Nature Themed Music Class @ Trehaus

The moment we stepped into the holiday music class held at Trehaus, at Claymore Connect (just beside Orchard Hotel Singapore), Gar hid behind my back and refused to show his face. Trina, the music teacher, allowed me to stay with him until he was comfortable.

Oh no, was Gar acting up again and refusing to participate in lessons, just like his taekwondo class? After a few minutes, I managed to move him in front of me.

The lesson was about nature and percussion instruments. Trina introduced the various instruments to the children, and reinforced what they had learnt previously, which Gar had missed. To get Gar more comfortable with the class, she put the instruments such as wooden blocks and triangle right in front of him, and he took them and explored them.

She also read stories to the children, and used different instruments for various seasons. He enjoyed hitting the tambourine and was able to beat it in a rhythmic manner.

autumn fall

They were also taught the concept of forte and piano and also 3 beats. Apart from nursery rhymes, she also introduced Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, to increase their exposure to classical music.

playing the tambourine

To the tune of Mulberry bush, they sang and moved around by hopping, skipping, running and walking. Gar was slowly warming up, and he answered the teacher’s questions. He also started participating more actively.

playing the triangle

He needed to go to the loo, so I brought him out. When I asked him whether he was confident to go back in on his own, he said yes, but told me to stay outside and not go anywhere else. I assured him and he went in on his own. Yay!

rain drop music class

It was great to see Gar gain his confidence since Trina was quite patient and encouraging.

exploring the keyboard with the teacher

After the class, I asked whether Gar enjoyed the class, and he said yes as he relaxed on a bean bag.
gar bean bag

There are two more sessions in the June holidays! Check out the details at Trehaus website.

They will be playing the ukelele and xylophone in subsequent lessons.

Note: We were invited to the music class.

Getting A Piano Finally

We finally bought a piano! El had been practising on a keyboard for the longest time. The children like the keyboard because of the tunes and beats, and they can change the instruments too. However, we need to switch it on for them. It is also hard to gauge the amount of strength needed to play the notes on a piano.

I had been hesitating to get one because El kept complaining about how he disliked playing the piano. He still says that from time to time.

What sparked the change in mind was El’s mini piano concert held by his teacher. He practised hard and I played the accompaniment. We performed together to a group of other students’ parents over two nights.

playing piano

On the first night, El fumbled slightly. On the second night, he played very well with confidence! I was so proud of him.
el at the piano

He finally saw some reason for practising piano. I decided it was time to get a proper piano, instead of stealing practices at my mother’s place on an infrequent basis.

I also do not have to resort to the sticker book, which was quite useful in getting him to practise piano. I had given away many Dinosaur Train DVDs as he completed getting 50 stickers for each round. I had also finally caught up with the trips to Night Safari, Jurong Bird Park and the zoo that he requested as part of the reward for achieving 50 stickers.

Therefore, we decided on getting a brand new Yamaha piano. There were a few pianos, vastly different in prices. Our interior designer had promised that there would be sufficient space in the living room, but after measuring, we could only fit in a piano that was 152cm wide and not much more. We bought the cheaper version, made in Indonesia.

When the piano first arrived, I was very sad because the notes sounded off. After a week or two, the technician came and tuned the piano. The notes sounded better. It was not so bad after all.

I really hope El will continue to play the piano. As part of the Christmas package, we have $150 worth of vouchers. I wonder what to do with them.

“I want to learn the violin,” said El recently.

Eeks, would the piano be short-lived?

Dinner, Music, Art and Ninja Skills

We went out for dinner, slightly unusual for a Sunday night, but because it was the school holidays.

cajun chicken rice

It is really hard finding suitable food for El. As a picky eater, he stopped eating the mac and cheese after tasting mushrooms.

mac and cheese

He ended eating some fish and chips, plus shared banana split with me and ended up with a tummy ache later.
fish and chips

I went into a music shop to look for manuscript book for children. His teacher wanted to give him some practices as he seemed to be very weak in note recognition for the bass cleft, but did not have one for children. I could not find one at Popular bookstore after I promised him one for his music compositions.

manuscript book

Apparently, while waiting, he started playing a song that he had learnt recently on one of the pianos. I was quite surprised by his initiative. He had refused to touch the piano earlier at his grandparents’ place.

Perhaps I do need to get an upright piano. The prices ranged from 4 digits to 5 digits. If we were to get one, we would get a white one, so that it could blend in with our decor in the living room. I am not sure whether there is sufficient space in the designated room, and whether his interest could be sustained. He is currently practising on a keyboard at home. Just as to signal the end of his wait, Gar rushed to a piano and banged on the keys. We beat a hasty retreat.

We met my friend with her family and realized how much her daughter had grown.

Gar was running around a shop and we could not get him to stop. He was fast and had ninja skills in dodging us. El joined in the fun and I was utterly embarrassed. We quickly made our getaway.

Actually, our main objective was to get some art supplies. El was interested in doing more art and craft.

He wanted water colours and I bought some paintbrushes. There was a big packet of brushes but I was worried that the brush hair would keep dropping out. Hence I got him a smaller packet and some glitter too.

art supplies

El wanted Geronimo Stilton books after watching a performance the day before. It was pretty expensive, but all the pages were in colour. The last time I let him read one as I was given a free book by a vendor, he complained that map of New York was wrong.

I spotted Kipper, a character he used to read in nursery. He picked it up and finished the book about time. Gar saw him and wanted a book of his own too. We had just bought a lot of cheap books from the flea market!

While I was searching for the art supplies, El was flipping through an assessment book for kindergarten children with dinosaurs on the cover. He went on to complain the book was wrong about dinosaurs. There were factual errors. I told him to put the book back.

When we were making our payment, Gar, the joker, was excited by the beeping sound from the handle scanner.

Beep went the reader.
“Ti,” said Gar, as he giggled non stop and continued imitating the scanner two more times.

As we left, Gar insisted it was too dark to read in the car and wanted the light to be switched on. We told him no. El soon drifted to sleep.

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