Music (BMus)

Take your talent to the stage, study music in a supportive learning environment while working alongside prominent musical artists and choose from several concentrations to personalize your academic experience. Receive weekly one-hour private lessons, ensemble experiences, masterclasses and access to professional coach-accompanists. You can apply to the Bachelor of Music Therapy program in your second year.

Apply Your Learning

As a first-year student, you’ll receive weekly one-hour private lessons, ensemble experience and masterclasses plus access to professional coach-accompanists. We admit 100 students annually in winds, brass, percussion, piano, harp, organ, voice, strings, classical guitar and historical instruments, ensuring you have ample one-on-one time with your instructors.

Program Highlights

  • The Penderecki String Quartet, one of the most celebrated chamber ensembles of its generation, has been in residence at Laurier since 1991.
  • Every year, Laurier’s QuartetFest brings together young artists and world-renowned performers from across Canada and abroad.
  • Opera Laurier puts on a production of excerpts in the fall and a full opera in the spring – popular shows that provide performing experience for vocalists and instrumentalists alike.

Hit the Stage

Performing opportunities are endless at Laurier. Each year, you will be placed in one of our ensembles, where you will learn and train under the direction of our talented faculty, performing in the Maureen Forrester Recital Hall. You may wish to take part in our Tuesday student recitals, which showcase our student’s talents each week.

Ensembles include:

  • Laurier Symphony Orchestra
  • Laurier Wind Orchestra
  • three choir opportunities
  • Improvisation Concerts Ensemble
  • Jazz Ensemble
  • Percussion Ensemble
  • additional chamber groups

Beyond Performing

Make the most out of your university career by taking advantage of all that Laurier has to offer you. Volunteer work, campus clubs, leadership programs, studying abroad, work experience – there are so many ways you can extend your classroom experience into the real world. Learn more about experiential learning through the Music Experience Guide.

 

2020 graduates who secured employment or went on to postgraduate studies

 

Laurier ranks in the top 6 percent of universities worldwide*

 

students who gained hands-on learning experiences at Laurier in 2019/20

*Center for World University Rankings (CWUR)

Admissions

Format: full time      Duration: four years     Start: September (fall term)     OUAC code: UM

Admission to the Bachelor of Music is based on the collective results of meeting academic requirements, successful audition, interview with a faculty member, completion of a theory and ear training test, reference and an optional portfolio.

Ontario High School Admission Requirements
  • Minimum admission range: 75%.
  • Competitive admission range based on last year’s admitted students: 75%.
  • English at 60%.
  • Successful audition.
  • Interview with a faculty member.
  • Theory and ear training test (equivalent to Royal Conservatory of Music Advanced Rudiments).
Canadian Admission Requirements (Outside of Ontario)

Students applying to this program from a Canadian province outside of Ontario are encouraged to review our course equivalents by province chart. This chart will show you what courses from your province are equivalent to the admission requirements listed under Ontario High School Admission Requirements.

International Admission Requirements

Students applying to this program from an international curriculum are encouraged to review our curriculum-specific requirements; you must also meet all program-specific requirements listed under the Ontario High School Admission Requirements section.

English-Proficiency Requirement

Laurier's language of instruction is English, and so we may require you to provide evidence of your English proficiency to help make sure you experience success in your academic courses.

Your three most recent years of full-time education must be in English without taking any ESL (English as a Second Language) courses. If you do not meet this requirement, you must provide evidence of your English proficiency.

We reserve the right to request an English-language test from any applicant.

If you do not meet Laurier's English proficiency requirement but are academically qualified for your program, you may be eligible for a conditional offer of admission.

Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) Program

The Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) program is an academic English program for Laurier applicants who have to prove English proficiency. If you have received an offer to Laurier with a condition to meet our English- proficiency requirement, you can meet that condition by successfully completing the LEAF program.

