Music Lesson Guidelines

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Whether you choose lessons in your home or at one of our two studio locations, all the information you need to get started is right here!

Piano Lessons

Piano lessons are a popular choice at Chinook School of Music. For many, playing the piano provides a lifetime of enjoyment whether it is playing timeless classics, pop songs off the radio, or holiday favourites during the festive season. Often musicians begin their musical studies with the piano. Many of the skills developed with this instrument such as reading the treble and bass clefs, establishing a sense of rhythm, developing an ear for harmony, and strengthening coordination are transferable to other instruments. Benefits of studying the piano that are applicable to other areas of one’s life include independent learning, self discipline and perseverance, time management, self confidence, analytical skills and more.

Many of our students at Chinook School of Music choose to take Royal Conservatory of Music piano examinations and participate in competitive and non-competitive festivals in the community, while others are keen to chart their own path of study with music ranging from contemporary and pop to jazz and blues. Students have an opportunity to learn with their peers in our Performance Enrichment Program. We find that age five is an appropriate age to start private piano lessons however some children start earlier.

Music Kids Private Lessons

Chinook School of Music’s private Music Kids lessons incorporate the fundamentals of music study with the fun of the Music Kids curriculum. This is a fantastic introduction for children who are at a pre-reading stage and are ready to try a private lesson without the necessity of a practice routine at home. Introductory rhythm and note reading is taught through singing, drums, games, movement and playing the piano. Custom tailored for each individual, students exhibit their strengths, interests and musical aptitudes. Many Music Kids private lesson students learn basic piano skills using a piano primer lesson book, while others prefer to focus on singing or percussion. After a year of Music Kids private lessons, parents are much more aware of which instrument will be the best fit for their child as they progress onto structured private lessons in specific instruments.

Guitar Lessons

Guitar students come to Chinook School of Music with many different musical goals. Whether your passion is to play in a rock band, read music, learn chords and tabs, or prepare classical music repertoire for examinations, Chinook School of Music instructors will meet all of these goals and more. We teach all styles and genres of music in electric, acoustic, classical and bass guitar. Let us know what your musical aspirations are and we will match you with the best instructor. We recommend guitar lessons for children ages seven and older based on the physiological requirements needed for playing this instrument. Students have an opportunity to learn with their peers in our Performance Enrichment Program

Guitar Rentals

CSM is pleased to offer a guitar rental program for our students. Our high quality guitars come in 1/2, 3/4 and full size for students of all ages and sizes. The cost is $23 per month. Payment plans are offered. Contact administration for more information.

Vocal Lessons

Learn to sing Broadway, Pop, Classical, Opera, Folk, Jazz and more at Chinook School of Music! Our vocal instructors assist students, ages six to adulthood in establishing healthy vocal technique to expand vocal range and singing enjoyment. Everyone has a voice – our instructors create a comfortable environment for self expression for our vocal students. Voice lessons combine fun learning, technical and repertoire development and building self confidence. Students interested in taking their performing to the next level can hone their performance skills in our Performance Enrichment Program.

Drum Lessons

Nothing gets your adrenaline flowing like playing the drums! Drums engage both the linear and creative sides of your brain, making it a great body and brain exercise. While drumming has been used for multiple types of physical and mental therapy by many cultures for many years, drums are also fun and totally cool! Drum lessons are a fantastic option for children or adults with lots of energy who want to further develop their motor skills. Our drum teachers can teach children ages six and up and can teach all musical styles. Students interested in taking their performing to the next level can hone their performance skills in our Performance Enrichment Program.

Violin Lessons

Chinook School of Music offers an Introductory Violin Group Class for ages four and five where students learn the fundamentals of violin playing such as posture, bowing, and names of strings. By the end of the class session, students are playing melodies and are ready for private lessons.

We teach beginner to advanced violin students. For beginner violin students, our instructors utilize the Suzuki violin repertoire, Royal Conservatory of Music and more to create a well-rounded musical experience. Many of our students choose to take Royal Conservatory of Music examinations and play in festivals. Students of all ages and levels have an opportunity to play in an orchestral/ensemble environment in our Performance Enrichment Program.

