Music OverviewWhy Music At McMasterMusic Admission DetailsMusic First Year CoursesMusic Options Beyond First YearTypical Music TimetableMusic Internships and Co-OpsCareers Beyond the Music ProgramProfiles and Alumni of MusicMusic Program StatisticsMusic FacilitiesMusic Web Links

  • Overview

    The study of the arts, including music, affords us a direct experience of patterns of thought and feeling and provides concrete evidence of the course of civilizations over the centuries.

    The programs in Music at McMaster are designed to meet students’ needs in performance and education and to provide academic opportunities that are both challenging and exciting.

    The Music program gives students a thorough grounding in the four fundamental areas of music instruction – theory, general musicianship, history and performance, and allows students who are interested in teaching careers to specialize in Music Education, while those intrested in academic studens and graduate school may emaphsize Music History and Theory.

    Why Music at McMaster?

    Experiential Learning
    With a ratio of approximately one professor to every 15 students and private lessons in the student’s principal instrument or voice, the Music program offers an exceptional level of faculty contact within the conventional classroom.

    Our program also emphasizes learning outside the classroom. There are several ways in which music students at McMaster are exposed to a wide range of world-class artists. These include free lunchtime concerts and the Celebrity Concert Series (to which Music students receive free admission). The series brings top calibre international musicians to McMaster, whose musical styles range from the standard repertoire to recent music, jazz, early music and world music.

  • Admission Details

    Application and Admission requirements

    Annual Enrollment: 30


  • Note: AN Audition is Required for Admission to Music


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    Computer-assisted and electronic music facilities are provided for the technical needs of students in these increasingly important and dynamic areas, including a variety of music notation programs and an advanced midi lab with recording booth.Students studying music also have access to:

    • large rehearsal rooms
    • practice rooms
    • seminar rooms, several equipped with two grand pianos
    • multimedia classrooms
    • a multimedia classrooms large instrument collection, including string, wind, brass and percussion instruments
    • Mills Memorial Library’s extensive music section
    • Music Cognition Laboratory
    • an on-campus concert hall with a world-class Steinway piano
  • First Year Courses

    Total: 30 units
    Required: 21 Units


    Electives: 12 units from the Faculty of Humanities or other Faculties.

    Students who plan to enter the B.Mus (Music Cognition) program must include Psychology 1X03 and Psychology 1XX3 in their Level I program. Those without Grade 12 Biology U must also take Biology 1P03 (Introductory Biology).

    Note: The value of a particular course is indicated by the last digit of the course code (e.g. 1A03 = 3 units).

  • Beyond First Year

    Please click on the following links to review the upper courses associated with each specialization/degree option:

    Diploma in Music Performance
    The Diploma recognizes a concentration in the area of music performance and can be completed concurrently with a Music degree or with a degree in another subject. Students who are not in the Music program must complete an audition before being admitted to the Diploma.

    Students select courses concentrating on performance, such as solo and ensemble performance, jazz improvisation, accompanying and chamber music, leading up to the special final year solo performance course Music 4E09, which culminates in a recital presentation of approximately forty minutes duration. Because Music 4E09 may not be used for credit towards any McMaster degree, students pursuing the Diploma must plan their work to accommodate nine extra units.

  • Career or Options Beyond This Program

    • music education
    • performance
    • music business management
    • musicology
    • music therapy
    • publishing
    • law
    • government service
    • human resources
    • public relations



    All Music programs at McMaster involve performance, both solo and ensemble. There are many opportunities to perform in public, such as the Student Concert Series for soloists and chamber groups. All students receive private lessons in their principal instrument or voice, and must also participate in one of the seven important ensembles sponsored by the School of the Arts:

    • McMaster Chamber Orchestra
    • McMaster Concert Band
    • McMaster Jazz Band
    • McMaster University Flute Ensemble
    • McMaster Percussion Ensemble
    • McMaster University Choir
    • McMaster Women’s Vocal Ensemble

    Admission to these ensembles is by audition and is open to music and non-music students.

Typical Timetable

Typical Timetable

Profiles & Alumni

Program Statistics

Professor to Student Ratio: One professor to every 15 students.