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

Getting Started On Music Part 2

1. How do you begin finding a suitable music teacher?

There are two ways you can go about to find a suitable music teacher.
Firstly, there are many music schools that you can visit to inquire about their various programs. Take your time to understand these programs to make a comparison of which would suit your child. At the same time, many of these programs are also available on the internet, with a lot of information for you to understand what they have to offer. I would suggest going to the internet to do this.

The other choice would be to find a private music teacher, if that is what you prefer. Perhaps you may know of, heard of or got a recommendation from a friend of a very popular teacher whom you can approach to inquire about his or her program. Take your time and talk to the teacher to find out more before you make your choice. Once you are convinced, you have found a music teacher for your child.

2. What should you be looking for in a program?

To know music is to be able to play music. So I would be looking for a good balance in the various areas of my music program. I would enjoy a program that includes many styles of repertoire from classical to contemporary.

Technical studies are involved when one plays scales, arpeggios and broken chords. Some teachers may also include other additional technical studies as well.

Aural studies are essential to develop rhythmic feel, listening skills and pitch.

Theory is always inclusive and is based on an examination syllabus, which is totally fine.

3. Are annual music exams compulsory?

Music examinations can be taken whenever a student feels there is a need for him or her to know the level that they are at. I would recommend that the early years of music learning be spent on exploring and listening to a lot of music instead.

Getting Started On Music Part 1

1. What is the recommended age to start a child on a musical instrument?

Generally, the ideal age is 7 years old to get started on a musical instrument. Because at that age, the 7 year old child is considered more physically built to be able to handle an instrument, like the piano, for example. At the same time, they are already attending school, which makes them quite ready to be able to take up music seriously.

2. Can a child begin music lessons at an even younger age?

Yes, there are special programs for children younger than 7 years old. These programs are usually conducted in a group lesson to help develop their musical interest. This is the first step leading towards developing their musical minds and preparation to begin on a musical instrument later.

3. What do young children learn in these programs?

Quiet many things, actually. These programs are a lot of fun for young children, and they have a few things in common. For example, there is singing to develop their hearing and musical pitch. There is dancing and body movement to help develop rhythmic feel. And usually this activity would include also playing some percussion instruments. There are also music games that develop their memory skills and reasoning skills, and many other elements.

4. Which musical instrument should my child begin with?

The piano is the most popular instrument to start with and for good reasons. Once you begin piano lessons, you will also begin learning the basic rudiments of theory, which will allow you to read, write and play in both, the treble and bass clef. Very importantly, you will also begin learning early harmony which leads to chord appreciation. This is especially important if you wish to move on to an orchestral instrument in the later part.

5. Are there other instruments suitable to begin with?

Yes! The violin is another very popular choice. It comes in various sizes to suit a young child all the way to an adult. Blowing instruments however, will require an older child with a better built to be able to play it.

A New Journey Each Step Of The Way

Arriving back in Malaysia, I began work by gigging and doing musical arrangements in Kuala Lumpur for some months.

Then I got a job offer from Rhythm MP as their Chief Editor and it was a new arena to step into where I get to produce music publications and reach out to many music teachers, students and musicians.

I still have an on-going mission to create more awareness and appreciation for music to encourage everyone to learn some music. Though my passion is in jazz, I advocate for the learning of all genres of music so that music student can find his/her niche. Meanwhile, performing with my jazz ensemble is a way to bring jazz appreciation to the public.

My musical journey has taken me places and brought much cheer to my life. I am still on my journey and it is a long road that never ends. Honestly, I do not know what I would be doing today if I did not do music. Though I was undecided at first, I am glad that I gave myself time to find my niche and decide what I will be most happy doing.

I have found my niche. I have found what I will be happy doing for the rest of my life. I can only hope that I will stay relevant in the music world and keep on developing my art.