Cello Lessons

Cello is a beautiful sounding string instrument, considered the tenor of the string instruments. We recommend cello lessons for students ages eight years and older. We offer all levels of cello study. Adult students have an opportunity to join our adult cello choir – See more info here.

Flute Lessons

Whether you are looking to advance your playing skills in the school band or you are attracted to the melodic sound of the flute, Chinook School of Music provides a high standard of flute study, beginner to advanced levels. We recommend flute lessons for students ages eight and older.

Music Theory: Rudiments, History, Harmony, Counterpoint & Analysis

Studying theory can greatly enhance student’s understanding and enjoyment of music. Starting music theory at a young age strengthens student’s abilities to read notes and understand repertoire.

The RCM Certificate Program is a comprehensive and effectively sequenced program of music study and assessment, beginning with the Preparatory level(s), followed by levels 1 to 10, and concluding with the Associate Diploma of The Royal Conservatory of Music (ARCT).  A Licenciate Diploma of The Royal Conservatory of Music (LRCM) is available for piano.  At each level, a Certificate of Achievement can be earned by successfully completing a Royal Conservatory practical examination.

Teachers at Chinook School of Music integrate theory in the music lesson for the beginner student. By Grade five, it is recommended that students enroll in a group or private theory lesson. Students taking Royal Conservatory examinations starting at the grade 5 level in any instrument have one or more theory prerequisites. Students planning to enter University level music studies are required to complete some or all of these theory prerequisites. Students are eligible to receive high school credits for many of their music classes.

Theory instruction is available in group and private settings. Counterpoint and analysis courses are booked on a private lesson basis.

In 2015, the Royal Conservatory introduced a new method of theory studies; Celebrate Theory. The new series brings theory study to every grade through an accompanied book for each grade level, all books are available for purchase at CSM. Below is a breakdown of the new grades and levels of theory study:

  • RCM Prep-Grade 4: Equivalent to Basic Rudiments
  • RCM Grade 5-8: Equivalent to Intermediate & Advanced Rudiments
  • RCM Grade 9, Level 9 Harmony, History & Keyboard Harmony: Equivalent to Grade 3 Harmony, & Grade 3 History
  • RCM Grade 10, Level 10 Harmony, History, Keyboard Harmony: Equivalent to Grade 4 Harmony, & Grade 4 History
  • ARCT, ARCT Harmony & Counterpoint, Analysis, ARCT Keyboard Harmony, ARCT History: Equivalent to Grade 5 History, Grade 5 Analysis, Grade 5 Counterpoint, Grade 5 Harmony

Performance Enrichment Program (PEP)

Piano | Voice | Guitar | Violin, Viola, Cello

The Performance Enrichment Program (PEP) is for students who aspire to take their performing and enjoyment of music to the next level. Students gain confidence, build performance skills, and broaden and strengthen their musicianship through participation in specialized group classes, workshops and other unique performance and learning opportunities held throughout the school year. The intention of the Performance Enrichment Program is to provide an invigorating and inspiring musical environment to foster musical growth and enthusiasm.

Benefits of participating in PEP:

  • the development of critical listening skills
  • self reflection and motivation
  • exposure to a wide variety of repertoire
  • increase in confidence and performance skills

What We Expect from PEP Students:

  • readiness to try new things
  • to participate fully in group activities
  • regular attendance

What Students Can Expect from Us:

  • high quality instruction from some of our most sought after instructors
  • a safe, respectful environment to experiment with new ideas

Each class focuses on a different musical or technical theme appropriate to the age group and is led by Chinook School of Music instructors and other professional musicians in the community.

Music for Seniors

At Chinook School of Music we offer seniors, sixty five years and older, a 10% discount on all products and services including lessons and music books.

Our teachers provide music lessons in all instruments for seniors interested in enjoying music in their daily lives. We offer convenient daytime and early afternoon scheduling for our senior community.