Music Classes & Ensembles

One-on-one instruction with a member of our faculty provide customized lesson plans tailored to your personal goals.

Please see our Faculty Listing and send in a Registration Request today!

Some teachers offer shared introductory lessons and/or ensembles to assist young students with costs. Please inquire.

As well as or instead of private studio lessons, you are encouraged to register for classes or ensembles. Aside from practice time, the making of music is seldom a private pursuit, and even solo performers work with an accompanist. In addition to opportunities described in this section, other impromptu ensembles may be formed at any time through the year depending on student interest and the availability of an interested coach. Ask your teacher if there’s something being formed that is suitable for you. Duos, piano trios, string quartets, or vocal and instrumental groupings – maybe even collaborations between students of music and dance – are limited only by your imagination and suitable repertoire – and because the lesson time is shared with others, the cost is lower than private lessons.

Interested in sampling chamber music, jazz or light classics? Want to see how another teacher approaches things? Ensembles open doors to lots of new learning, new friends, skills that can keep you playing for a lifetime, and – if the laughter we hear from some rehearsals is any indication – it’s fun!

Music Therapy

Music is a fun and effective facilitator for achieving therapeutic goals. Music therapy uses music as a tool to achieve individual goals in areas such as speech, motor and social behaviour. Clients with special needs are often highly motivated by music and many can participate in musical activities with success.

Almost all children respond to music. Music is an open-sesame, and if you can use it carefully and appropriately, you can reach into that child’s potential for development (Dr. Clive Robbins).

Music has unique qualities that stimulates our brains, emotions and physical responses like no other medium. It can be a very effective motivator to learn academic material, to provide positive sensory experiences, decrease self-stimulatory behaviours, improve social behaviours
and relationships, enhance motor coordination and improve communication skills. Because of these factors music therapy can be a very valuable tool for learning and social success.

The brain that engages in music is changed…by engaging in music (Dr. M. Thaut, 2005).

Music Therapist
Antonia Pigot is an accredited music therapist (MTA) with the Canadian Association of Music Therapy and a Neurologic Music Therapist (NMT). She has been working with clients with special needs since 2007.

Music Therapy Sessions
In music therapy sessions the therapist and client create music together by singing and playing various instruments. They engage in musical activities that the child enjoys and is attracted to which could include vocalization, singing, chanting, body percussion, exploring hand held musical instruments and assisted guitar and piano. Music therapy uses music as a tool to work on various therapeutic goals; the therapist discovers what engages the student and includes therapeutic intentions as part of the music making.

Goals such as improving communication, forming relationships, improving motor skills and reducing behavourial habits can be motivated and encouraged through music. For example, a non-verbal child who is motivated by music can be encouraged to use their voice to make sounds and sing syllables which can lead to speech outside of the music sessions. The main emphasis of any session is to provide an enjoyable musical experience for the child which furthers their therapeutic goals.

For students who wish to become proficient in an instrument but are unable to tolerate regular lessons, adapted music lessons may be an appropriate option. In an adaptive music lesson the music therapist provides musical instruction with adaptations to accommodate the students needs and helps the student to develop the skills required for a successful music lesson. These skills may include increasing attention span, improving the ability to follow directions, regulating emotions and behaviour, and improving fine motor skills. Once the student is comfortable with these skills, an instructor in the preferred instrument can be approached to begin regular music lessons.

Musical Theatre

The Broadway Company Players provides a pre-professional musical theatre experience tailored to the needs of our individual students. Participation in the Elementary Broadway Company Players is open to all students entering grades 4–6 and the Junior Broadway Company Players is open to all students entering grades 7 – 12.

These two 36 week programs will focus on developing the vocal, dance, and theatrical skill-sets of students who are interested in pursuing studies in musical theatre and performance. Students will receive weekly instruction in voice, acting, and dance addressing the specifics of their voice, movement and character work as they are encouraged and guided on a path of personal and artistic growth.

The work students do weekly will culminate in a staged showcase performance on January 27th and two fully staged musical performances on June 8th and 9th in The Lilian Piercey Concert Hall. The Elementary and Junior Broadway Company Players programs will encourage healthy technique, artistry and a love of musical theatre for the next generation of music theatre performers. We hope that you will join us on this exciting artistic journey!

