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Our Background

The Primary Music Institute (PMI) was established in 1995 as a private institution to make it feasible for schools to provide high quality instrumental music lessons to primary school students at an affordable price.
We are the trusted partner for primary schools and high schools that seek to inspire students to participate in instrumental music, provide best-in-class curriculum and professional administration. Our programs are offered at no cost to schools and without additional constraints on school resources. Our program will coordinate timetables, parent billing and local teachers.
Our acclaimed program has successfully taught over 60,000 students. Our team are committed to continual innovation and delivering Australia's leading instrumental program for primary schools.

The PMI Approach

Affordable small-group and private lessons
Our small-group lessons are a fraction of the cost of traditional private lessons. Group sizes of 3-5 allow a high degree of personal attention as well as the social and musical benefits of group play. We also offer private lessons and pair (2 students) lessons if preferred by students (at a much lower cost than lessons outside of school).
Innovative music teaching methods
Our keyboard textbooks are a world first for their use of Multi Level Music – with ensemble pieces enabling students of different levels to play together as a group whilst still being individually challenged.
Convenience for parents
Lessons are offered at your child’s school, typically during the school day. Keyboards and all books/materials are provided by the PMI teacher for keyboard lessons.
Parental engagement
We encourage parental visits to lessons, school performances and provide end of semester feedback reports.
High quality teachers
Our full-time Teacher Coordinators oversee a stringent teacher selection criteria (requiring both musical certification and experience in teaching young musicians). All teachers have relevant working with children clearances and receive ongoing training and coaching.
Full-service support for schools and parents
We partner with schools to deliver a music program with no school cost or administrative burden – we handle all of this! We provide a dedicated team to prepare your timetables (working around specialist classes, school events, etc) and ensure your vision for instrumental music is achieved! Our Parent Support team manage all enrolments, invoicing/payments and parent questions.

PMI Stars Program

The PMI Stars program consists of 100 'Star Missions' that students need to complete as part of their musical journey. Each Mission is based on one of five important musical skills that students learn: music theory, sight reading, aural skills, practical skills and performing.


The 'Star Missions' are grouped into a series of 16 levels (8 Junior, 8 Senior) that students can achieve - with names such as Musician, Performer, Maestro, Virtuoso, etc. 


Students who advance through a level receive a coloured wristband from their PMI teacher as an award - and we encourage parents to then read through the PMI Stars workbook with their child to understand the skills their child has mastered, tips for practice and parent involvement in the upcoming level.


The PMI Stars Program is currently offered to all of our keyboard and guitar students.


We find the Stars Program a great means for motivating and rewarding students, communicating a structured path of progress to parents and ensuring a quality curriculum of core musical skills.

Lesson Structure

Generally each small-group and private lesson will begin with the teacher gathering students around one instrument to share the strategy and goals for the lesson.

Students then proceed with revision - usually of basic theory/note-reading and also of pieces learnt the previous weeks. This is done on a whiteboard or by gathering students around one instrument and studying material in the textbook.

In almost all small-group lessons, there is a mixture of time spent between students working individually and playing together as a group. Each student will be given material to learn depending on his/her level of advancement. In some cases, this results in students working on different pieces within one lesson but usually towards the end of the lesson some time will be spent with all students playing together as a group.

When students are playing the same piece together, more advanced students can be allocated more difficult parts within the piece while others are given more basic material so that each child is being appropriately challenged according to their individual needs.

As children progress, they are taught all aspects of learning to read music and playing their instrument - including technical exercises such as scales, clapping exercises to help with learning rhythm, ear tests which help students to understand pitch, sight reading, knowledge of general music theory and performance experience.

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Small-Group Learning Approach

Our small-group learning approach was developed in the early 1990’s whilst our program founder was providing private teaching. In a typical lesson, after showing a student a new concept, much teacher time is spent sitting patiently with the student while they try what has just been shown to them.

Our approach in small-group lessons is to use this time to help another student(s) and then come back to the first student within a couple of minutes. In this way several students can get the benefit of the teacher for the same 20-30 minute lesson but share the cost. As long as the group is small enough, each child still gets the same level of required attention, but at less expense to parents.

Also during a typical day of private lessons, music teachers typically explain or revise the same concepts/theory with several different students throughout the day. Our small-group approach enables teachers to gather these students into the same group and say what teachers have to say once instead of each child’s parents paying for teachers to repeat the same/similar explanations. Again, parents can pay a lot less for lessons, and each child still receives the same benefit of teacher explanations and tuition.

We strongly believe that small-group lessons (when well conducted) are a much more cost effective use of a teacher’s time to bring the same, or in some cases even greater, benefits to students. However, we appreciate certain students and parents prefer private lessons - and so we offer both small-group and private lessons (where allowed by schools).

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