Since 1971, the Ministère de l'Éducation et de l'Enseignement supérieur (MEES) has granted additional credits to students taking courses in programs offered by private institutions supervising music studies. Made available for use by private music teachers, these recognized programs offer enriched vocal or instrumental music instruction.
The programs developed by these institutions involve a variety of instruments, usually classified as stringed instruments (violin, viola, etc.), woodwinds (clarinet, saxophone, etc.) or brass instruments (trumpet, French horn, etc.). Programs in vocal music and percussion are also part of the curriculum at many of these institutions.
In Québec, several hundred secondary school students take private music lessons outside of the school system with teachers who are supervised by these institutions. The current system of accreditation allows students to obtain additional credits for the vocal or instrumental musical instruction they receive. However, a student enrolled in both private courses and a recognized special arts education project will be granted only the credits associated with the project.