The Instrumental Music department serves all schools and centers. The Instrumental Music department was recognized as one of the Top 100 Communities in America for music education by the American Music Conference Association. Students can learn to play an instrument in the elementary school band or orchestra beginning as early as the fourth grade. Elementary instrumental music students perform concerts throughout the year and also have the opportunity to participate in the elementary Honor Band and Honor Orchestra.
Once students reach the middle school level, the programs are generally some of the largest music programs in the state of Georgia. In addition to various honor band and orchestra activities within the DeKalb County community, the students perform under the governing body of the Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA). Through GMEA, students are exposed to state and national music festivals, jazz ensembles, solo and ensemble performances, and more.
The high school band and orchestra programs are also governed by the Georgia Music Educators Association. The groups annually participate in a wide variety of community concerts, parades, honor ensembles, jazz festivals, and marching festivals. Many of the programs have brought national attention to the Instrumental Music department through appearances and performances in events such as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Tournament of Roses Parade, trips abroad to China and France, as well as an appearance in the Twentieth Century Fox hit movie Drumline.