Discovering your ability to play music is important to the development and growth of more than just musical ability. Musical training helps develop brain areas involved in language and reasoning. Students of the arts learn to think creatively and to solve problems by imagining various solutions.

Private lessons at Arbutus Music are simply FUN! Our instructors are top-notch and our lessons are fun and effective. We love to watch and hear our students grow creatively and see them become confident musicians!

We are currently offering Virtual/Online and In-Person Lessons.

The Banjo is a four-, five-, or occasionally six-stringed instrument which is typically associated with country, folk, Irish traditional and bluegrass music.  Two common banjo styles are rolls and drones.  Rolls are right hand accompaniment fingering patterns that consist of eighth notes that subdivide each measure.  Drone notes are quick little notes always played on the 5th string to fill in around the melody  notes.
Bass & Standup Bass

An upright bass, also known as a double bass, contra bass, bass violin, bass fiddle, bull fiddle or just bass, is a string bass in violin form.  The upright bass is commonly used for classical and jazz music.

The bass guitar, also known as electric bass or just bass,is an instrument shaped, constructed and held (or worn) like an electric guitar, that plays in a lower, bass range.  The bass guitar is used in many styles of music including rock, metal, pop, punkrock, country, reggae, gospel, blues and jazz.  It is used as a soloing instrument in jazz, fusion, Latin, funk and in some rock and metal styles.


How does a guitar make a sound?  The sound of an acoustic guitar is created by the vibration of the strings.  This vibration is then amplified by the body of the guitar, which acts as a resonating chamber.  An electric guitar produces sound by using an electronic amplifier to amplify the vibration of the strings.  The amplifier can also modify the guitars tone characteristics!  At Arbutus Music, we have a teacher for every type of guitar and style of music!

Expert Guitar Lessons Also Available

Our roster of guitar experts have a great deal of teaching experience and have specialized in specific  techniques and genres.  These instructors specialize in teaching music theory as well as preparing students for auditions and University or College programs.


The ukulele, sometimes abbreviated to uke, is a member of the guitar family of instruments which originated in Hawaii.  The ukulele was a Hawaiian interpretation of a machete which was introduced to Hawaiians by Portuguese immigrants in the late 19th century.  Ukuleles come in various sizes including soprano, concert, tenor and baritone.  Common tunings for ukuleles are C6 and D-tuning, however many other variations are frequently used.

What’s the difference between a violin and a fiddle? The violin is a bowed string instrument with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest and highest pitched member of the violin family of stringed instruments. A violin is called a fiddle when playing folk music! Our talented instructor can teach you any genre you would like to play including folk, jazz and classical.
Mandolin and Bluegrass Guitar
A mandolin is a musical instrument in the lute family with a pear-shaped body and a straight fretted neck. Mandolins usually have four sets of paired strings tuned in unison or octaves. Mandolins have a long history with much early music having been written for them. The instrument has enjoyed a new surge of popularity with it’s introduction to country, bluegrass and folk music.
The name clarinet actually comes from the Italian word clarino, a particular type of trumpet because the original clarinet’s actually sounding similar in tone to early trumpets. This single reeded instrument sounds nothing like a trumpet these days, instead it has a very mellow, dark and pleasing tone.
The flute is a member of the woodwind family. The flute does not have a reed like other woodwind instruments, so it produces sound from the flow of air across an opening. There are many kinds of Western flutes including the piccolo, alto flute, bass flute, and the most popular C flute.
The saxophone is often involved the what is referred to as a brass instrument due to the fact that it is often made from brass. However, the saxophone is actually a member of the woodwind family because of it’s reed. The five main types of saxophones are Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone and Bass.
The trumpet is a versatile instrument that is present in a wide variety of musical genres such as classical, jazz, rock and more.
Early military bands and orchestras used to use a different player for each percussive instrument. This became very impractical due to the space that these musicians took up and the cost of having so many musicians for one section. The modern day drum kit was born out of the need to downsize the percussion section! A modern drum kit typically includes some variation of a snare drum, bass drum, hi-hat, tom-toms and cymbals!
Do you know what the real name for a piano is? The piano is actually called a pianoforte because of it’s large dynamic range. Piano meaning quiet and forte meaning loud. The piano is usually considered to be a percussion instrument because it uses a hammer to hit the strings which makes the noise you hear.
Did you know that you have two sets of muscles that control your vocal cords? One set is located in front and one in the back of your vocal cords! These muscles open or close your vocal cords like zippers in order to create a certain pitch. The farther you go outside of your optimum pitch, the more delicate the balancing act is between the two. The more practice a vocalist has, the easier it is for them to find the balance and create the perfect pitch!

One on one private lessons are based on a half hour block for each lesson.

Drop in rates are $29 per half hour and regularly scheduled lessons are $27 per half hour.

Our cancellation policy is as follows: Any lesson cancelled within 24 hours of the set day/time of a weekly lesson falls under the cancel charge policy. We are making exceptions when it comes to being sick within reason, we are offering re-booking or virtual lessons, however that is up to the teachers discretion. Any cancellations made outside of the 24-hours before can be cancelled without charge, all cancellation requests are to be made to the lesson coordinator/arbutus music directly.

Call the lesson department at 250.933.1900 ext 1 or contact by email at

Lesson Center Hours: 12:30pm-8:30pm Monday – Friday & 10am – 6pm Saturday