Instrumental music program policy

The Queensland State Schools Instrumental Music Program is a comprehensive tuition program in which students learn orchestral or band instruments. It provides an extra dimension to a school music program ensuring that educational outcomes are maximised for all students taking full account of individual circumstances such as their location, gender, socioeconomic situation, language and cultural background, and any impairment and special talents they may have. It provides the opportunity for musical development of students through instrumental instruction on a group basis and ensemble experience so that students develop ensemble performance skills as an integral part of their music education.


  • The Queensland Instrumental Music Program is a comprehensive tuition program in which students learn orchestral or band instruments through instruction on a group basis.
  • The instrumental program seeks to extend a student's experience in music through group lessons and through participation in full orchestra, string orchestra, concert band, stage band or other associated chamber ensembles. Students in the Instrumental Music Program have at least 2 contact periods per week, one in a group instrumental lesson and at least one in an ensemble rehearsal.
  • The program of instrumental music instruction is organised where possible to operate on a pyramid structure: a secondary school at the peak with the feeder primary schools at the base. In most cases, an instrumental music teacher's/instructor's itinerary consists of one or 2 secondary schools and a number of feeder primary schools.
  • The minimum number of students per instrumental music teacher/instructor group will be no fewer than 3 and the maximum group size will not exceed 10 students. Under no circumstances should students be taught individually.
  • All instrumental music students are required to have a group lesson and, when musically ready, an ensemble rehearsal each week. The ensemble experience is provided through the formation of school concert bands, orchestras and other ensembles. All instrumental music teachers/instructors are expected therefore to form and encourage the development of ensembles such as orchestras, concert bands and other ensembles. Responsibility for the conducting of such ensembles may be decided upon at the school level through consultation. Ensembles perform regularly within the school and at outside concerts and competitions.
  • Ensemble repertoire should encompass a wide variety of styles. The major criteria for selection of ensemble repertoire should be musical quality and educational and pedagogical value.
  • The duration of a lesson should be not less than 30 minutes and is normally one school period or half a school period in secondary schools and 30 minutes in primary schools. Student lessons should normally be timetabled on a rotation pattern. This is intended to minimise loss of class time in any one particular subject.
  • Students in Years 4-12 (woodwind, brass and percussion) or in Years 3-12 (strings) are eligible to be considered for enrolment into the instrumental program. Students are selected in accordance with the school's policy taking into account the balance of the ensemble program, the available time allocated to the school, and the suitability of the student. Factors influencing the student's suitability include musical and physical aptitude for the instrument, ability to maintain regular, self-directed practice, and commitment to an ensemble. The final decision on selection is made by the principal.


Base school principal and principals of all schools:

  • supervise the teacher/instructor both professionally and administratively
  • manage the appraisal of instrumental music teachers/instructors.

Base school principal:

  • process and approve all departmental correspondence including leave applications, itineraries, travel claims and variations of duty
  • liaise with the principals of other schools on matters of itinerary, attendance, confidential reports
  • provide an induction program for instrumental music teachers/instructors with support from regions
  • manage provision of professional development and compulsory training for instrumental music teachers/instructors
  • coordinate the appraisal of instrumental music instructors in consultation with principals of other schools on the instrumental music instructor's itinerary. The base school principal may wish to consult with other appropriate officers. Instrumental music instructors should be appraised in accordance with the department's policy relating to appraisement of teachers.

Principals of all schools:

  • coordinate the school Instrumental Music Program
  • provide appropriate resources for the Instrumental Music Program
  • supervise the teacher/instructor both professionally and administratively
  • supervise implementation of the Instrumental Music Program curriculum
  • ensure departmental learning programs as outlined below, are implemented:
  • provide appropriate access to school computer, network and IT systems
  • identify a school music coordinator (an administrator, a teacher, or an instrumental music teacher/instructor) who will be responsible for coordinating the school Instrumental Music Program
  • keep and regularly inspect a staff time book to record instrumental music teacher/instructor's times of arrival and departure from the school
  • report the absence of an instrumental music teacher/instructor to the base school principal
  • supply suitable roll systems for all the instrumental music teachers/instructors who visit the school. This roll book should be accessible at all times to school administration, and should provide an official school record of students receiving tuition and a record of attendance throughout the year. It should include the student's name, year level, instrument learnt, instrumental music curriculum level, attendance record. This is the basis for the Instrumental Music Teaching Returns and should comply with relevant standards for record keeping
  • ensure that student records are updated annually, recording instrument learnt, level and instrument loan if applicable
  • approve any change in instructor itinerary due to involvement in student concerts, rehearsals, changes in the school routine (e.g. sports day)
  • exclude from the program a student who fails to observe the school's policy on rehearsal and performance attendance.

School music coordinator:

  • liaise, assist and coordinate visiting teachers/instructors, in consultation with the principal
  • advise instrumental music teachers/instructors of all variations in the school routine
  • assist itinerant instrumental teachers/instructors with:
    • the coordination of timetables and student grouping
    • the coordination of students' attendance at lessons and ensemble rehearsals
    • communication with parents regarding music events
    • nominations of students for regional music activities
    • maintenance of records e.g. staff time book, various forms relating to instruments and equipment
    • student recruitment, auditions and ensemble rehearsals
    • the resource needs of the school's instrumental program and preparation of the budget for the year's needs
    • excursion planners.

Regional music coordinator (where appointed):

  • professionally supervise instrumental music teachers/instructors.

Instrumental music instructors/teachers:

  • implement the departmental Instrumental Music Program curriculum
  • direct performance ensembles
  • ensure appropriate planning, assessment and record keeping of student achievement
  • implement the Instrumental music curriculum (PDF, 476KB) including the Instrumental music—QCAA recognised study (PDF, 596KB)
  • report, both in the professional and administrative sense to the base school principal and principals of schools attended for all activities in these schools
  • report professionally to the Regional Music Coordinator where appointed
  • plan appropriate programs of work for each student
  • keep a record of each student's progress. Progress should be reported to the parent/caregiver in whatever manner the principal advises. Where the services of an instrumental music teacher/instructor cease at a school, all student progress records must be returned to the principal.
  • forward all official correspondence through the base school principal
  • notify the base school principal and principal of school affected when circumstances (including illness) prevent attendance at any time
  • compile travel claims giving due care and attention to accurate details and forward them to the Regional Office, through the base school principal, as required
  • exercise the usual professional responsibility and duty of care of students. Where activities are organised outside the normal school day, this responsibility continues as it does for other teachers
  • be aware of the implications of sharing wind instruments and adhere to the provisions of Managing Risks in School Curriculum Activities 
  • consult with the school principals/school music coordinators on development of itinerary
  • file, with the principal of each school on their itinerary a copy of the relevant work programs for each level of tuition being offered on each particular instrument. Absolute minimum requirements in the work program should include:
    • semester goals
    • text or tutor book used
    • scales and other technical work to be covered
    • supplementary materials
    • solo work
  • provide a copy at the end of the third week of the school year, a detailed itinerary to:
    • the base school principal
    • the principal of each school visited
    • the area/district/regional music coordinator
      (If it is necessary to make alterations to an itinerary, all of the above should be notified of the change/s immediately)
  • coordinate any variation in a school's instrumental timetable with the school music coordinator
  • observe the Department of Education—Code of Conduct
  • consult with the principal of the school when considering whether or not to terminate a student's tuition. The principal will communicate the final decision to the student.

Related procedures

Last updated 08 March 2021