1) Our music school has a solid foundation that has been functioning for more than 15 years.
We have specialised in contemporary music education since 2003. Over the years, we have shaped and brought our methodology to perfection; understanding the importance of improvisation in music. Regular music schools usually remain stagnant over time, PBE however, are constantly learning to improve and evolve to be better in every aspect. From our perspective, change is inevitable.
2) We clearly understand that playing and teaching are two separate things.
It may seem all but common sense, however, distinguishing between the two and applying the appropriate measures is not always easy, at all. Most musicians are gifted, and many have been trained in classical music but when it comes to improvisation, most of them play through 'feel', which is a good thing for performance purposes. The problem though, lies here when you teach through this technique, especially in the improvisational context and it just doesn't work this way. When we teach, we need to 'break down' every technique used. We need to explain the reasoning behind the choice of every note used.
There is a saying that - music needs no rules. Yes, you can play without rules and by 'feel', but only when you have gained the knowledge of the rules, before breaking them. Our instructors work as teams and are all trained under the P.B.E.S Instructor's Training Program before we work with student's case studies.
3) We are not driven by hollow prosperity. Money isn't our passion.
It’s true we still have a business to run and overheads to cover etc. but we are not concerned or obsessed with scrutinising our monthly financial accounts. What we care about is our identity in providing the best possible musical education to our students, the amount of creativity that is given to us to splurge and being the number one contemporary school.
We have never held any special promotions or offers on our courses over the past 15 years, however, our business plan is of good business standing to possibly increase our income at a later date. There is no instance where you sign up today and later realise that there is a free coupon advertised elsewhere that you could have used the following day. Or a sign up today, and only today, you'll get 50% off. In our opinion, such marketing mechanisms are unethical. Aside from the sales from our musical instruments - our teachings, lessons and methodology has a high value which carries our message of integrity. We are passionate about getting our teachings right and making each lesson count for our students.
4) We teach what is proper and correct, e.g. using the correct musical terminologies along with the rudiments of music and the proper usage of language in contemporary improvisation.
Yes, our message is clear. We used to be surprised for the fact that many performing musicians and even educators, got their 'stuff' wrong. And we are not making this up. Over 200 applicants applied at PBE as instructors over the past 15 years, and yes, this has been confirmed.
If you were to compile everything about music in one book, it will probably be as thick as the earth's crust - it is a lot of information. Though music may be subjective, the language of music is universal. It is very easy for any instructor to 'smoke' his or her way through, simply by performing to impress and gaining credibility from the student. Even though we are a leisure based school also, it is our responsibility to teach the main substance of information including other minute particulars, even if we have to take shortcuts. As a student, you may omit parts that are not important or unnecessary during the course of learning. That is totally acceptable, as long as what you are then left with to learn is legitimate.
5) Throughout your entire stay at PBE, you will be never be coerced or asked to pay for additional fees.
Compared with most music schools, as a student, you will not be forced to purchase any instruments, score sheets, instructional books or anything of the sort during the course of study. This is simply because our instructors and administrative staff are not paid through commissions - we are not salesmen. Just a note that none of our P.B.E.S™ materials are for sale to the general public. The only probable thing that we might need to sell are tickets to our annual recital concerts, which are optional and non-profitable for our organisation.
6) The P.B.E.Syllabus™ is a REAL syllabus; functional and instructional with REAL content.
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The syllabus is not just a set of guidelines or score sheets with what is to be learned or tested on like most music schools. We neither have percentage markings or points system and this is what you get for most of the examination boards. P.B.E.S™ is by far the leading music methodology that really teach how to improvise in contemporary music. The contents are carefully segmented into 4 different levels, without over-teaching or demoralising our students' interest. Every subject in the syllabus is modular, meaning as a student, you wouldn't need to start strictly with page one, thereby not compromising the learning progress.
7) Our school does not simply operate by hiring casually for teachers for our students. We are not an agency.
Choosing the right school is important. But more importantly, the school needs to be and remain what it is - a school. It must not just be a school with instructors. It should have the right facilities, be a conducive learning environment, a methodology, possessing good culture, including social events, an efficient administrative system, and most importantly to be a close team of musician educators to support you as a student.
If these are non-existent, you might consider having a private tutor to do house call instead. (Remember…there’s nothing wrong with that as well!) We work very strongly as a team to fulfil our responsibility. There will be someone to care for your administrative concerns, someone to transcribe the songs you request, someone to be your personal instructor, someone to conduct group workshops for your makeup lessons and someone to care for your well-being and etc.
8) Every PBE student enrolled automatically, joins the PBE club coupled with numerous privileges.
As an active PBE student, you are entitled to use any of our practice/waiting rooms for free, 7 days a week, and at any of our 3 branches - Bugis, Jurong and Hougang. You will also receive our latest P.B.E.S™ textbooks and song which excludes booklets. As we are the authorised supplier for most of the popular music instrument brands, you are entitled to special discounts. You will have free access to our P.B.E.S™ fake sheets library, a personal concierge service for songs transcribing, a Whatsapp service, exclusive invitations for events such as student recitals and jam nights, and much more.
9) We are eccentric with a good cause, firing at every level in all aspects of creativity. There is really no music school like us.
When people say music is an art, we believe that it is a special kind of creativity. And though we agree with this view, we do not see many of such, whether individuals or organisations, who acknowledge this and actually practice it. Music has to be improvised, period. Even if you are just attempting to play ‘Mary had a little lamb’, musicians are artists who cannot help but be creative and it goes down to doing just about everything.
We don’t just strive to be different for the sake of being different - take a moment to browse our website to learn what we have rendered over the past 15 years. Business critics may not appreciate our efforts, but we know we are going a long way.
10) Despite being a niche business unlike other traditional music schools, we are a franchised chain that has branches and networks in Japan, Canada and Malaysia.
We are a proven successful brand that is globally renowned. Back in 2003 when we were only an online store, our syllabus was sold commercially worldwide, to countries such as America, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia and many parts of Europe.
We still remain a niche even today, not because of any marketing reasons but because we are passionate and focused with the goal of being the best at what we do. You cannot do everything and expect to be the best entirely. After currently enrolling more than 500 students in our school, we are arguably the most popular contemporary music school in Singapore. We honor our cause of educating, making no compromises and remaining true professionals in our field of passion.