College Pathways

Our unique academic partnership with Randolph College for the Performing Arts (RCPA) is designed to allow students to earn both their Bachelor of Music with a concentration in Self-Directed Studies and their Performing Arts diploma in only four years.

Learn more about our college transfer agreement.

Other Admission Requirements

Visit our admission requirements section to find specific requirements for university students, indigenous applicants, mature learners, homeschooled applicants, senior citizens, refugees, and more. 

Audition and Interview

Audition Options

Applicants will have the option to participate in a:

  • In-person audition and interview at Laurier’s Waterloo campus.
  • Pre-recorded video audition and a virtual Zoom interview.

Applicants may choose to bring their own accompanist or use one of Laurier’s professional coach-accompanists at no additional charge for an in-person audition.

If you cannot find a recording of your accompaniment for your pre-recorded video audition, one of our coach-accompanists can provide a recording (free of charge) for your Laurier audition. Your request must be submitted to musicauditions@wlu.ca four weeks prior to your audition.

Audition Repertoire

Your audition repertoire should be planned based on the instructions listed by instrument. Although official Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) certificates and training are not required, we provide suggested levels to ensure your audition will be competitive.

  • Pianists: repertoire should be performed at a Grade 9 RCM or higher.
  • Singers: repertoire should be performed at a Grade 8 RCM or higher.
  • Instrumentalists: repertoire should be performed at a Grade 8 RCM or higher.

Don't hesitate to contact us at musicauditions@wlu.ca for questions regarding repertoire choices.

Audition Dates

Auditions run from January to April. Dates are available to applicants through Laurier’s Audition Portal. Two early virtual audition dates will be available on Dec. 4 and Dec. 11, 2021.

Additional Audition Information

Meet our auditions coordinator, find out how to apply, what happens after your audition, as well as more about our keyboard facilities on our auditions page.

Theory and Ear Training Test

Due to COVID-19, applicants for September 2022 entry will not be required to write a theory and ear training test. You will be asked about your theory background during your interview.

Depending on your previous experience and knowledge, you may be asked to complete a theory test at a later date so that you are fully prepared for university level theory.

Reference

Applicants will provide contact information for one reference in the Faculty of Music Online Audition Portal*. The Faculty of Music will contact references individually by email with a questionnaire about the musical abilities of the applicant.

*A link to the Audition Portal will be provided to you after Laurier receives your application.

Portfolio (Optional)

An optional portfolio of past performances, composed and/or original music may be uploaded to the Audition Portal* through video or audio links. This does not replace your audition.

*A link to the Audition Portal will be provided to you after Laurier receives your application.

Program Options and Courses

Instruments

We know your passion for your instrument or voice is a big part of what defines you. Find your instrument below to learn what makes studying it at Laurier unique, as well as audition advice and repertoire requirements.

Don’t study an instrument listed below? Contact choosemusic@wlu.ca for audition information.

First-Year Courses

  • Music and its Contexts
  • Musical Skills Lab I
  • Musical Skills Lab II
  • Theory I
  • Theory II
  • Ensemble
  • Practical Study (lessons and masterclass)
  • 1.5 electives

Sample Upper-Year Courses

  • Practical Studies for Performance Majors
  • Musical Skills Lab VI
  • Theory III

Similar Programs

Bachelor of Education Pathway

Top-ranking Music graduates are guaranteed admission to Laurier’s Bachelor of Education (BEd) program, as long as they meet the minimum admission requirements for the BEd program.

Concentrations

You'll start your Bachelor of Music (BMus) as a common first-year student, giving you the flexibility to delve deeper into all areas of music before choosing your concentration.

Concentrations are chosen in second year and are offered in composition, integrated musical arts, music education, music history, theory and critical analysis, performance and self-directed studies.

You may also wish to consider applying to the Bachelor of Music Therapy after second year instead of choosing a concentration.

Once you are a music student at Laurier our academic advisor is always available to help you determine which concentration is the right fit for your career goals.

Check out other options to enhance your degree.

