Cost of Music Education in Singapore and the Steps to Getting a Music Instrument Loan (2020 Update)

Music Instrument Loan

Singaporeans spend a lot of money when it comes to education. Parents in Singapore have been known to spend an average of S$100,000 annually on their children’s education and they always aim to purchase the best products for them. The country is among the top spenders in the world when it comes to education.

Singaporeans aren’t spending money only on classes that are required by the curriculum. Besides sending their children for numerous tuition classes, they are also interested in letting their kids learn things that will enrich their lives. These include sports, martial arts, fine arts and music. However, music remains the most popular choice for both parents and adults and it is common to see parents bringing their little 7-year-old or 5-year-old around for music lessons.


Benefits of Learning Music

Psychological studies have shown various benefits of learning music to the brain. The benefits of learning music are not confined to the young, but are also applicable to people of all ages. Investing in music lessons will help with:


1. Boosting self-esteem and self-confidence

Learning to sing or play an instrument means that you will most likely have more performance opportunities. It could be a gig for your teacher, your family, friends or even strangers. Performing for others can seem daunting at first, and many performers actually experience sweaty palms or stage fright. However, when you get on the stage and perform, you will find it very enjoyable and become more confident in your abilities.

Confidence is a trait that is both admirable and useful for your profession as well as your social life.


2. Instilling patience, perseverance and discipline

Learning to play a musical instrument takes a great deal of commitment and perseverance. You have to practice rigorously and consistently to perfect your skill or to even see any improvements. The journey can be frustrating, so the student will need to be patient and disciplined. There may be numerous times where you feel like giving up but you will have to push on and stay motivated.

Perseverance, patience, flexibility and more are traits that will not only help you to improve your music, but qualities that will help you in every area of your life, especially when you need to work hard to achieve your goals.


3. Improving coordination and physicality

Playing a sport isn’t the only way to gain mastery of your physical body. Learning to play a musical instrument is also a great way to improve your hand-eye coordination. The best example would be playing the piano, where you need great coordination between your eyes, hands and feet. You will also learn correct postures and master various physical movements. If you choose to play a wind instrument or sing, you have the added advantage of improving your breathing and possibly a larger lung capacity.


4. Improving memory

Studies have shown that learning an instrument helps to enlarge the left side of the brain. This is the side of the brain that retains information. People who learn musical instruments have shown to retain more information (by a fifth).


5. Increasing appreciation for other cultures

Music is the common language of the universe. People can be speaking completely different languages but bond over the same music and songs. Learning an instrument gives you the opportunity to explore other cultures through music. You will learn about their history and cultural practices as you listen to their music and its origins. You will also learn how to correctly pronounce words in other languages, especially for singers. Takahiro Moriuchi from ONE OK ROCK often sings in English or famous singer Shakira recorded songs in Arabic. This will open you up to opportunities that require cross-cultural knowledge.


6. Playing music truly makes one happy

Music is also known as one of the best stress relievers in the world. After a long day of school or work, playing an instrument or singing helps one to calm down, take a break and sort out their thoughts. Just a few simple chords, a tune or song can help a lot. Also, sharing music with your friends and family will bring lots of joy and laughter.


7. Teamwork, one of the most required skills today

Playing music often require musicians to work in a team and coordinate. Not only do they need to communicate musically, but also verbally so as to understand the song and make sure that they are all on the same page. They need to read each other’s expressions and body language. To listen, coordinate and eventually find the best solution is an important skill to have today!



The Cost of Learning Music, a Breakdown For Each Instrument

It is clear that learning to play a music instrument is beneficial in many ways. Now comes the difficult decision of what musical instrument to learn. Aside from preferences, cost is one of the top factors that influences people’s choice of what musical instrument to learn. If you’re unsure of which instrument to learn, consider what it costs to learn to play some of the most popular music instruments below.


1. Cost of Learning Piano

Piano is one of the most popular musical instruments in Singapore. Music lessons cost between $120 and $380 on average. The cost will vary depending on the level you are at, the school you choose, and whether you are learning at home or on school premises.

If you’re a beginner, you can expect to spend an average of $29,041 inclusive of exam fees over the eight years it will take you to reach a professional grade eight level. This is provided that you consistently practice and pass all of the exams on the first try.

You’ll also need to consider the cost of buying a piano home. If you are just starting lesson and is unsure of how long you plan to learn, you can purchase a keyboard first for practices.

