Summer Newsletter

Please enjoy our latest newsletter, for your viewing pleasure. To see the full .pdf version, please visit our Newsletter page.



We have upgraded our database in the office, and each registration will show a 36 week year (unless otherwise instructed by your teacher), rather than two 18 week semesters. This should alleviate any confusion regarding payments. For the 2019-2020 school year, there will be 3 options to make it easy for lesson payments. Please let me know which option you would prefer, when you register.

Option 1: Pay invoice in two installments – September 15th and January 15th

Option 2: Pay invoice in four installments – September 15th, November 15th, February 15th, April 15th

Option 3: Pay invoice in nine (monthly) installments – Payments will come out on the 15th of every month.

Meet Ella Newman

Ella Newman is a theory student of Geoff Barker’s, and a piano student of Karen Rempel – she has been playing with Karen since 2008. Her goal is to take her grade 10 exam (the highest piano exam with the Royal Conservatory of Music), and she practices everyday to reach her goals. Ella loves playing for other people, and recently received honorable mention in the senior classes at the Registered Music Teachers of Vernon Piano Festival. Her favourite pieces to play at the moment are the Chopin nocturnes. The Chopin nocturnes consist of 21 pieces for solo piano written by Frédéric Chopin. They are generally considered among the finest short solo works for the instrument and hold an important place in contemporary concert repertoire.

Congratulations Ella, for working so hard to get to where you are! 

Growing With Our Families

The really neat thing about being a Music School with deep roots in the community, is we get to see students grow from young children into future community leaders. Jenny Sunderland, for example, has been coming to the Music School for over half of her life. She is currently in grade 8 piano with Karen Rempel, but she has also been a voice student of Kim Van Wensem’s from the beginning. Her mother taught her music from when she was very young, and it’s been a major part of her childhood. She is now on her way to university, and has recently been accepted to U-Vic, where she plans to study voice and piano, and possibly perform. For her audition to U-Vic, she had to sing 6 songs from memory, including one in Italian and one in French. We are super excited for Jenny’s future, and we wish her all the best in her next endeavours. She will no doubt succeed on her path of music, and we are grateful that we were able to be a part of her education and support her in achieving her goals. Good luck, Jenny!

Music Explorers – Summer Camp

Sign up for a week with an experienced music educator that will encourage budding and experienced musicians through exploration and discovery in the concepts of rhythm, melody, movement and composition.
Students will engage in music making games and activities using a variety of instruments as well as their voices. 
All students will receive materials to take home to share with their parents!
To register, contact Natalie at 250-306-0421 or kobernatalie@gmail.com

Music Hoppers…Perfect for Exploring Music

Music Hoppers is a class for budding young musicians, that builds a strong foundation for future private lessons. Students will be introduced to basic music concepts through games, play and collaboration so that they are set up for success in whatever instruments they choose to play in the future. Students are introduced to a variety of instruments and styles of music to help them discover which instrument they are passionate about. Lately they have had visitors playing violins, cellos, electric guitar, and more!

Starting in September, there will be two Music Hopper programs offered: one for 4-5 year olds, and one for 5-6 year olds. Both classes will be offered on Thursdays. Registration begins May 15th!

Singing Groups for Children

We are excited to continue to offer some great singing programs for children starting in September, instructed by Kim Van Wensem. Registration with the office starts May 15th.

Let’s Sing Preschool: Ages 4-5
This class is a full year program running from September to June, and will be offered Tuesdays from 1:00-1:40pm.

Let’s Sing: Ages 5-7
This class is a full year program running from September to June, and will be offered Tuesdays from 3:00-3:40pm.
Fees for both Let’s Sing Preschool and Let’s Sing are $504 for the school year, with an annual Music School registration fee and potential course fee paid directly to the teacher. Payment options are available by checking in with the office. Through singing games, fun learning activities, and a relaxed setting, these students will learn the basics of vocal technique, breathing, pitch, rhythm, music notation, solfege, performance, musical theatre and more! Performance opportunities throughout the year include recitals for parents, the Music School and other community events. Students are encouraged to participate in all performances, however, this is not a requirement of the program. 

singing-programs-for-children

Creative Chorus: Ages 8+
This class is a full year program running from September to June, and will be offered Tuesdays from 3:40-4:45pm. Creative Chorus is a class that runs for students who want to be involved in music and performance but do not want the pressure of being in a huge production on a big stage or in a ‘high performance’ environment. Throughout the year they put together a ‘show’ for parents and invited guests only. The kids decide together what they’d like to do.

Fees for this program are $540 for the school year, with an annual Music School registration fee and potential course fee paid directly to the teacher. Payment options are available by checking in with the office. 

