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.

Private Music 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
  • Saxophone
  • Trombone
  • Trumpet
  • Tuba
  • Ukulele
  • Viola
  • Violin
  • Voice

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


It is compulsory for all MLC School students who have private music tuition 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:

  • Symphony Orchestra is for advanced string players and selected wind and brass players from Symphonic Wind Band.
  • Chamber Orchestra is an auditioned ensemble for the best string players.
  • Sinfonia consists of intermediate string players and is a foundation ensemble that prepares students to progress to full Symphony Orchestra repertoire.

Students can progress from beginner level or intermediate level ensembles through to advanced orchestral performances with the MLC School Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra.


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:

  • Stage Band, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo and Junior Jazz Band
  • Symphonic Wind Band, Concert Band and Intermediate Concert Band
  • Taiko (Traditional Japanese Drumming) Year 5 to Year 12


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 Gala Concert in Sydney Town Hall. 

Excellence in Music Education

MLC School has a rich musical tradition and is a recognised leader in Australian music education. Music enriches the lives of all our students and the program is inclusive and open to all.

Over many years, MLC School's music program has been recognised with national awards for embracing innovation and excellence. The Australian Music Centre, AMCOS Art Music Awards, APRA National Awards, the TOAN National Award from The Orchestras of Australia Network, are all organisations that have given prizes to MLC School, the most recent in recognition of the commissioned Australian works performed by the whole school at the 2019 biennial Sydney Opera House Concert.

In the Senior School, MLC School teaches both of the HSC music course and International Baccalaureate (IB) music course. Results from students are consistently above all components of the courses and frequently includes an E4 50/50 for Extension Performance.

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 of Music in New York.


Musical Instruments

MLC School offers instrumental music lessons in over 20 instruments to current MLC School 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 and reporting 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.


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


Students learning an instrument or singing, must participate in at least one School Ensemble - Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia, Symphonic Wind Band, Concert Band, and Senior Choir. Junior School ensembles include Junior School String Orchestras (comprising of Allegro Strings, Presto Strings and Junior Chamber Strings), Intermediate Concert Band and Junior School Choirs - Angeli and Bella Voce. Jazz Ensembles include Stage Band, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo and Junior Jazz Band.

Practise 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 eight lessons per term.

Students are assigned to a teacher by the Head of Strings, Head of Bands or Head of Keyboard. It is expected 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

It is MLC School policy that student's Music lessons are timetabled on a rotation basis, minimising time away from any one subject. Senior students in Year 11 and Year 12 have fixed lessons in their 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 on 02 8741 3123 with the Head of Strings, James Larsen or the Music Administrator.

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 must 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 and 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 

For more information

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