Summer Programs

Founded in 1969, VAM has been spreading a love of learning and musical excellence for generations of aspiring musicians. Sounds Like Summer finds inspiration from the scenic beauty of VAM’s location at Vanier Park, minutes from downtown Vancouver but steps away from the ocean!

From early childhood to adult learning, VAM is an inclusive learning environment that explores the transformative power of music. Our proven programs and methods have produced some of Canada’s most acclaimed musicians in addition to a 50-year alumni database filled with music lovers.

VAM’s hand-selected faculty is comprised of Vancouver’s finest musicians and educators from organizations such as Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Opera, and UBC School of Music.

Come experience the legacy of excellence at VAM and prepare to reach unimagined musical heights!

Summer Classes

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Beginner Theory Level 2

Recommended for: Ages 6-8
Class Time: to be scheduled at the mutual convenience of teacher and students
Class Description: The perfect companion to practical music studies, Beginner Theory Level 2 introduces students to elements of notation, rhythm, scales, and intervals in small class sizes with a maximum of four. This is a semi-private course that defaults to online delivery.

Music with Friends: Summer Sampler

Instructor: Cassie Bequary & Esther Hwang (violin); Isabelle Roland (viola); Trisha Doo (cello); Thomas Law (flute); Teresa Bowes (piano)
Recommended for: Ages 3-5
Class Time: Session 1: July 5-9, Monday-Friday 9:00-9:45am Session 2: August 9-13, Monday-Friday 9:00-9:45am Session 1: July 5-9, Monday-Friday 10:00-10:45am Session 2: August 9-13, Monday-Friday 10:00-10:45am Session 1: July 26-30, Monday-Friday 10:00-10:45am Session 2: August 9-13, Monday-Friday 11:00-11:45am
Semester Fee:
  • $100
Class Description: Watch your child discover something new every day as they prepare for the journey of musical instruction! This course is an introduction to a variety of instruments in a sampling of the many opportunities VAM's programs have to offer. This is an in-person class with reduced enrollment capacity. 

Sea to Sky Chamberfest

Instructor: Jonathan Crow; Tawnya Popoff; Joseph Elworthy; Ian Parker
Recommended for: Ages 13+ with previous chamber music experience (admission by audition)
Class Time: August 16-22, 2021
Semester Fee:
  • $850
Class Description: Vancouver Academy of Music’s Sea to Sky Chamberfest is an intensive, week-long experience in which advanced students are placed into chamber groups and prepare repertoire in a fast-paced environment. Students will have the opportunity to play side-by-side with Chamberfest faculty, who will act as both instructors and performing members of each ensemble. Click here to download more details. 

Accelerated RCM Theory 8 (Online)

Instructor: Daniel Marshall
Recommended for: Ages 12+; students must score at least 85% on the pre-screening test. No previous theory experience required.
Class Time: Session 1 - July 5-29 Session 2 - August 3-26
Semester Fee:
  • $450
Class Description: Accelerated RCM Theory is the fast track to success in RCM Theory examinations. Taken in conjunction with RCM’s Level 8 Online Exam, this course uses video lectures, online classes, digital assignments, and practice quizzes that will lead to certification in RCM Grade 8 Theory. No previous theory experience required! Click here for more course details. 

Accelerated Grade 9 Harmony (Online)

Instructor: Shirley Lum
Recommended for: Students wishing to complete RCM examinations
Class Time: 12 30-minute private lessons arranged at the mutual convenience of teacher and student
Semester Fee:
  • $450
Class Description: VAM’s Accelerated RCM Theory and History courses offer the fast track to success in RCM Examinations. In an intensive, accelerated environment, students will develop knowledge of music theory and history in preparation for RCM examinations. This course is a package of twelve 30-minute private lessons.  Note: Students must register separately for RCM examinations. Additional material fees apply.   

Accelerated Grade 10 Harmony and Counterpoint (online)

Instructor: Shirley Lum
Recommended for: Students wishing to complete RCM examinations
Class Time: 12 30-minute private lessons arranged at the mutual convenience of teacher and student
Semester Fee:
  • $450
Class Description: VAM’s Accelerated RCM Theory and History courses offer the fast track to success in RCM Examinations. In an intensive, accelerated environment, students will develop knowledge of music theory and history in preparation for RCM examinations. This course is a package of twelve 30-minute private lessons.  Note: Students must register separately for RCM examinations. Additional material fees apply. 

