School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design

Music at York combines a flexible curriculum with individual attention to prepare students for their future careers. Courses in jazz, gospel, western classical, world, and contemporary music develop music skills and engage students in music creation (performance, composition, improvisation), studies (ethnomusicology, musicology, popular music studies), and community practice (education, community music, career-related placements). 


Program Structure 


The music program allows students the option to specialize or generalize according to their interests, developing skills in vocal or instrumental performance or composition, or working in a variety of musical practices and cultural forms. Opportunities include solo, small and large ensemble performance; composition and arranging; education and community arts development; studies in music and culture; and the growing field of music media production for cinema, gaming and motion media. 


Founded on the principles of diversity and inclusion, the program is unique in recognizing students with musical talent and ambition who arrive with a rich variety of musical backgrounds. It builds on these experiences by providing a common foundation in the first two years through four core courses. During their final two years, students specialize further and can explore the full range of options available to them. 

Performance and Professional Opportunities 

The Department of Music offers many opportunities for students to participate in workshops and masterclasses, and to perform and collaborate. Guests are invited from the professional and academic worlds to give seminars, offer specialized workshops, give guest lectures, and provide career guidance. 

A broad range of casual and formal, student and faculty concerts punctuate each year. Annual highlights include the Jazz Week Festival, World Music Festival, and week-long residency with the Oscar Peterson Jazz Artist-in-Residence. Some of the ensemble courses that feature performance include: 

· Symphony Orchestra 

· Jazz Orchestra and Choirs 

· West African Drums 

· Concert and Chamber Choirs 

· Celtic Canadian Folk Ensemble 

· New Music Ensemble 

· Gospel Choir 

· Wind Symphony 

· Klezmer Ensemble 

· Escola de Samba 

· Rhythm & Blues Ensemble


Program Details

Offered by

School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design

Degrees offered


Ways to study

Full-Time, Part-Time

Fall entry


Winter entry


Summer entry



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