Instrumental Music Tuition

Welcome to the Music Instrumental Program at St Columba College. We look forward to the musical development of all students across the Junior, Middle and Senior Schools learning an instrument/voice. Music Instrumental Tuition is available to all students from R-12.


Conditions of Instrumental Tuition

Instrumental lessons will commence for a student once the 'Instrumental Music Signup Sheet' for tuition (located on this page) has been completed, signed and returned to the Coordinator of Co-Curricular Music.


Instrumental Teachers

St Columba College recommends these specialist instrumental and vocal teachers, subject to some possible changes:

  • Drums / Percussion - Brody Green and Larry Parane
  • Flute / Piano - Karen Clarke and Larry Payne
  • Electric & Bass Guitar/Acoustic Guitar/Ukulele -  Scott Armstrong and Larry Parane
  • Vocals: Katie Pomery, Elsa Tian and Larry Parane


Arrangement Between Parents and Instructors

Instructors are not employed by the College to provide these lessons. Where parents request a lesson, the College will refer them to one of a number of instructors who have indicated their availability and whom the College is prepared to recommend.  The parent(s) and instructor will then enter into an agreement for the instructor to provide lessons, in return for a fee to be paid by the parent(s). The College is not a party to that agreement.


Role Of The School

The College will also enter into an agreement with any instructor who offers to provide their services to parents and whom the College is prepared to recommend.  This agreement will set out the terms on which the College is prepared to allow instructors access to the College for the purpose of conducting lessons. Those terms will include certain expectations as to how lessons will be scheduled so as to ensure that lessons can be conducted with minimal disruption and inconvenience to all concerned.

The agreements with instructors will also include certain expectations as to the behaviour of instructors, consistent with the College’s duty of care to its students and staff. However, while the College will endeavour to ensure that instructors are suitably qualified for providing lessons and behave appropriately towards students,  parents should understand that the College can give no guarantee in this regard.


Instrument Purchase

Students are encouraged to purchase their own instrument where possible. It is advisable to consult with instrumental staff regarding a suitable instrument prior to any such purchase.


Instrument Hire

If you wish to hire an instrument, this can be arranged through the College. Please see the Coordinator of Co-Curricular Music for all hiring requirements. Instrument hire fees will only be put on the school account if school fee payments are up to date. Should you require further information, please contact the Business Manager. Hire charges are as follows:

  • Acoustic Guitar $54 per semester
  • Keyboard $72 per semester
  • Violin $84 per semester
  • Clarinet / Flute / Trumpet $135 per semester
  • Trombone $156 per semester
  • Cello $171 per semester
  • Alto Saxophone $252 per semester

Please note: Instruments are hired by the semester to keep down costs. An adjustment to the overall hire fee may be necessary if an instrument is returned during the semester.


Tuition fees and payment of accounts

All instrumental and vocal teachers recommended by St Columba College are private Instrumental Teachers who provide quality tuition at the College. Hence, instrumental tuition fees are payable direct to the relevant teacher.

Instrumental Teachers will issue an account for the term, this is payable in advance. You will receive this account in the first 2 weeks of each term, and it is payable within 14 days.  

Please contact the teacher concerned if special circumstances prevent you from meeting the agreed timeframe and Instrumental Teacher will do their best to negotiate a suitable arrangement with you. The rate per lesson will be quoted on the account. 

Fees are between $29-$32 per half-hour lesson. Group lessons are also available. Fees are between $34-$40 per half-hour lesson.

Under no circumstances are parents permitted to alter any details on the accounts given. Any questions about an account are to be addressed directly to the Instrumental Teacher concerned. Parents are welcome to phone Instrumental Teachers direct where required. When making your payments the amount must be either posted directly to the Teacher, or given directly by the Student to the Teacher.

Students will not be permitted to commence lessons in any term if there are outstanding fees from the previous term. The repercussions of this action would have a serious influence on the progress of students studying music as a subject.

Please remember that Instrumental Teachers rely on the money they earn just like a wage. The school has no role in paying Instrumental Teachers and they require payment in order to live just as you do. Please be aware that by not receiving payment of accounts, teachers may experience financial difficulty as a result.



The Music Department prepares the instrumental lesson timetables which take place on a half hour basis during the school day. These are displayed on the notice board in the entrance corridor to the Music Suite and on SEQTA Notices. It is up to each student in the program to check these timetables regularly in advance, and in particular on the morning of the day their lesson is held. For various reasons changes sometimes have to be made, and it is the responsibility of the student to read the timetable, know when their lesson is conducted and carefully note any changes.

Students excuse themselves from class in order to attend a scheduled lesson. They are required to return to their appropriate class immediately after the rostered lesson.

Please note: If students have a test that clashes with their instrumental lesson, then it is up to the student to organise a swap with the Instrumental Teacher or to notify the Coordinator of Co-Curricular Music.

Year 12 Instrumental/Voice Lessons are scheduled in study periods, lunchtime, or in a music subject lesson if all else fails. Generally, Year 12 students are not permitted to miss another subject in order to have an instrumental lesson. At times, Year 12 students elect to have either a double lesson (one hour) or a one-and-a-half-hour lesson in order to meet the requirements of the course. This is negotiated with the relevant Instrumental Teacher as required.