Jason Davis
Artistic Director

BCP Important Dates – Semester 2018/2019

September 7, 2018 – First Class of the Semester

October 5, 2018 – BCP Classes Cancelled for Thanksgiving Weekend

October 31, 2018 – Last Day to Withdraw from BCP Ensemble

December 14, 2018 – Last Class before the Winter Break

December 20, 2018 – January 3, 2019 – Conservatory Winter Break

January 4, 2019 – First BCP Class of the New Year

January 26, 2019 BCP Variety Show Performance (mandatory) 7:00pm Lilian Piercey Hall

January 27, 2019 – Main Stage Auditions (mandatory) 1:00 – 4:00pm Rm 12

March 16 – 23, 2019 – March Break (No Class on Friday March 22, 2019)

April 19, 2019 – BCP Classes Cancelled for Good Friday

June 4, 2019 – BCP June Production Tech Rehearsal (mandatory) 6:00pm Lilian Piercey Hall

June 5, 2019 – BCP June Production Dress Rehearsal (mandatory) 6:00pm Lilian Piercey Hall

June 6, 2019 – BCP June Production Performance #1 (mandatory) 6:00pm Lilian Piercey Hall

June 7, 2019 – BCP June Production Performance #2 (mandatory) 6:00pm Lilian Piercey Hall

June 8, 2019 – BCP June Production Performance #3 (mandatory) 6:00pm Lilian Piercey Hall

Required Clothing – All students must own jazz dance shoes and theatre blacks for our January 27th performance. Theatre blacks can include; black dresses, black skirts, black dress pants, black blouses, black dress shirts. **Please no black leggings**

1) Our Main Stage musical will be announced sometime in late October or early November after our enrollment for the year has settled and we have secured production rights.*

2) Please note that all auditions, tech and dress rehearsals and performances are absolutely mandatory for all students if they wish to take part in this ensemble. Please note that a performance contract will be signed following auditions in 2019 by both parents and students that outlines the required time commitments listed here. No exceptions are possible!

Instructors: Jason Davis / Lucy Hayes Davis
Class time: Fridays from 4:00 – 7:00pm
Tuition: $945 per year (one class per week + special events) + $65 Registration

Repertoire Class: Learn and perform songs in a wide variety of musical styles
with confidence and style. The focus of the class is acting through the song. Students will develop stage presence, good vocal habits, and the ability to interpret and deliver a song to an audience.

Music Theatre Chorus: Exploring group singing from a wide variety of music theatre repertoire.

Dance/Movement: Students will learn technique and combinations in Jazz, Swing, Contemporary, African and Hip-Hop styles with a focus on classical jazz technique, facial expression, and showmanship.

Story Book Theatre: Building reading and comprehension skills for very young actors by reading stories as a group, and then using role-playing and basic creative drama exercises to bring these stories to life. Children will make new friends and discover new ideas while developing self-confidence in performance.

Instructors: Jason Davis / Lucy Hayes Davis
Class time: Fridays from 5:00 – 8:00pm
Tuition: $945 per year (one class per week + special events) + $65 Registration

Repertoire Class: The interpretation, acting and delivery of a song. Selection
of musical material appropriate for student’s voice type, and usable for audition and performance, along with basic healthy vocal technique and use of breath.

Music Theatre Chorus: Group singing from a wide variety of SAT and SATB music theatre repertoire.

Dance/Movement: Students will learn technique and combinations in Jazz, Swing, Contemporary, African and Hip-Hop styles with a focus on classical Jazz technique, facial expression, and showmanship.

Acting & Improv: Includes theatre games, improvisation, acting and creative drama activities, with an emphasis on building collaborative and communication skills through short plays, scenes and individual monologues.

String Orchestra Programs

New this fall 2017, the Presto String Orchestra will be a great place to meet other young musician friends and have fun playing together! This ensemble will provide an upbeat and challenging collaborative experience for young string musicians wanting to explore the world of the string orchestra. Participants will meet weekly to play stimulating repertoire from the string orchestral repertoire as a full ensemble, in sectional rehearsals, and in occasional joint rehearsals with the other Conservatory orchestras. This group will train string players in all of the skills needed to move into the Conservatory Chamber Orchestra. In addition to weekly rehearsals, there will be performance opportunities alongside the Chamber and Adult Orchestras, providing a delightful musical and multigenerational experience! This is for RCM grades 2-5

Instructor: Susannë Brown
Rehearsal Time:
Monday 6:00pm to 7:00pm
September through May

Tuition for Each: $205/year + $65 registration

The Conservatory Chamber Orchestra is a string ensemble for advanced students playing challenging repertoire at the RCM Grade 5 level and up. There will be several performances throughout the year of repertoire from the Baroque period through to the Modern era. Entrance is by audition, and members are expected to attend regularly. This pre-professional ensemble experience will hone the musicianship skills of participants within a supportive and encouraging learning environment.

Conductor: Celeste Jankowski
Rehearsal Times: Monday 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Tuition: $315/year + $65 Registration*

The Adult Orchestra provides an opportunity for recreational musicians with variable playing experience and skill levels to make music together in a relaxed and enjoyable environment. Under the leadership of Susannë Brown, the members of the Adult Orchestra will meet weekly to play a range of approachable repertoire drawn from various genres and styles. Each term culminates in a final concert. Most importantly, the goal is always to have fun with your instrument!

