Music Programs

Intermediate String Orchestra

Hone your ensemble skills, with focus on developing good intonation, rhythm, and musicianship. Members should be playing at a RCM Grade 4 level or higher, have some previous ensemble experience, and be comfortable sight-reading.

Term 1: Sep 7 - Jan 18 (no class Dec 21, 28)
Term 2: Jan 25 - May 31 (1 week break in Mar)

Wed • 4:15 - 5:45pm • Downtown

$167.25/term • VCM $143.66/term


Tatiana Kostour

Ms. Tatiana Kostour, Moscow born, is a violinist from The Ukraine. In 1991 she graduated from Kiev Conservatory of Music and in 1993 immigrated to Canada. Besides performance, studying pedagogy, method of teaching and practical teaching courses under supervisions of very fine Ukrainian teachers, Tatiana always stood out with the highest marks in performance and teaching. Many years of polishing her teaching techniques brought to Ms. Kostour very successful results. Number of Tatiana’s students received Gold and Silver medals from The Royal Conservatory of Music and first places from The National Canadian Music Competitions. In addition to these awards her (…)

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Children’s Music Journey

Learn to create and record music from the first lesson! Up to 6 children per group class – parents participate too! One of the newest and most innovative approaches to learning music is made possible through the Children’s Music Journey. Award-winning computer software flips the traditional approach to learning music and puts the student in the composer’s chair from the first lesson.

Available at both Victoria and Westhills locations

4 - 10 years
Emily Green - Instructor

Session 1: Sep 15/16 - Nov 3/4
Session 2: Nov 10/11 - Jan 12/13
Session 3: Jan 19/20 - Mar 9/10
Session 4: Apr 21 - Jun 9

4 - 6 years • Fri • 3:15 - 4:00pm

7 - 9 years • Fri • 4:00 - 4:45pm


5 - 7 years • Thu • 3:30 - 4:15pm

8 - 10 years • Thu • 4:15 - 5:00pm


Emily Green Photo 1-C

Emily Green

Emily grew up in Oakville, Ontario in a musical family, the daughter of a rock guitarist. She received her Bachelor of Music degree with Honours from the University of Toronto, where she majored in Music Education, with a Minor in German, and studied classical piano with Mr. John Kruspe. Emily began teaching group piano classes while still a student and over the past five years has taught at various music schools in the Toronto area, including the notable Merriam School of Music. Emily is also a church pianist and has acted as Music Director at two Anglican churches in her […]

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Group Piano for Beginners: 5-6 years and 7-8 years

These fun-filled lessons will help your child begin their musical education on a positive note. They will participate in a class where they can socialize and encourage one another, all while learning to play the piano.

Term 1: Sep 13/15 - Jan 17/19 

(no class Dec 20/26, 27/29)

Term 2: Jan 24/26 - May 27/25
(1 week break Mar)

5 - 6 years • Tue OR Thu • 4:00 - 5:00pm 

$362/term • Downtown

7 - 8 years • Tue OR Thu • 5:00 - 6:00pm

$362/term • Downtown

Ellen Boston

Ellen Boston

Ellen studied piano with Robin Wood at the University of Victoria and Piano Pedagogy with Winifred Wood at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. Her studies have also included harpsichord with Eric Schwandt, Colin Tilney, and Doreen Oke. She received Suzuki certification with Merlin Thompson and holds memberships in the British Columbia Registered Music Teachers Association and the Suzuki Association of the Americas. She has collaborated with both singers and instrumentalists at the BC Festival of the Performing Arts and accompanist at MusicFest Canada and the Kathaumixw International Choral Festival. More recently, Ellen assisted the music ministry as pianist for Trinity (…)

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Ukulele for Beginners: 7 – 14 Years

An introduction to Hawaii’s small but mighty musical export! Students will learn to strum chords and accompany songs, gradually working toward proficient note-reading in a fun and supportive class environment.