Composition

In this program, you’ll learn the fundamentals of composing while writing works for various ensembles.

For third and fourth year, you’ll study one-on-one with composition faculty members, exploring a variety of styles and mediums, including electronic and new media.

A weekly composers’ seminar will cover a range of interests pertaining to your work. In your final year, you’ll undertake a major project, which may be a work for a larger ensemble, a work of extended duration or a collaborative work in film, theatre, gaming or opera.

You will submit a portfolio to our Composition faculty at the end of second year, which must be approved to move into third year composition classes.

Highlights

  • Our program incorporates cutting-edge technology, allowing you to collaborate creatively with others.
  • Student composer concerts are presented five times a year. Your pieces will be performed by your fellow classmates and presented to the public.
  • There are annual readings of student works by the Laurier Orchestra and the Penderecki String Quartet, Laurier’s professional Quartet-in-Residence.
  • The Composers and Improvisers Association holds student events and shares composing opportunities.
Music Education

If you wish to pursue a career in teaching music privately or at the elementary or secondary level, our Music Education major includes instruction in designing lessons from curriculum documents, using technology in the classroom, how to assess learning outcomes, classroom management along with the basics of conducting, instrumental and choral techniques and instruction in the methods, materials and philosophy of music education. It also leaves room for you to study a second teaching subject.

Music Education courses are taught by distinguished and experienced music specialists and in-school educators. You’ll have opportunities to gain in-school experience through volunteering in local schools organized by Laurier’s Student Association of Music Educators (SAME). SAME members participate in the Ontario Music Educators’ Association annual conference plus additional educational and social events. You’ll receive weekly lessons, masterclasses and ensemble work in this major.

Highlights

  • Laurier’s Faculty of Education guarantees admission to their Bachelor of Education to a limited number of top-ranking music students upon graduation. Criteria includes maintaining a minimum B average and meeting their general admission requirements.
  • Music Education graduates have been welcomed in education certification and graduate programs in many universities across Canada and internationally.
  • You will have the opportunity to take teachable subjects housed in Laurier’s Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Science or the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics.
Integrated Musical Arts (IMA)

This concentration is designed for musicians who want to enter the music profession in production, performance, and composition or songwriting after graduation.

Integrated Musical Arts (IMA) focuses on experiential, project-centred learning. It was created with the understanding that musicians must be versatile, and therefore competent in more than one musical discipline, in order to have a successful career in music.

In this concentration, each student is required to complete three self-directed final projects in musical disciplines of Creation, Production and Performance. With the help of the coordinator of the IMA program, each student chooses their three projects at the beginning of their third year of study, and, in consultation with the coordinator, the student sketches out a plan for a course of study to support the final projects.

Highlights

  • IMA offers a flexible curriculum based on the students’ own interests and musical strengths.
  • Students are encouraged to create partnerships that will carry forward into the professional world after graduation.
  • Students present final projects in their final year of study, which provides them with a professional level portfolio in three musical disciplines.
  • Students integrate practical skills in music production, performance and creation.
Music History, Theory and Critical Analysis

Music History, Theory, and Critical Analysis emphasizes academic study, while allowing continued performance opportunities through weekly lessons, masterclasses and ensemble work.

The program gives you flexibility in choosing from a range of music history and theory electives, allowing you to customize your studies around particular academic interests.

You will examine music across all periods of history, with opportunities to study popular music and music of other cultures. Our program emphasizes listening to and writing about music and delves more deeply into musical analytical and compositional procedures.

In year four, you may have the option of working one-on-one with a faculty member on a research project of your choosing.

This major serves as excellent preparation for graduate work in musicology, music theory, library science, or other allied disciplines for which a strong foundation of academic courses, research and analysis skills are important.

