Department of Education

Frequently asked questions

  1. Why was my child not selected for the instrumental music program?
    Each individual school is responsible for the selection of students into the instrumental music program offered by the Instrumental Music School Services. It is not possible to offer instrumental music tuition to all students; a careful selection procedure must therefore be followed. The recommended selection procedures for schools to use is outlined in the Student selection and student commitment section. Please speak to your school for further information regarding the selection procedure.
  2. What is the instrumental charge for a Department owned instrument on loan from the school?
    This charge may vary each year. The Instrumental loan charge section has details of the current rates.
  3. What is the duration of each instrumental lesson, and how often do they occur?
    Instrumental lessons occur once a week. The time allocations for the lessons can be found on the Provision of instruments page.
  4. Does my child have to do class music in order to access instrumental music lessons?
    Yes. Students must participate in a classroom music program as required by the schools. See Areas of responsibility: a summary for further information.
  5. What if instrumental lesson times clash with other extension type classes eg PEAC?
    If your child chooses to be in the instrumental program then they must commit to attend all lessons. Students should not take up PEAC or similar offers if this will result in missed lesson times.

  6. When will instrumental lessons start?
    Instrumental lessons for beginners will start as soon as teachers have organised their schedules. Please check with the individual school.
  7. How many years will my child be able to receive instrumental lessons from the Instrumental Music School Services?
    It is expected that students commit to the Instrumental Music School Services program for at least 2-3 years, but all students will be encouraged to continue with their instrumental lessons for the duration of their time at a public school. More information can be obtained from The instrumental music curriculum section.

  8. We are planning to purchase an instrument for our child. Where can we find information about this?
    See the Guides to purchasing a music instrument section which has a good deal of useful information.

  9. If we decide to provide an instrument for our child's lessons, instead of hiring an instrument through the school, do we still have to pay any fees?
    Privately provided instruments may first need to be checked by the instrumental teacher to assess the condition of the instrument. Parents who provide their own instrument will not be charged a loan fee, but any other music fees remain the responsibility of each individual school. More information can be found on the Instrumental loan charge page.

  10. We are planning to hire an instrument through the school. What additional instrument accessories/equipment should we purchase for our child's instrumental lessons?
    The Instrumental Music School Services teacher will advise students and parents about the care and maintenance of the instrument, and the purchase of all instrument accessories/equipment. The Instrumental Music School Services Practice Journal is supplied to each student at no charge.
  11. My child's school offers violin lessons in Year 3 and clarinet lessons in Year 5. If my Year 3 child accepts the offer of a place with violin lessons this year, when my child reaches Year 5, can they change to the clarinet if the violin proves to be an unsuitable instrument?
    If a student accepts a place in the violin class in Year 3, he/she is not permitted to accept a place in the Year 5 clarinet class two years later. More information can be obtained from the Provision of instruments page.
  12. The flute is the only instrument offered at my child's school, but my child would like to play a brass instrument. If my child rejects the flute offer can they commence a brass instrument when they begin Year 7 at our area secondary school?
    Brass instruments such as trumpet, trombone and baritone are offered in some primary schools, while tuba, euphonium and horn can be offered in some Year 7 secondary school music programs. If your child rejects the offer of learning the flute in primary school, there is no guarantee that a brass instrument will be offered to your child in Year 7.
  13. If my child begins clarinets lessons in primary school and moves to a different public school, can my child continue clarinet lessons in the new school?
    Not all instruments are taught at every school so there is no guarantee that your child will be able to access lessons at a different school. If clarinet lessons are available in the new school, the clarinet teacher of that school should be consulted prior to the student being accepted into the new class.
  14. Our family is travelling overseas for five weeks and my child would like to take her trumpet with us so she can maintain her practice. Since the trumpet is a hire instrument on loan from the school, are we allowed to take the instrument interstate or overseas?
    Regular practice is always encouraged, but there are a variety of risks associated with transporting musical instruments, especially interstate and overseas. It is recommended that hired instruments be insured. Damage to privately owned instruments is the responsibility of parents. Information regarding the insurance of Department instruments can be found on the Provision of instruments page.
  15. If my child's instrument requires repairs, are we expected to pay for repairing the instrument?
    Department instruments on loan from the school will be repaired as part of the loan agreement. Parents are responsible for all repairs for privately owned instruments. Parents can seek advice from their child's instrumental teacher about reputable repairers. More information on the maintenance of Department instruments can be found on the Provision of instruments page.
  16. If my child encounters some problems with learning a musical instrument what should I do?
    You should always contact the instrumental teacher first if you have a question or concern about your child's instrumental lessons. Regular communication with your child's instrumental teacher through the music journal is always encouraged. More information can be found on our Issues and concerns - advice for parents page.
  17. A string has just broken on the instrument that we hired from the school. Will this string be replaced for free?
    If a string is broken on a hire instrument, the Instrumental Music School Services will not replace the string. The parent/guardian is advised to contact the teacher for a recommendation as to what replacement string to buy. Sometimes the string can be fitted in the shop; otherwise the teacher will fit the string at the next lesson. An exception to this rule is when the string breaks from old age (not from accidental over-tightening) within the first month of hiring the instrument.
Frequently asked questions

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