Special Interview – Michael V Arumugam, Percussive Arts

 PAMS6.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

Heard of P.A.M.S?

It stands for Percussive Arts and Music School (Pte Ltd), a school specializing in percussion instruments. Simple term means “Drum School”. And for the record, this is by far the ONLY drum school in Singapore. Truly one of its kind (and rare in Singapore context),

 

I was glad to be granted an Exclusive interview with Mr. Michael V. Arumugam, Managing Director of Percussive Arts and Music School. This is what I understand from the man behind this successful music school.
IMG_8520.jpg picture by Viviobluerex
The story brought us back to 2006, in a small little jamming studio at Far East Shopping Centre, Orchard Road, Singapore. Two friends who share the love of music jointly rented a retail space and have it converted into a jamming studio. This was meant to be a place for personal jamming and like-minded friends who are passionate about music to spend time and hang out.
IMG_8547.jpg picture by Viviobluerex 

Things changed when enquiries started to pour in. Every other person was asking if they conduct music courses! The 2 friends-turned-business-partners then founded “Percussive Arts Club” (PAC). That decision set the path to a successful music school in the years to come.


PAC started to assume the role of a music school, and in just 6 months, PAC has a stable of 30 music students enrolled without marketing or advertising.  Incredible feat!

After one year of fine-tuning, PAC moves into a “new campus” at Bukit Timah Shopping Centre and had the curriculum & courses reorganized. This was the first official move to becoming a full-fledge percussion music school. The same year also saw PAC renamed to its current name, Percussive Arts & Music School. (So that is P.A.M.S for you.)

IMG_8538.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

IMG_8548.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

IMG_8549.jpg picture by Viviobluerex
By the end of the 2007, there were 120 students studying a variety of specialized music courses at P.A.M.S., the first Drum School in Singapore was officially borne! Today, P.A.M.S. is the only recognized Drum School in Singapore registered with the Ministry of Education (Singapore).

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P.A.M.S. has 6 fully equipped classroom studios, which one of them are specially designed and catered for kids. Yes. You heard it. For Kids. P.A.M.S. introduced another “first” in the Singapore music industry. This studio is used exclusively for “Kids Tunez”, a course created and co-written by Michael’s wife for children. You see, his wife had been a childcare educator for over a decade prior to helping PAMS develop “Kids Tunez”.
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“This course is created to help young kids discover and interpret the “human-rhythm” in them, which is an important aspect in their growing up years.” added Michael.
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P.A.M.S. offers grading exams for percussion instruments from *ABRSM as part of the curriculum. This again is another “First” in Singapore.

 

Me        : Who guided you in this unique business?
Michael : I learned everything from scratch. Everything and anything you can think of.
Me        : Someone must have at least shared some pointers with you right?
Michael : Nope. It is akin to having thrown into deep waters and learning to swim from there.
Me        : Did you face any objections when you started this venture?
Michael : Every other person I know was negative about my idea. Music was not perceived as a
              “proper” career in Singapore and some even shared that venturing into music means
              having problem meeting basic needs and feeding oneself.
Me        : Where do you seek inspiration from?
Michael : I would like to name 2 persons. Donald Trump & Anthony Robbins.
              From Donald Trump’s books, I’ve learnt the importance of consolidating a “Core Group”
              of employees that are committed to what they are doing and believes in you. While
              Anthony Robbins‘ inspirational books helped me in my business decisions which prove
              to be positive.

Me        : Do you have dreams?
Michael : Yes. I wish to bring in the first drums institute to Singapore. A full percussion institute to
              the like of The Institute of Contemporary Music performance, London, UK.

Me        : That is one big dream you got there. What about the next 5 years? Where do you see
              yourself & P.A.M.S. heading?
Michael : I have plans to expand P.A.M.S. within Bukit Timah Shopping Centre.
Me        : Why?
Michael : I like the environment here and I find it conducive for both music educators and
              students. And the landlord is a friendly lot. Can’t think of a better place than here.
Me        : Does P.A.M.S. gets involved in local music movement or contributes to music related
              causes?
Michael : Yes of course. One such example will be P.A.M.S.’s involvement in Nanyang
              Technological University’s annual “DrumsOut” in 2008 and 2009. We also
              organize events and showcase performances for our students to expose their talents.
Me        : Is there someone you would want to meet someday?
Michael : My school teacher! She told me “not to waste time” with music and it won’t get me
              anywhere in life. I want to go up to her and share my success with her!

