The art of music at CCCS
Children are particularly drawn to music and love to sing and dance to their favourite tunes. Whether your child is just starting to learn an instrument or loves to sing and dance, music has the power to ignite their imagination and help them develop important skills.
Music education will improve your child’s vocabulary and language skills and help them gain self-confidence and self-discipline. Additionally, music helps to enhance motor skills, listening skills, and social skills, making it a well-rounded activity for children.
But the benefits of music education go beyond just skill-building. It stimulates your child’s brain, requiring them to listen to the beat, read sheet music, and coordinate their movements with the rhythm. This helps to make children smarter and encourages their cognitive development.
At CCCS, we have a rich and diverse music program that covers different instruments and genres. From kindergarten to grade 8, your child will have the opportunity to discover and develop their musical talents. Music is essential to our STEAM philosophy at Cathedral School, where we combine science, technology, engineering, arts, and math to create well-rounded learners.
Meet our Music Teachers
Meet Kathy, our amazing music specialist and choir director at CCCS. She has been teaching music to our primary students since 2008 and loves sharing her passion and expertise with them. Kathy has a music degree and a background in cello and piano from the prestigious Royal College of Music in London, England.
Before joining CCCS, Kathy ran her children’s music school in Nanaimo for fifteen years, where she helped hundreds of kids discover the joy of music. She also played as the assistant principal cellist in the Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra for nine years and created educational materials for their Children’s Education Concert Series for five years. Kathy is a talented and dedicated music educator who inspires our students daily.
Ryan Oliver is a Juno-nominated saxophonist and music educator who has performed and taught worldwide. He has appeared as a clinician and adjudicator for numerous music festivals, including the West Coast Jazz Festival and the BC Music Educators Association. Ryan worked professionally as a saxophonist for over 20 years in Toronto and New York City before returning to the West Coast. He has toured throughout the world with the legendary Canadian jazz group the Shuffle Demons and has been featured on CBC and JazzFM. He was a nominee for the Prix De Jazz Award at the Montreal Jazz Festival and for the 2022 Western Canadian Music Awards Jazz Musician of the Year. Ryan holds a Masters Degree in Music from Rutgers University and is delighted to be a faculty member at CCCS and to have the opportunity to encourage his students to have fun making music.
The focuses of our amazing and diverse music program are:
Ukulele | Strings | Middle School Concert Band Program
Find out more about each below.
Experience the magic of music at Cathedral School, where Grade 2 and 3 students take the ukulele world by storm! This isn’t your average music program; it’s an exhilarating journey that’s transforming young musicians into musical maestros.
Thanks to the expert guidance of their talented music teacher, these rising stars are exploring the art of music in a whole new way. They’re strumming, singing, and playing their way through an impressive array of upbeat tunes that span across generations and genres.
But this program isn’t just about playing music; it’s about fostering a deep understanding of music theory and unlocking the complexities of this incredible art form. These young musicians build a solid foundation in melody, rhythm, harmony, form, and style while having a blast.
The energy in the classroom is electrifying as students come together to create something magical with their ukuleles. With its simple chords and manageable size, the ukulele is a fantastic instrument for building a strong sense of collaboration and teamwork that extends far beyond the classroom.
And the best part? These kids are developing a lifelong love for music that will stay with them forever. So if you’re in the neighbourhood, stop by Cathedral School and listen to the sweet sounds of these budding ukulele virtuosos. This music program is truly something special, where learning and fun go hand in hand.
Hold on to your seats, music lovers, because we have some exciting news! The new strings program introduced to Grades 4 and 5 in 2022/23 has taken off significantly, and we couldn’t be more thrilled! We poured our heart and soul into making this program a reality, and it’s paying off significantly.
Let’s talk numbers. We have a total of 47 budding musicians in Grades 4 and 5, with 22 talented violinists and 25 gifted cellists. And if that doesn’t get your pulse racing, wait until you hear about their first ‘mini’ concert on St. Patrick’s Day! The students took to the school auditorium stage and wowed the audience with their musical skills, leaving parents and teachers alike spellbound. The pride in their accomplishments was palpable, and many of them clamoured for more opportunities to play and perform together.
And boy, did we deliver! What started as a few students staying in at lunchtime for extra help and practice has turned into a full-fledged chamber orchestra with 26 members, including students from Grades 1 to 7! This ensemble meets twice weekly on Wednesdays and Fridays and shows incredible potential. We’re even dreaming of the day when this group could become a musical force to be reckoned with, similar to our elite Chorister program. Collaborating with the senior choir and choristers and even entering into the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival as a chamber orchestra as early as next year is not beyond the realm of possibility.
And speaking of concerts, mark your calendars for June 14, 2023! The annual Spring Concert in the Cathedral will feature the Grade 4 and 5 string classes and the CCCS String Ensemble. It will surely be a musical extravaganza you won’t want to miss.
None of this would be possible without the generous grant we received to help cover the costs of renting instruments for Grades 4 and 5. We’re grateful for this support and hope to continue offering these savings to parents.
But wait, there’s more! We’ve already received interest from some of our Grade 5 students and their parents about continuing their musical journey in Grade 6. And we’re happy to say that we are available in the timetable to offer a string class as part of the middle school exploratory program. These students will get four class sessions out of six and two lunchtime rehearsals with the CCCS String Ensemble. It’s a fantastic opportunity for them to continue to develop their musical talents and passion.
We are over the moon with the success of the new strings program, and we can’t wait to see where it takes our talented young musicians next!
Middle School Concert Band Program
Students also have the chance to join the CCCS Jazz Ensemble, meeting once a week outside of school hours to learn the art of improvisation in the context of the jazz tradition from one of Canada’s top jazz musicians. The Concert and Jazz bands perform at public events throughout the year to help foster the important link between community and music. Led by Juno-nominated saxophonist Ryan Oliver, the bands focus on teamwork, dedication, perseverance, and, most importantly, fun through music!