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 Arts Education 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 also 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 to students 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 LynasSeymour 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
  • Practice 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 2018/19 supplemental fee for the Program is:

Apr 2 - Apr 23, 2018 $440.00
Apr 24 - May 22, 2018 $455.00
May 23 – Sept 28, 2018 $475.00

Online payment for the 2018/19 Elementary Band and Strings Program can be made in a single payment or in installments on the first of May, June, July, August and September. The North Vancouver School District has a 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.


Students need to have an instrument to take part in the Band and Strings Program. The NVSD Band and Strings programs is extremely fortunate to have an inventory of quality music instruments available to students for use at a greatly subsidized rate. The more specialized instruments in particular (Tier 2 below) represent a significant cost savings over what is commercially available. The North Vancouver School District's instrument room is located at Mountainside Secondary, 3365 Mahon Avenue.

Instrument User Fees for the 2018-2019 school year are categorized in 2 tiers (based on instrument replacement and maintenance costs) as follows:

  • Tier 1: $100.00  Flute, Trumpet, Clarinet, Trombone, Violin, Viola
  • Tier 2: $150.00  Oboe, Bass Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, French Horn, Baritone, Euphonium, Tuba, Cello, String Bass

Important notes:

A deposit of $100 is required to use North Vancouver School district instruments, which will be refunded in October 2019 after the instrument is returned in good condition. Continuing students in the Band and Strings Program can pay instrument usage fees through School Cash Online starting in July 2018, and can pick up their instruments in September 2018.  

New band and strings students will be able to pay instrument usage fees and pick up their instruments in September.

Instrument Pick-up: For instrument pick-up, Parents/Guardians will need to bring a copy of their Instrument User Fee receipt to the instrument room.  

Instrument Return: Instruments need to be returned to the NVSD instrument room in the last two weeks of June 2019.  

Please contact if you have further questions. 

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.

Band and Strings teachers distribute information about all of the possible instruments in the spring, 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, 2018.  After June 15th, there is a $75.00 non-refundable processing fee. No refunds will be made after September 28, 2018.

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


If you have questions or require more information about the Elementary Band and Strings program, please contact:

Rob McLeod
District Administrator, Elementary Band and Strings