Music Programs

Classical Guitar Orchestra

Classical guitarists of all ages develop strong ensemble and sight-reading skills under the direction of a conductor. Repertoire ranges from music of the 16th through to the 20th centuries, as well as world music and Beatles songs. All levels welcome from beginner to intermediate.

Term 1: Sep 14 - Jan 18
Term 2: Feb 1 - May 30

Sat • 10:30am - 12:00pm
$177.50/term • $150.88/term with lessons

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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Composition Clubs

What are Composition Clubs?   Sample Compositions Composition Clubs are classes in which music students can learn what it’s like to be a composer. Activities include: Listening without judging, i.e. listening to music with an open mind, focusing on the sounds we hear rather than on our opinions; Creative exercises which help to prepare our […]

Session 1: Sep 11 / 14 - Oct 23 / Nov 2
Session 2: Jan 8/ 11 - Feb 26 / 29
Session 3: Apr  1 / 4 - May 20 / 23

Wed • 5:45 - 6:45pm • $168/session
OR Sat • 4:15 - 5:15pm • $168/session

Dates and times to be confirmed by instructor. Contact:

Christine Donkin

Christine Donkin is a Canadian composer and instructor of music theory, ear training, and composition at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. She is an active clinician and adjudicator; creator of theory and ear training games for Tonic Tutor, an online resource for music students and teachers; and author of the Compositional Devices Collection on the RCM online Teacher Portal. Her many pedagogical compositions, arrangements, and figured bass realizations are featured in the Royal Conservatory of Music repertoire books for cello, clarinet, piano, trumpet, saxophone, viola, violin, and voice.

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Diploma in Music Performance

The Diploma in Music Performance offers a full-time postsecondary music program with unparalleled access to acclaimed performance and composition faculty. This ground-breaking credential program leads musicians of all genres through a common first year and a specialized second year of hands-on, practical music making and performance. Rounded out with essential theory, history, ear training, workplace, […]

Deadline for early admission is February 28. Applications for the Certificate and Diploma programs include:
VCM Questionnaire
Camosun College Application
Two letters of reference
Application & Assessment Fees
Auditions take place in late-March and early-April. Live auditions are highly recommended.
If you are an international student, contact Camosun College International Student Services before registering. Before registering, students MUST contact the Postsecondary Registrar: 250.386.5311, ext. 5000

Instructor TBA

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Ear-Training – “Stay Tuned”

The Ear-Training program helps students learn how to effectively practice intervals, chords, chord progressions, playbacks, rhythm clap-backs, and rhythmic reading to match their instrumental level.

6 x 60 min • Class dates and times to be arranged with Theory coordinator • $126 • Downtown

Crystal Wiksyk

Crystal Wiksyk is a theory and musicianship instructor at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, where she coordinates the Classical Music Theory program within 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 of the BC Registered Music Teachers Association.

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Early Bird Flute Choir

A welcoming and exciting ensemble, perfect for the beginner flute student of any age. Learn how to follow a conductor, develop strong listening skills and play music together as a team.

Term 1: Sep 14 - Jan 18
Term 2: Feb 1 - May 30

Sat • 9:00 - 10:00 am
$152.80/term • $131.38/term with lessons

Judith Pazder

Judith Pazder graduated from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance. She has taught in Windsor, Halifax and Vancouver, where she founded the Millennium Flute Ensemble. Judith is on faculty at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and has been the director of the Academy Flute Choir for the past 10 years. Judith is also involved in recorder teaching, study and performance.

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Families Making Music (Birth - 5 years)

A fun music program for the whole family! Sing, dance, try new instruments and play fun musical games. Bring the whole brood for an interactive program at a great family rate. All classes at VCM’s Downtown location. *Siblings receive a 20% discount on FMM tuition; siblings under 9 months of age as of the first day of class attend free.

Music Discovery
Wed • Sep 11 - Oct 30 • 10:00 - 10:45am • $126
Sat • Sep 14 - Nov 2 • 10:00 - 10:45am OR 11:00 - 11:45am • $126

Music, Winter, and Weather
Wed • Nov 6 - Dec 18 • 10:00 - 10:45am • $110.25
Sat • Nov 9 - Dec 21 • 10:00 - 10:45am OR 11:00 - 11:45am • $110.25

Music, Sing, Dance, and Play
Wed • Jan 8 - Feb 19 • 10:00 - 10:45am • $110.25
Sat • Jan 11 - Feb 22 • 10:00 - 10:45am OR 11:00 - 11:45am • $110.25

Music, Animals, and Creatures
Wed • Feb 26 - Apr 22 • 10:00 - 10:45am • $126
Sat • Feb 29 - Apr 25 • 10:00 - 10:45am OR 11:00 - 11:45am • $110.25

Music from Around the World
Wed • Apr 29 - Jun 17 • 10:00 - 10:45am • $126
Sat • May 2 - Jun 20 • 10:00 - 10:45am OR 11:00 - 11:45am • $126


Note: Families Making Music classes require a minimum enrolment of 5. If enrolment is insufficient, registrants will be offered an alternate class or a refund

Nicole Payie

Nicole has played classical guitar from the age of seven when she started lesson at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. After completing the VCM/Camosun Diploma in Music, majoring in Classical Guitar Performance, she pursued a Bachelor of Music at the University of Victoria and afterwards a Master’s in Music Performance at the University of Ottawa. Nicole has taught private students of all ages and abilities and enjoys helping students find their own music voice. Nicole is excited to join the faculty in the Department of Early Childhood Music, teaching classes out in the Greater Victoria community, and looks forward to […]

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Family Choir

Come and make music as a family! People of all ages (5+) will enjoy singing together in a supportive and fun environment. It’s a perfect family night out for all generations. Make music, create connections, and spend time together! Location: Saanich Commonwealth Place (4636 Elk Lake Drive) To register please visit or call 250-475-7600.