7 - 14 years
Term 1: Sep 13 - Jan 17 (no class Dec 20, 27)

Term 2: Jan 29 - Jun 3 (1 week break Mar)

Tue • 6:00   - 7:00pm • $362/term • Downtown


Douglas Hensley

Douglas Hensley is an ecclectic and versatile musician who enjoys teaching students of all levels and ages, helping them develop a solid technique which will enable them to play whatever kind of music they choose. Since 2001, he has served with the Victoria Symphony on guitar, lute, mandolin, and banjo, and in 2008 joined Pacific Opera Victoria in Regina. As co-founder and co-director of the Continuum Consort, he explores a repertoire from 12th century Cantigas de Santa Maria to 21st century works written for the ensemble (including commissions funded by the B.C. Arts Council and the Canada Council), on a (…)

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Simple Trumpet Tunes

Brass and percussion for children aged 7 – 12 Engage your child in the world of brass playing at a young age and watch them flourish musically, socially, and academically. This active group class introduces young students to trumpet (with later option of French horn or trombone), rhythm using a variety of drums, interactive games […]

6 - 12 years
Term 1: Sep 12/13 - Jan 16/17 

(no class Oct 10, Dec 19/20, 26/27, Jan 2)

Term 2: Jan 25/26 - May 30/31

(no class Feb 13, Apr 17, May 26; 1 week break Mar)

6 - 8 years • Mon • 4:15 - 5:00pm

$241.25/term • Downtown

9 - 12 years • Mon • 5:00 - 6:00pm

$320/term • Downtown

6 - 12 years • Tue • Time TBA*

$241.25/term • Westhills
* 45 minute weekly classes to be arranged 
according to level by the instructor.


Joanne Allers

Joanne Allers, B.Ed, M.Mus, has experienced a rich musical education encompassing mentorship and instruction from musicians and educators in Edmonton and Chicago. After graduating from the U of A, and teaching for the Edmonton Public School Board, Joanne benefited from four years of trumpet study in Chicago, studying primarily with Mr Luther Didrickson (Northwestern University) and Mr Mark Ponzo (Northern Illinois University), but also with William Scarlett (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), the late Arnold Jacobs, and Barbara Butler (Rice University). While residing in Calgary for 15 years, Joanne performed with Altius Brass Ensemble, with highlights including performing with the Bach Society (…)

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Simple Trombone Tunes

The P-Bone and P-Bone Mini have made it possible for children of any age to create music on an instrument that comes in different colours, changes shape and is nearly indestructible! Simple Trombone Tunes is a group lesson that approaches the basics of brass playing and rhythm through the elements of play and movement. Parents are welcome […]

Mon · 5:00-6:00pm · 15 weeks · $320/term
Term 1: Sept 14 – Jan 18 no class Oct 12, Nov 9, Dec 21, 28
Term 2: Jan 25 – May 31 no class Feb 8, March 21, 28, May 23
Students are required to bring their own instrument to class.
Consult the instructor for information about instrument rental or purchase.

Scott MacInnes

Scott MacInnes

Scott MacInnes has become a leader in the musical community as a performer, conductor, composer, arranger and clinician. In the fall of 2005 Scott moved to British Columbia to play bass trombone for a season with the Victoria Symphony. The following year he joined both the University of Victoria and Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra (VISO). As a member of the VISO for the past 10 years he has held the position of Principal Bass Trombone. In addition to his studio teaching and leading the Brass Choir at the VCM, Scott teaches private trombone lessons as well as conducts the brass (…)

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Kelly Kirby Piano Method – 4 to 6 year olds

This simple, fun approach to music is designed to capture the imagination of the young child. Ear-training, sight-reading, and piano playing are taught from the very first lesson. Colouring, stickers, and singing are incorporated into this note-reading method to compliment musical elements. Kelly Kirby method is available through studio (Individual or shared) instruction.  For more […]

Lessons in the Kelly Kirby method are offered through Individual instruction only.


