Instrumental Music

‘Band members have a special bond. A great band is more than just some people working together. It's like a highly specialized army unit, or a winning sports team. A unique combination of elements that becomes stronger together than apart.’ – Stephen van Zandt

The instrumental music program at A.B. Paterson College is delivered via private tuition as well as involvement in extra-curricular ensembles. We pride ourselves on an ever- developing instrumental program in which tuition is available on most instruments. Although our band and ensemble program allows students to participate at all levels, to ensure the most enjoyable experience for all, most enrolments are not judged by year level, but rather, the ability level of the students. 

Students should be involved in one of our core ensembles within the Concert Band or Strings programs, before enrolling in extension or specialist ensembles such as Big Bands, Rock Band, Guitar and Percussion ensembles.  Each group is afforded as many performance opportunities as possible throughout the year, and this may be a combination of internal functions such as assemblies and special occasions, and/or external events such as Eisteddfods, community performances and festivals. 


Tuition at the College is delivered by a highly competent team of private tutors, many of whom are professional performers themselves.  Lessons are available on most string, woodwind and brass instruments as well as piano, guitar, drum kit, and orchestral percussion.  Lessons are delivered weekly for 30 minutes on a rotational basis, with preference for before and after school lessons given to Year 12 students.

Students are given the opportunity to sit practical and theoretical exams, or they may choose to learn an instrument to develop musical skills and simply enjoy the benefits of learning music. 

An interesting read on how playing an instrument benefits your brain can be found at the following link:

To access tuition related forms please select from below:

Performing Arts Tuition Information and Application Form
Cancellation, Change of Enrolment or Withdrawal of Tuition
Hire of a College Instrument

Please note there is strict enforcement of policies regarding private instrumental lessons, hence to avoid future misunderstandings, please make yourself familiar with the policy document prior to signing.


All Year 4 students are required to learn an instrument as part of the academic Arts program.  Students receive free group tuition and the loan of a College instrument, and become part of the Year 4 Band or Strings program.  Some Year 4 students may be accelerated to individual lessons if progress is faster than expected. Tutors are able to assist with information regarding this, and the completion of the relevant application for tuition.

Instruments offered in the Year 4 program are: 

  • Strings (Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass)
  • Band (Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Baritone Horn or Euphonium, Bass Guitar, Drums and Percussion).

* Please note, this program does NOT include guitar or piano.

Lessons are conducted by specialist tutors in groups and one period per week is dedicated to ensemble rehearsal. For more about the Year 4 Program click here


Students who choose to continue from the Year 4 program, may opt for individual or paired private lessons, or may qualify for free group lessons provided they supply their own instrument (this may be hired or purchased).  Instrumental tutors may be consulted with regard to the hiring or purchase of instruments, as well as lesson timetabling. For more about the Year 5 Program click here

Year 4 students who continue into Year 5, automatically graduate into the Year 5 Band or Junior Strings programs. Year 6 students and above would generally take private individual lessons.  Students are given the opportunity to sit practical and theoretical exams, or they may choose to learn an instrument to develop musical skills and simply enjoy the benefits of learning music. 

Some College instruments are available for hire. Payment of an annual hire fee of $110.00 (incl. GST) is required in full, prior to hire of the instruments (pro-rata rates will be charged for students who commence during the year). Instrument hire is subject to availability. Parents wishing to purchase a new or used instrument are welcome to seek advice from music staff and tutors.


After a suitable period of instruction on an ensemble instrument, students who participate in lessons at the College are required to contribute to the ensemble program. Students who learn a band instrument are required to play in a concert band, whilst those learning a stringed instrument are required to play in a string ensembles. Membership of the contemporary program, including Big Bands and Rock Band, is through invitation or audition. Those students who learn piano, guitar or voice are also welcome to join ensembles.