Program Outline

When listening to, or learning to play music, we encounter the “What” and the “How” as what are merely notes on a page are transformed into sounds defining one of highest forms of art, and reflecting the history of civilization itself. However, without knowing the “Why”, listeners and performers can never completely understand what the notes on the page mean, as they are brought to life time and time again.

Not knowing how a piece of music came into being, the story behind it, or the person who wrote it, leaves the student or listener with an unsolved mystery, an incomplete picture, as if one were standing in front of a world famous painting, and seeing only the outline. Learning about the History of Music unravels these mysteries, and provides the listener or student with what is needed to complete the picture, and make studying and performing music a truly rewarding experience.

Music History classes are suitable for all students, from school age through to adults and seniors, either as a complement to studio instruction, or simply for music appreciation. Courses offered integrate into all of our theory classes up to level 8. As of level 9, three levels of advanced History classes are offered. All classes align with the RCM’s 2016 theory syllabus and prepare students to write the corresponding History examinations held in May.

Program Details

Full Year: Sep 12/15 - May 8/11
Sat • $692 • Downtown

History 9 (RCM History 1)
Sat • 9:00 - 10:00am OR Wed • 6:00 - 7:00pm

History 10 (RCM History 2)
Sat • 10:15 - 11:15am OR Wed • 7:00 - 8:00pm

History ARCT (RCM History 3)
Sat • 11:30am - 12:30pm


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 (…)