Music Theory

Program Outline

Our theory classes (Preparatory to level 8) go beyond the teaching of music theory, integrating ear-training, music history/style and melody writing, offering students a well-rounded music education. As of level 9, separate History classes and studio instruction are offered for all subjects including Harmony 9, Harmony and Counterpoint 10, and ARCT theory.

Our theory classes benefit students of all instruments and genres and are a perfect complement to instrumental or vocal lessons. Our curriculum is aligned with the new 2016 Royal Conservatory of Music theory syllabus. Students planning to write a co-requisite RCM theory examination during the May session, can obtain examination registration details from their theory class instructor.

It is strongly suggested that studies in music theory and ear-training begin as soon as possible in a student’s musical education. Starting with the VCM’s Early Childhood Music programs, such as Orff, and Sounds Fun, and on through the Suzuki and other beginner methods with individual lessons, many beginner aspects of “music literacy” are incorporated into these programs. Children as of age 7 taking studio instruction, are strongly encouraged to also enroll in our one term Preparatory theory courses that serve as an introduction to music theory and ear-training, or an enrichment to fundamentals introduced through Early Childhood Music programs. Students in Preparatory Theory will learn to read music or continue improving their reading skills in both pitch and rhythm, as well as related aural skills. Parents are encouraged to participate and often enjoy the classes as much as their children!

Our adult theory classes integrate theory, ear-training and sight reading to develop musical literacy. Students will gain a deeper understanding of music and develop a life-long appreciation of how music “works.”

Individual and shared studio instruction (small groups for 2 to 4 students) is available for all subjects and lesson times can often be arranged according to student’s needs. Distance learning is available for some of our theory classes!

Please contact the School of Music Technology and Creativity’s Theory Program Coordinator for more information and to ensure proper placement in our classes:


Program Details

Second Term is the higher of each level (eg: Term 1 is Level 3 and Term 2 is Level 4). Students will be prepared to write the higher-level RCM instrumental or vocal examination during the May session. Prerequisite: the previous theory level or equivalent.

Term 1: Week of Sept 11 - Jan 15
Term 2: Week of Jan 22 - May 14

$336/term • Downtown

Prep Classes for Beginners, Ages 7 - 9
Students learn to read music and/or improve their music reading skills. Courses lay a foundation for further studies of any instrument and enrich early studies.
To be arranged with the coordinator.

Theory Level 3 / 4
If you are in RCM grades 1 - 3 instrumental or voice, or have played an instrument for several years, this is where you want to start.
Mon • 5:00 - 6:00pm OR Thu • 5:00 - 6:00pm

Theory Level 4 / 5
Fri • 4:30 - 5:30pm

Theory Level 5 / 6
Mon • 4:00 - 5:00pm OR Thu • 4:00 - 5:00pm

Theory Level 6 / 7
Mon • 6:00 - 7:00pm

Theory Level 7 / 8
Tue • 4:00 - 5:00pm

Theory Level 8 / Introduction to Harmony
Students are introduced to subjects such as four-part harmony, counterpoint, and song writing. An excellent foundation for further studies in Harmony.
Tue • 5:00 - 6:00pm OR Fri • 5:30 - 6:30pm



Crystal Wiksyk

Crystal is a theory and musicianship instructor at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, where she coordinates the Classical Music Theory programming through the School of Music Technology and Creativity, for the Ann & George Nation Conservatory of Classical Music. Crystal teaches group classes as well as individual lessons at the VCM, and has taught theory and musicianship classes for the VCM/Camosun College Diploma program. She is the co-author of three publications for the Royal Conservatory of Music, and also leads the Music Theory programming for the VCM’s Summer Academy. Crystal is a Royal Conservatory certified theory teacher and long-time member […]