Your Song Project

How do you fit in?

There is something for everyone on our song projects.

Our courses are designed to be challenging and interesting for advanced amateur, semi-professional, and professional musicians, while also offering beginner and intermediate musicians the opportunity to participate in a manner that suits their interest and ability.

On our previous projects (Winterreise, 2015; Dichterliebe, 2016; Schoene Muellerin, 2017), our students included singers and pianists aged between 32 and 89.

Our students have included a cook, a number of nurses, some public servants, some stay-at-home parents, some music teachers, an elementary school teacher, an electrician, some retired academics, a lawyer, a chemist, and people studying music part-time alongside other jobs and commitments.

Some of our students held undergraduate or master’s degrees in piano or voice, while others were relatively new to music-making, having taken it up only as adults, or within the last few years.

Everyone is welcome to audition for our courses.

Read more in the column on the right about our different student categories.

Fees & Student Categories

Our course offers places in a number of categories to suit the interests and experience of a wide range of musicians.



Intermediate and advanced singers and pianists (RCM grade 7 to ARCT and above, or equivalent) wishing to hone their interpretive and performance skills should audition to join us as Performers. Below is a list of the course provision for Performers.

  • Performers take a minimum of 4 solo coachings and 4 duo coachings. This is private studio instruction, with each session lasting 45 minutes.
  • Pianist performers typically take up to 8 duo coachings (at no extra cost) owing to the balance of pianists and singers.
  • Singer performers take 2 additional coachings with a professional pianist to help them prepare their music before beginning work with their student pianists.
  • Performers sing or play a minumum of 4 times in Masterclass (30 minutes per session).
  • Performers attend two Faculty Open Rehearsals, and our weekly masterclasses and lectures, as observers.
  • Performers sing or play in the ‘Omnibus’ – a private concert for staff and students in which everyone performs all the pieces they have been working on during the course.
  • Performers take part in the Final Student Concerts. Performers will sing or play in one or both of the two final concerts, and will feature at least two times.

Each Performer works on between 2 and 4 songs (singers) or 4 and 10 songs (pianists), depending on their preference.

To learn how to register as a performer, follow this link to JOIN US.


Understudies are beginner and intermediate pianists and singers (RCM grade 5-6 or equivalent) who are interested in improving as musicians, but who prefer not to perform regularly in the classes. Below is a list of the provision for Understudies.

  • Understudies take a 4 solo coachings and 4 duo coachings (each lasting 45 minutes) with the course instructors.
  • Understudy singers take 2 coachings with a professional pianist to help them prepare their music.
  • Understudies will work on between 2 and 4 songs, depending on their preference.
  • Understudies can choose to ‘shadow’ the Performers who are working on their songs, and can sit in on the duo coaching sessions over those they are understudying.
  • Understudies can also request to stand in if performers are unable to perform in weekend masterclasses or final performances.
  • Understudies can perform at the Omnibus (private concert for staff and students), if they wish.

To learn how to register as an understudy, follow this link to JOIN US.


Music lovers of all ages are welcome to join the course as Observers. There is no audition. Observers may JOIN US at any time.—

  • Observers attend all group sessions on the project, including performance classes, seminars, workshops, interpretation classes, faculty open rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and all our informal gatherings.
  • Observers play an important role in the project, providing a regular audience of interested listeners in all the ensemble sessions.
  • Observers are encouraged to follow the masterclasses and group sessions with a score, to take notes, and to form opinions and share their expertise.
  • Observers give important feedback to the performers and faculty, both during the classes and informally over our weekly ‘coffee & cake’ sessions, and our infamous final cast party.
  • Observers are given priority in our final concerts.



We hope that you will find a category that suits you and we look forward to welcoming you on the Mahler Project!


Fees can be paid in once installment, or they can be spread across the term of five months. Please see information below about our payment plan.

Bursaries available for those with limited means. Please apply to the Victoria Conservatory of Music via the front desk.Telephone 250 386 5311.

Performers: $899 ($100 deposit upon registration. $799 due by March 1, 2019.)

Understudies: $625 ($100 deposit upon registration. $525 due by March 1, 2019.)

Observers: $125 (Fee payable in full upon registration.

Please note that the VCM additionally charges a administrative fee of $2.50 per transaction.


Payment plans:

The course fee can be paid in one lump sum, or in installments over the course of the VCM year, making the cost much more affordable. To set up your payment plan, please visit or ring the VCM front desk. 250 386 5311.