Throughout the IP school year, classes are held during IP sessions to train new rondalla players, teaching the young students how to play the banduria, octavina and laud. IP encourages students to learn to play these native instruments, and has a few instruments that can be loaned to students so that they can begin to take classes and try out the instrument for up to a year before they purchase their own instrument from the Philippines. Students may begin participating in these instructional classes during the elementary school years, provided that they have a background in notereading and the physical capacity to play the instruments.
There are typically three levels of classes: beginner, intermediate, and advanced, though as the number of students increases, other levels may be appropriate. Students are promoted through the different class levels based upon ability and progress, not year level. Consistent attendance is mandatory, as is regular individual practice time at home. Every student must purchase his/her own music stand and tuner (for tuning the instrument at home if a piano or keyboard is unavailable). Students who accumulate an excessive number of absences from rondalla classes may be asked to withdraw from the rondalla program for the duration of the school year and to return borrowed instruments or any other property belonging to IP.
The advanced group is the performing arm of the school known as the “IP Rondalla.” The IP Rondalla performs throughout the year and conducts additional rehearsals to prepare for performances. Rondalla alumni are encouraged to participate in IP rondalla performances, as they are important leaders and models for the younger players, and practicing and performing together strengthens the inter-generational bonds within the group.
Parents who play the guitar or bass are also encouraged to join the rondalla to support their children and the community. Committed parent volunteers are essential to the performance ensemble, as volunteers are required for instrument repair and maintenance, props, costumes, stage set and lighting design, backstage logistics, transportation, and food provision.
There is a separate fee for participating in the rondalla instrumental instruction classes. Students may register at the beginning of the school year in September.