 

P.A.M.S. has 10 professionally qualified music educators today. Led by Michael’s dreams and visions, P.A.M.S. is slated for a successful note ahead.

“It’s all about getting everything right in the fun way, that’s how music should be.” said Michael.

Thus the slogan, “LEARN THE FUN WAY : PLAY THE RIGHT WAY”.
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Percussive Arts & Music School is located at;
170 Upper Bukit Timah, B2-11
Bukit Timah Shopping Centre
Singapore 588179
Enquiry Line: +6563144612
A MOE registered Music School
http://www.pac-sg.com

 

*ABRSM graded exams for Theory of Music, individual instruments and singing

(excluding Practical Musicianship) are accredited in England by the Office of

the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual) and the corresponding

regulatory authorities in Wales (DCELLS) and Northern Ireland (CCEA). They are

part of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). They have also been approved

Under Section 96 (UK) of the Learning and Skills Act 2000.

 

PERCUSSIVE ARTS

Young Musicians
• Samba Kids Tune (3 to 7 yrs)
• Samba Fun Start (7 to 10 yrs)
• Drum set for Beginners
• Guitar for Beginners
• Discover Rhythms (3 to 7 yrs)
• Music studies

Just for Leisure
• Drum set Fun start
• Guitar Fun start
• Guitar Fun start
• Keyboard Fun start
• Percussions Fun start
• Singing Funstart
• Brazilian Samba Fun start

Start Your Journey
• Drum set Studies
• Guitar Studies
• Keyboard Studies
• Grading Examinations
• Music Career
• Be a Music Trainer

 

DIGITAL ARTS

•    DJ Workshop                •    Songwriting Workshop    •    Audio Recording & Editing Techniques Course
•    Rap & Hip Hop Course    •    Music Arranger Course     •    Pop Music Producer

 
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Carls Junior TVC

Featuring 2 TVC from Carls Junior, their TVC is as "juicy" as their burgers.

The first clip features Paris Hilton & the 2nd clip features Padma Lakshmi.

Both equally sexy, juicy, just like their burgers.

 
  


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Just How Much Has Mass Media Decayed?


Your Guess is As Good As mine
Recently a media ‘watchdog’ released figures from survey findings in Singapore on mass media. I did wonder if they had conducted their survey at Senior Citizen’s corners at Hougang or Potong Pasir.

Why?

I find their findings too incredible to be credible. Mass media? Doing well? Let the truth be Told!

Please explain the closures of 6 magazine titles over the last 4 years.
Please explain the thinning sections of newspapers over the last 2 years.
Please explain the huge numbers of websites that companies set up and then leave defunct?
Please explain the high number of in-house ads and barter-sponsored ads on radio?
Please explain the huge discounts given now for TV spots as compared to 3 years ago?

Wanna know the real story?
 

UsedNewspapers.jpg picture by Viviobluerex
Newspapers are mostly read by retirees these days who are perceived as regular ‘Joes’ on the street. With internet kiosks readily available for free at some fast food outlets and the latest news and views presented with just a click of the mouse, will executives still risk getting their hands dirty on ink-printed newspapers? News has evolved to be even more portable with handheld devices (PDAs and smart phones), so tell me which executives’ handphones cannot get instant news feeds today? Will PMEBs still buy newspapers? Now, if you tell me there are people who still buy newspapers, I agree. But who are these people? Are these the people you want to advertise Rolex or BMW to?

Think. Think Again.

One incident that is still etched in my mind was when I observed a pair of foreigners buying a local daily newspaper about a month ago. The minute they stepped out of the convenience store, I saw them throwing the main sections away, but retaining just the ‘Recruitment’ section. Amused, I decided to loiter nearby these two and observe the action.
 
Obviously they were looking for jobs. Once done with whatever, they tore out the supposedly selected sections and threw the rest away. Then one of them said to the other; "Not much, wasted 80 cents. We go jobstreet.com or jobsdb.com better, got more choices." and with that, they left.

