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FROM ZERO TO OVATION: Planning for Success with Awareness, Efficiency, and Mindful Preparation

SG $80.00SG $220.00

Are you often in a performance pickle, the one where you somehow miscalculated how much time it would take to learn the repertoire for a recital? Do you have an actual life, so finding time to practice enough is challenging? Do you want to be able to expedite your practicing results, feel more prepared for performances, and leave less to chance? This course will cover how to practice with intention, be more efficient, and plan better for your performances and projects.

Dr. Irene Kim, a critically acclaimed prize-winner of international competitions, has performed across the globe in Europe, Asia, North America, and Australia on both piano and harpsichord, appearing in venues such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Kennedy Center, Library of Congress, and Coachella. Recognizing the importance and responsibility to nurture and serve future generations and community in the arts, she has devoted over twenty years to instructing students from all around the world. Integrating the classical pianistic tradition with awareness of body and mind, she cultivates a performance practice that is individualized for each student. She holds a doctorate from the Peabody Conservatory where she was awarded the Albert and Rosa Silverman Memorial Scholarship and the Lillian Gutman Memorial Piano Prize by the Conservatory for her musical endeavors during her studies there with Boris Slutsky, Benjamin Pasternack, and Leon Fleisher.

Weeks 1: Introduction and Awareness of Self
■ Introduction of Topic
■ How to Practice Better with Awareness (Part 1)
■ How to Practice Better with Curiosity + Practice Clinic (Part 2)
■ How to Plan Better + Planning Clinic (Part 3)

Week 2: Physical Efficiency: Awareness of Body
■ Alignment and Physical Tools: what does it mean and how to utilize it
■ Movement Efficiency: what does it mean and how you can identify it for yourself
■ Fingering: Perhaps the most personal and important part of tackling technically challenging sections
■ Pain: Stop immediately and assess: what is hurting and what might be
causing it?

Week 3: Time Efficiency: Asking Purposeful Questions
■ “Why?” The most fundamental question of them all
■ Use a self-assessment method
■ Technical Challenges: how to address them and create exercises to solve these challenges
■ General Tips for Practicing
■ Identify problematic spots in your repertoire and implement the
self-assessment method and take notes of your observations
■ Prepare a 1-2 sections that you might need help with; bring any questions you have about implementing previous topics into your practicing

Week 4: Practicing Clinic
■ Q&A: Participants are encouraged to present 1-2 problems they may have encountered or are newly aware of

Week 5: Planning—Performing
■ Playing run throughs for others and for feedback
■ Assessing outcome of run-throughs
■ How to utilize comments and personal observations
■ Power of recording run throughs
■ Plan for your next project in detail

Week 6: Last Stages of Preparation + Clinic
■ Q&A: Last chance to ask anything about practicing with awareness, preparing for performances/projects

Active participants will be assigned homework during the course.


This course is supported under UTAP for 50% course fee support.

National Instructors & Coaches Association (NICA) was formed by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) to be the collective voice to support freelance coaches and instructors from sports, outdoor learning and adventure, visual and performing arts, fitness and wellness, and enrichment, to strengthen skills, standards and opportunities.

In supporting NICA members with skills deepening programmes such as the courses offered by SEA Music Academy Online, NICA members enjoy lower course fees through the Union Training Assistance Programme (UTAP) which provides 50% subsidy of the balance unfunded course fee, up to $250 per calendar year. Till 31 December 2025, NICA members aged 40 years and above will enjoy higher funding support up to $500 per calendar year, capped at 50% of unfunded course fee.

If you wish to be part of a bigger voice for coaches and instructors, please sign up to be a NICA member at (Note: to indicate ‘NICA’ under the field for Company Name).

Find out more about NICA at: or

Here are some additional info regarding UTAP eligibility:

Please note that members are required to fulfil the following conditions to be eligible for UTAP reimbursement:

  1. Paid-up union membership before course commencement, throughout whole course duration and at the point of claim
  2. Course by training provider must be supported under UTAP, and training must commence within the supported period
  3. Course must not be funded through company sponsorship or other types of funding
  4. Unfunded course fee must be S$20.00 and above
  5. Member must achieve a minimum of 75% attendance for each application and sat for all prescribed examination(s), if any
  6. UTAP application must be submitted within 6 months after course completion

Please refer to the UTAP Application Guide for members to apply UTAP via the U-Portal. Should trainees have queries on the funding scheme, they can email to or call NTUC Membership Hotline at 6213-8008.


Yes, they will be made available for participants until 6 months after the completion of each course.

E-certificates will be issued on course completion to Active Participants.

Active Participants will be involved in class participation: interacting with course instructors, receiving feedback on class assignments/submissions, and they will have playing opportunities in class etc. Observers will be observing these segments of the class.

Active Participants will receive an E-certificate of participation, and Observers will receive a certificate of attendance.

5 days before the course commences.

Yes, simply get your friends together and send us an email to request for a second round of the course! If we receive sufficient signups we will repeat the course.

We do not conduct make-up classes. Learners who miss a session can catch up on the class content by watching the session recording thereafter. If there are any class assignments, learners are to contact the instructor directly.

We at the Academy do our utmost to make courses proceed as planned. However, there are times when unforeseen circumstances force a class to be cancelled. When this happens, we are committed to refunding the total amount, in an efficient manner, including any costs of using third-party payment gateways.

Should a participant need to cancel, we will make efforts to accommodate refunds, though costs of using third-party payment gateways will be borne by the participant.

Late cancellations may not be able to be refunded, as they will have been factored into the confirmation of running the course. We will provide a full refund for cancellations up to 2 weeks before the start of a course, following this a 50% refund with up to 1 week of notice. Notifications of fewer than 7 days will most likely not be eligible for a refund. We thank you for your understanding.