Department of Education

Student selection and student commitment

Criteria for selection

To be accepted into an instrumental music program, students must satisfy the following criteria:

  • willingness to participate in the instrumental music program
  • enthusiasm and aptitude for music as demonstrated through participation in the classroom music program
  • adequate parental support (parents are interviewed wherever possible)
  • appropriate physical characteristics (for example, length of arms for trombone)
  • ability to meet the requirements of the program (students have to come out of other classes for their instrumental lesson and must be prepared to practise daily).

Students who apply for selection into instrumental music should generally achieve a score of 20 or more on the Music Aptitude Indicator or its equivalent on another musical aptitude test.

Selection procedures

It is not possible to offer instrumental music tuition to all students; a careful selection procedure must therefore be followed.

Aptitude testing is arranged at the students’ schools and is administered by the school staff at a convenient time in Semester 2 of the previous year or Week 1 of Term 1. Potential students will then be assessed on the other criteria and shortlisted. Instrumental music teachers will confer with school staff over the physical factors influencing selection of students for their particular instrument.

When more than one instrument is offered in a school, it is important that there be collaboration between all teachers in making the final offers. Students must be made aware of the range of instruments on offer to them and given the opportunity to state a preference.


New classes should normally be operational in Week 2 of Term 1. However, Term 1 school activities such as swimming classes sometimes delay the commencement of classes.

Commitment to work

Before accepting a place in the program, careful consideration should be given by both students and their parents to the commitment required to learn instrumental music, particularly in the event of a clash with other interests such as sport, ballet, PEAC classes. Overcommitment in a number of activities making competing demands on student time is a big factor in student drop-out from instrumental music in the first two to three years.

Students have access to Department instruction on one instrument only.

If a student is learning from a private teacher they may not learn the same instrument from a Department teacher. This is to avoid conflicts of interest in teaching methodology. A student may, however, learn an instrument privately and play in an ensemble conducted by Department teachers after audition, and at the discretion of the ensemble director.

Students and their parents need to consider the practice load incurred when learning two different instruments.

In the metropolitan area, information evenings for parents of beginner students are organised by the Instrumental Music School Services (IMSS) in Week 8 of Term 4. Details of these are posted on the IMSS website. Many schools also organise their own parent interviews or meetings, especially in country schools.

Student contract

Some schools also provide a personal contract for the student.

Student selection and student commitment

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