Current Students – Resources

Each student registered for individual lessons will be issued a VCM Student Card upon registration, valid for the academic year or the term in which the student is registered.

Privileges and benefits of the VCM student card include:

  • Use of practice studios
  • Participation in the weekend noon concerts
  • A 15% discount on ensemble tuition
  • Participation in masterclasses at a reduced fee or, in some cases, no charge
  • Free admission to all concerts in the annual VCM Presents Conservatory Concert Series

Discounts at several area music stores, including Larsen’s, Long & McQuade and Tom Lee Music

A library of over 70,000 titles is maintained at the VCM for the use of faculty and registered students. Resources include music for all instruments, reference materials and books on music, including biographies, theory and history. There is also an extensive collection of CDs and DVDs that can be borrowed.

Computers with internet access are available for research, and there is an electric keyboard available for study.

The library is also home to the Student Lounge, a place to study, relax, and take a quick lunch break between classes.

The VCM Library is located at 920 Johnson Street in the Commercial Business Building, just to the right of VCM’s main building.

Contact the Library:
Elin Williams, Librarian
(250) 386-5311 Ext. 5001
williams@vcm.bc.ca

The VCM parking lot is reserved for staff and faculty at all times. Street parking and public lots are available within short walking distance. After 5:00pm and on weekends, VCM patrons may park at McCall Bros. (the corner of Johnson St. and Vancouver St.). No ticket or pass is necessary to park at McCall’s; in cases where their lot is unavailable (i.e. during a service), signage will be posted.

School Entrance – 900 Johnson St.
VCM Library – 920 Johnson St.
Alix Goolden Performance Hall & Robin and Winifred Wood Recital Hall – 907 Pandora Avenue (also accessible through the School Entrance)
Metro Studio – 1411 Quadra St.
Wheelchair Access – 900 Johnson St.

Main Floor Lounge (All students)
The Student Lounge on the main floor at the end of the ramp is for all students, and contains a fridge as well as beverage and snack machines. There is a complimentary telephone for local calls only.

Wood Hall Green Room (Post Secondary Students)
Students in post secondary programs at the VCM (Diploma Program, Foundation Year and Teacher Training) may see the front counter staff regarding access to the Wood Hall Green Room.

Lockers are located throughout the VCM, and are subject to availability on a first come first served basis. Locker use is for registered Post-Secondary students without charge, however students provide their own combination locks. Please inquire at the VCM main office for information about how to obtain a locker.

Students registered with the VCM may use VCM practice rooms on a first come, first served basis, subject to availability. Policies for practice rooms and assigned keys are available at the office. Requests for practice rooms can be made:

Monday to Friday
at the main office                                       8:30am – 8:00pm
through VCM custodial staff                      8:00pm – 9:30pm
Saturday

at the main office                                       9:00am – 4:00pm
through VCM custodial staff                      4:00pm – 5:30pm
Sunday
at the main office                                       1:00pm – 5:00pm

How do I use the practice rooms?

When you become a student at the Conservatory you are issued a student card that is your
ticket to practice room use. To obtain a key, ask a member of our front office staff sweetly and they will do their best to accommodate you! When you are given a key, we will hold your student card until the key is returned to us at the front desk.

Remember: your student card is an important possession. You can use it for discounts at various music stores in Victoria and as a free pass into any of the VCMP Concert Series events. You will not be given back your student card without first returning your practice room key.

Can I reserve a practice room?

No. Practice rooms are used by students on a first come, first served basis only. If you have arranged a to rehearse with a chamber group (more than one other person), it is best to have your teacher book a room for you in advance. Students cannot reserve rooms, but instructors can on their behalf. The few large rooms available are in regular use, so it is difficult to arrange one “on the fly”. If your teacher is unavailable, the Animateur (Micki Stirling) or either of the Registrars can also arrange room bookings on your behalf.

What if all of the rooms are full?

The Conservatory has a limited number of practice rooms for student use. Remember that practice rooms are not just for students – they are also used for teaching.

If all of the practice rooms are full, a receptionist will likely say that you are welcome to search for an empty room. Sometimes a booked room may not be needed so a room that is booked may not actually be in use.

When it’s very busy and there are absolutely no rooms, the best tactic is to stick around the lobby area so you can grab a key as soon as it is returned by another student. If you really want to use a room, lurk! The receptionists will not “hold” a key for you.

I saw an empty room, but the receptionist said it wasn’t available or was restricted. What does that mean?

Not all of the rooms at the VCM are available for practicing. Many of them are restricted studios or teaching studios that are for teacher use only. For example, room 113 is often dark and empty but it is the main Children’s Music studio and is off limits to students at all times.

Please note that the Alix Goolden Hall and Wood Hall are never to be used by students for practicing unless they have been booked through Rohanna by a teacher and are supervised the entire time they are in either one of these venues!

Oops – I lost a key! Now what?

If you lose a key, please try to find it ASAP. We will give you a couple of days grace to try and locate a lost key, but after that there is a $20 charge to replace lost keys, no exceptions.

Every time I come to get a practice room it’s so busy! When are the best times to practice?

This is a very common inquiry. The truth is, it varies. However, the slower times tend to be first thing in the morning Monday through Saturday, right after opening at 1pm on Sundays, and after 7pm Monday to Friday. Remember that students can not reserve rooms ahead of time!

Is there a time limit on practice room use?

Camosun students are permitted two hour practice sessions. Community students may use the practice rooms for one hour at a time. After the corresponding amount of time has passed, we ask that you come down to the front desk again. If no one is waiting for a key you may keep the room for another hour or two hours if you wish. If it is busy and students are waiting for keys, you will be asked to give up your key. In the interest of fairness, please respect these rules so that all students have equal access to practice facilities.

Some tips for practice room use:

  • Bring your key back to the front desk as soon as you are finished practicing. If we do not have a key we assume that the room is still in use, even if it has been vacated. This is frustrating for front desk staff and students, especially when it is busy. If a room is left vacant for more than ten minutes, the belongings within will be removed and another student will be granted access.
  • Do not leave your key on the desk when you bring it back. Give the key directly to the receptionist behind the counter. This will reduce the number of lost keys and help the front desk staff keep track of keys.
  • Always sign out your practice room key! Again, this helps the front desk staff keep track of keys and to prevent lost keys.
  • If you see a practice room door open, close it! Please do not use a room without visiting the front desk first and signing out a key. This keeps our practice rooms and pianos safe.
  •  Do not give a key to another student when you are finished with it. Everyone has to sign out their key before using a room.

Treat the pianos in the practice rooms with respect. Do not put food on top of them or have drinks near them.