Below is the price range for different kinds of keyboards and pianos.

Keyboards: $150 – $10,000 (depending on functions and brand)

Pianos: $3000 – $20,000

Upright Pianos: $7000 and above

Baby Grand: $8000 and above

Grand Piano: $12,000 and above

If you wish to save money, you can opt for a second-hand piano. A good deal for a normal piano can cost around $2000.


2. Cost of Learning Violin

This is also a common instrument people opt for in Singapore. The cost of the lessons varies from $220 to $360 on average. If you plan to go all the way to grade eight, you will spend a total of about $32,592.

The learning curve for violin is steeper and the initial stage requires a lot of time and practice. Beginner violins cost much less than pianos. You can get a student violin at anything between $100 and $300. However, better quality violins cost much more. A professional level violin can cost up to $50,000.


3. Cost of Learning Guitar

This is a great option if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on music lessons and instruments. Guitar lessons cost an average of $112 per month. The cost goes even lower if you opt for a group lesson as opposed to individual lessons.

With all the lessons, videos and materials about guitar that one can find online, it is possible to learn the instrument on your own. A couple of chords will enable you to play a large range of songs.

You can get a great guitar for less than $100. High-quality professional level guitars can cost upward of $2000. Aside from the guitar, other costs will be picks, tuners and a capo.


4. Cost of Learning Drums 

These are considered exotic musical instruments. The good news is that the cost of lessons is much lower. You will pay between $165 and $300 depending on your level. If you want to go all the way to advanced level III, you will part with $16,440 total.

A drum set can cost anything from $850.

However, the most common obstacle in learning drums is that a drum set is very space consuming and the loud sounds will most likely disturb your neighbours. Hence, most Singaporeans choose to rent studio rooms for practice.



Getting a Music Instrument Loan and 5 Reasons Why You Should Get One

Getting your desired instrument is not going to be easy. Other than lots of research, trying out, hunts, the price of the instrument is usually the biggest hurdle. If you are aiming for a good quality violin, guitar, piano or saxophone, you have to be prepared to burn a huge hole in your pocket.

You can consider getting a music instrument loan. Wait, before you roll your eyes with the thought that all loans are bad and that debts are evil, there are rational reasonings behind this.


1. There are good debts and bad debts.  

Yes, it is surprising but not all debts are bad. Good debts are loans taken to help improve yourself, your standard of living and will eventually bring benefits or money to you in the future. For example, you can get a personal loan to purchase a good violin, do well for your music exams and in future, become a music teacher that brings good income. Benefits in the long run. Bad debts are usually credit card debts. Money spent irrationally and unnecessarily. With extra financial help, you can pursue your dream wholeheartedly.


2. Getting a loan for your instrument will avoid straining your finances.  

It doesn’t make much sense to throw in all or most of your savings for your instrument. You have to consider your daily expenses and have a good amount of emergency funds. Financial advisers usually recommend having three to six months’ worth of living expenses in case of emergencies such as retrenchment (choy!).


3. You can finally get your own instrument, no more sharing.  

Most band members will be able to relate with me on this one. Purchasing a saxophone or a trumpet or a trombone is extremely costly and most musicians choose to borrow from their schools or organisations. They rely on the instruments provided by their schools for learning and practice. These instruments, however, aren’t always available to them. Sometimes they may be unable to practice as often as they ought to, slowing down their growth rate significantly. This can be frustrating, especially when you see your peers who own their own instruments improve much faster or receive more performance opportunities. With your own instrument, you can play wherever you want, where you want.


4. You can get a better instrument.  


Many people settle for poor quality instruments when learning a musical instrument. This is because they can’t afford the more expensive but better quality instruments. With a musical instrument loan, you can purchase a good quality instrument and therefore perfect your skills.

A good quality instrument is vital if you’re learning in order to become a performer. You will give better performances with a good quality instrument.


5. More income opportunities will be made available. 


Getting a music instrument loan is an investment. You will have the opportunity to be a teacher, performer, composer or anything else that could earn you money.

Learning music can be really fun and enjoyable. But one must remember that this goal can be very expensive, especially when it comes to purchasing musical instruments. If you’re determined to learn how to play a musical instrument or sing (you need a good microphone and recording device as well) but are strapped of cash, you should consider taking a musical instrument loan. This will allow you to purchase a high-quality instrument and therefore enable you to perfect your skills. If you have any questions, feel free to chat with us or simply apply for a loan here!