Yamaha Special Junior Advanced Course - Discussion

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Yamaha Special Junior Advanced Course - Discussion

Postby ngchris » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:23 pm

(This is for students that complete the Foundation Stage of the Yamaha Junior course of 2 yrs and was qualified via special audition.)

Anyone/parent of one was from this course? Can you share you/kid's experience? Is it tough/too taxing? What's the audition/selection success rate and is it conducted at a centralised location only?

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Yamaha JSAC

Postby acforfamily » Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:37 pm

my child has been in course for 2 years - quite demanding with 1.5 hours group lesson and 1 hr individual lesson

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JSAC Yamaha

Postby acforfamily » Tue May 12, 2009 9:42 am

Hi, sorry missed your message earlier.
I think the course is good though it is getting a little costly for me (more than $350 per month).

There is no choice in location for the group lesson (1.5 hrs). We were just told to start on a certain date and at plaza sing. As for the individual lesson (1 hr), this is also limited by the teachers and timing available. We actually had to ballot for a particular timing slot (all on weekdays). After it has all been settled, though, I managed to change the teacher and the timing after a couple of months.

Audition selection appears to be tough from what they explained. During our time, they claimed that they had apparently selected more than 100 students for audition and only 8 came into the class.

Composition is interesting as they are also taught improvisation, i.e. what chords to play to accompany the melody etc. Good thing about the class is that the students are all very self-motivated, so if your child loves a challenge, this is a good environment.

I know nothing about music but personally I have many friends who have gone through grade 8 ABRSM but know nothing about the things which my child is now learning. Although only in grade 7 (different from ABRSM - it goes the other way round, starting with grade 9 and downwards), can play a tune and add in own accompaniment. So I would go through the same course again but only problem is the cost. Guess it is much cheaper doing piano using private tutor.

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Good luck!

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Yamaha Special Junior Advanced Course

Postby ngchris » Thu May 14, 2009 8:26 pm

Thanks acforfamily for the informative message.

Plaza sing weekly is a concern from the parents ;-< But of course, it maybe undue worries as my kid may not even get to be selected.

Quick question: Is it have to be piano or can the child choose electone?

Wondering also if private teachers also teach composition and improvisation as part of standard course 'cos my child's interest is to be a composer (at least for now).

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Postby fawnfawn » Sun May 17, 2009 4:10 pm

hi ngchris,
I know my reply came in a little late but if it's of any help, I completed the entire Junior Special Advance Course (JSAC) and even went on to complete the Senior Special Advance Course (SSAC). The entire programme JSAC+SSAC lasted 8 years from when I was Primary 1 till Sec 2.

I found the course really interesting as we got to learn many different things such as improvisation and composition(that's not really my interest though). We had one hour of individual lessons each week where we would follow the ABRSM syllabus (all students would finish Grade 8 by the end of the programme) and we would have 1 and a half hours of group lessons where we would follow the Yamaha JSAC/SSAC syllabus and take Yamaha exams.

During the group lessons, we learnt things like solfege singing, playing by ear, transposition(we had to transpose some songs into every single key), improvisation (eg. coming out with a 40 bar song impromptu based on a 2 bar motif). We also learnt how to fit chords to melodies. There's also ensemble playing where each student in the class gets a different part to play on the electone. The lessons are quite well paced. Everyone in the course has perfect pitch to start with though.

I have to admit I was one of the lazier students in my group class (which was re-merged 3 times because many students couldn't cope and dropped out along the way) but overall I found it really beneficial and never regretted joining it.

After the course, I continued learning the piano and took up to a Licentiate Diploma. Right now, I'm currently 20 years old and I teach piano part time:)

I would recommend that your child attend the course if he/she passes the audition. All the best. Feel free to PM me should you have any further queries.

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Postby acforfamily » Thu May 21, 2009 9:21 am

fawnfawn wrote:We had one hour of individual lessons each week where we would follow the ABRSM syllabus (all students would finish Grade 8 by the end of the programme) and we would have 1 and a half hours of group lessons where we would follow the Yamaha JSAC/SSAC syllabus and take Yamaha exams.


