Shirley District Music School

From its base at Shirley Intermediate School, the Shirley District Music School (SDMS) has served primary school students in the Shirley community for over 45 years. Core funding, covering tutors' remuneration, is  provided by the Ministry of Education. In 2001 SDMS was reconstituted as a trust with a new board providing direction.   Janet Simon is the Director of SDMS.  

Enrolments are closed for 2021

The contributing schools to SDMS are:  
  • Banks Avenue
  • St. Francis of Assisi
  • Marshland School
  • Waitākiri Primary
  • Mairehau Primary
  • Shirley Primary
  • Shirley Intermediate
NOTE: Students from other schools may also participate but are charged an extra fee. 

Shirley Intermediate School (SIS) acts as host school for most lessons, concert venue and for administrative purposes. It provides SDMS with a dedicated music teaching studio.


SDMS offers tuition for children from year 2-8 on a range of instruments:    
  • Strings: violin, viola, cello
  • Brass: cornet, trumpet, trombone 
  • Woodwind: flute, clarinet, saxophone, recorder 
  • Other: guitar, piano/keyboard, percussion/drums
Some instruments are not appropriate for smaller children. Check with SDMS director first. 
Lessons take place in small groups of 2-6 students for 20-30 minutes per week (sometimes individual 10 minute lessons when appropriate) with qualified and experienced instrument tutors. Some lessons may occur during school time at different primary schools depending on the availability of the instrument tutor and a minimum enrolment number at the school. Otherwise, students are expected to attend lessons in assigned rooms at SIS. Most of these classes are after school.
Performance Ensemble
Thursdays 3.30 - 4.30pm at Shirley Intermediate School
Free for enrolled students. SDMS students learning an orchestral instrument are expected to participate after a year of tuition or in consultation with the SDMS director and their tutor. Parents will be contacted.
Music Theory
Wednesdays 3.30 - 4.30pm at Shirley Intermediate School
Free for enrolled Year 5 - 8 students. Students will work independently and in groups.
Performances and concerts are an important part of learning an instrument. SDMS provides performing opportunities as they arise, including the End of Year Concert and Area Music Festival. 


Instrument Hire 
SDMS subsidises 25% of the cost of the instrument hire from Sedley Wells for brass and woodwind. Other instruments are hired out from SDMS. Fees differ from instrument to instrument. Read the SDMS information 2021 file for more details about the specific cost for each instrument.
Resources fee: The resources fees are set each year by the Trust Board. They are: 

Full Year
  • $180 for a beginner with SDMS on an instrument (includes tutor book) 
  • $150 for a second or subsequent year with SDMS on the same instrument

Community Service card - 20% discount
  • $144 - (beginner with SDMS on an instrument)
  • $120 - (second or subsequent year with SDMS on the same instrument)
These are free to students enrolled in SDMS. Students need to have been learning for at least one year unless recommended by a Tutor.

Enrolment Process and Payment of Fees

1. Please read/save the SDMS information 2021 file and the instrument information file.

2. Then click on the relevant button on this page to enrol your child for a particular instrument.

3. Pay the tuition fee online or at the Shirley Intermediate School office.

Enrolments are closed for 2021.

Classes commence about the beginning of March and finish at the end of November. SDMS advertises in participating schools' newsletters. More information is available from the participating schools, Shirley Intermediate and the SDMS Director.
Payment of fees
Full fees must accompany the enrolment. Please pay online by direct credit to our bank account 03-1700-0180043-00 with your child’s initial and surname as the reference. If this isn’t possible, please come into the Shirley Intermediate School office where you can pay by EFT-POS or cash.

Host School

Shirley Intermediate School
Cnr North Parade & Shirley Rd
PO Box 27-028, Christchurch 8640
Phone: 385 2229
Fax: 385 2335

Information Files

Online Enrolment forms