Started in 1887, Yamaha Music now has core businesses of retail & wholesale of musical instruments, and the operation of music schools. Located at many outlets all over Singapore, Yamaha Music is a good place to purchase Music accessories and related items, as well as a trusted music school by many.
A one-stop shop for your music needs
Though the Yamaha name was one I had been well-acquainted with since my early childhood days, I’d never actually ventured much into Yamaha stores till recently, when I started playing a few woodwind instruments for a casual ensemble group.
One of the things about Yamaha that particularly stood out to me was its wide range of instruments; whether it was traditional Baroque recorders or the latest electronic keyboard sets, you name it -- they had it all. While I’ve heard that their music accessories are generally a little pricey, I was surprised to find most of their wind instruments rather affordable and of superior quality (I’ve been playing on some of my instruments for the past 3 years and they’re still sounding good!), which makes them excellent for ensembles and bands. Their instruments, however, tend to be a little brighter-sounding, which might not sit well with all.
My encounter with Yamaha’s staff was generally pleasant, though it did take me quite a lot of asking before they took notice of me and attended to my queries. But with both a music school and retail section for them to attend to, I guess I can’t expect too much either.
All in all, I would recommend Yamaha as a good one-stop shop for music needs, particularly for wind instruments. It would be advised, however, to have a clear idea of what you’re looking for before going down, as you might not always be able to get the advice that you need while you’re there.
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Terrible Experience At Yamaha Tampines Mall
I experienced the most horrible service ever at Yamaha Music School Tampines Mall on the 24th January 2016, and this post describes my entire experience at the store.
Before I begin, I wish to say that in no way am I stereotyping the staff at Yamaha, I’ve been a loyal customer to the Tampines Mall Yamaha store for many years already (ever since it was at it’s previous location at level 3), and in general the staff are polite and helpful, which was why I continued to shop at this store till today.
On the 24th of January 2016, at approximately 5.25pm, I walked into the yamaha store, as I wanted to shop for a new classical guitar.
At the guitar section, I approached a young, tall and thin chinese male staff, he had brown hair and was wearing black spectacles, he was also wearing a black jacket, jeans and loafers. He was sitting at the desk in the guitars section. He seemed oblivious to the customers around as he was busy watching a video/playing games on his handphone.
I proceeded to ask for permission to try the classical guitars on display, he nodded and pointed to where I could sit down and try the guitars. I thanked him and went on to try the guitars.
In total, I spent approximately 30 minutes trying 3 classical guitar of different body sizes (a small travel size, a medium sized one and a full sized classical guitar), spending approximately 10 minutes on each guitar.
At about 5.53pm, the very same staff approached me (whilst I was trying the third guitar) and the following is the conversation we had:
Staff: “Excuse me, so are you done with the guitar?”
Me: “Sorry what do you mean by am I done?”
Staff: “This is no place for you to be at. You over here play and practice guitar, here is only for customer to try and for those who can buy guitar”
Me: “I think you misunderstood, I’m trying the guitars because I have the intention of getting a new one”
Staff: “Ok, whatever so can I take this guitar back now thanks”
Me: “Um, I guess?”
(so what was he insinuating? That I didn’t look like I had enough money to buy a guitar?)
He then reached out his hands and raised his eyebrows, signalling for me to hand over the guitar I was trying, which I did immediately, before he placed the guitar back onto the display and got back to his seat at the desk where he continued to use his handphone.
It is worth noting that throughout the entire conversation, the staff maintained a very hostile look and a condescending tone.
If anyone is wondering, I would also like to add that I have bought a guitar from this particular Yamaha branch before (when they were still at level 3) and I had tried that particular guitar which I bought for approximately half an hour before I decided on it, and the staff who had attended to me and my family back then was helpful and totally unlike this staff member who “attended” to me today. I also have many other guitars which I have acquired from other shops and I have never experienced an equally terrible level of service. Nothing even close actually.
Even though I’ve (and my family) been a loyal customer to this branch for many years, having taken lessons at this particular branch before, and having purchased a guitar, numerous music books, and various guitar accessories such as guitar strings on a regular basis from this branch before, this terrible experience will certainly deter me from ever shopping or taking any lessons at this Yamaha store ever again. Yes, it’s possible that he may be the only black sheep, and I perhaps, was just unlucky to have encountered him whilst he was the one in charge. But one horrible experience is sufficient. I will definitely stay away from this Yamaha store from now on, and I will definitely discourage every friend and relative of mine from shopping there as well.
I got most of my musical instruments from Yamaha (saxophone, guitar, violin, piano), it might be slightly more expensive then market rates, but quality is definitely guaranteed. I used to go for beginner lessons for piano when i was younger - but then i stopped after the first Grade because it was a tad too expensive and was financially draining. My point - go to Yamaha for basic foundation knowledge, because quality learning is assured, and after you get your basics, go somewhere else to hone your skills (cruel, I know).
I always believe that the basics are the most important part of learning, so I believe paying slightly above the market rate is just a little sacrifice for an invaluable learning experience.
What does yamaha stands for?
Yamaha has been there for , like forever. I remembered enrolling into a Yamaha organ class at the one based near Parkway Parade when I was in primary school. Later, for reasons unknown, my parents wanted me to try out the Tampines Yamaha outlet. Hence, I migrated my organ class venue to the one based in Tampines Mall.
