Endangered Instruments


The Con’s Endangered Instruments Scholarship (EIS) is a subsidized private lesson program encouraging students 18 years and under to play those instruments that are typically difficult to recruit for our orchestras. This scholarship is open to new students who are not currently enrolled in lessons, or to Conservatorium students interested in picking up or moving to one of these instruments.


What does the Scholarship cover?


Recipients of the EIS will be given 30-minute weekly individual lessons with a Conservatorium teacher on their Endangered Instrument. Up to 100% of lesson fees will be paid for by the Conservatorium (including the $10 administration fee).


Recipients of the EIS will be assessed by their teacher at the end of each semester (end of Terms 2 and 4) to determine if they would be suitable to join a Conservatorium ensemble. If recommended by their teacher, the recipient must be available to join the ensemble for a minimum period of 12 months. 100% of the ensemble fee will be paid for by the Conservatorium.

Instrument Hire

If the recipient of the EIS needs to hire an instrument, the Conservatorium will cover 100% of the instrument's term hire fee. A deposit of $100 will be payable by the recipient, which will be refunded when the instrument is returned in fully-working condition at the conclusion of lessons.


What instruments are available?


French horn

The French horn has the widest tonal range of all brass instruments. Its extremely rich, soft timbre gives it a special quality somewhere between brass and woodwinds, enabling it to blend well with the sound of many other instruments. It is also one of the more expressive instruments, thanks to the player’s ability to alter the tone and fine-tune the pitch by putting a hand in the bell.


The tuba is the largest and deepest-sounding instrument in a regular orchestral brass section. Unlike the trumpet and trombone, the tuba is held upright when it’s played. The player sounds a note by putting the mouthpiece to the lips, pressing them together, and blowing air through the middle to vibrate or “buzz” them.



The Viola is similar to the violin and is played in the same way. The viola has four strings but is larger and produces a deeper sound than the violin. As well as being an important part of the orchestral string section, the viola is a popular solo instrument in chamber music.

Double Bass

The largest member of the string family, the double bass produces the lowest notes of the orchestra’s string section. Like the cello, it’s played upright, but the bassist usually stands or perches on a high stool. It can be played with a bow but in some types of music, such as jazz and swing, the strings are usually plucked with the fingers.



The oboe is a double-reed instrument, consisting of a long wooden tube that flares out at the end. The oboe has a range a little lower than that of the flute. It’s a key part of the orchestral woodwind section and is also a solo instrument in its own right.


The clarinet is a versatile woodwind instrument. Its warm tone and expressive capabilities are suited to a variety of musical styles, including classical and jazz.


The largest instrument of the woodwind family with the lowest pitch, the bassoon uses a double-reed, made from two pieces of cane tied together.