VCMS Youth Chorus: Ages 8+
This class is a full year program running from September to June, and will be offered Tuesdays from 4:45-5:30pm, and is recommended for students wanting to try voice for the first time. In a relaxed setting, participants will learn vocal technique and glean the benefits of choral singing including: ear training, sight singing, confidence boosting, team building and much more! Research shows that group singing can even help us with things like alleviating stress and anxiety, and improving our overall health and sense of well being! Fees for this program are $540 for the school year. There is a discount for the class if the student is also taking private voice lessons.

Suzuki Violin Program Expanding

GREAT NEWS! Our Suzuki method violin program has expanded! Please welcome Natalie Kober to our Music School community, she is taking new students starting immediately, and for September. She will also be offering violin lessons throughout the summer, AND TWO Music Hopper classes in September, for ages 4-5 and 5-6!

music-hoppers-program-for-kids

Natalie started violin lessons with Bev Martens at the age of five, and ten years later she began teaching violin. Between 2004-2011, Natalie was a violin instructor at the Kelowna Community Music School. Post Kelowna, she taught General Music at International Schools in Togo and Tanzania between 2011-2018.

Natalie is looking forward to inspiring students and giving them the necessary tool needed for success! She is teaching private lessons as well as group lessons. To register you or your child for violin lessons with Natalie, please call the office at 250-545-4977. *Music Hoppers registration begins May 15.

Country Fair 2019

Country Fair preparations are well underway at the Music School, and we’re especially excited for the Hootenanny Hoedown theme this year! Bring the family for new activities as well as your all time favourites. June 7 – mark your calendars!

This year we will be having a time of music making for the whole family. Do you have a trumpet sitting in a closet collecting dust, or maybe you are a master at playing the spoons? Bring your instruments to the country fair to join in with some classic songs. Music will be available in the office ahead of time if you would like to practice.

We couldn’t have the Country Fair without you! Volunteers are needed for help with set up and take down – sign up in the office. We also need pies, cakes, cupcakes, and oodles of mystery jars! Baked goods can be brought straight to the fair, and mystery jars can be dropped off ahead of time (or just brought to the fair if last minute is your thing!).

We look forward to seeing you all there, and remember, costumes are encouraged!

Glee – Rock of Ages

Photos are back from the 2018 performance of Glee! Thank you to Wayne Emde for capturing this spectacular show!

“You were nothing but a Juke Box Hero and you Hit me with Your Best Shot.
This made me Harden My Heart.
But I Don’t Stop Believin’ as More Than Words will
reveal an Undercover Love
I Want to Know What Love Is and be Wanted but Every Rose Has it’s Thorn.
I’ve Been Waiting for Boy Like You, Mister Christian, and just Can’t Fight This
Feeling Anymore so Here I Go Again
I Love Rock and Roll and I Wanna Rock, Anyway You Want it.
And To Be With You, it would be Just Like Paradise and I would be in Heaven.
Now we’re in Paradise City and having Nothin But a Good Time as We Built
This City together!
We’re Not Gonna Take it too far, I just want you to Pour Some Sugar On Me
in the Shadows of the Night, and I’ll Rock U Like a Hurricane (oops…a little
naughty!).
Don’t it Make You Feel Like Dancin’ to the Rock of Ages?”
– Theresa Beach

Check out our Facebook page for more photos!

Setting Up Students for Success

When students are set up to succeed, they become leaders in their environment. We know that when it comes to music, practicing, taking lessons, and learning tools from your instructor will help aid in that success. Did you also know that parent/partner engagement also helps in setting up success?

According to the American Psychological Association (ASA) children with engaged parents are more likely to earn higher grades or test scores, develop self-confidence and motivation in the classroom, and have better social skills and classroom behavior.

When parents are engaged in their children’s musical abilities, and indeed when partners are engaged in their spouse’s musical abilities, students have the support and knowledge they need to not only learn and complete new pieces, but also develop a lifelong love of learning music. Engagement can happen in a variety of ways at the Music School, from waiting with your loved one when they are taking their lessons, to maintaining open communication with the instructor, to encouraging practice times by maintaining consistency and setting aside specific portions of the day whenever possible, to helping the student learn new pieces and perhaps playing as a family. These are great ways to create a positive learning environment for every student.

Technology is wonderful, and remote methods of communication (texting/emailing) are convenient and used on a daily basis. While digital tools can help families stay informed, unfortunately students are missing out when their support systems are preoccupied with the busyness of life. As much as music students need to dedicate their time and attention to learning new pieces or preparing for festivals, parents/partners need to be engaged to help set the students up for success, and aid in the development of becoming community leaders.

If you have any questions on how you can help set your child up for success when it comes to music, open up the conversation with his or her instructor(s). They will be more than happy to work together to ensure the student is supported and has the tools to reach their goals.