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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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 6-30 Session 2 - August 3-27
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 Study Guide and 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 August 2020 examinations. Pre-requisite: completion of pre-test with a minimum score of 90%.
Class Time: July 6 to August 4 - eleven 2 hours classes, Monday and Wednesdays; or Tuesdays and Thursdays. Class times to be arranged at the mutual convenience of 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 2020 exam session.  Students must register separately for RCM examinations. History students to purchase RCM Music Explorations and RCM 2019 Official Examination Papers.    

Accelerated Grade 10 Harmony and Counterpoint (online)

Instructor: Shirley Lum
Recommended for: Students wishing to complete RCM August 2020 examinations. Pre-requisite: completion of pre-test with a minimum score of 90%.
Class Time: July 6 to August 4 - eleven 2 hours classes, Monday and Wednesdays; or Tuesdays and Thursdays. Class times to be arranged at the mutual convenience of 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 2020 exam session.  Students must register separately for RCM examinations. History students to purchase RCM Music Explorations and RCM 2019 Official Examination Papers.    

Accelerated ARCT Harmony and Counterpoint (Online)

Instructor: Shirley Lum
Recommended for: Students wishing to complete RCM August 2020 examinations. Pre-requisite: completion of pre-test with a minimum score of 90%.
Class Time: July 6 to August 4 - eleven 2 hours classes, Monday and Wednesdays; or Tuesdays and Thursdays. Class times to be arranged at the mutual convenience of 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 2020 exam session.  Students must register separately for RCM examinations. History students to purchase RCM Music Explorations and RCM 2019 Official Examination Papers.    

Accelerated ARCT History (Online)

Instructor: Shirley Lum
Recommended for: Students wishing to complete RCM August 2020 examinations. Pre-requisite: completion of pre-test with a minimum score of 90%.
Class Time: July 6 to August 4 - eleven 2 hours classes, Monday and Wednesdays; or Tuesdays and Thursdays. Class times to be arranged at the mutual convenience of 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 2020 exam session.  Students must register separately for RCM examinations. History students to purchase RCM Music Explorations and RCM 2019 Official Examination Papers.    

ARTC Analysis (Online)

Instructor: Shirley Lum
Recommended for: Students wishing to complete RCM August 2020 examinations. Pre-requisite: completion of pre-test with a minimum score of 90%.
Class Time: July 6 to August 4 - eleven 2 hours classes, Monday and Wednesdays; or Tuesdays and Thursdays. Class times to be arranged at the mutual convenience of 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 2020 exam session.  Students must register separately for RCM examinations. History students to purchase RCM Music Explorations and RCM 2019 Official Examination Papers.    

Adult Theory & Ear Training (Online)

Instructor: Daniel Marshall, Taka Shimojima
Recommended for: Adults with little to no experience reading music
Class Time: Arranged at the mutual convenience of student and teacher (13 total classes per semester)
Semester Fee:
  • $235
Class Description: Designed for adults who are interested in developing a strong foundation of musicianship, Adult Theory & Ear Training introduces students to the fundamental skills of music theory, ear training, and appreciation.   This program consists of 7 online theory classes and 6 online ear training lessons. A 30-minute meeting with the instructor is pre-requisite for registration at any level; contact [email protected] for details.  This is an online course offered through live video conferencing.

Accelerated Grade 10 History (Online)

Instructor: Shirley Lum
Recommended for: Students wishing to complete RCM August 2020 examinations. Pre-requisite: completion of pre-test with a minimum score of 90%.
Class Time: July 6 to August 4 - eleven 2 hours classes, Monday and Wednesdays; or Tuesdays and Thursdays. Class times to be arranged at the mutual convenience of 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 2020 exam session.  Students must register separately for RCM examinations. History students to purchase RCM Music Explorations and RCM 2019 Official Examination Papers.  

Accelerated RCM Grade 9 History (Online)

Instructor: Shirley Lum
Recommended for: Students wishing to complete RCM August 2020 examinations. Pre-requisite: completion of pre-test with a minimum score of 90%.
Class Time: July 6 to August 4 - eleven 2 hours classes, Monday and Wednesdays; or Tuesdays and Thursdays. Class times to be arranged at the mutual convenience of 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 2020 exam session.  Students must register separately for RCM examinations. History students to purchase RCM Music Explorations and RCM 2019 Official Examination Papers.    

Summer Music Safari – Level I (Online)

Instructor: Chloe Hurst (Department Head)
Recommended for: Ages 3-18 months, with parent/guardian participation
Class Time: July 7, 14, 21, 28, August 4th & 11th
Semester Fee:
  • $95
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 received a 45 minute class, a lullaby video and story-time video.

Summer Music Safari – Level II (Online)

Instructor: Chloe Hurst (Department Head)
Recommended for: Ages 18 months - 3 years, with parent/guardian participation
Class Time: July 7, 14, 21, 28, August 4th & 11th
Semester Fee:
  • $95
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 received a 45 minute class, story & lullaby videos, 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: Tuesdays & Fridays for 6 weeks starting July 7th, 10:00-10:45am
Semester Fee:
  • $190
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: Tuesdays & Fridays for 6 weeks starting July 7th, 11:00-11:45am
Semester Fee:
  • $190
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.

Suzuki Summer Sampler (Online)

Instructor: Nicki Stieda & Mark Luchkow (violin); Isabelle Roland (viola); Cyrena Huang (cello); Heather Beaty (flute); Miya Otake (harp); Chloe Hurst (piano)
Recommended for: Ages 4-6
Class Time: August 10th-14th, Monday-Friday, 10:00am-11:00am
Semester Fee:
  • $90
Class Description: Watch your child discover something new every day as they prepare for the journey of musical instruction! This course will incorporate the Suzuki philosophy of education with an online introduction to a variety of instruments in a sampling of the many opportunities VAM's Suzuki programs have to offer. This class 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 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 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.

Suzuki Viola Performance 3B

Instructor: Peter Ing
Class Time: Saturdays, 2:00-2:45pm
Semester Fee:
  • $110
Class Description: Information is available for online activities in the event that classes are not able to be held in person. Click here for more details. 

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.