That left me thinking, WHY, in the first place, did they buy the newspapers?

As someone from the management level in my company, I had forgotten how newspaper looks like these days. I rely heavily on internet news and mobile news. Then I remembered reading another survey done by an international body on internet users’ behaviour and trends.

The number ONE search was on PORN. Yes, you got it. PORN. So where does online advertising come in? The ratio stands at (70% PORN Search, 20% BLOGs & SOCIAL, 10% others) Alarmingly shocking, but true! A very simple calculation, if millions surf YouTube and YouTube is only a small percentage of the ‘10% Others’ just imagine how much is the online PORN industry worth!

Tell me, do you read banner ads on websites?
Do you even take notice of blinking ad panels on a website?
Do you spend time reading contents on a POP-Up windows? Or do you close the box? Have you ever responded to an online deal that is too good to be true? Well, It probably is. Scams and Spams have made internet users more defensive and careful. It also ‘accidentally’ taints online ads.

So who really believes online advertising today? The advertisers? Or the Consumers?

What advertising still works online then?

Porn Sites ads still work pretty well, especially when I chat with my peers that are the general reaction/response that I’ve gotten thus far.

InternetKills.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

Scores of magazines displayed on shelves of bookstores and news stands, well, that is probably the best place for them. They mostly remained ‘Shelved’. Yes, there may be browsers, lots of browsers, but how often do you see someone actually picking up a magazine and paying for it?

I do not dispute that most magazines readers are occasional readers with magazines as a passed-on material resource or as a while-waiting-companion. Does this mean that advertisers are paying for advertisements that get read only ‘occasionally’? A friend from the publishing industry shared with me that subscriptions have dropped the most within the last 2 years. Their company even removed the position for "Circulation & Subscriptions Manager" and had the job taken over by the Marketing & Promotions department.

Personally I do buy magazines once in a blue moon. I am a fan of automotive magazines, and even though I can get better and real-time reviews on YouTube, car websites and car enthusiast’s forums, I still buy the print magazines. Why do I buy them, you may ask? Well, if I don’t buy once a while, very soon, another publisher will be heading south and falling victim to other alternative sources of information, which are easily attained. Then who else will print my favourite cars in colour paperbacks?

Magazineleftonshelves.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

TV Commercials? No thanks. Don’t get me wrong. I love TV Commercial breaks. This is the best time I can visit the restroom, pick up a snack, get a drink, make a call, check on my downloads/updates on my PC and then return to the couch when the TV Commercial ends. Quite good timing if you ask me.

Will that add value to advertisers?

TVforcats.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

Lastly, someone was talking to me about having heard something on the radio recently.
The word "Radio" suddenly woke me up. You mean Radio still exists today? With mp3 players that come with an average storage space of 32GB these days, we pick the songs we want to listen, and skip those that do not fit into our mood at the point of listening. I am one of those who enjoy songs without interruption from a DJ or advertisements. You are a different breed or inhuman if you like to be interrupted while enjoying your little music escapade. In the first place, why you do switch on the radio? For music, right? Can you dare tell me you switch on the radio for advertisements? I am sure you won’t. The ‘new’ radio today is none other than mp3 and mp4 players.

Want to know the latest hits? Go to YouTube first and find out, then get the song from pay per download sites. Radio is the ‘last-resort-gadget’ today.
Thenewradio.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

Mass media is still targeting at different niches at one go.
Which works perfectly fine.
But niche advertisers prefer using a media that understands their niche audiences.

Advertising landscape has changed so much, I wonder if the advertisers have been informed and updated. . . .or are they paying thousands and thousands of dollars to hear what they want to hear?

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Trust 用人不疑, 疑人不用

Inspired by Weiling (http://welin1008.spaces.live.com/).

"用人不疑, 疑人不用"

 

An online friend Wei Ling posted this on her MSN tag about 2 weeks ago.

In case you are not a Chinese, the eight letters above literally translate into:

“Use people with trust, if you lack trust in a person, don’t use.”

 

Trust is something that is very sensitive when placed into an “Employer-Employee” context.