Student Absence

Illness / Appointments: If a student is going to be absent from a lesson because of sickness or other unavoidable reasons, parents must let the Music Department know as soon as possible on the day of the lesson. The instructor may be able to arrange a catch-up lesson at a later date but is not obliged to do so. Instrumental teachers are not required to make-up the lesson or lose income because of a student's absence. Many teachers travel long distances to provide expert tuition at St Columba College.

Official School Functions: If a student is unable to attend a lesson due to an official school excursion / event then it is up to the student to discuss this with the Instrumental Teacher concerned and the Coordinator of Co-Curricular Music at least 1 week in advance, or alternatively via a parent phone call from home at least 1 week in advance. In this case the Instrumental Teacher will either attempt to arrange an alternative time to make up the lesson or subtract the fee from the next term’s account. However, the teacher will not be obliged to make up the lesson or adjust payment if the notification of an absence is not well in advance. The Music Department cannot guarantee to avoid lessons being scheduled for days when school events affect individual student’s lesson times - e.g. Camps, Exams, Excursions or Sporting Events. It is the student’s responsibility to check well ahead for any clashes and then discuss these with the Instrumental Teacher or Coordinator of Co-Curricular Music.

Teacher Absence

If Instrumental Teachers are absent, they will either make up the missed lesson/s or deduct fees from the next term’s account.


Tutor Books / Repertoire / Consumables

Most Instrumental Teachers will recommend a tutor book, particularly for beginners, that the students must purchase for their tuition. We encourage the purchase of music by individual students. It is important for music students to gradually build up their own library of music at home.


Instrumental Repairs

If a hired instrument is in need of repair, students are to take the instrument to the Coordinator of Co-Curricular Music. The instruments must have a note explaining the nature of the repair needed.

Please note: The hire charge covers normal wear through correct use of the instrument, however, this does not cover strings on Violin, Viola, Cello and Guitar; and reeds on Clarinet and Saxophone. The cost of repair because of damage through misuse of and carelessness with the instrument is the responsibility of the student / parent.


Photocopying and Copyright

Teachers cannot be expected to supply students with photocopies of music from their personal collection as this infringes Copyright Laws. Any photocopies that might be supplied to students under AMCOS licensing agreements remain the property of the owner and must be returned after use. Wherever possible, students should purchase the original printed music from an authorised supplier.



It is important that all students and their parents are fully aware of the expectations of students learning an instrument through the instrumental program at the College.

ATTENDANCE: Students must attend as scheduled on the timetable. Non-attendance means wasted time for the teacher and wasted money for you.

PRACTICE: Students must practice every day on a regular basis.

  • Junior School students - 15 minutes
  • Year 8 students - 15 minutes
  • Year 9 students - 30 minutes
  • Year 10 and 11 students - 45-60 minutes
  • Year 12 students - 60-90 minutes

ASSESSMENT: For elective students in Years 9 -12 taking Music as a classroom subject, the instrumental lessons and Signed Practices is generally worth 20% of the term’s overall music assessment. Marks are lost for poor attitude, lack of practice and non-attendance without a valid reason.

INSTRUMENTS: These should be looked after carefully. The name of the student and school should be clearly labelled on the outside of the instrument. Instruments must be taken home each day in order to practise. The school cannot be held responsible for any instruments that may disappear after school hours.


Withdrawal From Lessons

Once an agreement to provide lessons has been made, the agreement will last for the remainder of the school year. If it is necessary for a student to be withdrawn from lessons, this should take place at the end of a given term. Written notification from the parents to the Coordinator of Co-Curricular Music and the Instrumental Teacher involved is required at least two weeks prior to the end of that term, otherwise an additional term’s fees may be charged. Students studying music in Years 9 to 12 as a subject are not able to withdraw from instrumental tuition during the school year unless written approval is given by the Coordinator of Co-Curricular Music.


Rooms For Instrumental Lessons

The room number for lessons will appear on each timetable. At times the room numbers will vary, therefore it is up to the student to check the number of the room carefully each week.


Music Elective Students: Class Ensembles and Solo Performance

Year 9 to 12 Students have a schedule of concert practice performances for each term. Students must choose an appropriate piece, prepare it well in conjunction with the Instrumental / Vocal Teacher and then perform it on the date specified. Again, students must take the initiative and ensure that the Instrumental / Vocal Teacher is aware of their performances, and work together with their teacher in order to be prepared for all performances.


Performance Ensembles

Over 100 students learn an instrument or voice through St Columba College. We strongly encourage all instrumental and vocal students at the College to participate in one of our co-curricular performance ensembles.

For elective students in Years 9 - 12 taking Music as a classroom subject, attendance and participation will also contribute to the term’s overall music assessment.



If any problems should arise, in relation to the instrumental program, please do not hesitate to contact the Coordinator of Co-Curricular Music at the College on 8254 0600.