SoM Values

At the Sarah McLachlan School of Music we encourage students to uphold the community values of our school, respecting the dignity, freedom and property of others; behaving in kind, cooperative and inclusive ways; being mindful of our surroundings and resolving conflict in a calm and peaceful way. 

Student Requirements:

  • Uphold SoM values and respect the 5 pillars at all times when involved in any SoM activities;
  • Attend all scheduled lessons and adhere to attendance policies with no more than 5 absences per term;
  • Participate in classes in a mindful way that is respectful of your classmates and instructional staff;
  • Participate in classes without a one on one support worker;
  • Commit to at least one full year of programming between September and June;
  • Adhere to a strict no drugs, no alcohol, no violence policy at all of our SoM sites and performances. Failure to adhere will result in the student being asked to leave the program;
  • Due to insurance concerns, students are not permitted to bring friends who are not registered at SoM to anything other than public performances. Guests will be asked to wait in the lobby for their friends.

Commitment and Attendance

We believe that commitment and weekly practice is key to achieving the full benefits of our program. By keeping good attendance and maintaining their practice routines, students are better prepared to take full advantage of their study at SoM for up to 8 years, or until high school graduation. 

Group and Private Lesson Attendance:

Attendance is key to helping students fully benefit from their music studies at SoM. Both group and private lessons are an important part of those studies. If students are unable to attend a group or private lesson in any given week, we ask that they inform the front desk as early as possible. With enough notice we may be able to invite another student to fill a cancelled private lesson. Most importantly, we need students and families to keep our front desk informed so that we know that students are safe if they don't show up for class.

We understand that there are many variables when it comes to attendance, but we hope that you will keep us informed. We may be able to help to improve the situation if regular attendance is becoming a challenge.

If a student has been absent for 3 days in one term we will contact the student to see if they are able to maintain regular attendance. If absences persist, students will be contacted to discuss whether they are able to commit to the program; we have a long wait list of students wanting music lessons at no cost.

Musical Growth and Practicing

Consistent practice is a key component of musical growth.  If students are having difficulty practicing they are encouraged to let their instructor know so that they can receive help. Practice facilities are available at SoM for up to one hour each day, on a first come, first serve basis from Monday to Thursday 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on Fridays 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. 

Instrument Loan Program:

A limited number of instruments are available for loan to students who do not currently have one to use at home for practice during the program year. Currently, the instruments available for loan are for students who study the following disciplines:

  • Guitar (steel or nylon)
  • Piano (electric keyboard)
  • Percussion (djembe)

Students interested in borrowing the instrument they study are required to fill out a rental contract to ensure the safe return and good care of the instrument.

Student/Instructor Assessment and Re-Enrollment: 

Students will be invited to re-enroll for the following program year up until grade 12, provided they have shown commitment, good attendance and musical growth.

Instructors will facilitate self-assessments with each student in the second term. These assessments will provide constructive feedback outlining areas of strength and areas where students wish to focus their efforts. It will also help determine where students' comfort zones are in order to place them in an appropriate class for the next program year.

Student Pick-Up Policy

SoM cannot be held responsible for students before or after class, lesson or practice times. All students 12 years of age or younger must be picked up by a parent/guardian immediately following their class/private lesson or practice time unless a signature has been received from the parent/guardian outlining that their son/daughter has permission to make their own way home.

Siblings of students must be accompanied by an adult at all times while on the premises, and cannot be left unattended. SoM cannot be held responsible for friends of students on the premises.  Students are expected to meet their friends offsite after their classes have finished.


Students enrolled in grade 4-7 at Florence Nightingale, Queen Alexandra, and Mount Pleasant Elementary are eligible for our transportation program. There is 1 pick up per day on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. There will be no return trips. Parents/guardians will be required to pick up junior students from SoM no later than 6:30 pm unless the student is enrolled in a later private lesson.

Parking/Crossing Policy

Unfortunately, we have no onsite parking available to students and families. We recommend the parking lot across the street or on a block near by. We ask that our school community and visitors use the cross walk at all times.

Snack Program

SoM offers a healthy snack program to all JR and SR students. While we do our best to monitor any food allergies and dietary restrictions that students may have, we ask that students communicate this information to us to help ensure that we are meeting their needs. All snacks are nut free.

Student Support

Do you need to talk to someone? If you have any concerns, questions, or are feeling overwhelmed, please don’t hesitate to ask to speak with any of our staff members.  Alternatively, contact either of these websites/phone numbers for information and support.


Each year SoM holds a Seasonal Concert Series in early December and a Year End Concert Series in early June. Students are encouraged to participate in all dress rehearsals and concerts. Students may also be asked to participate in additional performance opportunities that may arise during the program year.  If a student is unable to attend either a concert or dress rehearsal, for reasons other than illness, 48 hours notice must be given. An absence resulting in a missed dress rehearsal may forfeit a student's performance opportunity, however this is up to the instructor's discretion and is addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Concert Dress:

For the majority of performances, students are asked to wear their SoM t-shirt (gift from SoM) with dark pants or knee length skirts.


Unless a signature of permission from the student and parent/guardian was not given at the time of registration, SoM reserves the right to photograph and film classes for the purpose of advertising and promoting the Sarah McLachlan School of Music. For safety/security purposes a photograph of each child will be taken at the beginning of the school year and secured in each student's file.  These headshots are confidential and will not be used for publicity purposes.

Field Trips:

Students participating in SoM field trips must comply with outlined policies and procedures. Participation in an offsite field trip will only be granted upon receipt of a signed Field Trip Parent/Guardian and Student Permission Form.