October 13, 2009 at 9:34 PM
Public schools have difficulty funding music programs that include on site teachers who may double as orchestral and band instructors. I learned how to play the violin in a public school that had a teacher who specialized in teaching violin, but also taught orchestra and band. I remember perhaps six violinists taught together in a small classroom learning foundational skills; intonation on scaled notes, technique, ear training with posted practice schedules that were signed by the parents each week.
After one year, those students who showed proficiency and followed the practice schedule were advised to seek private instruction to go with the public education.
I hope this helps in answering the question about initial instruction. This instruction should start no later than fourth grade.