There are a number of schools in Gunnedah which run their own brass programs from time to time. Each year, representatives of the Gunnedah Shire Band visit the schools, conducting musical workshops and encouraging younger children to take up brass music. From this start, those students who find that they enjoy the experience and show aptitude at brass music, are encouraged and invited to undergo more regular tuition with the mainstream organization. Students are loaned their first instruments from the association, and given lessons on how to play those instruments free of charge. The students are required to practice regularly, and demonstrate progress. After a period of time (which is never set, it depends on the student), if the student has shown enough progress, they begin practicing with the Beginner’s Band, where they learn the technique of reading music, the disciplines required when playing in tandem with others, and the method of playing under the direction of a conductor.
For some children, they might be practicing for two years before they are good enough to start band practice. For others it might be six months or even less. The schools program is not the only avenue into the Gunnedah Shire Band. The association will give tuition and encouragement to any child who wishes to learn brass music. But it is the most common path, as children gain experience and skills which help them when they do join the Gunnedah Shire Band.