Explore our wide range of music classes!

Click on the class categories below to see everything we have on offer. Unless indicated otherwise, classes are 30 minutes long, and held between 8:30 AM and 11:45 AM.

Music Basics (Ages 4 to 6)

Our Music Basics classes are split up into three streams.

Music Basics One (for children aged 4-5)

A basic course for young children. This course provides a thorough grounding in the fundamental skills of music making before students start more formal tuition on their chosen instrument.  Students learn about rhythm, beat, pitch, tempo, volume and instrument recognition through movement and song, using percussion instruments.

Music Basics Two (for children aged 5-6)

This course builds on the Music Basics 1 course. This class is for children who have completed Music Basics 1, and for children aged 5-6 who have not attended Music Basics 1.

Music Basics Three (for children aged 6+)

This course is mainly for children who have completed Music Basics - Year One and Year Two. The children will gain experience in playing several instruments in addition to extending the skills gained in Music Basics – Year One and Year Two.

Beginner Instruments (Ages 7 to 13)


Students are introduced to the cello and taught basic bowing and fingering techniques, while learning to read music written in the bass clef. Note that students will need their own chromatic tuner. Saturday Music is able to hire out a cello for your student if needed.


The drums are a great instrument for building rhythmic skills, as well as good hand and foot coordination. They also build skills that are transferrable to a variety of other percussion instruments. A drum kit is provided for class use, but students will need their own drumsticks and practice pad. Students need to be at least 125 cm tall.


The guitar is a great instrument to begin your child's musical journey. This is a structured guitar-playing course, which allows students to learn and perform songs relatively quickly. A variety of guitar techniques are introduced, including chord patterns, strumming, and picking. Students will need their own guitar, guitar pick and chromatic tuner.

Junior Flute (Fife)

The junior flute (fife) is half the size of a flute, and therefore manageable by younger children. Like the recorder, it provides a good introduction to wind instrument techniques. Students may choose to play the junior flute only, or as a combination of recorder / junior flute (fife).


The keyboard is an excellent first instrument to learn, and it builds a great musical foundation from which one can easily learn other instruments. Students are taught piano fingering techniques with an introduction to basic chords. Previous musical experience (e.g. Music Basics) is desirable for young beginners. For practice at home, students should have access to a piano or keyboard that has at least five octaves (36 white keys) of standard-sized keys (preferably touch-sensitive) to enable both hands to be played together.


This class provides an excellent introduction to wind instrument techniques. Students may choose to play the recorder only, or as a recorder/fife combination.


Students gain a good understanding of posture, technique and note-reading on the violin, and can progress to a moderately advanced level both individually and as part of a group. Required: Students will need to have their own chromatic tuner. Saturday Music is able to hire out a violin for your child if needed.


Another fantastic instrument to begin learning on, with a lower barrier to entry. Students will focus on music knowledge, versatility and a range of music styles. Vocal instruction included.

Intermediate Classes (Ages 9 to 13)

The following instrument classes are available for children aged 9 and over. Note that children aged 9+ can still enrol for the beginner classes.

Clarinet, Flute and Saxophone

These instruments are a natural progression from the fife and recorder classes, though experience in those classes isn't strictly necessary. The physical ability to comfortably reach and cover the lower keys of the instrument with the fingers is a prerequisite. Learning these instruments is excellent for students interested in joining orchestras, concert bands, or similar ensembles. They're also very versatile, and can be played in a variety of different genres.

Trombone and Trumpet

The trumpet and trombone are both very versatile instruments – they're excellent for solo performance, but they're also a key part of orchestras, concert bands, brass bands and jazz big bands.

Even front teeth formation is desirable when playing the trumpet. To play the trombone, students will need to be physically capable of reaching all the slide positions with the arm.

French Horn

The french horn is a challenging brass instrument, but a very rewarding one! They are a pillar of the orchestral brass section, but they also make for excellent solo performance instruments too. Students will need to be the height of an average intermediate-aged child.


Saturday Music offers a variety of ensembles for children interested in performing as part of a larger group. Our two most popular ensembles are the Manawatū Training Orchestra and the Manawatū Voices Choir. Starting in 2024, we're also excited to offer a beginner Jazz ensemble, a recorder ensemble, and a Kapa Haka ensemble! More information about each ensemble can be found below.

Manawatū Training Orchestra

Several of the instruments we teach are commonly found in orchestras. If your child is interested in taking their skills to the next level, consider enrolling them for the Manawatū Training Orchestra!

Starting in the second term, the orchestra meets on Friday afternoons between 4.00 p.m. and 5.15 p.m. Rehearsals are held in the Evelyn Rawlins room at the Square Edge Arts Centre here in Palmerston North.

This Orchestra caters for young musicians who are playing at around a grade 1 to 4 level, and it concentrates on developing large-group musicianship skills. Students may apply based on the recommendation of their instrumental tutor.

Students must be reasonably competent on their instrument and be able to read music. The specific prerequisite technical requirements for any instrument may be obtained from the relevant class tutor. The orchestra is another class offered by Saturday Music, and Saturday Music conditions and subscription fees apply.

Manawatū Voices Choir

Is your child more interested in singing than playing an instrument? Then why not enrol them for the Manawatū Voices Choir?

The Choir is ideal for Year 5 to Year 10 students. It provides an excellent introduction to vocal technique and musicianship, with a focus in choral performance. The class takes place from 12:15 PM to 1:00 PM at Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School, and follows the same lesson dates as all the other Saturday Music classes. (See calendar page for lesson dates)

Students must be prepared to train and master music reading and performance. The ability to read music will be helpful but not absolutely necessary. Auditions will be held for first time learners.

Manawatū Voices Choir is a performance ensemble operated by Saturday Music, and Saturday Music conditions and subscriptions apply.

Beginner Jazz Ensemble

This class is for students interested in picking up Jazz music skills in a group. More information to follow, so stay tuned!

Recorder Ensemble

This class is for students who would like to take their recorder skills to the next level. It will focus on music and technique for sopranino, descant, alto and tenor recorders. This class is planned to take place on Saturdays at 11:15 AM to 12:00 PM.

Kapa Haka Ensemble

This class is for students age 7 and up. It will be focused on learning Te Reo Māori through the performance of Haka and Waiata, use of Poi, and other traditional performing arts forms. This class is planned to take place on Saturdays at 11:15 AM to 12:00 PM.

Enrolments for 2024 have now closed.

Enrolments for 2025 will open in September – stay tuned! In the meantime, feel free to explore the classes we have on offer below.

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