Current Students – Practice Rooms and other resources

Privileges and benefits of being a VCM student include:

  • Use of practice studios
  • Participation in the weekend noon concerts
  • A 15% discount on ensemble tuition
  • Participation in masterclasses at a reduced fee or, in some cases, no charge
  • Free admission to select VCM concerts
  • Discounts at several area music stores, including 10% off printed material at Long & McQuade, 10% off printed material and accessories at Tapestry Music and 10% off books, gift items and music accessories at Tom Lee Music.

Each student registered for individual lessons may request a VCM Student Card, valid for the academic year or the term in which the student is registered.

A library of over 60,000 titles is maintained at the VCM for the use of faculty, registered students, staff, visiting instructors, and the general public. Resources include music for all instruments, reference materials and books on music, including biographies, theory and history.

New: VCM online library catalogue! Plan ahead on your visit and reserve your materials now. Click here to see the Library Catalog

Please note: The online catalog is not yet complete. If you can’t find what you are looking for, please contact the Librarian at [email protected] and your materials will be set aside for you.

As of September 1, 2022 the late fee for overdue VCM library materials will change to 0.20 cents per day. Please remember to renew or return items on or before due dates to avoid any late fees. Your due date information will always be available in the email received upon checkout of an item.

Postsecondary students: please see the following link for your Camosun Library Research Guide:

The VCM Library is located at 900 Johnson Street in Room 113. Hours are 10:00am to 6:00pm, Monday to Friday, however please see posted notices or contact the VCM reception desk (250.386.5311) for unexpected closures.

Robin Belcher, Librarian
250.386.5311 Ext. 1130
[email protected]

The library is not currently accepting donations.


Please refer to our Contact page for up-to-date COVID-19 policies.

Practice Rooms will be available as follows:

  • ONLY to current students registered for ongoing sessions (lessons or classes)
    • “ongoing” defined as, at least 5 sessions, no fewer than one session per month
    • if first session date has not happened, you are not yet a current student
    • if last session date has passed, you are no longer a current student
  • One person per room, one booking/timeslot maximum per day. Please do not show up early.
  • Must be booked by phone in advance, on the day prior; CANNOT book more than one business day ahead. (Note: office closed Sundays, so book by phone on Saturday for Monday.)
  • Available timeslots at Downtown location:
    • Mon-Fri: 09:00-09:45 | 10:00-10:45 | 11:00-11:45 | 12:00-12:45 | 13:00-13:45 | 14:00-14:45 | 15:00-15:45, 16:00-16:45 | 17:00-17:45 | 18:00-18:45 | 19:00-19:45
    • Sat: 09:00-09:45 | 10:00-10:45 | 11:00-11:45 | 12:00-12:45 | 13:00-13:45 | 14:00-14:45 | 15:00-15:45 | 16:00-16:45
    • Sun: 11:00-11:45 | 12:00-12:45 | 13:00-13:45 | 14:00-14:45
  • Postsecondary students will be permitted to book 3 timeslots i.e. (one 2hr 45min time slot or three separate 45 min slots) per day
  • Available timeslots at Westhills location:
    • Mon, Wed-Fri: 13:00-13:45 | 14:00-14:45 | 15:00-15:45 | 16:00-16:45 | 17:00-17:45 | 18:00-18:45 | 19:00-19:45
    • Tue: 09:00-09:45 | 10:00-10:45 | 11:00-11:45 | 12:00-12:45 | 13:00-13:45 | 14:00-14:45 | 15:00-15:45, 16:00-16:45 | 17:00-17:45 | 18:00-18:45 | 19:00-19:45
    • Sat: 09:00-09:45| 10:00-10:45 | 11:00-11:45 | 12:00-12:45 | 13:00-13:45 | 14:00-14:45
  • NO rooms given to drop-ins, so as to avoid extra or unnecessary drop-in traffic
  • For active practicing only; NO food/drink, sleeping, reading, electronic device usage, or other activities unrelated to practicing. Violation will result in being asked to leave and suspension of future practice room usage.
  • All room keys to be cleaned by Front Desk staff person between use.

Keys must be returned after each practice session.  If you give them to someone else or take them home or lose them:

  2. If it is not returned within 24 hours, YOU MAY BE CHARGED THE FEE.

Students registered with the VCM may use VCM practice rooms on a first come, first served basis, subject to availability. Policies for practice rooms and assigned keys are available at the office. Requests for practice rooms can be made:

Monday to Friday
   at the main office 8:30am – 8:00pm
   through VCM custodial staff 8:00pm – 9:30pm
   at the main office 9:00am – 4:00pm
   through VCM custodial staff 4:00pm – 5:30pm
   through VCM custodial staff 1:00pm – 5:00pm

How do I use the practice rooms?

