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Instrumental Lessons

At Gordon’s School twenty percent of students learn an instrument via the school system and we are proud to be able to offer tuition in a wide range of instruments.

Tuition is provided by a dedicated team of visiting instrumental staff. Generally students receive ten lessons per term, taught in 30 minute slots. Students’ lessons are timetabled on a rota system, meaning their lesson time will change each week, thus avoiding clashing with the same curriculum lesson.  It is therefore crucial that students check the timetables on a regular basis.

There are some lesson times which can be fixed, such as 8.30am or lunchtime slots, but these will be allocated primarily to GCSE students, those learning more than one instrument or those with additional needs.

Please click here to download the Instrumental Application Form.

Students wishing to learn the Bagpipes and Drums to gain entry to the Pipes and Drums should read the entry criteria on the Pipes and Drums pages. Students can only access free bagpipe lessons by attending Period 7 Pipes and Drums activities.

Stopping Lessons

Lessons are billed in advance to enable us to contract visiting instrumental staff for the forthcoming term. If you wish to discontinue lessons, it is essential that you give half a term’s notice in writing of your wish to stop your child’s lessons.


Full written reports on student progress will be sent home once a year at the end of the summer term. Each student will carry a practice notebook in which their teacher will detail what they are working on and suggestions for practice. If you require more information, please contact the music department on


Instrumental teachers will recommend that students are entered for exams if they are making good progress; please visit the Exams page for more information. Whilst we are keen for all students to enter exams, we do have some pupils who learn solely for pleasure.


It is rare to find a student who relishes the idea of 30 minutes practice every evening, and once you add the boarding element it becomes very difficult to keep tabs on. However there is no doubt that the students that do the most practice will be the most successful.

If your child is a day student, try to encourage a regular pattern of practice, even if this is only two or three times a week for 15 minutes. Whilst they may not acknowledge it, students do appreciate you taking an interest and testing them on scales may be helpful.

If your child is a boarder, they have to be more organised in order to fit practice in. They have several options:

  1. The Music Department is open every day from 7.45am until 5.15pm and practice rooms are available every break time and lunchtime and during registration (by arrangement with form tutors).
  2. Period 7 is run every evening, with practice facilities available throughout the session.
  3. Prep time – the music department is open to students with permission to practise during prep.
  4. Other times in boarding houses by arrangement with the House staff. Please contact the boarding house direct.

All boarding houses have at last one piano (several have more). Some houses have electric pianos with headphone sockets allowing students to do ‘silent’ practice.