After all, most local companies operate with trust, trust in their employees. Entrusted with responsibilities at different levels, trust became the main bridge linking the employer & employees. Let’s not go too deep into the details, rather, let’s look at the Sales aspect of the company.

Most sales professionals understand that this profession involves an extremely high level of discipline. For a simple reason, sales people spent a considerable amount of time outside office. Some will call it “time without jurisdiction” while others simply calls it “no government”. After all, no bosses will want to plant a GPS device on their stuff or radomly video-call the staff once every other hour right?

How I wish I can do that.

It is not that I do not trust my staff, I tried to. In the past, I always tell myself that these people are adults, and they can be trusted. After all, they managed to convince me enough to employ them. But things are not what I had imagined to be.

 

In the past, I’ve had staff that pretends to be very busy in the office, then when they left office, they head straight not to clients’ offices but to coffee joints. Then, there are those who arrange to meet their friends (most likely from sales too) and went shopping together. Throughout my career, I’ve caught staff red-handed for skiving. Once there was an incident where I called a particular staff and asked him where he was. He replied that he was still at a client’s office. Still on the line, I walked up and tap on his shoulder, he was queuing at a McDonald’s and I was 3 persons behind him.

How to trust this person again?

Another incident is where a staff did not show up for work in the morning, so I gotten a manager to call him but to no avail, then a SMS came in. This staff claimed that he had an early appointment with a client and he will not be reporting back to office. By instinct, I got the same manager to call this client to verify, and this client denies having made or requested a meeting with the said staff.

How to trust this person again?

 

Recalling, there is also another staff whom always claimed that he tried really hard but results does not shows the effort. In sales, Law of Averages rules. So how hard has he tried? I asked him this question and he told “very hard”. As his boss, I started to offer him leads, call-in & email enquiries. But, after a month, things remained unchanged. So I tried another method. One day, when he was supposedly leaving the office for an appointment, I stopped him in his track and asked him if I can follow him to his sales appointment. His first reaction? A pale face and stutter something about the client did not gave him a definitive time to meet and so on. I told him, in that case, I will (still) go with him, if there’s a need to wait, I wait with him. And off we go.

When we reached the vicinity of his client’s office, I located a café nearby and we went there to have a coffee and wait. Hours passed. I saw him sending SMS every other minute so I asked; “Still can’t get client?” He shook his head.

A couple of hours passed again then I noticed that his head was hung low and his forehead was sweating a river. That day was a cool day so sensing something was wrong, I asked him if anything was wrong. Like a Pandora box that was opened by mistake, he decided to come clean and share with me that he had not been calling any client for over 2 months and he did not know how to tell me. He had been spending lots of time at home playing games. He then confessed about his addiction to pc games and how he been returning home during office hours to satify his addiction. After we returned to the office, he handed me his resignation letter.

How to trust this person again?

 

The above are just some examples of how trust given to a staff was abused and misused. How to trust the very same people, whom you interview, placed professional trust on them only to end up having the same people pulling off a stunt like this to you?

Like what Wei Ling had said, the next time if I have suspicions on any staff, I’d rather let the person go.

Extreme right?

I won’t do it. Just kidding.

If you are in sales and rading this, well, my advice is, don’t abuse the trust given to you by your boss.

He could be standing behind you at McDonald’s while calling you.

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Sex In Advertising Series II – Part 40 Bowlmor Lanes

Bowlmor Lanes, a bowling centre advertised the below.

What’s with them man?

hahaha.

Very suggestive and alluring.

With that, I would like to announce that I am cutting short this series due to lack of resources and time.

I will be back soon.

Thanks for sticking around through the series!

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Sex In Advetising Series II – Part 39 Calvin Klein

I am not sure if this is a Spoofed advertisement for CK.

But the way it was executed was indeed very "CK".

The model quite pretty though.

hee hee….

CKCK_11.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

For this one below, I am sure it is authentic and I like it very very much.

Don’t ask me why I like it.

CK.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

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Sex In Advertising Series II – Part 38 Casas Men’s Shoes

Casas Men’s Shoes came up with this Shoelace outlining a breast and the tagline says:

"Everything a man could desire. In shoes"

hahahaha, A case of bad humour maybe.

But the advertisement surely catches my attention.
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