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Welcome to the Sarah McLachlan School of Music

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Our Mission

To provide high quality music programming in a safe, nurturing environment to children, youth and seniors that face barriers in their access to music education.

The Sarah McLachlan School of Music offers daily music instruction at no cost, to under-served and at risk populations living in Vancouver, Surrey and Edmonton. Students aged 1 to 18, and age 55+ (Vancouver only) receive instruction in contemporary, classical and world music traditions with no previous experience required. Each year we provide community building experience through music education to hundreds of students at each of our locations as well as select offsite programs that run from September through to July. 

We offer integrative programming that includes family music for early ages, foundational skills and musicianship training with hands on instruction in guitar, piano, percussion, drums, voice, choir, ensemble, DJ-ing, beatboxing, electronic music production, composition, improvisation, songwriting, ukulele choir, music and video production.

Our teaching philosophy is based upon the key educational cornerstones of diversity, creativity and integration, while incorporating social-emotional learning through attention to the following organizational pillars:


We cultivate healthy relationships among students, staff and community partners.  We build a culture that is safe and inclusive, giving students a place to belong and to explore who they are.


Music allows students to develop a deeper relationship with themselves and the world around them. By strengthening these connections, students are equipped with the tools to fully realize their relationships with their peers and community.


Working together, with instructors, on their own, or with guest artists, we provide a culture that facilitates opportunities to collaborate and create with others.


We find innovative ways to support students in the process of artistic expression.  By participating in learning that is meaningful and transformative to them, students feel safe to express their unique vision of the world.


We provide a safe and reflective environment that encourages self-expression and the confidence to succeed.

Our Model

SoM’s Universal Music Study (UMS) model provides educational programming which ensures that student and teacher alike are prepared to invest themselves in a mutual exploration of trust; open to exposure of new ideas and ways of imagining music. The UMS model supports every student in their acquisition of foundational music-making tools - technique, performance and literacy skills - while simultaneously guiding them toward self-directed learning outcomes: practice, imaginative exploration, commitment, curiosity, collaboration and pride in their achievements. The rudiments of music and ensemble play are cultivated in Foundational Skills classes, while self-directed learning is mentored in focused interest breakout classes, where students deepen their musicianship training, creative intent and unique musical interests. Students may also receive additional private lesson components.