Music Tuition at Saint Mary's


Studio Music Tuition

Saint Mary's Catholic College aims to provide a positive learning experience, which cultivates a life-long interest in music. To achieve this outcome, a student needs a strong support network involving parents, tutors, and the College team.
The role of the parents is to...
  • provide an instrument that is in good playable order, music books and equipment as needed
  • organise a quiet place away from distractions for their child to practice, with a music stand and a CD player/MP3 player
  • communicate any developments with the tutor or music coordinator
  • ensure fees are paid on time
  • encourage their children to play for family and friends
  • support regular home practice
  • encourage, encourage, encourage!

The role of the students is to...

  • practice (5-7 sessions per week)
  • follow the tutor's instructions
  • care for his/her instrument and equipment
  • attend lessons on time, and notify his/her parents and tutors of any approaching disruptions (e.g. in class assessment)
  • understand that learning new skills takes time, patience, and persistence.

Never give up!

The role of the tutor is to...

  • provide well-planned and sequenced tuition, of a high quality
  • prepare the student for performances and/or music exams
  • communicate any developments with parents or music coordinator
  • ensure fees are invoiced regularly and professionally
  • be punctual and professional
  • maintain a strong skill set through regular professional development.

The role of the College is to...

  • oversee the tuition process
  • provide well-maintained facilities conductive to professional studio teaching
  • provide solo and ensemble performance opportunities for the students (fees may be involved)
  • encourage regular communication between tutors and parents, and resolve any issues in a timely manner
  • notify tutors of any events which may impact on lesson arrangements (e.g. College sports carnival). 

Tuition Options

Students have the opportunity to learn an instrument, singing, or music theory, either in an individual or group lesson. At Saint Mary's, tuition is available in the following:

  • Strings - violin, viola, cello or double bass
  • Guitar - acoustic, electric or bass
  • Woodwind - flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone or baritone, saxophone
  • Brass - trumpet, cornet, horn, trombone, bariton, euphonium or tuba
  • Percussion - drum kit, snare drum or glockenspiel
  • Piano
  • Voice - singing
  • Music Theory


Each tutor will provide a list of equipment that will be required by the student prior to the commencement of lessons, and a College practice diary. The diary records music to be practised and is a useful parent-tutor communication tool.

All students will require a tutor book, a music stand and a pencil. 

Instrument-specific equipment may include:

  • Strings - Rosin and a soft cleaning cloth
  • Flutes - cleaning rod and cloth and a silver polishing cloth
  • Winds - 4 x size 1 1/2 reeds and reed holder and a pull-through cleaner
  • Brass - "Al Cass" brand valve oil, slide cream and a cleaning cloth (trombones only - small water spray bottle)
  • Percussion - one pair of drumsticks (matching), rubber practice pad (if no drum kits available at home)
  • Voice - water bottle
  • Music Theory - 2 x pencils, sharpener, Theory Tutor book and/or home internet access for online theory exercises.

Please confirm your child's specific needs with your tutor prior to the commencement of lessons. 


Students joining the program receive one lesson per week with a specialist teacher of the student's chosen instrument. These lessons can either be a group lesson or an individual lesson. Generally, best progress is made in individual lessons. All students in years 7-12 will be on a rotating timetable so they no not miss the same class every week. Students are expected to attend all lessons and bring all tutor books, music and instruments to each lesson. To be successful on one's chosen instrument, regular practice is essential. Beginning students should start with about 15 minutes a day increasing to 30 minutes a day as they progress. One long practice session on the day of a lesson is virtually useless. Practice routine should include a warm up, scales, technical work, studies and pieces (as set by the teacher) and orchestra/ensemble/choir music.


Payment Procedure

Each tutor will issue one invoice each term for payment of fees, which is payable by the end of Week 4. Overwhelmingly, parents have indicated that this is the most straight-forward method for payment, and helps to prevent confusion due to part-payments. However, should a parent be unable to pay the term fees in the entirety, a payment plan can be discussed with the tutor.

Should fees remain unpaid by the negotiated time, lessons will be discontinued until payment is made.

Missed Lessons 

All absences without 24 hours notice will require payment. Notice can take the form of a phone call, email, written note (signed by the parent) or a text message. This enables the tutor to make alternative arrangements, rather than waiting for a student who does not arrive.

Absences that occur because of school activities (sports carnival, arts excursion etc.) will be credited to the following terms account.

Parents and students should be mindful of any forthcoming clashes to avoid missed lessons and forfeited payments.

Should a student be absent from a lesson without notice, the tutor will notify the parent to ensure the parent is aware that the lesson was missed.

Some tutors may choose to invoice families for only nine weeks of each term, allowing for one absence. Should the student be present for ten lessons, there is no extra charge tot eh family. This practice is employed at the discretion of the tutor.

Extended Absence

Should a student be absent from school for an extended period of time due to illness, travel or other family commitments, the arrangements for invoicing alterations should be made directly with the tutor in advance of the absence where possible.

Termination of Lessons

Learning a musical instrument can be full of highs and lows, and it is important that consideration be given to the termination of lessons for this reason. Many adults look back on their decision to stop learning an instrument with regret, and although it seemed that lessons were somewhat arduous, they wish they had 'soldiered on'. For this reason, parents are encouraged to discuss the discontinuation of lessons with the music coordinator prior to making a final decision, as there may be options available that could encourage the student to continue their studies. At no stage should a student attempt to negotiate withdrawal from lessons directly with the tutor. If a parent chooses to discontinue lessons during the term, the remaining fees for that term will be forfeited. Please see below for a termination form.

For general enquiries please contact Mr Wager at the college on 4160 0900 or email

Forms for Instrumental Music Tuition