VCMS at Swan Lake Market

VCMS guitar students kicked off Saturday performances at Swan Lake Market yesterday – some great playing by Sari, Jeremy, Jeff, Jadyn, Claire and Ellie Dobernigg, and Isabelle!

Milla Cook entertaining patrons in the garden area



Suzuki Group Ready to Go!

Students from Natalie Kober, Bev Martens and Ardeth Erikson’s violin suzuki group got together yesterday for their first practice together in the new school year. How great does everyone sound!? Bravo, we are really looking forward to seeing how the hard work and determination come together this year!

So excited for the school year!

Help Love Our School!

The Smith House was built in 1908, and as such needs constant love and attention, and our school often has ongoing projects that require funds to maintain our programs and classes year after year. We know that it takes a community to help our school maintain the level of excellence we have developed over the years, and help to foster leadership skills for future community leaders. With your help, we will be able to continue supporting musicians in our community for generations to come. Help Love Our School!

The Vernon Community Music School as a not-for-profit organization relies on the generous donations from its members, alumni and the community to continue to offer superior music experiences for the students.

If you would like to support the school through a donation please consider donating with an Endowment Fund, maintained through Community Foundation North Okanagan. We currently have Endowment Funds which support both our Scholarship program as well as operational costs for maintaining our heritage buildings. As the costs of maintaining and repairing the facility increase, operational help would be most appreciated! Thank you so much!

The Vernon Community Music School

Violin Recital

Carole Ruth’s violin students had a lovely year-end recital in the Carriage House Loft this month, coinciding with the Festival of Hats. Congratulations to all of Carole’s students who performed, we are all so proud of you! Thank you for your time and efforts to learn your instruments for all of us to hear!

Year-End Wrap Up

Well, here we are, at the end of another school year. What a year it has been – we kept putting one foot in front of the other, and we finished off with a tremendous bang! Congratulations to everyone, thank you so much for helping to keep the school going and continuing to do what we do best; make music and help shape community leaders!

Also, we say congratulations to those of us who are taking on new adventures in life and saying farewell to the Music School. Congratulations to our dear friends Caroline Mackay and Therese Parent on your retirements with private lessons, and the next chapter of life. We are so grateful you chose the Music School as a place to make a difference in the lives of so many people. We will miss you!

Good luck to our friend Alex MacArthur, as he takes the next year off from the music school and travels to Mexico teaching overseas! We hope you have a truly spectacular journey, and we look forward to hearing all of your stories when you come back.

We were able to celebrate this year with a faculty year-end wrap up, and it was a spectacular event! Our faculty works so hard all year long, and the end of the year is a great time to recognize them for their dedication and love for our students. The event coincided with the 40th Anniversary of the Music School operating out of the historic Smith House, so we created pillars with photos and newspaper clippings from the past 40 years. What a great way to end the school year!

Guitar Year-End Recital

Congratulations to the guitar students of Ken Scott and mentorship student Jadyn Dobernigg on their year-end recital! It was their first gathering in the loft for 2 years, and it was a smashing success. So much joy, great playing and musical fellowship. What an amazing bunch of students!

Suzuki Violins

Suzuki Violin Group

Students of Natalie Kober and Bev Martens are working on a really fantastic project and they can’t wait to share it with you! Here’s a snippet of what they have in store…

Suzuki violin group performing J.S. Bach

Songwriting Opportunity

Do you want to capture your experiences and feelings on paper? Learn how to write your own songs based on your experiences?

Saturday, June 18th

*limited spaces available

RSVP: 250-545-4977 or

Join legendary singer-songwriter Andrew Allen as he guides you through the process of creating an original song. Learn how to take your own words, music, melodies, poems or ideas and craft them into a song in any genre to share with the world. 

Space is limited so register today!

Music Therapy Masterclass

Dr. Demian Krogutek

Dr. Demian Kogutek came to the Vernon Community Music School this month to present a Masterclass on Music Therapy, as part of our Masterclass Series for the 2021-22 school year. He focused on Music Therapy and the benefits of it relating to improved motor skills and neurological functioning for developmentally disabled students as well as for those students who want to start a career in the Musical Therapy field. Dr. Kogutek is an accredited Musical Therapist and Supervisor experienced with a variety of populations. He is an accomplished classical guitarist, and extensively trained in percussion, voice, piano, bass guitar, theory and recording. His research and teaching area of interest is motor improvement in neurological rehabilitation through client’s active use of musical instruments.

Dr. Kogutek’s presentation touched on the Musician’s Brain. He discussed how musicians have larger cerebellums than non-musicians, and an increased concentration of gray matter. This is particularly true for musicians who began their training early. He went on to say that there may also be a cluster of genes that work together to create the component skills that one must have to become a successful musician; good eye-hand coordination, muscle control, motor control, tenacity and patience, memory for certain kinds of structures and patterns, and a sense of rhythm and timing.

When discussing how music therapy helps people on the Autism Spectrum Disorder his point was that for people with ASD, the hearing and language disorders are predominately expressed as sensitive hearing which is exhibited by closing the ears, anger, crying, irritation and throwing objects while hearing certain noises. Sensory processing deficits typically manifest as hyper or hypo-reactivity to sensory input such as sensory-seeking or sensory-avoiding behaviours. Rhythmicity plays a vital role in development and timing is critical in motor control and cognitive functions. Synchrony and imitation can be introduced to induce and enhance social and behavioural skills in children with ASD. Rhythmic entrainment methods connect an individual with their own body rhythm and also connect them nonverbally with other individuals.

Music Therapy Masterclass 2022

Music Therapy Masterclass 2022

Music Therapy Masterclass 2022

Music Therapy Masterclass 2022

12 people came out to participate, and at the end there was a drum circle. During the drum circle it was discussed about how people who claim to not be musical at all can participate and still feel like they are contributing. It felt freeing to play any rhythm or note on the xylophone without any perimeters or having to work within a specific box.

Thank you so much, Dr. Kogutek, for taking the time to visit our Music School. Your information was invaluable, and we extend an open invitation for you to present at future Masterclasses.

Musical Munchkins Success

Ms. Natalie Kober brought Musical Munchkins to the scene this Spring, as Covid restrictions eased. This class is an introductory primer for infants 0-23 months and their caregivers. These child centred classes provide a sensory rich experience for infants as they participate in musical stories and songs. During this class, connections are encouraged through shared experiences and activities based on rhythm, melody, movement and pitch.

Natalie is helping these parents in setting the groundwork for their child to lead a musically inspired life. Look at how much fun they are having! For more information about the next session that will run in September, please contact Natalie at

Way to go, everyone!

Musical Munchkins - 0 to 23 month olds
Musical Munchkins - 0 to 23 month olds
Musical Munchkins - 0 to 23 month olds
Musical Munchkins - 0 to 23 month olds