The IMTS comprises three independent courses of training, namely a two-year Elementary Course, a three-year Intermediate Course, and a three-year Advanced Course. Trainees will be issued a certificate of attendance upon completion of each course. Those who wish to enroll in the next level of training must submit a new application.
Recruitment for Elementary Year-1 (E-1) Course, which commences in early November, is held annually from mid July to early August. Recruitment for Intermediate Year-1 (I-1) and Advanced Year-1 (A-I) Courses, which commence in September, are held annually from mid April to mid May. Qualified applicants will be invited to attend an admission test.
Recruitment for Elementary Year-1 (E-1) Course is held annually in July and August. Target participants are children and young people with no previous instrumental training. Applicants may select to apply for classes in accordance to their age and interest. Qualified applicants will be invited to attend an Admission Test which comprises a simple Music Aptitude Test and an interview. Training for successful applicants will commence in November.
Recruitments for Intermediate Year-1 (I-1) and Advanced Year-1 (A-1) Courses are held annually in April and May. Target participants are young people with previous instrumental training. Applicants who have reached a suitable standard will be invited to attend an audition. Training for successful applicants will commence in September.
Prospectus and application forms are available at all Music Office music centres during the recruitment period. They can also be downloaded from the Music Office website.
Training materials in the IMTS for all western instruments are comparable in standard to those of the ABRSM.
The Music Office offers training in more than 30 Chinese and western musical instruments. The IMTS syllabi which also include information on publishers of music scores used are available for reference at all music centres, and can also be downloaded from here.
Instructors will teach in accordance with the respective syllabi, with appropriate supplementary materials whenever necessary. Detailed information on how to purchase these supplementary materials will be provided to trainees if required.
One-hour group lessons in Cantonese are conducted on a weekly basis. The scheme also provides trainees with training in musicianship and music theory.
At the initial stage of learning, trainees have a lot to learn: note-reading, rhythm training, and the right posture in holding the musical instrument…etc., all of which require great concentration. Since trainees in Elementary Course are generally younger in age, they are good at imitation but relatively weak in comprehension. They may be able to perform what the instructor teaches in class but will soon forget the techniques when they practise at home. Thus parents may sit in at the initial stage of an Elementary Course to take note of the main points taught to help their children practise more effectively at home. As for those trainees who are older or have a better comprehension ability, parents may be requested to refrain from sitting in to help their children develop independence in learning and thinking.
Annual tuition fees (payable in 4 instalments) for Elementary Course (E-1 to E-2), Intermediate Course (I-1 to I-3), and Advanced Course (A-1 to A-3) are HK$2,090, HK$3,278 and HK$4,180 respectively. A Fee Remission Scheme is available for trainees with financial difficulties.
All trainees must be equipped with their own instruments, with the exception of a few bulky instruments –harp, double bass, tuba and bulky percussion instruments that can be loaned for class & practice at Music Office music centres. The following instruments -- alto saxophone, horn, trombone, oboe, bassoon, euphonium are also available for loan at a quarterly fee of $261 to Elementary Course trainees.
It is advisable to learn all musical instruments under the guidance of a professional instructor. Learning an instrument on your own might not only result in very slow progress, but the development of undesirable techniques which would be difficult to rectify even under the guidance of an instructor.
The Music Office does not conduct training in piano, guitar, or recorder. The 30 some type of instrumental training classes under the IMTS are all instruments of either a Chinese or western orchestra.
Only in the event when the scheduled instrumental training class clashes with classes and/ or compulsory extra-curricular activities at school, or religious services will the Music Office consider applications for class transfer. Eligible applicants must submit written applications, together with relevant supporting documents to the music centre to which they belong. Please note, however, that no class transfer is allowed during the first year study of each Course.
The IMTS only offers instrumental training to young people between the age of six and 23, so there is at present no training courses for children aged five or under.