Instrumental Music Training Scheme (IMTS)

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How is the IMTS structured?


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.

What courses are offered to members of the public by the Music Office?


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.

How does one apply to join the IMTS and what are the admission criteria?


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.

Are the eight years of instrumental training comparable to the Grade 1 to Grade 8 structure of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM)?


Training materials in the IMTS for all western instruments are comparable in standard to those of the ABRSM.

What kind of teaching materials does the IMTS use?


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.

How are IMTS classes conducted?


One-hour group lessons in Cantonese are conducted on a weekly basis. The scheme also provides trainees with training in musicianship and music theory.

Are parents allowed to sit in IMTS classes? Are there any advantages to that?


At the initial stage of learning, trainees have a lot to learn: note-reading, rhythm training, playing technique 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.

How much are the tuition fees for the IMTS?


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$2,310, HK$3,597and HK$4,587 respectively. A Fee Remission Scheme is available for trainees with financial difficulties.

Are there any arrangements for remission of tuition fees?


A fee remission scheme is available for trainees with financial difficulties.  Please note that applicants should provide this office with the relevant documentation (e.g. the relevant valid certificates issued by the Student Finance Office or the Social Welfare Department) for our evaluation. Applicants should also settle the tuition fees before the Music Office has approved their fee remission applications. Deadline for applications: 31 December of every year.

Would the Music Office provide instruments for trainees?


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 lesson use & practice at Music Office music centres. The following instruments -- alto saxophone, horn, trombone, oboe, bassoon, euphonium/baritone and tuba are also available for loan at a quarterly fee of $288 to Elementary Course trainees.

Is it possible to learn a musical instrument on my own?


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.

Does the IMTS offer training in piano, guitar, or recorder?


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.

Under what circumstances can a trainee apply for a class transfer?


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.

Are there any instrumental training classes suitable for children aged five or under?


The IMTS only offers instrumental training to young people between the age of 6 and 23, so there is at present no training courses for children aged 5 or under.