The 5th Annual Benefit Concert

Shine On’s 5th Annual Benefit Concert is coming up soon! Join us on September 9th, 2018 at St. Helen’s Anglican Church for an evening filled with music of all genres. Performers include students from Queen Alexandra Elementary, and UBC’s very own president, Santa J. Ono. Admission is by donation, and all proceeds go towards funding the purchase of instruments and other resources for Shine On Music’s teaching programs. We hope to see you there!

Here’s a look back at last year’s benefit concert:


Teacher Workshop

To make sure teaching progression is made, we also have to upgrade our own skills! This January, Shine On Music held it’s first teacher workshop hosted by Natalie Martins, a member of Instrument Beyond Borders. Natalie is a Vancouver based violin teacher with over 20 years of teaching experience.


Natalie’s mission is to help create better people through the power of music, allowing students to become more “tuned in”, present, sensitive, and beautiful souls. Natalie helped Shine On by introducing a clear foundation to our teachers, emphasizing the Suzuki method being the means of establishing this foundation.

Our teachers learned not just basic techniques but also ways to get more student and parent involvement in the learning process. Strategies to create more student engagement were shown along with an emphasis on student-teacher relationships, something every teacher should consider evaluating.

It was a lovely time and we are definitely looking forward to more possible workshops in the future! Special thanks to our partners and friends Instrument Beyond Borders, and Natalie Martins herself, check them out in the links below.

Instrument Beyond Borders

Natalie Martins

2017-2018 AGM

Starting Off the Year Right

At the Beginning of October, Shine On Music had its annual AGM for all of the 2017-2018 members both old and new, marking the time of year where we sort out our logistics and area assignments before we go out to the community to start teaching!

This year we have 11 teachers who will be working with students at Queen Alexandra Elementary, Musqueam, and UBC. In addition to our teachers, we have 10 members working on our executive team to help with club operations, promotions, networking and socials for Shine On Music. The meeting was followed by pizza and musical bingo where everyone got to socialize.

All in all, we appreciate our charismatic and responsible team that make all our programs possible. We are highly looking forward to the upcoming year and what it has in store!


A big thank you to @readysetshutter for taking such amazing photos!

September 9th, 2017 Benefit Concert

Can’t believe we are having our 4th annual benefit concert this upcoming Saturday!

Come join us on the evening of Saturday, September 9th for a night of classical music featuring some very talented local artists! Doors will be opened at 6:30pm. Some performers will be from our lovely friends at Müzewest ConcertsMusic FriendsLiam Sturgess and our very own UBC president Santa J. Ono!!

Admission is by donation and light refreshments will be provided. All proceeds from this concert will go towards instruments, repair/ maintenance and books for the students in our free after hour programs.

Because of these events we have been able to provide free quality violin classes at Queen Alexandra Elementary School, the UBC Point Grey campus, and the First Nations Musqueam Community Cultural Pavilion.

Thank you to our wonderful performers for their support and time, St. Helen’s Anglican Church and our committed student volunteers!



A Year of Teaching- Experiences of a Shine On Teacher

Last year I had the pleasure of teaching weekly violin lessons to 7 different students at Queen Alexandra Elementary school. I signed up as a violin teacher through Shine On Music, wanting the opportunity to work with kids and music. With the school year quickly approaching and lessons starting up again soon, I thought I’d give a quick overview of what it’s like to be a teacher with Shine On music.

The first lesson is focused on fitting each student with the appropriate sized violin, then I like to go over the “anatomy” of the violin and the bow with the students. It’s always fun to have a student guess what they think a part of the instrument is called. Some parts are pretty intuitive (the tip of the bow!), while others are not (“Why is this part called the frog?”).

It gets fun when students become comfortable with holding the violin correctly, and playing basic melodies. When I felt my students were bored with classic songs like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” I asked them what they wanted to play. By student request, I ended up writing out some awesome variations on: The “Clash of Clans” battle theme, Star Wars, and “How Far I’ll go” from Moana (I also got a request for “Closer” by the Chainsmokers, but that one I vetoed). Students are so much more enthusiastic about learning songs that they picked out, and they pick up these songs much more easily because they already know how the melody should sound!

Aside from playing the violin, I had fun just getting to know my students throughout the year. In response to me asking how old everyone thought I was, one of my students replied “Like…..really old!” Other hilarious questions I’ve gotten are “Are you married or are you single?” and “How many children do you have?” By the end of the school year it was so rewarding to see how far my students had come, and I’m excited to see quite a few of them again when lessons resume this fall!

Studies have suggested that there are many cognitive and developmental benefits of children taking music lessons, but I underestimated the benefits that I would reap by teaching myself; as a 4th year university student, no matter how hectic my school life gets I’ve made a commitment to pick up my violin at least once a week when I have lessons with my students, and in turn it’s made me a better musician. I know I can always count on my weekly visits to Queen Alexandra Elementary to put a smile on my face.

If you are an incoming UBC student this year, consider joining a teaching program like Shine On. Those who have life long interest of becoming a music teacher or a teacher in general, can greatly benefit from working with kids through our program. I started the year wanting to teach children the enjoyments of music, however it was surprising how much I learned from them as well.

September 12th Benefit Concert 2016

Come out and support us at our 3rd annual benefit concert!

Our past support all comes from our fundraisers and the AMS, through the generous donations as well as AMS grants we are able to increase our inventory of instruments that we lend out to students completely free of charge.

By coming to support us you are providing another child with the chance and the opportunity to learn and develop musically, in circumstances that they may not be able to otherwise. At the end of they day it is really that chance and commitment we provide to these children, even if they do not pursue music in the future, it is their personal growth both musically and culturally that we see appear. It becomes intertwined with the mission of our organization.

So what are you waiting for? Swing on by the evening of September 12th to enjoy true virtuoso music and for a good cause.


Benefit Concert PNG

Exciting partnership with Müzewest Concerts!

We are excited to announce that Müzewest Concerts have generously donated tickets to all our students (+ a parent) to their first concert on Oct. 4, 2015 at 2pm featuring Ilya Poletaev.

Who is Ilya Poletaev? A world renowned pianist and Assistant Professor of Piano at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montréal. His many accomplishments include First Prize winner of the XX Concorso Sala Gallo Piano Competition in Monza, Italy, where he also received the Audience Prize, the Bach Prize, and the Orchestra Prize.

But don’t take our word on it, take a listen…

Interested in attending this concert or other amazing concerts? Visit

March Student Recital with HCPP

Congratulations to all of the performers (violin & piano)! It was lovely to see all their hard-work showcased. With lessons continuing still, perhaps this is not a “year-end” recital, but a celebration of how far everyone has come.

Big thank you to Mr. C.J Kumar, Ms. J. Hickman, Ms. Cheryll Matthews & the rest of Queen Alexandra Elementary for their continued support, all of our hardworking violin students and their supportive parents for making this year super successful.

Violin Group Photo
Queen Alexandra Elementary’s Violin Students

It was an incredible collaboration between Shine On Music & UBC’s Heart of the City Piano Program, and we can’t wait for what the future may bring.

A huge thanks to our supporters Tom Lee, Terra Breads, Delany’s Coffee House, VSO, Vancouver Aquarium, Royal City Musical Theatre, and Long & McQuade for their generous donations.