“We put magic into music every day!”
When I entered a music school for the first time in my life, I remember how excited I was to hear the many different musical sounds coming from all around me, and how all the more excited I was at knowing I was there to also learn how to play music. I was in the place where music was being brought to life every day. I feel very fortunate to still have this excitement all around me, as I hear students of all ages and levels making music at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. There is in my mind nothing that surpasses the magical moment of seeing a student’s face break into a big smile, after they have played their final note of the new piece of music they have just learned to play. A great accomplishment! We all need to feel this magic of bringing music to life, and at the Victoria Conservatory of Music (VCM), we have over 120 highly trained professional Faculty, who are ready to help you do just that. We welcome students of any age and level, and offer instruction in all genres, ranging from individual lessons, to group classes, to ensembles, and even self-directed online study.
I invite you to explore our six program areas, that together offer one of the most comprehensive and wide ranging selections of music programs you will find anywhere in Canada.
- The Department of Early Childhood Music offers programs that are built on a foundation of world renowned methodologies and approaches, and form a significant part of the VCM’s outreach program delivery in the community, brightening the day each week of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers at 40 locations throughout the Greater Victoria Region.
- The Ann & George Nation Conservatory School of Classical Music encompasses the departments of Keyboard, Strings, Winds-Brass, Voice, as well as programs in Classical Theory. Whether enrolling in individual studio instruction, in a class or ensemble, or in one of the world-class programs offered under this traditional Classical umbrella, including the Young Artists Collegium, Senior String Orchestra, Opera Studio, Advanced Voice Workshop, and Art Song Projects, to name only a few, the level of knowledge and expertise our Classical faculty provide, ensures every student an education in the Classical Music tradition that is high quality and authentic, no matter at what age or level.
- The Chwyl Family School of Contemporary Music, is the first of its kind in Canada, taking a traditional “conservatory” model into the 21st century, through being that all-important piece of the puzzle that ensures the VCM meets its commitment to provide music instruction that speaks to the musical interest of the whole community, offering programs that embrace all popular-contemporary genres, and can also accommodate “non-Classical/traditional” styles of learning, including the many who are self-taught, and/or learn by ear.
- The VCM’s traditional department of Theory and Composition, was transformed in 2015 to become a new School of Music Technology and Creativity, offering students a fresh look at the creative processes behind music, going far beyond traditional practices of music theory and composition, to embrace the newest advances in Music Technologies, and encourage creativity with sound at all levels. Whether starting as a young child and exploring music fundamentals through the highly innovative, computer software animated program “Children’s Music Journey”, currently serving over 300 children in local Greater Victoria Elementary Schools, following one’s unique path as an emerging songwriter, or exploring the many new and exciting ways to be creative with sound and music, including writing for video and gaming, this new school is opening doors to pathways in today’s Music Industry, that previously did not exist in a traditional music conservatory model.
- The Department of Postsecondary Studies represents a testament to the power of creative minds in the 21st century. Through the VCM’s long standing partnership with Camosun College, and now also as self-accredited program provider through the Private Training Institutes Branch of the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, today’s aspiring young professional musicians have access to learning experiences at the postsecondary level, that begin with being welcomed into the VCM’s supportive and artistically inspiring community, and from there, venture into areas of learning that speak to the interests of its students, while also preparing them for the modern Music Industry workplace, either directly, or via one of many transfer-credit options to North America’s most renowned universities and schools of music. The VCM/Camosun Classical-Popular Contemporary blended Diploma in Music Performance, and the Certificate in Music Technologies, encourage students to be creative innovative thinkers, to dare to dream, and to not shy away from the hard work needed to achieve excellence, and help dreams become reality.
- What also really makes the VCM such a wonderfully unique and amazing organization, is through embracing music as a source of therapy, and offering one of the largest and most respected Music Therapy programs in North America. The VCM’s Department of Music Therapy engages with the entire community, from the very young to the very old, meeting the needs of those with exceptionalities, conditions, or illnesses, and improving quality of life.
It is hard to imagine that such an organization as the Victoria Conservatory of Music exists, just over 50 years young, located in Canada’s most beautiful, and yet quite unsuspecting oasis on Vancouver Island. The VCM is home to a truly magical constellation of pathways to music, and journeys through music, for any age or ability.
We look forward to welcoming you very soon at the VCM, let your magical experience in music begin!
~ Stephen Green, Dean and Chief Academic Officer, the Victoria Conservatory of Music