Currently registered VCM students may use practice rooms on a first come, first served basis, subject to availability. Policies for practice room and assigned keys are available at the administration office. Requests for practice rooms can be made through the front desk during regular business hours, and through the custodial staff when the office is closed.

Custodial phone: 250-812-6134

Can I reserve a practice room?

No. Practice rooms are used by students on a first come, first served basis only. If you have arranged a to rehearse with a chamber group (more than one other person), it is best to have your teacher book a room for you in advance. Students cannot reserve rooms, but instructors can on their behalf. The few large rooms available are in regular use, so it is difficult to arrange one “on the fly”. If your teacher is unavailable, the Animateur (Micki Stirling) or the Registrar can also arrange room bookings on your behalf.

What if all of the rooms are full?

The Conservatory has a limited number of practice rooms for student use. Remember that practice rooms are not just for students – they are also used for teaching.

If all of the practice rooms are full, a receptionist will likely say that you are welcome to search for an empty room. Sometimes a booked room may not be needed so a room that is booked may not actually be in use.

When it’s very busy and there are absolutely no rooms, the best tactic is to stick around the lobby area so you can grab a key as soon as it is returned by another student. If you really want to use a room, lurk! The receptionists will not “hold” a key for you.

I saw an empty room, but the receptionist said it wasn’t available or was restricted. What does that mean?

Not all of the rooms at the VCM are available for practicing. Many of them are restricted studios or teaching studios that are for teacher use only. For example, room 103 is often dark and empty but it is the main Children’s Music studio and is off limits to students at all times.

Please note that the Alix Goolden Hall and Wood Hall are never to be used by students for practicing unless they have been booked  by a teacher and are supervised the entire time they are in either one of these venues!

Oops – I lost a key! Now what?

If you lose a key, please try to find it ASAP. We will give you a couple of days grace to try and locate a lost key, but after that there is a $20 charge to replace lost keys, no exceptions.

Every time I come to get a practice room it’s so busy! When are the best times to practice?

This is a very common inquiry. The truth is, it varies. However, the slower times tend to be first thing in the morning Monday through Saturday, right after opening at 1pm on Sundays, and after 7pm Monday to Friday. Remember that students can not reserve rooms ahead of time!

Is there a time limit on practice room use?

Camosun students are permitted two hour practice sessions. Community students may use the practice rooms for one hour at a time. After the corresponding amount of time has passed, we ask that you come down to the front desk again. If no one is waiting for a key you may keep the room for another hour or two hours if you wish. If it is busy and students are waiting for keys, you will be asked to give up your key. In the interest of fairness, please respect these rules so that all students have equal access to practice facilities.

Some tips for practice room use:

  • Bring your key back to the front desk as soon as you are finished practicing. If we do not have a key we assume that the room is still in use, even if it has been vacated. This is frustrating for front desk staff and students, especially when it is busy. If a room is left vacant for more than ten minutes, the belongings within will be removed and another student will be granted access.
  • Do not leave your key on the desk when you bring it back. Give the key directly to the receptionist behind the counter, or if the receptionist is busy, use the key drop box on the front counter. This will reduce the number of lost keys and help the front desk staff keep track of keys.
  • Always sign out your practice room key! Again, this helps the front desk staff keep track of keys and to prevent lost keys.
  • If you see a practice room door open, close it! Please do not use a room without visiting the front desk first and signing out a key. This keeps our practice rooms and pianos safe.
  •  Do not give a key to another student when you are finished with it. Everyone has to sign out their key before using a room.

Treat the pianos in the practice rooms with respect. Do not put food on top of them or have drinks near them.

The VCM Downtown parking lot is reserved for staff and faculty at all times. Street parking and public lots are available within short walking distance. Johnson Street Parkade is located two blocks away and offers the first hour for free.

School Entrance – 900 Johnson Street
Alix Goolden Performance Hall907 Pandora Avenue (current access via 900 Johnson Street)
Robin and Winifred Wood Recital Hall
– 900 Johnson Street
Metro Studio – 1411 Quadra Street
Wheelchair Access – 900 Johnson Street

Lockers are available at the VCM Downtown location.

  • All students must fill out an Application Form, available at the front desk or the Facilities Office, Room 318.
  • The rental fee is $15 per term (Fall / Spring / Summer) and must be paid at the front desk before locks and keys are issued.
  • The fee for lost locks is $10, and $5 for lost keys.
  • Lockers must be registered in the Facilities Office, Room 318. Any unregistered lockers are subject to locks and contents removal without notice.
  • Locker rental is subject to availability. Students must be taking lessons in the term they are requesting. Summer term rental requires re-application.