Accelerated ARCT Harmony and Counterpoint (Online)

Instructor: Shirley Lum
Recommended for: Students wishing to complete RCM examinations
Class Time: 12 30-minute private lessons arranged at the mutual convenience of teacher and student
Semester Fee:
  • $450
Class Description: VAM’s Accelerated RCM Theory and History courses offer the fast track to success in RCM Examinations. In an intensive, accelerated environment, students will develop knowledge of music theory and history in preparation for RCM examinations. This course is a package of twelve 30-minute private lessons.  Note: Students must register separately for RCM examinations. Additional material fees apply. 

Accelerated ARCT History (Online)

Instructor: Shirley Lum
Recommended for: Students wishing to complete RCM examinations
Class Time: July 5 to August 18 - twelve 1.5-hour classes, Mondays and Wednesdays, 7:00-8:30pm
Semester Fee:
  • $450
Class Description: VAM’s Accelerated RCM Theory and History courses offer the fast track to success in RCM Examinations. With the personalized attention of small class sizes in an intensive, accelerated environment, students will develop knowledge of music theory and history in preparation for the RCM examination.  Note: Students must register separately for RCM examinations. Additional material fees apply. Times and days subject to change to accommodate students' requirements.

ARTC Analysis (Online)

Instructor: Shirley Lum
Recommended for: Students wishing to complete RCM August examinations. Pre-requisite: completion of pre-test with a minimum score of 90%.
Class Time: July 5 to August 6 - eleven 2-hour classes, Monday and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays. Class times to be arranged at the mutual convenience of the teacher and students.
Semester Fee:
  • $450
Class Description: VAM’s Accelerated RCM Theory and History courses offer the fast track to success in RCM Examinations. With the personalized attention of small class sizes in an intensive, accelerated environment, students will develop knowledge of music theory and history in preparation for the RCM August exam session.  Note: Students must register separately for RCM examinations. Additional material fees apply. Times and days subject to change to accommodate students' requirements.

Accelerated Grade 10 History (Online)

Instructor: Shirley Lum
Recommended for: Students wishing to complete RCM examinations
Class Time: July 5 to August 18 - twelve 1.5-hour classes, Mondays and Wednesdays, 5:30-7:00pm
Semester Fee:
  • $450
Class Description: VAM’s Accelerated RCM Theory and History courses offer the fast track to success in RCM Examinations. With the personalized attention of small class sizes in an intensive, accelerated environment, students will develop knowledge of music theory and history in preparation for the RCM examination.  Note: Students must register separately for RCM examinations. Additional material fees apply. Times and days subject to change to accommodate students' requirements.

Accelerated RCM Grade 9 History (Online)

Instructor: Shirley Lum
Recommended for: Students wishing to complete RCM examinations
Class Time: July 5 to August 18 - twelve 1.5-hour classes, Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:00-5:30pm July 6 to August 13 - twelve 1.5-hour classes, Tuesdays and Fridays, 5:30-7:00pm
Semester Fee:
  • $450
Class Description: VAM’s Accelerated RCM Theory and History courses offer the fast track to success in RCM Examinations. With the personalized attention of small class sizes in an intensive, accelerated environment, students will develop knowledge of music theory and history in preparation for the RCM examinations.  Note: Students must register separately for RCM examinations. Additional material fees apply. Times and days subject to change to accommodate students' requirements.

Summer Popcorn Orchestra: Music from Harry Potter

Instructor: Joseph Elworthy
Recommended for: Ages 8-12
Class Time: Session 1: July 5-9, 9:00am – 3:00pm Session 2: Aug 9-13, 9:00am – 3:00pm
Semester Fee:
  • $400
Class Description: Cinematic sounds come to life as VAM’s acclaimed Orchestral Program brings the big screen to the stage. Discover the orchestra’s magical role in storytelling that culminates in a performance of music from the Harry Potter films.

Summer Music Safari – Level I (Online)

Instructor: Chloe Hurst (Department Head)
Recommended for: Ages 3-18 months, with parent/guardian participation
Class Time: Session 1: Pre-recorded videos released July 13, 20, 27 Session 2: Pre-recorded videos released Aug 10, 17, 24
Semester Fee:
  • $47.50
Class Description: Join your child in their first exploration of the musical world! In the beginning levels of Summer Music Safari, students will use song and movement to create the foundation of musical training, developing coordination, confidence, and the ability to work with others. Delivered through a series of pre-recorded lessons that can be watched at your convenience. Every week, parents will receive a 45-minute class and story & lullaby videos.

Summer Music Safari – Level II (Online)

Instructor: Chloe Hurst (Department Head)
Recommended for: Ages 18 months - 3 years, with parent/guardian participation
Class Time: Session 1: Pre-recorded videos released July 13, 20, 27 Session 2: Pre-recorded videos released Aug 10, 17, 24
Semester Fee:
  • $47.50
Class Description: Join your child in their first exploration of the musical world! In the beginning levels of Summer Music Safari, students will use song and movement to create the foundation of musical training, developing coordination, confidence, and the ability to work with others. Delivered through a series of pre-recorded lessons that can be watched at your convenience. Every week, parents will receive a 45-minute class and bonus content exploring letters and numbers.

