Council leaders have hit back at a teaching union after it claimed the local authority made a profit from children's music lessons.
The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) had claimed Aberdeen City Council generated more than £500,000 of additional revenue by charging 1,863 pupils up to £340 each for music tuition, and even charged them for their exams at the end of the course.
The union is concerned that money from music lessons is being used to shore up other budget areas at a time when music tuition is facing cuts across Scotland.
EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan, said: "Education should be about providing an equal opportunity for all to benefit and learn but, sadly, in the case of music instruction a small number of pupils are being charged a heavy price for developing their talents in music."
However, a spokeswoman for the local authority said: "Aberdeen City Council has not and does not make a profit from providing music tuition to pupils."
The spokeswoman said the council's gross expenditure on the lessons for 2012-13 was £1,317,000 while an income of £534,000 from fees and other support left it with a net cost of £783,000. The council charges £340 a year for individual lessons and £272 for group lessons - the equivalent of £10 for an individual lesson and £8 for a group lesson.
The spokeswoman stressed those pupils entitled to free school meals are exempt from music tuition fees while parents of pupils in receipt of a clothing grant qualify for a 50% discount on music tuition fees. In addition, families where several children are receiving music tuition, the second and subsequent children receive a 50% discount for their first instrument only.
The EIS also claimed that Highland Council took more than £400,000 profit by charging 2,513 pupils £252 each for tuition and exams. While the council said it received an income of £453,000 from fees, the cost of providing the service was £1.624 million.
Alasdair Christie, chairman of the authority's adult and children's services committee, said: "We are wholly committed to providing tuition in schools and almost 3,000 pupils currently benefit from the expertise we provide through our team of full-time instructors. We increased the charges following a public consultation in 2010 when it was recognised that this was preferable to reducing the number of instructors we employ."
Tuition is offered in all 29 Highland secondary schools and in 144 of the 183 primary schools. The annual charge per pupil for session 2012-2013 is £252 but 352 pupils receive exemptions or reductions in fees.