Sep 27 - Dec 6, 2019
Fri • 6:30-7:30pm

Julie Ryning

Julie Ryning holds a B.Mus honours in voice performance with a minor in music history, and a M.mus in voice performance, both from McGill University. Julie teaches Early Childhood Music classes at the VCM’s Westhills location, and at the Saanich Commonwealth Rec Centre. Julie also teaches Early Childhood Music in the Greater Victoria Community as part of the VCM’s Children’s Outreach. Having found a passion for early childhood music education, Julie believes that every child deserves to find their own musical potential and to enjoy music as a lifelong endeavor. She feels passionate about helping each child build skills for […]

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Flute Groups

These classes offer students a fun and approachable way to learn the flute while building their skills in music reading, rhythms and ensemble playing.

Session 1: Jan 9 - Mar 5, 2020 • $291.25
Session 2: Apr 9 - May 28, 2020 • $259.50

Dates and times to be determined based on participants availability.

Marsha Elliott

Canadian flutist Marsha Elliott is an acclaimed soloist, chamber musician and educator. Marsha holds a B.Mus. in Performance from the University of Toronto and a M.Mus. in Performance from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she studied with soloists Susan Hoeppner and Carol Wincenc respectively. Marsha also spent a transformative year in the Professional Winter Residency Program at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Her past teachers and mentors have included Julius Baker, Emmanuel Pahud and Jeanne Baxtresser among others. As a performer Marsha has toured throughout Canada and the US and has been seen and […]

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“I created Folkestra as an opportunity for people to have a fun night out playing music with others looking for the same experience. It’s a way for people to make the transition from listening to playing music in a nurturing, non-competitive environment. We are a band, a community and our own weekly kitchen party!”

Term 1: Sep 11 - Dec 18 • $191.25
Term 2: Jan 15 - May 6 • $204.00

Wed • 8:15 - 9:30pm • Downtown
$17.00 per drop-in, $77.50 for 5-class pass

Daniel Lapp

Daniel Lapp is a world-renowned singer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, teacher, archivist, band leader, sideman, producer, promoter and – no kidding – the list goes on. And like the true-blue Canadian he is, Daniel does it all with trademark energy and warmth. As a fiddler, jazz trumpeter and singer/songwriter, Daniel Lapp has played on over 100 albums and performed across Canada, United States, Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Finland and Germany with some of the world’s most renowned Folk and Jazz musicians. Daniel is the winner of the B.C. Fiddle Championship and has appeared as a soloist with the CBC Chamber Orchestra as well as (…)

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French Song Project

COURSE DESCRIPTION The French Song Project is a performance course for pianists and singers, aged 30 or older, who would like to improve their interpretive, collaborative, and performance skills as part of an intensive exploration leading to performance. Taught over a series of weekend afternoons, the course is run at the Victoria Conservatory of Music […]

Course dates: March 28 - May 30, 2020
Student concerts: June 5, 6, 7, 2020
Faculty concert: June 13, 2020

Kathryn Whitney

Canadian/British singer Dr Kathryn Whitney was raised on Vancouver Island and now divides her time between Britain and Canada. A versatile musician whose work combines concert and recital performance with a wide range of collaborative research, educational and other projects, she is a lyric mezzo-soprano with an “impressively wide dynamic range” (Oxford Times) and a “special gift” for interpreting text (Nanaimo News) whose singing has been described as “meaty”, “prophetic” (Oxford Times) and “very touching” (Sir John Eliot Gardiner). Kathryn is a freelance performer, teacher, researcher, and solo and choral clinician. She is currently an Associate Fellow at the Institute (…)

Anna Cal

ANNA CAL is trained in the famous tradition of Russian piano schools. She studied at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg with well-known Russian performers and professors including Vitaly Berzon, Pavel Yegorov and the late Helen Shishko. She holds Master degrees with high distinction in three fields: piano performance, piano pedagogy and collaborative piano. After studying in Russia, Anna spent two years in Rome, Italy where she worked as a soloist and a voice coach. Anna is a senior teacher at the Victoria Conservatory of Music where she teaches piano, piano pedagogy and collaborative piano. She is Director of Collaborative piano and Interpretation in German Lieder Projects. Anna is a frequent performer in Victoria as a soloist and in collaboration with vocalists and instrumentalists.

Robert Holliston

Robert Holliston studied at the Victoria Conservatory of Music under Robin Wood and Winifred Scott Wood, and at the University of British Columbia under Robert Rogers. As an accompanist and chamber player he has performed throughout Canada and the USA, England and New Zealand, and has been heard frequently on CBC-Radio. He has recorded CDs with the popular salon ensemble Viveza, trombonist Ian McDougall, tenor Ken Lavigne, his brother Tom Holliston, Show Business Giants, and members of the Hornby Island Ensemble. Robert has collaborated with many of Canada’s leading singers, including Richard Margison, Benjamin Butterfield, Judith Forst, Nathalie Paulin, Susan (…)

Alex Chen

Alex Chen is a collaborative pianist and vocal coach whose personal approach and intellectual curiosity bring fresh perspectives on a diverse body of musical works. In the words of mentor John Hess, he is “an immensely musical and sensitive player” with “a deeply inquisitive mind”. Alex has an MMus from the University of Western Ontario […]

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