Centre For Young Musicians

The Centre for Young Musicians offers school-aged children high-quality, sequential tuition in instrumental performance, led by our performance staff at the Elder Conservatorium of Music.


In addition to weekly tuition on their instruments, students also participate in regular ensemble sessions, masterclasses, workshops and performances throughout the year. At each stage of their development students are offered opportunities that extend and inspire, with talent identified and fostered at an early age.

Alongside a focus on developing individual technical and performance skills there is an emphasis on developing each student into a confident, well rounded musician, within a positive musical peer group. Core teaching takes place at the Elder Conservatorium’s historical North Terrace buildings on Saturdays during school terms. 


  • Schedule

    Utilising the spaces of the Elder Conservatorium, the Open Music Academy provides weekly one-to-one lessons each school term. These take place on Saturdays and Sundays at the University of Adelaide's North Terrace Campus. 

    2024 Dates Application Closing Dates Payment Due
    Term 1 Saturday February 10 - Sunday April 14 Sunday January 14 Friday January 19
    Term 2 Monday April 29 - Saturday June 30 Thursday March 28 Thursday March 28
    Term 3 Monday July 22 - Sunday September 22 Friday June 21 Friday June 21
    Term 4 Monday October 14 - Sunday December 15 Friday September 13 Friday September 13

    Lesson duration: Beginner: 30 minutes | Intermediate: 45 minutes | Advanced: 60 minutes

    Mid-year and End-of-year concert dates 2024: TBC

  • Fees

    One to one tuition is available on the following instruments: Bassoon, Cello, Clarinet, Double Bass, Drums, Flute, Guitar - Classical, Guitar - Electric, Guzheng, Oboe, Percussion, Piano, Saxophone, Theory, Trombone, Trumpet, Tuba, Viola, Violin and Voice. 

    One to one lessons
      Fee per term - 9 weekly lessons
    Beginner (30 minute lessons) $506
    Intermediate (45 minute lessons) $709
    Advanced (60 minute lessons) $910

    Please keep in mind when enrolling in the program that you are committing to 9 lessons.

    Lesson Duration Guideline:

    • 30 minutes = Beginner/Preliminary to AMEB grade 2-3/0-3 years learning instrument
    • 45 minutes = Intermediate/AMEB grade 3-5/3-5 years learning instrument
    • 60 minutes = Advanced /AMEB grade 6+/6 or more years learning instrument

    Lesson length may vary from student to student – call us to discuss what is appropriate for your child.

    One to one fees include:

    • A chance to showcase musical skills in two OMA-hosted concerts each year.
    • Access to a complimentary loan, of a beginner-grade instrument (availability may vary): bassoon, cello (full, ⅛, ¼,) clarinet, flute, guitar - classical, oboe, trombone, trumpet and violin (full, ⅛, ¼, ¾). Call us on 8313 1110 to discuss your child’s needs.
    • Enjoy a 15% discount on all paid activities hosted by the Open Music Academy.
    • Free access to selected workshops/masterclasses throughout the year


    Learning an instrument is a year-round commitment that requires dedication. Before enrolling in one-to-one lessons, take a moment to consider how the lessons will fit into a busy schedule. Students are committing to attend all nine lessons per term.

    Average weekly practice guide if preparing for exams:

    • Preliminary to AMEB grade 2, 2-3 hours
    • AMEB grade 3-5, 3.5-4.5 hours
    • AMEB grade 6+, 5-6 hours

    Note: textbooks or music books will need to be purchased separately.

    Full tuition fees are payable prior to the term’s commencement. You may reschedule 1 lesson per term, any additional cancellations (even with 24 hours' notice) will be considered forfeited. 

    OMA Conditions of Enrolment

    Application for Enrolment

    OMA Medical Form

    Our Bursary Program offers financial assistance to those experiencing financial hardship.

    Application for Bursary

  • Ensembles

    Music ensembles offer valuable benefits for learning music. They foster collaboration, teamwork, and communication skills as students work together to create harmonious performances. Through ensemble participation, musicians develop technical skills, such as sight-reading and musical phrasing, listening and reacting, leading and following. Ensembles create a sense of belonging and foster social connections, promoting emotional well-being. Overall, music ensembles provide a holistic learning environment that nurtures musical growth and a lifelong passion for music.

    OMA ensembles are open to primary and secondary students, you don’t need to be a current one-to-one student to attend.

    Guitar Groups: guitar (working as duo and trios)

    String Ensemble: cello, double bass, viola & violin

  • Workshops, Short Courses & Group Classes

    Musicianship Class for Student School Years 7-9

    In our Musicianship class, students go beyond merely playing an instrument. It serves as the crucial link, guiding them from simply pressing keys or strumming strings to truly understanding the art of making music. It's not just about hitting the right notes; it's about grasping the language of music.

    Here's what they'll gain:

    Music Theory Made Fun: Set aside the typical separation between music theory and practice. Our class brings them together in a fun and interactive way. Students will use both their voice and their instrument to explore the language of music.

    Listening, Writing, and Performing: Students become proficient at genuinely listening to music, crafting their compositions, and performing them with precision. Additionally, they'll master the art of sight reading, making the process of reading music a breeze.

    Musical Progress in Fast Forward: Musicianship isn't just a side note; it's the key to accelerating progress on their instrument. If they've been playing at the level of AMEB 4 (or have around 4 years of experience) and are in school years 7-9, this class is tailor-made for them!

    When: Thursdays 4.30pm
    Where: North Terrace Campus, University of Adelaide
    Who: Students in years 7-9 who have 4 years of playing experience or are at AMEB 4+ level
    ost: $191 for 7 sessions each school term

    Musicianship Class - Signup

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  • Scholarship Program

    Regional Scholarship and Bursaries

    The regional scholarships and bursaries program will assist students and teachers from across South Australia to access the world class resources of the Elder Conservatorium of Music and opportunity to join their city counterparts for workshops, ensemble experiences and performances throughout the year.

    Scholarship are available for South Australian students who live in regional or remote areas, of all levels, to travel to Adelaide for 1:1 lessons at the Open Music Academy at the Elder Conservatorium of Music.

    Applicants are eligible for:

    • 1:1 lesson tuition fee support (lessons are face to face in Adelaide*). Please note full tuition fees are payable prior to the term’s commencement, with awarded scholarships being paid at the end of the term.
    • Advanced students will also be eligible for our Local Stars program. To be considered for a place in the Local Stars program, students must be at AMEB Grade Level 5 or equivalent, provide a teacher recommendation and a short video of a performance – 5 minutes or less.
    • The maintenance and purchase of instruments

    *Tuition can be provided as hybrid, face to face/online modes for students if distance is a barrier to travelling to Adelaide.

    Bursaries are available for:

    • Travel support
    • The maintenance and purchase of instruments
    • To assist teachers with mentoring and professional development opportunities

    This scholarships program is supported by the Department for Education.

    Application for Regional Scholarship

    Instrument Specific Scholarships

    These scholarships are merit based and will be advertised at the beginning of each year.

    Thank you to our generous donors for providing these scholarships.

    To find out more please contact us.