Music Programs

Studio Instruction – Advanced Music Theory

Understanding what music is truly all about, starts with learning how it is put together. The VCM’s School of Music Technology and Creativity offers a complete array of advanced music theory subjects through Individual. or through Shared Studio Instruction. Advanced Subjects offered include: Composition, Songwriting, Arranging, Harmony, Counterpoint, Analysis, and Score Study.

Harmony 9 or 10
(RCM Basic or Intermediate Harmony)
Topics include melody writing, harmonic and structural analysis, harmonization in four parts, modulation, and form as required for RCM Level 9 or 10 Harmony and Counterpoint. Dates/times to be arranged with instructors. Individual or Shared Studio Instruction is based on a $71 hourly fee, shared among two participants.
Crystal Wiksyk

Composition
David Clenman, Jonathan Haek, Liova Bueno, Daniel Brandes, Christopher Reiche, Jan Randall

Songwriting, Arranging
David Clenman, Jan Randall (also teaches at VCM Westhills location)

All Individual or Shared Studio Instruction for these subjects is based on an $79.80 hourly fee, shared among participants.

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.


Jonathan Haek

Jonathan Haek is a composer and flutist originally from Portland, Oregon. Dr. Haek is the Director of the School of Music Technology and Creativity at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. He currently teaches Aural Skills courses for the VCM’s Department of Postsecondary Studies, and is the designer, developer, and instructor of the new postsecondary Certificate of Music Technologies program offered in partnership with Camosun College. Jon’s interests lie at the intersections of music, math, and technology. His projects have involved collaboration with modern dance choreographers, free improvisation, interactive and computer music composition, and Fibonacci numbers as compositional tools. Dedicated to […]


Liova Bueno

A faculty member at the Victoria Conservatory of Music since 2014, Liova Bueno teaches individual instruction in composition, theory, song-writing, music history and music appreciation, covering a wide variety of musical styles, genres, and time periods. He also teaches postsecondary students in connection with the VCM/Camosun College Diploma in Music Performance Program (Tonal Harmony and Counterpoint).
Originally from the Dominican Republic, Liova Bueno’s music has been performed in concerts and music festivals internationally, from countries in Central and South America to Europe, the United States and across Canada. He has received commissions from and has collaborated with various ensembles, organizations, […]


Daniel Brandes

Daniel Brandes (b. 1985) is a composer who lives in Victoria, British Columbia with his wife and cat. In 2010, Daniel completed his Masters of Music at the University of Victoria where he studied composition with Christopher Butterfield and Daniel Bíro. In 2012 he founded A Place to Listen — Victoria BC’s only monthly experimental music series — which presents works from members of the Wandelweiser composers collective, and other fringe artists exploring the use(s) of silence in contemporary music. Daniel composes music that walks tight ropes — tight ropes between nothing and something, fragility and fierceness, beauty and ugliness. He likes art (…)


Christopher Reiche

CHRISTOPHER REICHE is a performer, composer and instructor. Originally from Ontario, he moved to Victoria British Columbia to pursue a Masters of Music at the University of Victoria. As a composer, his works have been performed by The Vancouver Miniaturist Ensemble, Mark McGregor and Brian Nesselroads, and locally by the Aventa Ensemble. His work The length of this piece is not arbitary – Painting Portrait of Glass has been recorded by Quatuor Bozzini and released on their CD À chacun sa miniature. As a performer, he specializes in contemporary music and free improvisation. In Victoria he has performed with the (…)


Jan Randall

Jan Randall is a pianist, who played entirely by ear from childhood, started working in blues and pop music bands while still in high school, and after receiving formal classical and jazz training as a composer and arranger went on to spend a decade in theatre before moving on to make a career of composing sound tracks for broadcast. Jan has been the head song writer since 2011 for the hit CBC radio series “The Irrelevant Show.” He wrote songs and doubled as musical director for comedy shows with Second City in the early 80′s, where he collaborated with such (…)


David Clenman

Private theory and composition studies under full scholarship with Srul Glick; advanced ear training with Robert Mundinger; electronic music studies at the University of Chicago; theory, composition, and conducting studies at the University of Victoria (President’s Scholarship). Compositions and arrangements performed and broadcast in Canada, the United States, and Central America; recorded by Denise Williams, Jacques Lorioz, and the Canadian Tenors. Teaches theory and ear training at the University of Victoria, where he was awarded the Gilian Sherwin Award for Teaching Excellence, Adjudicates many competitions, is a VCM examiner, and has been an examiner for the Royal Canadian College of (…)


Course Info

Group Cello for Adult Beginners

Learn to play the cello in a fun, social environment, starting with the basics. No musical experience is necessary. Textbook: All for Strings, Book 1

Term 1: Sep 9 - Dec 9
Term 2: Jan 27 - May 4

Mon • 7:15 - 8:30pm • $315/term
Downtown

Start date subject to change. Please consult instructor for appropriate placement.
Internet registration is not allowed for this activity. Please contact us to register: 250-386-5311.