Conductor: Susannë Brown
Rehearsal Times: Tuesday 7:00 – 8:30 pm

Tuition: $205/year + $65 Registration*

Suzuki Strings

Shinichi Suzuki (1898-1998) was a Japanese violinist and teacher who pioneered the idea that preschool age children could learn to play the violin [or other stringed instrument] if the learning steps were small enough and the instrument was scaled down to fit their body. He believed that with good teaching every child can learn to play a musical instrument well.


  • Lauren Klein (violin)
  • Megan Boyko (Cello)

Traditional Music Ensemble

Join us on a musical journey exploring many different cultures – Irish, Cape Breton, Scottish, Québecois, Scandinavian, Breton (France), Galician/Asturian (Spain), Balkan, Klezmer, and more. We learn tunes together, jam them session-style, learn how to arrange the tunes in creative ways, and perform them as a real trad stage band. Flutist Jennifer Publicover co-ordinates a rotating roster of guest instructors on a variety of instruments, all active performers in Nova Scotia’s vibrant traditional music scene. If you are comfortable getting around on your instrument, self-directed, and willing to play by memory and to learn by ear, you will enjoy our group. Learning by ear is the best way to capture the great energy and style of this music. We email you .mp3 files to practice with at home, and scores in case you get stuck. We are open to traditional instruments – fiddle, flute, whistle, guitar, pipes, mandolin, harp, accordion, keyboard, banjo, etc. – and to non-traditional ones too.

Faculty: Jennifer Publicover and Anthony Rissesco

Sundays, 1:30 – 3:00pm. Ages 13-Adult. If there is sufficient enrolment, we may split the class into two overlapping classes with staggered start times, based on playing level and/or age.

Cost per term: $255 plus registration fee. There will be 2 terms of 15 weeks each. First class: Sept. 23, 2018.

A minimum of 6 students need to register by Sept. 17, 2018 for the program to run. Interested players are encouraged to contact Jennifer Publicover through the conservatory for more information.

Vocal Ensembles

A small vocal ensemble for motivated teens aged 13-18 focusing on jazz, pop and contemporary styles. Now in its fourth season, Vivid Vocal Ensemble has quickly become a top small ensemble in Halifax for teens that are wishing to develop both as an ensemble singer as well as a soloist. This is an auditioned group.

Teacher: Zoe Leger

Fee: $165 per term + $35 registration (Two 18 week terms)

Mondays 7:30 – 9:00 pm

Swingalong is the perfect group for adults who want to discover the classic jazz standards of the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s while sharpening their vocal technique. Swingalong is a small ensemble that sings in three to four-part harmony. This ensemble is perfect for those looking for a relaxed way to learn more about singing jazz and performing with others! No audition required.

Teacher: Zoe Leger

$140 per term + $35 registration (Two 18 week terms)

Wednesdays 7:30pm – 9pm

Wind Ensembles

Adult Clarinet Class

Learn to play the clarinet!
Learn to play in a supportive, small group environment and make new friends.
For clarinet players at beginner to elementary level.
Class starts in September and continue until June. Tuition is paid in 15-week segments.
Mondays 3:30-4:30pm.

Patty Shaw

$350 per student + registration fee (registration fee is not applicable if you have already paid the fee for other lessons at the Conservatory in the term). Maximum class size of 4.

Instrument info
Students must supply their own clarinet. Clarinets are available for rental or purchase from Long and McQuade. Patty is happy to advise you.

Private lessons
Also available – beginner to advanced levels.

Saturdays, 2:00 – 4:00pm

The brass ensemble for students aged 8-18 provides participants with a year-long introduction to brass instrumental performance. Repertoire will be chosen from a variety of musical styles and periods. The purpose of the ensemble is to provide high quality technical instruction while fostering a love of the brass instrumental medium.

Instructor: Rod MacGillivray (also Trombone)
Tuition: $205 + $65 registration per year

This mini-clarinet is perfect for young children, and changing to clarinet when they’re bigger is easy! In this program, your child will learn to play the clarineo in an environment that shapes their imagination, develops their creativity, and teaches them how to cooperate with others to make wonderful music. Upon graduation from Level 4, students transition to playing the clarinet.

Faculty: Patty Shaw

Tuition: 15 weeks – $350 per student + registration fee*
Classes start in September and continue until June. Tuition is paid in 15-week segments.

Level 1-age 6-8
Wind music class for young children aged 5-7. In this small group class, your child will learn the basics of clarineo playing, play fun easy songs together, and learn how to perform.

Level 2
For students who have graduated from level 1.

Level 3
For students who have graduated from level 2.

Level 4
For students who have graduated from level 3.

Maximum enrollment: 5 per class; extra classes will be added if demand warrants.

Instrument info:
Students must bring their own clarineo to the first class.  Clarineos can be purchased at Long and McQuade on Cunard St.  A limited number of clarineos are available for rental from Patty.

*Registration fee is not applicable if you have already paid the fee for other lessons at the Conservatory in the term. For more information contact Patty.

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