With the announcement of Covid-19 virus being a global pandemic, many countries around the world have announced lockdown measures to prevent further spread of the virus. As such, many of us are opting to stay home to minimise contact with others.
Singapore has also announced for enrichment and co-curricular activities to halt for students – which means students will have more idle time at home. For students in Chinese Orchestra CCA, what better time to practice their instruments than now?
In this episode, we introduce the most budget-friendly instruments we have in our store. Whether you are looking to pick up a new skill while being stuck at home in lockdown or a parent who is worried about their kid being too idle, this list will definitely be helpful if you are thinking of getting an instrument to practice at home.
The Starter Erhu by Liu Ji Feng is one of the cheapest erhu that we carry. It is made of real python skin and young rosewood has a nice, sweet and warm tone. Retailing at SGD $150 in store, it is truly value for money as it sounds good for its price point. This erhu is extremely popular among our students and customers as one of the top choices for their first Erhu.
CITES certification would need to be applied for overseas purchase of real snakeskin erhus.
The Starter Synthetic Skin Rosewood Eco Erhu by Raoyang Beifang is a more eco-friendly alternative compared to the usual erhus made of python skin. It is made of a PVC material, suitable for environmentally conscious individuals who do not feel comfortable about using real animal parts in instruments.
It retails at SGD $200 in store and does not require additional costs for the CITES certification for snakeskin products exportation, making it great for people who wish to travel with their erhus.
We have previously made an EMTV episode featuring our Erhu instructor Rui Jun to discuss and compare real snakeskin and synthetic skin erhus. Do watch our video here to find out more about synthetic skin erhus.
The Starter Cypress Pipa by Shanghai Dunhuang Yun is made of Cypress Wood with Rosewood pegs. It has the Ruyi head design symbolising good fortune, which Biyu pointed out is especially prevalent during these trying times.
The pipa body is lightweight and is suitable for for children and adults who just started learning pipa and is getting used to its weight. It retails at SGD $450 and is surprisingly well crafted for its price.
It is definitely a good choice for people who just want an instrument to practice but do not want to feel the burn on their wallets. It is also good for parents who are worried about committing to buying an instrument their child might lose interest in in the future.
The Popular Cypress Zhongruan by Shanghai Dunhuang Yun is made of Cypress, the same type of wood as the pipa mentioned above. It is demonstrated by Sung Wah, who is extremely proficient in Guitar. You might be curious: How different or similar is it exactly in comparison to a guitar?
Despite being shaped differently, it is actually quite similar to the guitar in right hand techniques. It is also able to play chords or single note melodies and is a versatile accompaniment instrument. It retails at SGD $400 and is a popular instrument for people who are looking to get a start in chinese instrumental music with something that looks more familiar.
The Popular Whitewood Minimalist Design Yangqin by Yin Song Lan (引松蘭) from Hebei is a newly imported design in our line of Yangqins. It belongs in the more commonly used 402 model of Yangqins and retails at a price of SGD $800. Even though it is significantly more expensive that the rest of the instruments on this list, it is currently the cheapest model of Yangqin that we carry.
In comparison to higher end Yangqins, its high notes might not be as crisp but it has a well balanced tone with a rich and impactful bass range. With its relatively low price among yangqins and quality sound, it is bound to be an instrument suitable to start your journey in yangqin with.
Interested to learn a chinese instrument but not sure where to look for an instructor? Want to learn an instrument from the comfort of your home? Look no further as we have been offering skype lessons for quite some time. Do visit our website at easonmusicschool.com for more info on lessons.
We also have video resources for various instruments on our website as well as Erhu resources available on LearnErhu.com
We then end the session with a small ensemble performance using the instruments that we have introduced. The piece is a popular song by Louis Armstrong, What A Wonderful World.
The piece has been arranged by Sung Wah and is perfect for showcasing the tones of these budget-friendly instruments.
We have trimmed the session and posted it on Youtube. Watch below if you have missed our Live! #8.