The Fine Print

Getting Started

Course Selection
If you or your child plans to register for individual lessons for the first time, you may register for single “trial” lesson with no obligation to register for more classes. Prospective students also may audit one group class session per semester before committing to the remaining classes. In order to receive a refund, trial lessons must be cancelled with 24 hours notice.

Studio Instruction
Students typically have one lesson per week for 36 weeks (two terms) from September to June (unless alternate arrangements are made directly with the instructor). Students may begin individual lessons at any time during the academic year.

Students will be referred to an appropriate instructor based on: musical background, goals, availability of lessons, and fee options. Contact us or visit our Referral Form Page to facilitate the referral process. Students may request lessons with a specific instructor, though the VCM cannot guarantee availability. Once an instructor is assigned, the instructor will contact the student/parent to make arrangements for lessons.

Group Classes & Ensembles
Students in group classes typically begin their studies in September. Classes fill up quickly – please register no later than one week prior to the start date. If space permits and the instructor agrees, a student may join a class already in progress. Some courses may require an application, interview, placement test, or audition as indicated in this course calendar. Fees, duration, and timetables for group classes are included with each class description.

The VCM Student Card
Each student will be issued a VCM Student Card upon registration, valid for the term(s) 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
Free admission to select VCM concerts
Discounts at several area music stores, including Larsen’s, Long & McQuade and Tom Lee Music

Practice Rooms
Currently registered VCM students may use practice rooms on a first come, first served basis, subject to availability. Policies for practice rooms and assigned keys are available at the administration office. Requests for practice rooms can be made through the front desk during regular business hours, and through the custodial staff when the office is closed.

Parking
The VCM parking lot is reserved for staff and faculty at all times. Street parking and public lots are available within short walking distance.

Access
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.

Registration, Refund and Withdrawal Policies

Tuition
Tuition and other fees must be paid before a student is admitted to a lesson, class or ensemble. Payment may be made by phone, mail or in person. Cheque, credit cards, debit card, money orders or cash are accepted. Cheques should be made payable to the Victoria Conservatory of Music.
Transaction Fees
A $2.25 transaction fee will be charged once per receipt; yearly registration is encouraged.

Course Resource Fee and Music Rental Fee
Students are responsible for additional costs for music and books. For some courses a fee is due at the time of registration, which covers the cost of handouts, music or supplies provided by the instructor. For other courses, such as ensembles, choirs, and orchestras, a music rental fee is due at registration to cover the cost of scores and parts. These fees are included in class descriptions.

*VERY IMPORTANT* Instructors are directly dependent upon timely student payments.  If payment is not received, the instructor is not paid.  Your cooperation is appreciated.

Other Fees

  • Returned Cheque $20.00 charged for any cheque refused for any reason by the bank. Subsequent payment can only be made by certified cheque, credit card, debit card, money order or cash.
  • Refund Processing Fee $25.00
  • Late Fees*  $10 per month

*Tuition is due by September 15th for Term 1 and January 15 for Term 2. Mid-term registrations require immediate payment.

Payment
Payment is required in full at the time of registration for the current term.
A payment plan is available. If the payment plan is chosen, the balance is paid over equal monthly instalments by pre-authorized debit. Complete and Submit this form  Payments are due on the 15th of each month, beginning with the first month of enrolment and continuing through the end of term. Payments are divided equally among the number of months for which the student is registered. Transaction fees will be charged based on the number of payments selected.

Credit Card Policy
The VCM does not accept credit card payments for individual lesson tuition. Credit cards are accepted for group classes, concert tickets, donations, and other fees.

Cancellation Policy
If a student cancels a private lesson with reasonable notice, the instructor may wish to arrange a make-up lesson, pending the instructor’s schedule and the availability of studio space. The instructor is, however, under no obligation to make up the lesson, particularly if insufficient notice (under 24 hours) is given. Students are expected to be present for all scheduled lessons. This includes vacations, school/sport events, etc.

If an instructor cancels, they are obliged to make up the lesson.

The VCM reserves the right to cancel, postpone, or combine classes and to limit registration or change instructors. Should insufficient registration cause the cancellation of a class, fees will be refunded or the student may transfer to another course if room is available.

Refunds & Withdrawals
There are NO refunds for ensembles or group classes, except in cases of illness/injury accompanied by a doctor’s note, as their viability is based on minimum enrolments. These programs are based on a sequential curriculum that does not allow for continuous intake, therefore the space cannot be refilled if a student withdraws mid-term.

Because instructors must commit to a schedule and book a studio space, refunds for individual lessons are permitted only in cases of illness or injury (for which a Doctor’s note is required) or in exceptional circumstances, such as an unexpected family relocation. All withdrawal requests must be submitted in writing or by email to the Registrar’s office. Withdrawal requests must be made in a timely fashion and within the term to which they apply. Requests for retroactive refunds received more than one month after the cessation of attendance at lessons will not be considered.  Refunds will be processed according to the following schedule and are subject to a $25 processing fee:

One week before the first lesson    100%
During the first two weeks              75%
During the third week                     50%
During the fourth week                  25%
After the fourth week                      No Refund

Transfers
The VCM encourages students to remain with the same teacher throughout the term for which they have registered. However, in exceptional circumstances, transfers may be requested through the Registrar’s Office. The Registrar will consult with the Dean and respective Department Head on a case-by-case basis. The VCM does not guarantee transfer to a different teacher, but every effort will be made to ensure students are placed appropriately with an instructor that meets their individual needs.

Statutory Holidays
Individual lessons that fall on statutory holidays have been included in the 36-week term. Because the office and building are often closed on these days, an alternate lesson time should be arranged for those weeks. Please verify your lesson schedule with your teacher.