Laura Backstrom

Laura Backstrom began her musical life as a pianist, switching over to cello in her teens. She studied cello at the University of Alberta with the renowned pedagogue Claude Kenneson, and participated in summer programs in Banff and Victoria. Upon graduation from the U of A with a Bachelor of Music, Laura was invited, with a full scholarship, to study with the Fine Arts Quartet at the University of Wisconsin. Her next few years were spent pursuing studies in Toronto with cellist Daniel Domb. While there, Laura completed two intensive training courses: the Orchestral Training Program, and the Musical Performance (…)


Course Info

Cello Orchestra

Develop better intonation and learn to play more musically with the rich, warm tone of a cello ensemble. Repertoire consists of high-quality transcriptions of great music.

Term 1: Sep 13 - Dec 20
Term 2: Jan 10 - May 8

Fri • 10:30 - 11:45am • Downtown
$187/term • $159/term with lessons

Start date subject to change. Late registrations permitted; consult instructor.
Internet registration is not allowed for this activity. Please contact us to register: 250-386-5311.

Laura Backstrom

Laura Backstrom began her musical life as a pianist, switching over to cello in her teens. She studied cello at the University of Alberta with the renowned pedagogue Claude Kenneson, and participated in summer programs in Banff and Victoria. Upon graduation from the U of A with a Bachelor of Music, Laura was invited, with a full scholarship, to study with the Fine Arts Quartet at the University of Wisconsin. Her next few years were spent pursuing studies in Toronto with cellist Daniel Domb. While there, Laura completed two intensive training courses: the Orchestral Training Program, and the Musical Performance (…)


Course Info

Group Ukulele for Adults

An introduction to Hawaii’s small but mighty musical export! Students will learn to strum chords and accompany songs, gradually working toward proficient note-reading in this fun, relaxed class.

Term 1: Sep 10 - Jan 07
Term 2: Jan 28 - May 19

Tue • 7:00 - 8:00 pm • $341/term
Downtown

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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Group Guitar for Adults

An introduction to classical guitar that will allow beginners to develop basic technique and more experienced novices to refine their skills. Sight-reading and the understanding and fingering of basic chords to accompany singing are incorporated into a fluid curriculum, where participants are encouraged to suggest repertoire and topics of guitar methodology about which they are […]

Term 1: Sep 10 - Jan 07
Term 2: Jan 28 - May 19

Tue • 8:00 - 9:00 pm • $341/term
Downtown

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 (…)


Course Info

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 15 - Jan 19
Term 2: Feb 2 - Jun 1

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

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 (…)


Course Info

Brass Choir

This group will draw on the rich traditions of music for brass and is open to players of all ages and abilities. Repertoire ranges from simple brass quintet arrangements to pieces for brass choir and full brass band. Instructor TBA

Term 1: Sep 11 - Jan 15
Term 2: Jan 29 - May 28

Tue • 7:00 - 8:30pm
$180/term • $153/term with lessons
Downtown

Instructor TBA

Course Info Register

Rock Band (Teen/Youth and Adult)

On stage in the VCM’s Metro Theatre, the Rock Band program creates new and welcomes existing bands to develop the chops needed to bring it live on stage as rock musicians.

Youth Rock Band
Term 1: Sep 09 - Jan 20
Term 2: Jan 27- Jun 8
Mon • 6:15 - 7:30pm • Downtown
$348/term

Adult Rock Band
Term 1: Sep 9 - Jan 20
Term 2: Jan 27- Jun 8
Mon • 7:45 - 9:00pm • Downtown
$348/term

Michael Wilford

Michael Wilford grew up playing drums in the rich and diverse musical network of Northern British Columbia. From a young age Michael was inspired and taught by many musical mentors including Mike Doogan-Smith and his Smithers Secondary School Band Program, Leslie Jean McMillan and the dynamic father-son duo of Richard and Jake Jenne. They not only taught him but also exposed him to a wide variety of musical experiences including ensembles, performances, and the opportunities to work with inspiring musicians from around the world. By the time Michael had graduated high school he had performed all over British Columbia and […]


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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 07 - Jan 11
Term 2: Feb 1 - May 30

Sat • 9:00 - 10:00 am
$146/term • $131.38/term with lessons
Downtown

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.


Course Info

Academy Flute Choir

Open to flutists of all ages to play music written for large and small “orchestras” of flutes. The choir provides an opportunity to learn to play bass flute, alto flute and/or piccolo. For players with strong ensemble and playing skills. A Grade 4 RCM level is recommended.

Term 1: Sep 15 - Jan 19
Term 2: Feb 2 - Jun 1

Sat • 10:00 - 11:30am
$180/term • $153/term with lessons
Downtown

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.


Course Info