It was an enclosed yet cosy venue. Located right beside the humongous Popular bookstore. My class contained a wide variety of people whom I bonded instantly with thanks to our passion in music. Obviously, we do not talk like the stereotyped music language and go do re mi fa so every time we meet. We balanced our duration half playing or practicing the organ and another half updating the latest juicy news. There's more of the latter. Usually. Frequently. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy after all. Boy, do we all not want to be Jack. Oh, we also conduct a joyous present ceremony yearly whereby we exchange gifts to one another by drawing out lots. It's usually held near Christmas, fuelling the festive mode. The gifts are usually no ordinary key chains or music notes. Absolutely not. Our gifts usually consisted of mammoth sized toys, both with or without batteries. Our excitement upon receiving this sought after mammoth toys are usually coupled with a long string of hysterical whoops!
The lessons are conducted once per week and lasts for approximately an hour. Yamaha is definitely an ideal outlet for those who yearns the taste of stardom or being onstage.
Suitable brand for starters - though expensive
There are many stores and branches of Yamaha in Singapore, the biggest one is situated at Plaza Singapura. It is a big music school which sells all sorts of instruments and music books. It spans to more than 3 shop spaces in plaza singapura.
As a former student of Yamaha, I feel that the lesson fees are a bit steep. Due to having a more established brand, probably, they charge more expensive fees than other music schools. Generally, music teachers are the same, and it really depends on if they have the heart for teaching. Thus, i wont really recommend Yamaha as a school.
Also, i feel that the instruments are a bit on the pricey side. Would be better if to compare between some music shops first before deciding to purchase your instruments.
Never send your kids to Yamaha
Dear parents, never send your kids to Yamaha for music lessons. I learnt it the hard way.
As a child, I was sent to Yamaha to attend piano lessons. I have to say my experience there was 95% negative. In a class of about 10 people, there is hardly any 'private time' with the piano teacher. Most of the time it was just a venue where you could play the piano.
I never attended one lesson where I did not cry. The piano teacher would mercilessly bang my hands into the keys just because I was a slow learner. That is definitely not the way to learn music.
In addition, the pricing was ridiculously high. Hiring a private piano teacher to my house costs less than attending lessons there.
The only good thing about Yamaha is that they offer a wide range of trumpet mouthpieces. I bought both my 7C and 3C there years ago and up till today, they are still serving me well.
Yamaha is a place to BUY instruments, not LEARN.
Accessible but not so Practical
I am an avid Yamaha customer, not because I really liked it, but because it is the nearest musical instrument shop in the East.
Every time I snapped one of my guitar strings, I could not be bothered to travel all the way to city hall for a same price of strings and quality. That is why I prefer Yamaha.
However, for lessons, I would rather advise people to learn in Youtube or ask someone they know to teach them. The prices for lessons are ridiculously high. Yes I know people might argue that it is Yamaha that is why it is expensive. But I believe that high standards of lessons can also be achieved in other institutions that are much more affordable.
I have been taking drum lessons at Yamaha for more than a year now; took group lessons for half a year and have been taking individual classes till now. This is also my first time attending private music lessons. The group lessons were a bit too slow, but I guess that was probably because I already had some musical background before attending lessons there. The pace was more suitable for the rest of my class, a small class of 6, for most of them never took music lessons.
Indeed, the prices are pretty steep, but I really like my teacher. He is very patient and approachable. The staff are also friendly. I think this is the reason why I continue to attend classes at Yamaha; I was considering Academy of Rock before but I decided that I would change classes only after attaining a higher level of competency in drumming. It would be more worth it if they could offer replacement or make-up classes because sometimes because of holiday trips or sickness, I, and I believe many others too, miss lessons. Considering the price they charge, I would think this is expected.
Only go there to look, never buy
Yamaha is infamous for overpricing their equipment, instruments and even lessons. I once bought my drumsticks for $10 more than what it would cost me at Bras Basah. Reeds and guitar strings are also horribly overpriced. I think many of us just buy whatever we need from the first music store that we patronise - but ever since I've found out about their ridiculous pricing, I've stopped buying their music books and equipment. Even their souvenirs like a ball point pen was $5.50. It was insane.
Also, the staff are a little unfriendly and unapproachable, but at least they allow you to test some of their instruments and fiddle around. I appreciate that they do not hanker after you and leave you alone to wander around in the store.
Overpriced musical instruments and equipment
I used to attend music lessons at Yamaha, and I have to say that for a music school, Yamaha is awfully good at ripping money off customers. The lessons were painfully slow, and learning just a single song could drag on for about three to four lessons. Those lessons didn't come cheap either, and students are probably better off getting private music tutors of their own.
Music equipment at Yamaha are also severely overpriced. Guitar strings can go for above $15, and a capo can cost about $20 at Yamaha.
The music instruments aren't of a very remarkable quality either. In fact, for the price that they're selling for at Yamaha, students can probably find ones of similar durability at lower prices elsewhere.
Yamaha's only saving grace is its service. The staff there are usually pretty helpful, and they even let you try out the various instruments there.
musicians know not to ever step in here.
Firstly, the items are really crazily priced. For a normal brand of guitar strings, I pay $17 roughly. Whereas at peninsula, I get it at $9. ??? Don't make sense at all.
Their lessons are horrible as well, they are priced highly for grouped ones, totally not worth it. You're better off going to Academy of Rock which I'm currently at if you're learning contempo music.
Their instruments are really not worth it, many of my guitar teachers have said it, only the older models are really good and durable. The new guitar models are only fancy looking, and definitely lacking in the sound department.
Still, Yamaha is good to browse around if you wanna play with their instruments, but they're really ripping you off.