Hi fawnfawn,
it's great to find someone who has gone through the course. My kid's class has students who learn the piano but they also don't follow the ABRSM syllabus ( nor take the exam). Wonder whether it's because they have changed the focus. They are now in JSAC3.

fawnfawn wrote:my group class (which was re-merged 3 times because many students couldn't cope and dropped out along the way)


Interesting, this is one of the questions asked before the sign-up for the course. The representative said that there is NO dropout because the kids will be able to cope. The only dropouts are those whose parents are going overseas etc. Guess they were just trying to get us to sign up.

No regrets so far for the course except for the fees.

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Re: Yamaha Special Junior Advanced Course

Postby acforfamily » Thu May 21, 2009 9:28 am

ngchris wrote:Quick question: Is it have to be piano or can the child choose electone?


You can choose the electone or even both, which means you will need 2 separate 1 hr individual lesson for each, on top of the 1.5 hr group lesson.

Just be aware that electone techniques are different from piano, so the kid will not be able to switch immediately to piano. According to the teacher, most kids take about a few months to learn the piano techniques after learning electone.

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Postby fawnfawn » Thu May 21, 2009 5:09 pm

acforfamily wrote:
Hi fawnfawn,
it's great to find someone who has gone through the course. My kid's class has students who learn the piano but they also don't follow the ABRSM syllabus ( nor take the exam). Wonder whether it's because they have changed the focus. They are now in JSAC3.



icic...I'm not sure if they changed anything since 6 years ago. Maybe it's because depending on the teacher, the focus on students is not taking exams. We did not take every single grade from grade 1 to grade 8 but focused more on learning more songs (as opposed to concentrating only got 3 songs each grade for examinations). For me i only took grades, 2, 4 and 8 (ABRSM) during the course. I remember learning songs from some YAMAHA books during the first few years of my course as well. The first song was 'The Swing'. lol.

acforfamily wrote:Interesting, this is one of the questions asked before the sign-up for the course. The representative said that there is NO dropout because the kids will be able to cope. The only dropouts are those whose parents are going overseas etc. Guess they were just trying to get us to sign up.

No regrets so far for the course except for the fees.


Well to be fair there was a girl in my course who dropped out because she migrated to italy=x but well. I guess there might be many other reasons such as loss of interest? One of my former classmates whom Im not in contact with anymore quitted in year 2 because he was unhappy that the teacher kept editting his composition such that it didn't sound like his song anymore and lost interest. A few other classmates dropped out because they were learning violin as well and they couldn't cope with learning too many instruments at once. I heard of another one who dropped out because her parent also signed her up for the nafa programme (gosh that means 3-4 piano lessons a week in total), and hence couldn't cope with both.

But well, from my point of view, I think as long as the child is not overloaded with too many activities on top of piano lessons, they should be able to cope with a little discipline, practice, and encouragement, and well of course..interest in learning music.

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Postby radiantmum » Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:03 pm

This yea's JSAC audition is on 19 Aug @ Plaza Singapura Yamaha Music School. The audition notification via mail is approx 4-5 weeks after the FSS.

The audition requirements stated in the letter are as follows:-
(i) Excellent FSS Test results/Teacher's recommendation
(ii) To play any 2 Repertoire pieces of student's choice
(iii) To identify by ear any notes played by the assessor
(iv) To listen and sing back a short melody played by the assessor
(v) To listen and play back a short melody played by the assessor
(vi) To listen and play back a series of 3 chords with either left or right hand
(vii) To harmonize and provide an accompaniment pattern with the left hand for a simple 4 bar melody

No special training required as skills based on 2 years in YJC and the audition will last for about 10 minutes.

I don't know how many were selected and how many will eventually be successful though.

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Postby acforfamily » Mon Jul 27, 2009 11:03 am

radiantmum wrote:I don't know how many were selected and how many will eventually be successful though.


we were informed that 100+ were selected for the audition but only 8 made it to my son's class previously.

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