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.
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.
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.)
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).
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”.
“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.
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
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”.
Percussive Arts & Music School is located at;
170 Upper Bukit Timah, B2-11
Bukit Timah Shopping Centre
Enquiry Line: +6563144612
A MOE registered Music School
*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.
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