York’s Music program is a nationally recognized leader in contemporary and traditional music.

Discover a world of music at York. Compose, perform, experiment, record and study in superb facilities across a wide range of musical genres, traditions and settings. Create your own curriculum from courses in instrumental and vocal music, jazz, classical, popular, contemporary, digital and world music, improvisation, ethnomusicology, theory, history, music pedagogy and music media. Program highlights include clinics and master classes led by internationally renowned artists, as well as more than 100 public concerts each season.

Streams of study in the Music Department combine courses in music history and theory, performance, contemporary media and technology, musicianship, composition and arranging, ethnomusicology, and music pedagogy. Performance training focuses on the small ensemble. Private vocal and instrumental lessons are offered with either 24 one-hour weekly lessons for 6 credits, or 24 half-hour weekly lessons for 3 credits.

Music applicants are admitted to the BFA Honours program. Students may apply to transfer to the BA Honours program after successful completion of the first year.

Program Highlights

Courses and workshops in popular music and in non-western performance traditions, such as South Indian, Chinese orchestra, Indonesian gamelan, Caribbean, West African drumming and Celtic Canadian, are a regular feature of the program.

Music students are encouraged to perform in public concerts and recitals, as soloists and in small ensemble settings. Large ensembles such as the York University Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Orchestra, Concert and Women's Choirs, Wind Symphony, and Jazz Choirs offer additional performance opportunities.

Students have the chance to participate in:

  • jazz workshops
  • percussion and world music ensembles
  • contemporary improvisation groups
  • chamber choir and orchestra
  • various piano, string, and wind ensembles

Featured Facilities:

  • 325-seat recital hall
  • Four digital music studios
  • Piano/practice modules
  • MIDI studios
  • 18 teaching/rehearsal studios
  • 44 practice rooms
  • Two recording studios
  • Ethnomusicology and jazz archives
  • Sound and Moving Image Library

You can combine your degree with a Certificate in Digital Design.

The Department of Music is part of Ontario’s only School of the Arts, Performance, Media & Design which also houses degree programs in DanceDesignDigital Media, FilmTheatre, and Visual Arts. Cross-departmental activities are strongly encouraged, and Music students enrich their educational experience by drawing on courses and resources from these areas as well as the University at large.

Possible Career Paths: 
  • Musician
  • Composer/Arranger
  • Music teacher
  • Music director

You are required to provide official evidence of academic achievement in secondary education. This can be demonstrated through:

  • Final grades under the Ontario curriculum (obtained through correspondence, night school or through TVO)
  • Credentials through other curricula, such as results from Advanced Placement (AP) or Advanced-level courses in the General Certificate of Education (Gene). (Students may register to sit for the AP and GCE examinations as private candidates.)

In the absence of final grades in courses:

  • You must submit the results of standardized tests such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) with a minimum of 550 (Reading) and 550 (Math) or a composite American College Testing (ACT) score of 24.
  • Your application will be reviewed by an admissions sub-committee. If admitted, you will not be eligible for entrance scholarships. You will be considered for continuing student scholarships at the end of your first year of study, if you satisfy those criteria.
You may also be required to provide proof of language proficiency. You will be considered for entrance scholarships on the basis of your overall averages in the six 4U/4M (Ontario curriculum) or equivalent courses.

We are adding to our database of admission requirements by country. Please check back in October for additional admission requirements by country. General requirements are currently available by country — note that program-specific requirements may apply in addition to general requirements.