Stella Barbon

Stella Barbon received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria and also holds an AVCM in Teaching. She studied piano with Winifred Scott Wood and Anne Brayshaw. Her Italian studies took place at the University of Victoria and the Instituto Dante Alighieri in Rome. Ms. Barbon is a qualified Kelly Kirby Kindergarten Piano instructor.


Roger Buksa

As an experienced adjudicator, and member of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s College of Examiners, Roger Buksa has judged festivals throughout BC including the lower mainland. His students regularly earn awards in regional and provincial competitions and have been selected to perform as concerto soloists with orchestra.
He has also participated in the VCM Summer Piano Academy as a teacher and performer and has performed in several concerts as part of the VCM Presents series, including with classical guitarist Dr. Alexander Dunn, and in an established duo-piano team with Anna Cal.
Roger Buksa studied with Eva Kinderman (at UVic and


Erin Fisher

Erin Frances Fisher’s teaches piano at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. Her students have received scholarships, attended Piano Academy and participated in RCM exams and masterclasses. She teaches ages four and up, offering Kelly Kirby Method lessons for young beginners. Erin holds an MFA from the University of Victoria, Diplomas in both Piano Performance, Pedagogy, and Composition from Camosun College, and an AVCM in Piano Pedagogy and Performance. She has received music and teaching awards such as the Woods International Piano Scholarship, and Teacher Training Excellence Award. In addition to her music studio, Erin is a sessional instructor in the (…)


Linda Low

Linda. Low has achieved the Victoria Conservatory of Music/Camosun College Diploma in Music Instruction – Piano Pedagogy and Literature, Keyboard Skills. She studied with Dr. Robin Wood at the University of Victoria and the Victoria Conservatory of Music. Ms. Low is a Silver Medalist with the Royal Conservatory of Music. She has twice been a National Finalist in the Canadian Music Competition. She was a Guest Soloist with the Victoria Symphony on their West Coast Tour. She is an active adjudicator, examiner, and clinician, as well as a qualified Kelly Kirby piano method instructor.

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Suzuki Piano – 3.5-5 year olds

Based on the philosophy of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki – the “mother tongue” method – that talent is not inborn, it has to be cultivated within a supportive environment. Children learn to play by ear through repeated listening and immersion in a musical environment. Note-reading is taught once the ear is sufficiently developed and piano technique […]

Wednesday 2:00-3:00pm
Consult instructor for placement information


Paloma De La Guerra

Paloma de la Guerra has been teaching at the VCM since in the very early days of its existence, and continues to this day to be an inspiration to the countless students who have learnt piano with her. Paloma received her Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music, Madrid, Spain. She also studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, with John Weatherseed and Alma Cockburn, and in Victoria with Robin Wood. She has taken specialized Suzuki training in Canada and the United States. Ms. de la Guerra offers instruction in both English and Spanish.

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Suzuki Violin, Viola and Cello – ages 3 and up

Dr. Shinichi Suzuki developed his program after realizing that every child learns to speak through listening, repetition, positive reinforcement and gentle yet specific guidance. In music, this approach allows anyone to play with skill, beauty and confidence. Dr. Suzuki strove to create impeccable musicians but considered creating a beautiful heart in others of foremost importance. […]

Suzuki Fees
Prep Class: Group Class only (45 min) - $260.50
Pre-Twinkle, Level 1, 2, 3: 30 min lessons + Group - $735.62/term | 45 min lessons + Group - $1004.72/term

Suzuki Group Schedule
Term 1: Sep 15/17 - Dec 15/17
Term 2: Jan 19/21/26 - May 25/27/28 
 (1 week break in Mar)

Suzuki Prep Class

Learn the basics of the violin in a group through songs, exercises, games. Studio instruction not required.
Ages 3 - 5
Violin: Thu • 9:15  - 10:00am 
 OR Sat • 10:30 - 11:15am 
 OR Sat • 3:15 - 4:00pm
Cello: Sun • 1:15 - 2:00pm
(Term 2 only)

Ages 5 - 7
Violin: Thu • 5:15 - 6:00pm 
OR Sat • 12:15 - 1:00pm


Ages 3-4
Sat • 9:30  - 10:00am
Wed • 2:30 - 3:15pm

Ages 5-7
Sat 10:15

The following classes are offered Thu/Sat Downtown and Wed/Sat at Westhills.
A teacher will place students appropriately.

