Instrument Tuition Information

St Mary’s Cathedral College is pleased to offer a flourishing private tuition program.  The following private tuition is offered by the college music department:

Brass Keyboard String Woodwind
Euphonium Piano (classical) Violin Clarinet
French Horn Piano (modern) Viola Flute
Thrombone Organ Cello Oboe
Trumpet Double Bass Saxophone
Guitar Percussion Voice Musicianship
Classical Drums and Orchestral Singing Theory
Bass Guitar

Students receive maximum of 20 lessons each semester, which usually commence in the first full week of term. Lesson times are displayed in advance on the music notice boards and are emailed to both parents and students. It is recommended that parents assist their son by adding the scheduled lesson times to their diary/digital calendar (select a reminder). Where possible music tutors will assist in this process.

  1. Lessons are 30 minutes in duration.
  2. Lessons are normally taken during school time. The lessons are organised on a rotational basis so that the student should not miss a particular class more than once per term. Students in Years 11 and 12 will have their lessons scheduled out of school time or during free periods where possible.
  3. When parents elect to use the private tuition tutors, the music department takes into account the availability of the child, tutor and room when allocating children to particular tutors. However, it is then up to the parent to liaise with the tutor regarding lesson times, payment of fees and the student’s progress. Issues regarding payments, lesson scheduling or progress should be resolved between the parent and tutor in the first instance.

It is important to arrive at all lessons on time. Lessons can rarely be extended to accommodate late arrivals. It is the student’s responsibility to arrive for his lesson at the correct time. The tutor will write the next lesson in the student’s Music Tuition Record booklet, which is signed at the completion of that lesson for re-admission to class.

Instrumental teachers must be notified directly a minimum of 24 hours in advance of absences or lesson fees will be charged. It is the student’s responsibility to inform his instrumental teacher, as soon as possible, if there is a scheduled assessment or other pre-notified school activity that will prevent his attendance on his particular lesson day.

It is essential that children not be left unsupervised during school. Accordingly, if the tutor is running late, or is unable to attend a lesson, the student’s parent or guardian will be notified.

If the tutor is late for a lesson, the student will be given their full 30-minute lesson. If the tutor has to cancel a lesson, it is the tutor’s duty to either makeup the lesson or refund the lesson via a credit to the following term’s invoice. Where tutors are away for several weeks they may organise a replacement tutor (with approval from Leader of Learning: Music).

Students are encouraged to persist with music lessons for a full year. Learning music is rewarding, but it is hard work and students can sometimes lack the motivation to persist when the experience is challenging. Music lessons are often more enjoyable as the student becomes more accomplished. Parents are encouraged to contact the Leader of Learning: Music, to discuss any issues before finalising a decision to withdraw from the program.

Students must give two weeks’ notice of termination of music lessons at the end of Semester 1 or Semester 2. This is a formal process and can take several weeks to process. Students need to obtain a Change of Enrolment Form outside the music office. It must be signed by both the parent and the tutor and submitted to the Leader of Learning: Music.

Initially, small amounts of regular practice are necessary (5–10 minutes, five times per week). This will gradually expand to longer periods (15–30 minutes several times per week) as your child improves. A regular practice routine ensures that your child will steadily improve in all aspects of his playing. For some students, setting goals like sitting examinations can keep them motivated.

A decision as to whether your child sits for practical examinations should be made after discussion with your child’s tutor and your son. Exams do not appeal to everyone and each child will respond differently to an exam situation. However, working towards exams can help the child through:

  • ensuring that basic skills and techniques are learnt progressively;
  • setting a standard for performance and a goal to work towards;
  • developing individual performance skills; and
  • providing a sense of achievement

Even if you decide against exams, your child should still be encouraged to learn scales and exercises to ensure that instrumental technique is solid. In addition, a variety of music pieces should be set by your tutor to provide reinforcement of skills and techniques, enjoyment and challenge.

  1. The college has instruments that are available for hire. Boys studying piano, drums, guitar and bass guitar need to have their own instruments.
  2. If instrument hire is required, $50 per term will be added to your school fees account and will be automatically added to school fees for subsequent terms until the instrument is returned.
  3. The students receive the college instruments in good condition. It is the responsibility of the parents to cover loss or any damage to an instrument while it is being hired by their son.  Parents are advised to have the instrument insured in case of any such loss or damage.
  4. Parents should take into consideration the need to buy music books, reeds, strings and other accessories. Reeds and strings can purchased directly through the college music department.

School music lockers may be hired to store instruments while at school.

  1. Tutors will invoice parents at the beginning of each semester and payment should be made directly to the tutor within two weeks of invoice receipt. Tuition will only commence when fees are paid: $40.00 (30 minute lesson)
  2. Instrument hire is added to your school fees account and will be automatically added to school fees for subsequent terms until the instrument is returned: $50 per term
  3. Ensemble participation fee is added to your school fees account and will be automatically added to school fees for subsequent terms until notified via a Change of Enrolment Ensembles Form: $60 per term

Ms. Mirella Di Giorgio