Some schools offer BOTH a band and a STRING ENSEMBLE.
The main difference between Band & String Ensemble is the instruments that are included. If you want to play a string instrument you should join the String Ensemble, if you prefer one of the other instruments, you should join the band.
Band - flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, drums/percussion
String Ensemble - violin, cello
Band is open to all students in years 3-6. Starting at a younger age is not advised due to the large size of the instruments, and the breath control required (band instruments don't come in smaller sizes for smaller hands and lungs!)
String Ensemble is open to all students in years 2-6. While it is possible to start at a younger age on a string instrument, the logistical requirements of learning at school without a parent present is the main reason we limit our programs from year 2. String instruments are available in different sizes for younger students.
Junior String Ensemble*- beginner students, open to students in year 2 and above
Intermediate/Senior String Ensemble - minimum 1 year experience, open to students in years 3-6
(*Junior String Ensemble not available in all schools)
Everyone should have a good quality, well maintained instrument.
Please see our INSTRUMENT INFO page for important details on the instruments that are offered as part of our programs.
You can HIRE or BUY a band instrument from DIM, or you can provide your own.
We recommend 10-15 minutes each day when you're starting out - about 4 days each week. Of course as you gain more experience, you'll need to practise more!
It takes a while to make progress when you're just starting out on an instrument, and so we expect a minimum 1 year commitment. Music is tricky, especially at the beginning as there is no instant gratification and success takes time. While it can be tempting to just 'quit' when things get a bit tricky, we always recommend sticking with it as the results are worth it!
The number of teaching weeks in each term varies according to each school's calendar. We guarantee a minimum of 35 weeks of lessons & rehearsals throughout each year which means that we can cater for those one off clashes or cancellations that may occur.
You can certainly keep your current tutor if you're already having private lessons outside of school.
If your school's band program offers group lessons, it is expected that you join in the group tutorials in addition to any external private lessons you may have arranged. This will enable you to benefit from what is taught in the 'sectional' group tutorial session, as well as the skills learnt in your private lesson.
All students participating in lessons at school are also expected to contribute to their school's ensemble (where applicable). Ensemble rehearsals and performances are important for the growth and development of every student and also for the program itself. All of the key learning that is undertaken during instrumental lessons is developed during the larger group rehearsals.
Fees vary depending on the lesson structure that is offered at your school. Private lessons are more expensive than group lessons, however all students pay the same ensemble membership fee.
There are no additional costs for in-school performances. Some external performances (music festivals, eisteddfods, etc) may incur an additional fee.
Yes, we are an approved provider, and accept all Creative Kids vouchers - that's $50 to go towards your fees. Just CLICK HERE to submit your voucher details