Pre-Twinkle, ages 3 - 6

Pre-Book One; important for motivation and ingraining through repetition. Fun, interactive and educational.

Level 1: Go Tell Aunt Rhody through Etude

Fun interactive games, brain twisters, and play-throughs will excite and motivate your child to keep up their review – transforming skills learned in “easy and old” pieces to new repertoire.

Level 2: Minuet through Book 2

Expanding on Level 1 concepts, pieces of “non-Suzuki” repertoire are introduced, exploring harmony, improvisation, music theory & history and preparing students to enter the introductory VCM orchestra in the following year.

Students are encouraged to attend the same group class throughout the term, however, 
registered students may ‘drop-in’ to an alternate section occasionally to accommodate classes missed due to illness, family schedule conflicts, etc.


Raya Fridman

Raya holds a College Diploma in Orchestra/Music Education from Russia and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Concordia University, as well as a Master in Music from the University of Victoria. Her performing experiences include the Chamber Orchestra of Leningrad, Montreal Chamber Orchestra, Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra, Victoria Symphony Orchestra and Victoria Chamber Orchestra. She has also enjoyed masterclasses with Pinkas Zukerman, Eleonora and Yuli Turovski, Richard Roberts, Thomas Williams and workshops with “I Musici” and “Quador Bozzini”. Raya has been leading Civic Orchestra of Victoria for the last three years. Ms. Fridman teaches violin and Suzuki violin at the (…)

Carol MacIsaac

Carol MacIsaac

Carol MacIsaac is a Vancouver Island born and raised violinist and violist. She received her Bachelor of Music, majoring in Performance, at the University of Victoria in 1984. Her teachers included Sydney Humphreys, Jaroslav Karlovsky and Gerald Stanick. Carol is a passionate, creative teacher, committed to the Suzuki method. Her Suzuki training was completed at Calgary and Edmonton Suzuki Institutes.


Karen Whyte

Upon hearing the legendary Jacqueline Du Pré perform in Vancouver, Karen became enthralled with the cello. Lessons with Judith Fraser and Ian and Colin Hampton preceded a Bachelor of Music Degree in Performance, completed in 1985. Since then, Karen has completed a Professional Teaching Certificate, a Camosun College/Victoria Conservatory of Music Strings Diploma and Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Education. She is beginning her certification as a Suzuki Cello Instructor. Karen teaches music and strings in the Greater Victoria School District and cello to private students at VCM. She has worked with both the VCM Music Discovery Camp and the (…)

Dexine Wallbank photo_RBG

Dexine Wallbank

DEXINE WALLBANK was a member of The Canadian Opera Company Orchestra and also played with the National Ballet Orchestra of Canada, both in Toronto. Apart from the years she spent in eastern Canada, Dexine has played with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra since she was twenty years old. Over the years she has also played with various chamber groups including the early music group, Victoria Festival Consort. Dexine received Suzuki teacher training form the Suzuki Kingston institute as well as the Guelph Suzuki institute. In addition to many years of giving lessons privately from her home, she has also taught at (…)

Tori Lindsay

Tori Lindsay

Violinist Victoria Lindsay has consistently distinguished herself as an exuberant and varied performer and instructor. In 2006 Ms. Lindsay joined the Victoria Symphony Orchestra in British Columbia, Canada, in the position of Principal Second Violin. She has also held the Assistant Principal Second Violin chair with the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony and can frequently be seen performing with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Past orchestral experiences include acting guest Concertmaster of Symphony Nova Scotia and numerous performances with the Houston Symphony and Houston Grand Opera orchestras. A widely hailed solo performance with the National Repertory Orchestra and with the Victoria Symphony as (…)

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