Very often we are so preoccupied with the destination, we forget the journey. We invite you to journey with us... Sign up to connect with Rhythm MP or follow us on

Music Appreciation

The third component in music studies would be music appreciation. Music appreciation basically would be getting involved in activities that would develop musicality and develop the musical mind.

There are quite many things one can do in the area of music appreciation. At music lessons, students will be taught to conduct in time to a piece of music usually in simple or compound duple, triple or quadruple.

There are also exercises on ear training where a student would have to sing in tune a certain passage that has just been played for them. Or they may be required to clap or tap the rhythm of that passage that was played for them.

In some instances, Solfege singing would also be involved. Solfege meaning using the Italian syllables Doh Re Me Fa So La Tee Doh to sing a passage. Other than this, one can get very, very creative in the area of music appreciation.

For example, the teacher may organize a session with students of about the same level to get together and listen to some music and talk about it. Topics which can be included in the discussion would be musical form, dynamics or merely expressing how you felt about the music.

In a way, it teaches the student how to be in touch with his or her emotions when listening to a piece of music, and being able to aptly describe his or her feelings upon listening to it.

Some teachers may organize a session to get students of the same level together to perform a piece or two. Upon performing the piece, discussions can be held to discuss how it was performed, who liked it, who felt it could be further improved or whether it was perfect.

Such an activity is meant to stimulate the musical mind of the student. It is especially rewarding for the teacher to be able to see his or her student being able to talk quite a bit about the piece of music in a very constructive manner.

Another excellent idea to acquire music appreciation would be for the teacher to organize a trip to a concert hall, just to go watch and listen to a performance. After which, the teacher and students could get together again and talk about the performance; how they felt about it, what were the hi-lights of the performance that they really enjoyed.

Practical (Instrumental Studies)

What would a student expect to learn during instrumental studies?

We have talked a bit about theory in the earlier (video) clip. Right now, we move to the second component in music studies, which is practical or instrumental studies.

Here, it broken up into two parts. The first being technical studies. What exactly are technical studies? Basically, they are finger drills and finger exercises that is meant to improve the performer's technique.

There are technical studies for all music students irrespective of whichever instrument you are learning. For the piano, as soon as you begin lessons, within the first few months, you will be introduced to a book that will contain scales, broken chords and arpeggios. These are your elementary technical studies that you begin with, and it is something that you will practice continuously all the way through.

Other than the book on scales, arpeggios and broken chords, there are many other publications featuring finger drills and finger exercises. One of the most popular the world over for piano students would be The Complete Hanon.

In that book, you will find melodic patterns using major and minor scales played up and down the entire keyboard, which helps the student develop agility, finger strength and of course, overall technical improvement.

Piano studies and Etudes are a great source to have students understand how scales are being used in a composition. In these works, you have scale-wise passages performed on the right hand with a basic accompaniment on the left hand. It relates chords to scale notes which helps also with acquiring musicality.


There is a wide range of repertoire to learn. Of course, every teacher based on his or her teaching syllabus, will prescribe different publications covering different types of repertoire.

What I am going to offer is just a very basic guideline of repertoire to learn. Obviously, to know music well, you have to learn an array of different styles and different genres. Therefore, I would recommend learning classical repertoire all the way across to contemporary repertoire.

A mixed array of repertoire would be ideal for the young student. Learning classical works all the way to all the modern music that we have today would broaden the scope and understanding of music of the student.

Of course, repertoire from the various eras and genres of music would help us understand different ways which music is composed, arranged and performed. It is essential for the music student to learn a variety of musical styles and genres across the board, because each different styles would require a different interpretation and a different way of playing it.

Music For Kids

The on-going Music For Kids program was held at kindergartens in Kuala Lumpur and Penang during the recent school holidays. This program has brought us to many kindergartens around the country and to Singapore as well.

Music appeals to everyone and we noted that the kids, as well as their parents, were all eager to experience the program wherever we went to conduct it. All parents are concerned for the child’s overall development, from upbringing to education. Realizing that all experiences will be beneficial to their child, any program that will help shape a child in a positive manner is worth the experience.

Currently, the program has further developed to cater to three categories of young children according to age, which are, for 3 to 4 year old kids, 5 to 6 year olds, and for the 7 to 9 year old kids.

Below are photos of the kids at their kindergartens and selections of the best artworks they did during the program.

Click on 了解我的画 to read Blog in Chinese Simplified 简体中文