VSO School Workshops

Teacher’s Guide
VSO School Workshops

What are the VSO School Workshops? 

VSO School Workshops are 1-hour workshops for 30-50 students, intended for visiting Elementary, Middle, and Secondary School Music Programs. Taking place in Pyatt Hall at the VSO School of Music, these workshops can augment your school’s visit to Symphonic Encounters or other events at the Orpheum Theatre or can be bundled together with another workshop or sectional rehearsal.  

Alternative schedule options and locations options are also available upon request. Bring your students to the VSO School of Music or let us come to you!


Workshops: starting from $690 

Sectionals: starting from $250 

Workshops available after the following Symphonic Encounters:

Stravinsky’s Petrushka
Thursday, October 19th, 2023 – 10:00am

Saint-Saens’ Organ Symphony & Mozart Piano Concerto 
Friday, November 10th, 2023 – 10:00am

Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 
Thursday, January 25th, 2024 – 10:00am

Debussy’s  La Mer 
Thursday, February 15th, 2024 – 10:00am

John Adams’ Harmonielehr 
Friday, April 26th, 2024 – 10:00am

Example schedule: 

10am – 12:30pm | Symphonic Encounters 

12:30pm -1:30pm | Lunch 

1:30pm – 2:30pm | Workshop

To book a workshop:

For detailed information about our workshops and to inquire about scheduling, please email us at education@vancouversymphony.ca or reach out directly to Ava.shadmani@vancouversymphony.ca.

Alternative schedule and location options are available upon request.


Band and Strings Sectionals

Band and Strings Sectionals are a specialized workshop option providing your students with the experience of working in-depth with a VSO musician in a small-group setting (ie. By section: Flute, Clarinet, Violin, etc.).  

Jazz Rhythm Workshop I  

Jazz Rhythm Workshop II 

Bassist/Composer Jodi Proznick has been playing in top ensembles for years and will go over her strategies on how to find that magic rhythmical connection within an ensemble. We will be exploring groove, poly-rhythms, 3-2 and 2-3 clave, and simple tips on how to play “in the pocket” with each other on both swing and straight 8th grooves. Jazz Rhythm Workshop II will explore more complicated rhythm patterns and how to improvise rhythms on a groove. This workshop is a great introduction to the jazz rhythm section and key topics in jazz education. It is geared toward all listeners, students and teachers.  

Introduction to South Asian Music from India and Pakistan

Mohamed Assani is a sitarist and composer, known for his genre-defying approach to music making. Trained in both Indian/Pakistani and Western Classical music, his music-making seamlessly draws from different genres and cultures with depth and authenticity. Now part of our global culture, South Asian music has touched audiences around the world – whether it be through Bollywood songs, bhangra rhythms, kirtan, Sufi qawwali or Ravi Shankar’s sitar. Musicians and non-musicians alike are invited to take part in this workshop, where you will be introduced to basic melodic patterns and learn an Indian rhythmic time-cycle. Since Indian music uses complex rhythms, you will learn specific 
counting techniques & exercises to boost your understanding of this music. Participants can also take part in some interactive musical exercises, including learning how to recite tabla rhythms and count the beat cycles. No musical instruments or experience necessary. 

Overcoming Performance Anxiety 

Julia Lockhart is Principal Bassoon of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and grew up in Calgary, Alberta. She is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she earned a Bachelor of Music in bassoon and a Diploma in harpsichord and her Master of Music was completed through studies at Yale and UBC.  In her workshop Julia will lead participants in an inclusive, non-judgmental exploration of many different strategies to help students at all levels understand and manage performance anxiety, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. Topics will include the universality of performance anxiety, setting reasonable goals, positive thinking and motivation, addressing negative thoughts and perfectionism, and integrating mindfulness into practicing and performance. It aims to help participants feel supported, courageous, and empowered.