Music is in MLC School’s DNA. The whole school is involved in performing music, be it at the Sydney Town Hall or the Sydney Opera House. MLC School has a reputation for musical excellence across a wide range of styles. Music enriches the lives of all our students – the program is inclusive and open to all.

Musical Instrument Tuition

MLC School offers the following instrumental music lessons to students from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12:

  • Bassoon
  • Cello
  • Clarinet
  • Double Bass
  • Flute
  • French Horn
  • Harp
  • Guitar Musicianship
  • Oboe
  • Organ
  • Percussion/Drum Kit
  • Piano
  • Recorder
  • Saxophone
  • Trombone
  • Trumpet
  • Tuba
  • Viola
  • Violin
  • Voice

Lessons are conducted by fully qualified professional musicians who are assigned to students by the Director of Music.

MLC School also offers music lessons to external students. Click here for more information or to enrol. 


It is compulsory for all MLC School students who learn an instrument or voice to participate in the co-curricular music ensemble program. In some cases, ensemble work is incorporated into the students’ assessment program.

Performing in a musical ensemble is an enriching and rewarding learning experience. Students derive much enjoyment by playing and singing together in a group.

Strings, voice, woodwind, brass and percussion students who learn privately have the opportunity to perform in a wide range of ensembles. These ensembles cater for students of all musical levels and experiences.


MLC School offers a range of orchestral training and experience through the following ensembles:

  • Orchestra is a full symphony orchestra for advanced string players and selected wind and brass players from Concert Band 1.
  • Chamber Orchestra is an auditioned ensemble for the elite string players.
  • Sinfonietta and Concertante consist of intermediate string players and are foundation ensembles that train students to perform full symphony orchestra repertoire.

Students can progress from beginner level ensemble through to advanced orchestral performances with the MLC School Orchestra, Concert Band and Chamber Orchestra.

Woodwind, Brass and Percussion

Girls who learn privately are eligible to play in a wide range of instrumental ensembles. These ensembles cater for players of all levels and experiences and include the following:

  • Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra
  • Jazz Combo and Big Band
  • Concert Band 1 and 2
  • Junior School Concert Band and Instrumental Clubs
  • Training Band
  • Taiko (Traditional Japanese Drumming) Year 5 to Year 12

Choral Groups

Choral singing is a fundamental aspect of the MLC School music program. Students who sing are greatly advantaged in all aspects of their musical development. Students have the opportunity to participate in auditioned and non-auditioned choral groups, which rehearse and perform regularly.


There are many co-curricular performance opportunities available at MLC School through instrumental soirees, festivals, studio concerts, graduation concerts, assemblies and major events such as the biennial Sydney Opera House Concert, and the annual Music Awards concert in Sydney Town Hall.

In addition, students taking part in the co-curricular music program have the opportunity to perform at public concerts which provide a platform for any student to gain valuable skills in preparing for public performance. Admission is free and parents, family, friends and teachers are encouraged to attend and support the students. Students wishing to take part in a concert should sign up to perform through their music teacher.

Awards for Excellence

MLC School teaches HSC Music at all levels and, in 2017, 100% of Music 1 students achieved a Band 6 and 100% of Music Extension students received a Band E4. Many Old Girls are accepted straight from our school into prestigious undergraduate music courses in Australia and abroad. Three MLC School Old Girls are currently studying music at The Juilliard School in New York.

MLC School's music program has been recognised with two national awards for embracing innovation and excellence. The Australian Music Centre and APRA National Award was received for the most distinguished contribution to the advancement of Australian music in education. The TOAN National Award, presented by The Orchestras of Australia Network, was for the best school orchestral program. Both these awards are testimony to our extended commitment to musical excellence; a program that has enriched the musical lives of our students and established MLC School as a leader in Australian music education.

MLC School has also won a NSW Flame Award, which annually rewards and recognises Australia’s most inspiring school music programs.


Musical Instruments

MLC School offers instrumental music lessons in over 20 instruments to both current MLC School students and external students. Lessons are conducted by fully qualified, professional musicians.

Students learning an instrument through the Music Department of MLC School set off on a pathway to acquire skills which will enrich their lives and take part in a stimulating environment of quality music making.

Learning an Instrument at MLC School

Students electing to have private music lessons are committing to the full year of tuition (ie. up until the end of Term 4). Should a student withdraw from private music lessons, the balance of the year’s tuition fees must be paid. Changes to a student’s tuition must be approved in advance by the Director of Music.


MLC School has a system of internal assessment for private music tuition. This involves a composite evaluation of individual performance, group activities, ensemble attendance and studio concerts. Students are given reports on their progress at the end of each semester. External examinations may only be undertaken provided that the School’s assessment requirements have been satisfied. This assessment is made in consultation with the instrumental teacher and their Head of Department. External examinations are only an option for intermediate to high level students.


Performance is integral to the music lesson program. Students must satisfy the participation requirements in terms of Instrumental Evenings, Studio Concerts, Graduation Concerts and involvement in school ensembles.


Students learning an instrument or singing at MLC School music participate in at least one school ensemble or choir, upon reaching the required standard. These ensembles include Orchestra, Sinfonietta, Concert Band, individual instrumental ensembles and Choir.

Practice Commitment

Private music tuition is a serious commitment and requires an undertaking on the part of the student to carry out all practice tasks set by the teacher and to attend lessons and associated activities.

Practicalities for Lessons and Instruments

Private music tuition is given on the basis of 32 lessons per year, or the equivalent of 8 lessons per term.

Students are assigned to a teacher by the Head of Strings or Head of Bands. It is recommended that parents liaise with the student’s teacher to ensure that clear lines of communication are established to inform the teacher about any absences for excursions, exams or sickness.

If you need to cancel a lesson, 48 hours notice must be given. Please note that lessons missed without prior notification may not be made up by the teacher. This includes lessons missed due to equipment/instruments being forgotten.

Extra lessons can be given (and are charged separately) after the 32 designated lessons have been given.

Lesson Times

Music lessons are timetabled on a rotation basis for MLC School students minimising time away from any one subject. Senior students in Year 11 and Year 12 have fixed lessons in spare periods.

Instrument Hire

It is recommended that each student has their own instrument. There are a limited number of instruments for hire from MLC School. These are available for a maximum of one year. Any loss or damage of school instruments must be borne by the parents. Instrument accessories (and the replacement of them) ie reeds, strings etc are the responsibility of the student.

If you wish to hire an instrument, please discuss the availability of an instrument with Head of Strings, Dr Joanna Drimatis on 02 8741 3123.

The cost of hiring an instrument is $80 per term. Payment for the first term of hire must be made online by credit card, after which MLC School students can elect for the hire fee to be charged to the school fees account.

Fee Payments

The full yearly tuition fee is divided into four payments and music be paid in advance at the beginning of each term. The first term’s fees must be paid online by credit card. Students attending MLC School can elect to have their fees for Terms 2, 3 & 4 charged to the School fees account. Use the links below to view current fee structure and to book and make payment.

MLC School Students Fee Structure, Bookings and Payments

External Students Fee Structure, Bookings and Payments

External students (non MLC School students) pay an additional 10% (GST). Payment is made by credit card or direct debit at the beginning of each term.

For more information

Contact the MLC School Music department via email or on 02 8741 3123.