Meet the musical Ghannam family, with three kids ages 6, 9 and 11 who are all superstars at top Singapore music school Aureus Academy!
Familiar with the saying, ‘If it’s not fun, why do it?‘ mama? French-Lebanese mama Martine Ghannam has taken this to heart when it comes to music classes and other activities for her three children, Alexia (11), Karl (9) and Eric (6). Amongst them the kids take between 25-40 hours of music lessons per month at Singapore music school Aureus Academy, and all that hard work has paid off: all three kids recently scored top marks on the prestigious ABRSM Exams!
So what’s the secret to their success? A fun, flexible approach where the kids take the lead. We recently chatted with Martine to find out more about the family’s musical background and their amazing musical journey.
How long have each of the kids been playing music?
They started when they were about 5.5/6 year old.
What instrument does each child play?
The kids play the piano. They also tried violin (Suzuki) at school in London.
What is your own musical background? Do (or did) you play an instrument?
I learned to play the piano when I was young but had to stop during the war in Lebanon.
Why do you think musical education is important for kids?
Beyond the obvious benefits of learning to focus, improved memorization and coordination, we feel musical education is important because it brings balance in the overall education of a child, when done alongside school, sports and arts.
What have your kids told you makes them happy about playing music?
At home when they are practicing or just playing for fun, it relaxes them and allows them to disconnect from the mundane of every day life. It is a time where their minds just stop thinking about their very busy schedules and their imaginations start working.
Why did you choose to have your children study at Aureus Academy?
When we moved to Singapore we started having teachers come to our home for the lessons, but they were often sick, late etc. Or would just stop coming without giving notice. We saw an ad for Aureus at the American Club and joined Aureus when they had just one location in Delphi. When we met [Managing Director] Lawrence for the first time, it was quickly obvious to us that Aureus was different and he was really trying to build a school that cared about the long term development of the children.
We also liked their flexible approach, having the choice of teachers and the ‘family’ like environment and friendly people! They also organise concerts which helps the kids develop the skill of playing in front of a crowd and manage their anxiety.
How do you motivate your children to practice?
I adapt! If they’re tired I ask them to do a bit less, but then on other days they spend more time practicing. I think it’s important not to ask too much as it needs to stay fun.
What would you say makes Aureus Academy unique in comparison to other music schools in Singapore?
Their friendly and very flexible approach. Lawrence and his team truly care about the students and performance, and he also personally invests his time listening and coaching!
What would you say are the most important things to look for in a music school?
- Flexibility with regards to timing, catch ups, etc.
- Range of services: choice of instruments, voice classes availability, choice of Teachers, timetable, etc
- Qualification / experience of teachers and teacher turnover
- Most of all friendliness as kids have to enjoy the classes and stay motivated!
Thank you so much, Martine! For more info on Aureus Academy, and to find out more about their free trial lesson and 50% off trial month promotion at any of their five locations across Singapore, be sure to visit their website, mama!