It must be conceded that the Indonesian government really needs to be A LOT stricter regarding the requirements for founding a music school, and teaching music. I once saw a job ad for a guitar teacher where the music ‘school’ required the candidate to first and most importantly possess independent means of transport, and lastly, to be able to play at least one song. Ah yes, because less than one song is zero songs because 9/10 of a song is considered zero!

Maria Balsashvili – Piano Master Class at Sekolah Musik YPM.

On the other hand, there are some really good local music schools in Jakarta. How good, you wonder? Well, ask the director of the music program at your child’s expensive international (sorry, intercultural) school how many students and alumni have won prestigious awards at international competitions during their studies and have gone on to study at some of the most respected music schools in the world like Juilliard or the Royal Academy. If any at all, then pit that number against the students and alumni of some of the local music schools I list below.

Jakarta Conservatory of Music
Almost every school on this list has a good piano department, but JCOM is in a league of its own thanks to its not-so-secret weapon: Iswargia Sudarno. A complete list of his successful students would take a whole page, hence the following partial list.

  • Victoria Audrey Sarasvathi: 9 international competitions under the tutelage of Iswargia (2004-2009) including seven 1st prizes. She went on to study in Germany under Roland Krüger at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media, entering the Bachelor program at the age of just 15. She has performed at various concert halls including the Sendesaal Bremen, NDR Sendesaal Hannover, Konzerthaus Berlin, and the Copenhagen Concert Hall.
  • Randy Ryan: 3 international competitions, Bachelor at Juilliard, graduate school at Peabody.
  • Stephanie Onggowinoto: You may lose interest in her many achievements as a child at JCOM when you realize that she has since given her Carnegie Hall debut in 2015 as part of the Adam Gyorgy Award, and is now an acclaimed concert artist.

Kompleks Ruko Golden Plaza,
Jl. Fatmawati No. 15, Blok E-18
T: +62-21 27828143

Sekolah Musik YPM
Being among the oldest music schools, YPM has produced many fine pianists including Dr. Johannes Nugroho and Dr. Mario Santoso, who earned their doctorates in piano performance at Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music and West Virginia University respectively. They also have a good guitar department. I can personally vouch for Eddy Husni Rachim as one of the best guitar teachers nation-wide for early learners. His students include Sudirman Leman and Theduardo Prasetyo. Sudirman completed his studies in Graz and Vienna and was my teacher before I continued my own studies in Germany and Italy. Last year my guitar duo with Theduardo received the Bronze award at an international chamber music competition in Europe. Swiss-based, award winning Indonesian violinist Ken Lila Ashanti is also a YPM alumna. (branches in Manggarai and Bintaro)
T: +62-21 735 0374

The Resonanz Music Studio
Founded by Avip Priatna, home to both multiple award-winning choirs the Batavia Madrigal Singers and The Resonanz Children’s Choir, no school nation-wide is even a close second when it comes to vocals and conducting. 

Jl. Kertanegara No 28, Kebayoran Baru
T: +62-21 7201918

John Paul

John Paul

John Paul studied music in Germany and Italy. He founded an annual charity concert in 2011, helping over 200 children stay in and or return to school.