Highlights

  • Opportunities to become a research assistant or peer tutor are available.
  • Alumni have completed, or are currently in the process of completing, advanced degrees at many distinguished universities, including Florida State, Indiana, Michigan, McGill and others.
  • Flexibility in Music History, Theory, and Critical Analysis allows options to customizing your music degree while allowing you freedom to take electives in areas outside of music.
Performance

Our performance major is for gifted students in piano, voice, organ, orchestral instruments, guitar and historical instruments, who intend to become professional performers and/or teachers of performance.

In the Performance major you can take advantage of 90-minute weekly lessons on top of participation in a Laurier ensemble, concerto competitions, student recitals, student composers’ concerts and chamber music recitals. In fourth year, you will present a 60-minute graduation recital highlighting your repertoire from the year.

If you demonstrate during your audition that you have the potential to succeed as a performer, you may be placed automatically in this major in first year.

Highlights

  • Masterclass guest artists give you the chance to perform for the best of the best in the industry, including the likes of Dame Evelyn Glennie, Janina Fialkowska, Anton Kuerti, Adrianne Pieczonka, Karlheinz Essl, János Starker, Jeanne Lamon, André Laplante, Emerson String Quartet and many others.
Self-Directed Studies

This program is designed to give you a well-rounded musical education with the freedom to choose electives in a variety of subjects, both in music and outside of music.

In Self-Directed Studies, you’ll study your instrument or voice in weekly one-hour lessons and participate in at least one instrumental or vocal ensemble annually.

Courses will come from the areas of Culture and Society, Performance and Production and Style and Structure.

Starting in second year and with the assistance of the academic advisor and faculty mentor, students will map a purposeful pathway through their degree by selecting upper-level courses across the areas of Culture and Society, Performance and Production and Style and Structure with greater depth of study in the area of their choosing.

Tuition and Scholarships

Getting a university education is an investment in your future.

At Laurier, we take financial health seriously by providing a wide variety of funding opportunities for you throughout your degree, such as scholarships and bursaries, and by equipping you with the skills to manage your finances effectively in the years to come.

Faculty of Music Scholarships

On top of any entrance scholarships, you may earn at Laurier, Faculty of Music scholarships may be offered to you based on the success of your audition. Roughly $75,000 is awarded to first-year students each year. Financial success doesn’t end in first year; scholarships are available to upper-year students by application.

Our top first-year scholarships based on audition include the $5,000 Ken Murray Entrance Scholarship and the $2,000 Martens-Falk Voice Scholarship.

"The Music program at Laurier is highly respected and renowned due to the many opportunities it provides to students, whether that be performing in the community, within the faculty or sponsoring students to pursue their own entrepreneurial pursuits, including competitions."

Naomi Brito, Music graduate

"Laurier has provided me with all the materials I need in the program to be a successful musician and take away much of it into my professional career... and that’s all in just one course!"

Ian Fong, Music graduate

Your Career Awaits

It’s not only about the journey; it’s about the destination. Let us help you get to where you’re going.

Here are just some examples of our graduates' destinations. What’s yours?

Sample Career Options

Note: Additional training and education may be required.

  • musician/performer
  • conductor
  • composer
  • producer
  • teacher
  • music therapist
  • music/arts journalist
  • sound technician

Explore more careers.

Support After Graduation

Alumni for life means that you have access to Career and Employment Support offered at Laurier for your entire career.

Waterloo Campus

The Waterloo campus is tucked into about one city block, so you’re steps away from your classes, food and your new favourite study spot.

There are many ways to tour our Waterloo campus, whether that's on a guided tour with one of our Laurier student ambassadors, on your own using virtual reality, or even on-demand through one of our pre-recorded tours. See our campus spaces and start to picture yourself at Laurier.

"It’s so great to be taught by such distinguished musicians, many with performance histories circling the globe. I enjoy building my skill and seeing my abilities develop as a singer. I love being able to witness my peers learn and grow during masterclasses."

Ashley Sherk, Music graduate

Interested in More Info?

Email choosemusic@wlu.ca, call 519.884.0710 x2492 or see all Music faculty and staff.