Teacher Resources

Information on Performing Groups and Ensembles

A guide of approved performing groups and ensembles is sent to each school in spring. These groups have either been screened at the extensive ArtStarts auditions held each February or have favorably demonstrated their work over the years in Vancouver. The guide gives an indication of the nature of the group, suitability of grade level, and fee. Copies can be obtained from Learning Services or school principals

Daily Music Listening Program

So long as the human spirit thrives on this planet, music in some living form will accompany and sustain it and give it expressive meaning.

- Aaron Copland

Many schools are involved in a school wide music listening program. This program involves students in a daily five minute listening activity that fosters appreciation for classical music and enhances listening skills. For more information on this program contact Learning Services.

The Sketchbook Project

The Sketchbook Project is a joint venture between the Vancouver School Board (Peggy Bochun, District Fine Arts Coordinator and Phyllis Schwartz, Artist in Residence) and the University of British Columbia Community Field Experience Teacher Candidates.  It is an opportunity for students to participate in daily drawing and for teachers to work with Teacher Candidates who have prepared materials that inspire confidence in drawing skills and facilitate meaningful conversations about drawing.

The Sketchbook Project extends the research of UBC Professor Emeritus Bob Steele, who continues to promote the importance  of daily drawing and links it profoundly to the development of literacy skills.  Bob writes:

...kids really do love to draw. At first they may be nervous about it depending on their age but I think it's because drawing is a language for expressing things and unlike words, there is no code to learn. This makes no difference to practical communication when the code to that level is easily learned, but children have so much to say that can't be expressed in spoken words and these thoughts and feelings are very important to mental development. 

An announcement inviting applications to participate in the Vancouver School Board Sketchbook Project 2015 will be made in January 2015.

Further information about the Sketchbook Project 2014 can be found at


Resources can be found at https://myvsb.vsb.bc.ca/vsbresources/curriculum/FA/default.aspx (for VSB staff only)

Further information about the UBC Community Field Experience Sketchbook Project 2015 can be found at http://cfe.educ.ubc.ca/community-partners/

Fine and Performing Arts Professional Development

Each year a series of workshops are planned throughout the year for teachers in all areas of the arts. Workshops are offered on a wide range of topics. Refer to Pro-D Connections or call Learning Services for more information.

Vancouver Schools Music Teachers Association

The VSMTA is an organization composed of persons who teach one or more music classes in Vancouver schools.  Its purpose is to unify and strengthen the program of music education in the Vancouver district. It does so by acting as an advocate to the Vancouver School Board, Ministry of Education, BCMEA, and post secondary institutions. It sets and implements policies, provides support to new and continuing teachers, provides information and promotes discussion on important topics concerning music education in Vancouver, assists teachers with networking for the purpose of making new professional contacts and mentors, assists with district music events, and coordinates 4 music awards.  The Roy Peter Hudson Memorial Award is for an outstanding elementary student and the John Trepp Memorial (choral), Dennis Tupman (band), and Sherie Wilson Memorial (strings) Music Scholarships are for an exemplary secondary student continuing on in music education.

The association meets a minimum of twice a year in October and in June.  


In addition to the above topics, information regarding questions on Mentoring, Resources and Materials, Instrument Repair, Music Programs, and Workshops is also available from Learning Services.

For further information call (604) 713-5206