Introductory Music Classes for Adults

Program Outline

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The Victoria Conservatory of Music now offers a new series of Introductory Music Classes for Adults, that promote a healthy life style, offering participants the opportunity to wade into the world of music at their own pace, while benefiting from the many “Wellness” aspects  engaging actively with music has to offer.

Presented in partnership with PARC Retirement Living, the new Centre for Music Wellness at the VCM, highlights the many benefits inherent in music, especially for adults, as proven through decades of research.

Introductory Music Classes for Adults provide an easily accessible way to tap into these many benefits, while also enjoying a chance to socialize and make new friends!

The following are Introductory Music Classes currently offered in 2019-2020 for adults (Classes and Ensembles accepting beginners, and most with no previous experience required):


Founded and directed by Daniel Lapp, Folkestra is an adult ensemble that focuses on playing fun, lively folk music together as a group in a learning, workshop style environment. All instruments are welcome and only a very modest playing level is expected (no audition required). Daniel creates the arrangements with members’ levels in mind, drawing from the vast world of folk music including Texas Two Steps, Cajun Waltzes, Appalachian Songs, Scandinavian Mazurkas, Alberta Fox Trots, Romanian Czardas’, and more.

“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!”


A non-auditioned, adult choir open to all who are seeking a joyful musical experience. Repertoire is drawn from great songs found in the gospel, folk, country, jazz and R&B traditions as well as original songs composed by Daniel specifically for this choir. While participation in concert performances is not mandatory, there are usually several performing opportunities throughout the year including the annual “Home for Christmas” and “Joy of Life” concerts. Founder and Director Daniel Lapp has lead this community experience for almost 20 years, and in 2012 received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his efforts in bringing community together.


Meet other musicians and play simple Baroque and Classical works in a friendly, encouraging atmosphere. The Introductory Adult String Orchestra will help you improve your sight reading skills, and help you to enjoy playing in harmony. This class is open to people who are taking lessons and striving to improve on violin, viola, cello or bass, and is intended to complement lessons, not to replace them. Please contact the instructor before registering.


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


An New Inter-generational Ukulele Sing & Strum class with Anna Lyman

Ukulele players at all levels, from ages 12 to the Golden Years are welcome to join this very stimulating group, where participants come together to play and sing the music they love in a friendly environment.
– Beginners: learn basic chords and strumming technique
– Intermediate and Advanced player will be given “riffs”, and more advanced parts.
– Singing is optional, however encouraged.

Offered at the VCM’s Westhills location only.


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.


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 interested.


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. For those who are new to a band program or private lessons, this is a wonderful, social way to progress even further on the flute.


Beginners welcome! If you sing in a choir, play an instrument, or are planning to learn an instrument in the future, you will enjoy learning about theoretical concepts and hearing how they relate to the actual sound of the music. Designed to make all of your musical involvements more enjoyable, as your increased knowledge provides new levels of understanding and musical independence.
Contact the instructor, Rachel Hill, for additional information and for all class schedules: 778-265-5355


 For more information, please contact Stephen Green, Dean and Chief Academic Officer via email,  phone 250-386-5311, or by visiting in person.

Program Details


See Classes listed, and follow links for complete information and how to register.


Daniel Lapp

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 (…)

Stacey Boal

A multi-faceted musician, Stacey Boal teaches recorder, violin and viola at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, and plays the viola in the Victoria Symphony. In addition, she has taught at WCAMS summer camp, and led recorder workshops in Victoria, Nanaimo, Sechelt, Kelowna and Edmonton. Stacey has performed several recorder solos with the VS, most recently Bach’s 2nd Brandenburg Concerto. She has also played the recorder in Pacific Opera productions of Handel’s Rodelinda and Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. Stacey was born in Revelstoke and went to high school in North Vancouver. She is a graduate of Carson Graham and the UBC (…)

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 (…)

Anna Lyman

Anna (Acevedo) Lyman, is originally from Detroit, Michigan, and is a working musician, recording artist and educator, based on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Having studied ukulele and Hawaiian music with Ben Chong (Guitar and Ukulele player for Don Ho), among other Hawaiian instructors, Anna is an award-winning ukulele player, and as a now teaching ukulele in both group/ensemble and individual studio lessons at the Victoria Conservatory of Music’s new Westhills location in Langford. […]

Douglas Hensley

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 (…)

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.