Learn an Instrument

HGHS Instrument Classes

Learning an instrument is a great way to develop your creativity, relieve stress, make friends and increases cognitive ability (it makes you smarter!)

Beginner classes are available for all of our instruments. Tuition is free of charge but all students need to hire an instrument from the school, unless they already own their instrument.

There are 2-5 students per class, so a great idea is to join with a friend and give it a go.

All you need to do:

  • attend all classes
  • bring instrument and music to class
  • do a little bit of practice at home


  • Guitar
  • Piano/keyboard
  • Flute
  • Brass (Trumpet and Trombone)
  • Violin
  • Drum Kit

Class Schedule

Wednesday lunchtime:

  • Brass (Trumpet and Trombone class)
  • Violin

Thursday lunchtime:

  • Flute
  • Keyboard
  • Guitar
  • Music Theory
Friday lunchtime:
  • Drum Kit

Instrument Hire/Insurance

  1. Fees: $20 per term.
  2. The school has some instruments for hire which are available only to students having lessons at Hastings Girls' High School. Instrument hire is charged per term. These terms and conditions must be accepted online by parents before the instrument can be taken home.
  3. Instrumental teachers will distribute hire instruments during the student’s lesson where requested.
  4. After hiring for two years a student would be expected to purchase her own instrument (with the exception of large and very expensive instruments). 
  5. All additional accessories and consumables (strings, rosin, reeds, etc) are to be purchased and maintained by the student. 
  6. The instrument must be maintained in good working order and returned in the same condition as when hired. It is the student’s responsibility to purchase their own cleaning equipment, and to regularly clean their instrument.
  7. While the school will take responsibility for normal maintenance of the hired instrument, you will be charged for repairs necessitated by misuse or neglect. You may be charged up to the full cost for any instrument lost or damaged beyond repair.
  8. Cancellation of instrument hire can be made in writing to the Head of Performing Arts (hd@hastingsgirls.com) at the end of any school term and cancellation is only confirmed upon the return of the instrument to the Music Department. Refunds of term fees are not provided.

Instrument Hire/Insurance Terms and Conditions

Meet Our Music Teachers

Neil Matcheson


B.Mus., LTCL, Dip.Tchg.

Neil is a trained and experienced secondary school teacher with qualifications in Classical Guitar performance. In addition to his guitar teaching work at a number of local high schools, Neil is also in demand as a professional performer. He plays frequently as a solo acoustic guitarist/singer and also as an electric guitarist with several bands.

Helen Macpherson


I have had over 30 years experience as both a classroom teacher and itinerant piano teacher in both Primary and Secondary schools. In my early teaching years I have been involved with choirs, musical productions, night school classes and conducting combined schools music festivals.

I also run a private piano teaching studio with students having a wide range of ages and abilities. The students I teach can be learning ‘just for fun’ or for exams and competitions.

My passion is to see students develop a lifetime love of music and create skills to support this.

Mary McHattie

Flute/Music Theory

bio here

Simon Schofield

Brass (Trumpet & Trombone)

bio here

Lorna Hwang


bio here

Phil Hewes


bio here

Private Tuition

Private one-to-one tuition is recommended for students who:

  • have had 2 years or more instrumental experience
  • are at a Grade 2 proficiency level 
  • are doing a NCEA Level 2 or 3 Music Course

Lessons are given by our team of highly experienced and respected private tutors on school campus and during school hours.

Fees and payment for private tuition is organised directly with the tutor. Each tutor will have a different schedule of fees according to their level of training and expertise. As an approximate guideline, fees range from $40 - $50 per hour.

Lesson lengths offered are:

  • 20 minutes
  • 30 minutes
  • 45 minutes

To Enquire About Private Tuition

Please email Head of Performing Arts (hd@hastingsgirls.com).

Music Extension Scholarship Programme

Hastings Girls' High School offers a scholarship programme for a select number of students who have:

  • demonstrated high level of instrumental skill
  • excellent attendance
  • outstanding commitment to personal development and practice
  • enrolled in an NCEA Music Course
  • participated in a HGHS performance group

The scholarship pays for one year of private tuition (30 minutes weekly lesson) and instrument hire.

Scholarship applicants need to fill in an application. This will be followed by a meeting between whānau, student, and Head of Performing Arts.


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