North Vancouver School District
the natural place to learn©
Elementary Band and Strings

The Elementary Band and Strings program is a unique instrumental music program that is distinct to the North Vancouver School District.  The Program provides school-based instrumental instruction to students in the intermediate grades (Grades 5 - 7 for Band and Grades 4 - 7 for Strings).  The primary objective of the program is to provide the best possible instrumental music instruction to as many children as possible.  The Elementary Band and Strings program is one of the finest instrumental programs in British Columbia and complements the BC Ministry of Education's Music curriculum. 

Students acquire many skills while they are learning an instrument.  In addition to learning about music theory (reading the language of music and the basics of musical notation, interpretive and aesthetic skills (playing "musically"), and the practical skills associated with their instrument, they benefit in so many other ways.

The study of music in an ensemble* also:

  • Increases the capacity of memory
  • Refines time management and organizational skills
  • Boosts team skills
  • Teaches perseverance
  • Enhances coordination
  • Betters mathematical ability
  • Improves reading and comprehension skills
  • Increases students' sense of responsibility
  • Exposes students to cultural history
  • Sharpens concentration  
  • Fosters self-expression and relieves stress
  • Creates a sense of achievement
  • Promotes development of social skills
  • Boosts listening skills
  • Teaches discipline
  • Elevates confidence and reduces "stage fright".

[*Adapted from Effective Music Teaching]

Classes & Locations

The Elementary Band Program (Grades 5 through 7) is available at all elementary schools in the North Vancouver School District.

The Elementary Strings Program (Grades 4 through 7) is available at the following elementary schools:

​Canyon Heights​Montroyal
​Cleveland​Ross Road
​Dorothy Lynas​Seymour Heights

If you would like to register your child for a Strings Program that is not offered at his/her current school, please contact the school administrator.  Note: Parents are responsible to transport their child to and from the program at the alternate school.

Classes are held twice a week at the student's school.  Typically, one class may be scheduled during school time, while the other is held before school, during recess, or after school.  Preliminary information regarding scheduling is typically available in June and is determined at the school.  Teachers will provide registered students with a final schedule early in September. 

Students will need an instrument and to purchase a method and practice book.

As a participant in the Band and Strings Program, students are expected to:

  • Attend all classes, rehearsals, and concerts
  • Practise outside of class.


The Elementary Band and Strings Program is not part of the regular school curriculum and is funded by registration fees.  Based on the date of online payment, the 2016/17 supplemental fee for the Program is:

​April 4 through 27, 2016​$435.00
​April 28 through May 31, 2016​$450.00
​Beginning June 1, 2016​$470.00

Online payment for the 2016/17 Elementary Band and Strings Program can be made in a single payment or installments pro-rated based on the month of registration.  The North Vancouver School District has a new and convenient electronic program for parents/guardians to setup their payment for the Elementary Band and Strings Program.  Parents/guardians can setup their personal account with School Cash Online.  The step-by-step instructions for setting up an account are available by clicking here

Once online payment of registration fees is completed, you can print a receipt for your records.  Please retain the receipt for your tax purposes. 

If you are not able to pay online, in-person registration must be paid in full.  ​You can drop off cash or a cheque in the full amount to:

Education Services Centre
2nd Floor - Reception
2121 Lonsdale Avenue
North Vancouver BC.

Questions about registration?  More information is available here


Students are required to provide their own instrument, or alternatively, to rent one.  Rentals are available from the North Vancouver School District's instrument room, and several local music stores have instruments available with a variety of rental and rent-to-buy plans.  

The School District's Instrument Room is located at:

Mountainside Secondary School
3365 Mahon Avenue
North Vancouver BC
Map Link

A deposit of $100.00 is required to rent an instrument from the Instrument Room and will be refunded upon return (in good condition) at the end of the school year.    Beginning in September 2016, instrument rental fees can be paid online using School Cash Online.

During the school year, the instrument room is open Mondays by appointment only.  Please phone Mountainside School, 604.903.3333, Extension 802523.  A voice message will provide prompts (press 4) to leave a message with your name and contact phone number.  You will receive a return phone call and an appointment will be arranged.   

Instrument rentals are returned the last two weeks of June to the Instrument Room.  Hours of operation will be posted on the School District's website and from Band and Strings teachers.  If a student withdraws during the school year, the instrument return must be done by appointment. 

Questions about rentals?  More information is available here.     

Choosing an Instrument

There are a variety of instruments available which make up the standard band or orchestra at the entry level.  Instrument choice is made based on a variety of parameters such as:

  • Size suitability
  • The instrument's physical demands
  • The need for ensemble balance
  • Student's natural ability.

Assessments and recommendations are made by the teacher at the beginning of the school year.  It is important to note that changes can, and occasionally will, be made to the instrument assignment to ensure the "best fit" for the students.  This is standard practice and all rental contracts allow for these changes to occur easily. 

Students have a variety of instruments to choose from:

Band Program: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone, French Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Baritone, Tuba, and Percussion.

Strings Program: Violin, Viola, Cello.

Teachers distribute information about all of the possible instruments during the recruiting period, and final selection/assignment of instruments occurs in September when classes begin. 


All requests to withdraw from the Elementary Band and Strings Program must be done in writing by completing a withdrawal form and submitting it to your child's school office.  Full refunds will be issued for withdrawal forms received by June 15, 2016.  After June 15th, there is a $75.00 non-refundable processing fee.  No refunds will be made after September 30, 2016

Please complete the Elementary Band & Strings Program - Request for Fee Refund/Withdrawal Form

Questions about withdrawals?  Information is available here


Please see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) [Updated March 22, 2016]. 

If you require more information or have a question about the Elementary Band and Strings program, please e-mail