were targeted at hobbyists like me. Where at the end of a short one-hour lesson, we would be able to play a song on an instrument and sing along!
My Experience at Believer Music
Believer Music arranged for me to attend trial classes for their basic contemporary guitar and keyboard classes. Ready to hear me play some instruments? If you’re not, now’s the time to switch off the volume on your computer / laptop / phone.. whatever you’re using to read this. LOL…
Contemporary Guitar Class
Believer Music’s basic contemporary guitar class covered songs such as:
- From This Moment by Shania Twain
- Yellow by Coldplay
- Someone Like You by Adele
- Just The Way You Are by Bruno Mars
- I’m Yours by Jason Mraz
- Say Something by A Great Big World
- The Story Of My Life by One Direction
I’m more of a Mandopop person than an English pop person. But even then, I knew all the above songs since they are so popular. Using songs that most people are familiar with makes learning the instrument so much easier! Even if you’re not super familiar with the songs, the sheets for the entire course were given out in the first lesson, so we could look up the songs on YouTube to familiarise ourselves with them for subsequent lessons.
I was there for week 3 of the 7-weeks course. At the start of the class, we revised the previous week’s song, strumming and singing along to From This Moment by Shania Twain. The fingering for the chords used in each song was printed conveniently at the bottom of each song sheet, in case your memory is as bad as mine and you forget the fingering after one week.
After going through the previous week’s song, we went on to the song for the week – Yellow by Coldplay. The class was well-paced for beginners and we learned the strumming, the fingering, the tempo etc. one step at a time.
Step 1: With the guitar muted, we focused first on strumming the <March> rhythm.
Step 2: After we were comfortable with the strumming, we added in the fingering on our left hand for the chords and strummed the chords with the <March> rhythm.
Step 3: Next, we learned to match the lyrics to the beat. We left out the <March> rhythm and focused on only strumming once on each beat while the instructor sang the song.
Step 4: Muting the guitar, we practised strumming with the <March> rhythm together with the lyrics without having to worry about the chords yet.
Step 5: Finally, everything was put together and we played the chords with the <March> rhythm while singing to the song.
So as promised, we successfully learned to play the guitar while singing along to a song by the end of just a short one-hour lesson!
Contemporary Mandopop Keyboard Class
Similarly, I attended week 3 of Believer Music’s 11-weeks basic contemporary mandopop keyboard class. Just like the contemporary guitar class, the songs that were taught in the class were what I would consider 家喻户晓 mandopop songs, such as:
- 天使 by 五月天 Mayday
- 光辉岁月 by Beyond
- 小酒窩 by 林俊傑 JJ Lin
- 星晴 by 周杰伦 Jay Chou
- 月亮代表我的心 by 鄧麗君 Teresa Teng
Just like the guitar class, the lesson started with a recap of the previous week’s song, which was 小人物的心声 for the class I attended.
We then went on to the song for the week, 天使 by 五月天. The class started with some technical knowledge of what the G major scale was. We then had to learn the notes that formed the chords that would be used for the song.
After that, we dived right into the song. We started with playing only two notes (the first and last of the chord) on our right hand, before progressing to adding in the third note. On the left hand, we only had to play one note.
And with this, by the end of the one-hour lesson, we were able to play the chords and sing along to the song – easy peasy!
The instructor shared with us that more elaborate rhythm would be added on later on the course. While the guitar course covered 7 songs in 7 weeks, the keyboard class covered 6 songs in 11 weeks. This is because sometimes, they use the same song over 2 weeks, but each week, they add a different aspect to the song. For example, you could be learning a new rhythm for one week with a song, and the following week you could be learning new chords using the same song. This build-up allows everyone to keep pace with the course, bearing in mind that the participants of the basic course may start with zero music background and may have never played a piano or keyboard before. So despite having played the same song in the previous week, you’ll still get a superb sense of satisfaction when you add in new chords or a new rhythm!
More on Believer Music
Lessons for Children
Believer Music doesn’t conduct classes for adults only – they have courses for children too! Their kids programs are suitable for children age 7 and above. Also keep a look out for holiday programmes during the June and November holidays!
Online Course Aggregator
Believer Music has been around for 18 years with more than 20,000 students to date. They have 3 branches: Tampines Plaza, International Plaza and One Commonwealth. So you can just imagine the sheer number of courses that they are running. They not only have courses for different instruments, they also have courses for different age groups: Children, Adults, Seniors.
So to make your life easier, they actually have an Online Course Allocator to help you find a suitable course. You just click on the instrument you want to learn, your age, the music genre you’re interested in and your proficiency level – and TADAH! They would find a course for you!
Making up for missed classes
Because of the number of classes they have, they are able to offer flexibility for students who miss classes to make up for their lessons. And this can be done through an online Member’s Portal which each student will have access to. No need to call the centres to check for timings and make the arrangements – you can do it yourself anytime, 24/7!
Earn credits for subsequent classes
For each course that you sign up, you will earn BM$ that can be used to offset your future course fees.
Also, you will receive a Share and Earn code found in your Member’s Portal. Using your unique code, you can earn unlimited BM$ by having your friends sign up too (applicable for new members for Primer, Beginner & Level I modules only). Accumulated BM$ can be used to offset any future course fees.
When Believer Music told me they had a long history, and how low the fees for their courses were, I was actually expecting the school to be perhaps a little dated. But I was SO WRONG. I was impressed by how new their instruments and how professional their music studios were. They even produced their own line of instruments – it’s crazy!
I really enjoyed the classes at Believer Music. The group dynamics of the class was great, and we didn’t have to feel shy about making mistakes as everyone in the basic course was making mistakes. Lol… There was a MEGA sense of achievement at the end of both classes when I could really play the instrument while singing along to a song. In just one hour!
And to reward you for reading to the end of my awesomely long post, I have a discount code for you!!
Get $25 off when you apply the following eVoucher code BMBUMBLE during Online Registration at BelieverMusic.com.
Terms & Conditions:
> This discount is applicable for basic modules, 1st time members only.
> Promo Code is valid until 31 Dec 2017.
> Promo Code cannot be used in conjunction with other promotions.
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