Summer Music Safari – Level III (Online)

Instructor: Chloe Hurst (Department Head)
Recommended for: Ages 3-4 years, with parent/guardian participation
Class Time: Session 1: July 13, 20, 27, 10:00-10:45am Session 2: Aug 10, 17, 24, 10:00-10:45am
Semester Fee:
  • $47.50
Class Description: Join your child in their first exploration of the musical world! In Summer Music Safari Level III, students will build the essential tools needed for musical discovery including reading and ear training while diving into musicianship skills with elements of the Orff and Kodaly methods. This course is delivered online through live video conferencing.

Summer Music Safari – Level IV (Online)

Instructor: Chloe Hurst (Department Head)
Recommended for: Ages 5-7 years
Class Time: Session 1: July 13, 20, 27, 11:00-11:45am Session 2: Aug 10, 17, 24, 11:00-11:45am
Semester Fee:
  • $47.50
Class Description: Join your child in their first exploration of the musical world! In Level IV, students will build the essential tools needed musical discovery including reading and ear training while learning about instruments and composers. This course is delivered online through live video conferencing.

RCM Music Theory (Online)

Class Time: to be scheduled at the mutual convenience of teacher and students
Class Description: VAM's private, semi-private, and small group classes in RCM Theory provide an excellent means of enhancing essential musicianship skills that greatly spur progress for instrumental training. VAM shares a close institutional relationship with the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) that includes our official designation as Vancouver West exam centre. This is an online subject, offered through live videoconferencing. Private, semi-private, and small group options available; click  below to begin the registration process.

RCM Music History (Online)

Class Time: to be scheduled at the mutual convenience of teacher and students
Class Description: VAM's private, semi-private, and small group classes in RCM History provide an excellent means of enhancing essential musicianship skills that greatly spur progress for instrumental training. VAM shares a close institutional relationship with the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) that includes our official designation as Vancouver West exam centre. This is an online subject, offered through live videoconferencing. Private, semi-private, and small group options available; click  below to begin the registration process.

Brain Boosters

Instructor: Lisa Amini
Recommended for: Ages 4-7
Class Description: This popular program exclusive to VAM engages both sides of the brain through a combination of music and math activities that develop cognitive and rational thinking while fostering natural curiosity for discovery and creativity. Private, semi-private, and small group options available; click below to begin the registration process.

Brain Boosters: Math Wizards (Online)

Instructor: Lisa Amini
Recommended for: Ages 8-13
Class Description: Math Wizards utilizes self-motivational tools and materials that will strengthen comprehension of math and logic. Weekly assigned work and follow-up corrections ensure a strong foundation for future learning progress. Math Wizards instills an enjoyment of learning math based on a personalized system of learning that motivates children to independently develop analytical skills. This is an online subject, offered through live videoconferencing. Private, semi-private, and small group options available; click below to begin the registration process.

Young Reading & Writing Circle (Online)

Instructor: Lisa Amini
Recommended for: Kindergarten - Grade 2
Class Time: to be scheduled at the mutual convenience of teacher and students
Class Description: The world of literature is waiting to be discovered by your child in this program that will introduce grammar, reading comprehension and writing.  In addition to fiction reading and writing, students will explore the biographies of different composers and music history to aid in the preparation of RCM music theory and history examinations. This is an online subject, offered through live videoconferencing. Private, semi-private, and small group options available; click below to begin the registration process.

Reading & Writing Circle (Online)

Instructor: Lisa Amini
Recommended for: Grades 3-7
Class Time: to be scheduled at the mutual convenience of teacher and students
Class Description: Reading & Writing Circle continues to build on students’ knowledge of the different genres of fiction and also explores non-fiction works. Students will research composers and music history to further their creative literacy while acquiring a deeper understanding of music and literature. RWC provides practical skills to help master the music history and writing components of RCM examination requirements. This is an online subject, offered through live videoconferencing.Private, semi-private, and small group options available; click below to begin the registration process.

Composition (Online)

Recommended for: RCM Intermediate Rudiments +; Ages 12+
Class Description: Combine your knowledge of music theory with your desire to create! Feel the support and camaraderie of fellow aspiring composers in a small group environment where compositional ideas, techniques and styles are discussed and applied. This is an online subject, offered through live videoconferencing. Private, semi-private, and small group options available; click below to begin the registration process. Composition auditing options are available through VAM's S. K. Lee College, subject to course availability; email [email protected] for more details.