On a musical note

On a musical note

< Back to Articles | Topics: Member Profile | Contributors: Allie Vahramian | Published: May 1, 2024

Since 1887, the Maritime Conservatory has played a significant role in developing the musical talents of the Halifax community. Originally established as the “Halifax Ladies College” with only 25 students, the Conservatory now serves a growing and diverse population of students. “The Conservatory is here for everyone,” says Simon Robinson, Director of the Maritime Conservatory. “From tiny tots to kids to seniors and all in between, we strive to ensure that everyone can enjoy the rich benefits of a musical life.”

Over the years, the Conservatory has developed a varied mix of musical programs to benefit any music lover in the region. Their programming includes a School of Music, School of Dance, Music Therapy Program, Kindermusik Program, and even a Dance Teaching Diploma.

Its school location changed countless times as the Conservatory grew, but the Conservatory finally took ownership of Chebucto School—a historically and architecturally significant building—on May 1, 2000. “The Conservatory will continue to be the custodians of its beautiful heritage building. We are in the planning stages of a capital campaign to renovate, restore and revitalize our building outside and in,” says Robinson. “To serve more Nova Scotians in the future, we are looking for partners in other locations where we can offer our programs too.”

The Conservatory has not only built an incredible reputation for its school programming but has also carved a path toward music accessibility in the Halifax region through its Music Therapy program. Developed under the expertise of Anna Plaskett, “Our music therapists serve individuals of all ages and abilities, including those with physical and developmental disabilities, neurodivergence, brain injury, mental health challenges, dementia and more,” Robinson explains. “Individuals can be at any level of physical and cognitive functioning to participate in music therapy.”

The Music Therapy program has proven to make a positive impact on its students over the years and justifies the Conservatory’s continuous attempt to broaden their horizons in the music community. After all, Robinson does not always define success based on enrollment numbers or awards. Instead, he enjoys the everyday feeling of accomplishment as Director:

“It is walking through the building in the late afternoon seeing a ballet class in one room, an orchestra practice in another, someone playing Chopin in another, and someone down the hall ballroom dancing,” says Robinson. “It is the Christmas concert when the hall is packed, and you can feel the spirit of Christmas in the air; it is Convocation and watching our proud students collect their prizes and awards; it is watching the older people in our community come together to sing for the pleasure of it; it is the excitement of parents attending Kindermusik with their tiny ones. It is all of these things every day. The Conservatory is a special place.”

Keep an eye out for their summer camp offerings and learn more about the Maritime Conservatory at:


< Back to Articles | Topics: Member Profile

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