There is no shortage of quality activities to keep kids busy after school. The dilemma is which one to choose. Here, some Expat Living readers recommend their favourites.
Muyu Hu (9), with sister Muyang (7), American
“I was born in the US and have lived in Singapore for almost two years. I have a younger sister, Muyang, and we started to learn the piano at Yamaha Music last summer. After one year of piano lessons, I switched to guitar lessons and I started taking vocal lessons. My sister is still playing the piano.
We chose Yamaha Music, after looking at its website and other information on the internet, as we liked the different kinds of musical lessons it offers. We have also bought a piano, a few musical instruments and music books from Yamaha. I love the teachers, who are very kind; and I enjoy my music lessons.
On guitar I’m learning some pieces including the folk song “Down in the Valley” and a classical piece called “Longing for an Avenue”. On vocals, I’m learning “Lavender Blue (Dilly Dilly)” from the Cinderella movie soundtrack and “The Second Star to the Right” fromPeter Pan. Muyang is learning “Black Forest Polka”, “Come On, Rangers” and other pieces.”
Yamaha Music | sg.yamaha.com
Tania Grose Hodge, and Reilly (12), Australian
“We’ve been living in Singapore for 23 years. Reilly started lessons with Marsden Swim School when she was five months old, in the babies and toddlers classes. She then progressed through the learn-to-swim programme and is now a member of the senior squad, training up to four days a week. She represents Marsden at various swim meets, including the Singapore National Age Group Championships and Merlion events.
She has been a part of the Marsden Swim School family for 12 years; in fact, I think she is the longest-serving member of MSS. I love the commitment of Marsden’s coaches. They are highly qualified not only in Austswim but in other coaching qualifications as well.
My daughter loves to swim; she always wants to go to her lessons and training sessions, and I think this proves that the coaches work hard in maintaining a good environment and relationships with the kids. Marsden holds regular club meets where they encourage the newer swimmers to give it a go in a competitive environment, with the emphasis on them competing against themselves rather than each other. It isn’t about being on the podium (although that is a bonus), it’s about challenging yourself and improving.
I’ve also enjoyed Marsden’s adult squad and their fun Aquafitness classes; importantly, they will accommodate all ages, levels of fitness and experience.
I would recommend Marsden without hesitation! Reilly now thinks of it as an extension of family. She is friends with the kids in her squad and they all work really hard as a team when they compete. The kids respect their coaches and you can see this from their results and the smiles on their faces.”
Marsden Swim School | marsdenswimschool.com
Naoaki and Yuka Mashita, and Koki (12), Japanese
“We’ve been in Singapore for four years, and Koki has attended enrichment classes at The Keys Academy for around two years. At the moment, Koki goes to two sessions a week, generally on weekends. He’s focusing on 3D printing and coding now, but he previously took the mini-MBA programme, which is an overview of leadership, entrepreneurship and business communications.
We chose The Keys Academy because it allows Koki to experience many IT-related activities – not only coding, but also hardware and 3D printing. A friend of mine is an advisor at Keys, and that’s why we tried it out initially. Koki enjoyed it and wanted to keep on attending.
I like the interesting and exclusive courses, the teachers who motivate and encourage my son, and the comfortable facilities. I absolutely recommend it! In fact, I’ve already recommended it to many friends and some of them have joined.”
The Keys Academy | thekeysenrichment.com
Sally and Nick Evans, Cate (8), Georgie (5), Alfie (2)
“Cate joined Kavanagh Dance in 2012 when we moved to Singapore from Hong Kong. She was three-and-a-half and desperate to do ballet. Georgie started at age two-and-a-half in 2014, keen to follow in her big sister’s footsteps. They both attend once a week, though additional coaching sessions are held in the lead-up to exams.
Our good friends from Hong Kong had previously moved to Singapore and their daughter attended Kavanagh Dance and loved it. So it was a natural decision for us; also, the old Dempsey location was very convenient for us.
We would definitely recommend Kavanagh Dance to others. It’s a well-run local company that embraces children’s individuality and their love of dance. It doesn’t pressure them to be perfect ballerinas but seeks to optimise their abilities in a fun environment with a strong family ethos. And for those real prima ballerinas it creates opportunities for girls to join the professional Singapore ballet schools.
Ms Kavanagh and her accomplished team are warm, friendly and welcoming to all children and parents alike, and encourage participation through opportunities to sit in on classes and dance shows. They recently opened a well-appointed new studio in Novena, next to United Square.
The ballet shows are a highlight for the girls. Having the opportunity to dance on stage in full costume like real ballerinas is a dream come true; it also gives them the opportunity to watch the “big girls” dance, which inspires them further.”
For a guide to more children’s enrichment, sports and education opportunities, grab our 2017 Kids’ Guide – out now!