From the Students: My summer at Suzuki Camp

Aaron Kwok is a student in the Suzuki Violin program here at VAM. This past summer, he got the chance to attend the Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute and wanted to tell us about his experience. Read his story below!
“This summer, I went to the 24th Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute International Summer Camp, which was held at Seattle Pacific University, Seattle.  There were many kids from different parts of the world, and most of them play the violin, like I do.  Other instruments played include violas, cellos, and last but not least, double basses.

In the mornings, I would go to group class to learn from Mr. Allen Lieb.  Then I would go to the church to watch solo performances.  Lunches were all-you-can-eat buffets, held in the campus cafeteria!  After lunch, I would go to technique class with Ms. Helen Higa, followed immediately by orchestra rehearsal with Ms. Gaye Detzer.  It was my first orchestra experience, and it was hard work learning to play “Dragon Dance” as a group, but it was really fun!  At last, I would attend master class with Mr. Joseph Kaminsky.

During the week-long camp, I made a lot of friends and learned a lot of new techniques from different teachers.  But I am only telling you about the violin program and my schedule, and there was so much more going on at the camp!  Try it next summer, and you will have lots of fun too!”

— Aaron Kwok

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Group Class with Mr. Allen Lieb

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Technique Class with Ms. Helen Higa

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Orchestra rehearsal with Ms. Gaye Detzer

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Masterclass with Mr. Joseph Kaminsky

Fall 2014 RCM Practice Exam session dates

For students who are taking the Fall 2014 Theory and History exams, we will be holding practice exam sessions November 22 and November 29 to help prepare you for exam day. We will have exams available for the following subjects:

Basic Rudiments
Intermediate Rudiments
Advanced Rudiments

The sessions will start at 2:00 pm in the Library – drop in and practice your examtaking!

Remembrance Day School Closure

VAM will be closed on Tuesday, November 11 in observance of Remembrance Day. There will be no classes or lessons on this day.

Activities will run as usual on Saturday November 8, Sunday November 9 and Monday November 10, unless mentioned otherwise by your teacher.

Thank you for your understanding.

Suzuki Piano Parent Night

The Suzuki Piano Program will host a Parent’s Night on “Effective Piano Practice with Your Child” on Thursday, November 27, 2014 at VAM’s Mary Olson Hall (formerly Orchestra Rehearsal Room) from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. This event provides a great opportunity to meet parents who are experienced in practicing with their children. Please come and be inspired for an hour filled will effective piano practice ideas and lively discussion. Light refreshments will be provided.

2014 Senior-Secondary Brochure now available

The 2014 Senior-Secondary Competition brochure is now available for download! This year’s competiting instrument group is Winds/Brass/Percussion.

The Bjorn & Lori Hareid Senior-Secondary Competition is open to all students in Secondary School around British Columbia. Every year, the competition focuses on one instrument group: piano, strings and winds/brass/percussion. Competiting students have the chance to win one of 5 cash prizes – the total pot is $5,250!

Applications are due December 19th, so get yours in today! Find out more information about the Senior-Secondary Competition here, and download application forms here.

Concerto Extravaganza wrap-up

Yesterday afternoon’s Orpheum Theatre concert played host to our first ever Concerto Extravaganza. The culminating event of our Provincial Concerto Competition, held this past May and June, this concert featured seven soloists chosen from a range of ages and instruments. The finalists were:

Hanson Kang, clarinet
Chloe Kim, violin
Jack Le, piano
Eric Xi Xin Liang, piano
Edward Su, piano
Tate Zawadiuk, cello
Ryan Zhu, piano

We were so excited to have the VSO’s Associate Conductor, Gordon Gerrard as our adjudicator for the day. All the soloists played beautifully, and it was definitely a close call. Ultimately, the grand prize ended up going to Eric Xi Xin Liang for his striking rendition of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp minor. Eric is currently a student of Amanda Chan and is also part of our Chamber Music Institute.

Congratulations to Eric, and to all of the soloists who performed yesterday!

IMG_1888 IMG_1889 IMG_1899 IMG_1905 Eric Liang - Picture of ME5

School closed on Thanksgiving Monday

Thanksgiving is happening on Monday, October 13. Here is the schedule for this weekend:

Building Hours:
Saturday, October 11: 9:00 – 6:00 pm
Sunday, October 12: 9:00 – 5:00 pm
Monday, October 13: CLOSED

Office Hours:
Saturday, October 11: CLOSED
Sunday, October 12: CLOSED
Monday, October 13: CLOSED

There will be no Ballet classes on Saturday.

The building will not be open on Monday, October 13. Have a happy thanksgiving!

Learn how to sing with the Kodaly method

At VAM, our Kodaly (pronounced Koe- die)  classes are now open to all students, including those new to Kodaly.  You no longer require previous years’ experience to join the program.
Kodaly is the perfect complement to any instrumental training, or the perfect class for someone wanting to learn music, but not able to study an instrument.

In our Kodaly program, your child will learn to sing, on pitch and with confidence!

We use our voice to learn how to read music…

We develop the oh-so-important sense of internal beat….

We learn how to listen closely to the music we are making….

We learn how to express phrasing…

We learn how to keep different musical “parts” happening at the same time…

We learn how to interact with other people in our music making….

We build the musicianship needed for every instrumentalist…

And we do all this in a fun and encouraging atmosphere!

Instrumental teachers love it when their students take Kodaly!  Ask your teacher!

Audition info for Chamber Music Institute

Calling all students RCM Grades 9 and above! Come audition for Chamber Music Institute, VAM’s premier chamber music training program. You’ll get to experience ensemble playing in an intimate setting and get coached by some of Vancouver’s greatest musicians.

Audition info
Thursday, Sept. 26 & Friday, Sept. 27
7:30 – 9:30 pm (both days)
Room 22B
Please come prepared with a piece of your choosing, and be prepared to sight-read. The audition will be longer than 10 minutes long.

To book an audition, please email [email protected]. Time slots are subject to availability.

Welcome back BBQ’s

To kick off the school year, our Orchestra and Suzuki programs will be holding barbeques for their students. If you belong to either the Orchestra or the Suzuki Violin program, come and meet your fellow colleagues and enjoy some food after your first rehearsal!

VAM Junior Symphony/Intermediate Symphony: Thursday, September 4th at 6:30 pm
VAM Symphony Orchestra: Friday, September 5th at 7:00 pm
Suzuki Violin: Saturday, September 6th at 12:00 pm

We look forward to seeing you there!