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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.