The best music schools in Canada are an essential part of the country’s culture. It’s no surprise that many of the best music schools in Canada are located in major cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal.
Canada is known for its diverse population and rich heritage. Between its many universities and colleges, there are hundreds of programs available to anyone who wants to learn about music.
It’s possible to get a degree from any number of Canadian universities, but some programs are more prestigious than others. The most prestigious university for music studies is McGill University in Montreal, which has been voted one of the top 10 “coolest schools” by Rolling Stone magazine.
Top 10 Best Music Schools In Canada
The ten best music schools in Canada are based on a combination of factors including the quality of courses offered, research opportunities, student satisfaction, and employment rates.
In Canada, there are several music schools and colleges that offer top-notch education in the field. The following list includes the 10 best music schools in Canada:
- University of Toronto
- McGill University
- Wilfrid Laurier University
- Queen’s University
- University of Saskatchewan
- University of Manitoba
- University of Victoria
- The Royal Conservatory of Music
Humber College Faculty of Media and Creative Arts
Acadia University School of Music
University of Toronto
The University of Toronto is one of the best music schools in Canada, with a long history of training musicians. The Faculty of Music offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in performance, composition, and theory.
The University of Toronto offers a wide range of music degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Undergraduate programs include honors, general or combined degrees in music performance, composition, or theory/musicology. Graduate degrees include M.A., M.M., M.Mus., Ph.D., and DMA.
There are over 2,000 students enrolled at The Faculty of Music, including undergraduates and graduates from around the world studying everything from classical piano to jazz saxophone. They come from many different backgrounds and musical styles but share one common goal — to learn how to play better than anyone else!
In 2013, U of T was ranked the third-best university in the world by Times Higher Education World University Rankings (it was also named one of the top 10 universities worldwide by QS World University Rankings). Its faculty includes six Nobel Prize winners and nine Royal Society laureates.
The Faculty of Music at UofT is home to several different ensembles including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, New Music Concerts, operas and plays by Opera Inconnu, and many more. Students studying at UofT can also take advantage of various opportunities to study abroad or participate in international exchange programs so they can gain experience living in another country while pursuing their studies here at home as well.
Several different options are available for international students wishing to study at U of T, including exchange and visiting student opportunities.
McGill’s music program is one of the most respected in North America. The university offers students a wide range of courses and programs, including bachelor’s degrees in performance, composition, music education, and ethnomusicology. McGill also offers master’s degrees in music therapy, musicology, and ethnomusicology. Students can work toward a doctorate at either the undergraduate or graduate level.
McGill University is a public research university in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It was established in 1821 by a royal charter, granted by King George IV of the United Kingdom. The University bears the name of James McGill, a Montreal merchant from Scotland whose bequest in 1813 formed the university’s precursor, McGill College.
The University is composed of 12 faculties, organized into 11 schools. McGill offers degrees and diplomas in over 300 fields of study, with the highest average admission requirements of any Canadian university. Most students are enrolled in the five larger Faculties, namely Arts, Science; Management; Medicine; Law; and Engineering.
McGill’s main campus is located around downtown Montreal, with the second-largest campus being in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue on the western tip of the island. The university is one of two universities outside the United States that has a full degree-granting institution based in Europe: both universities were founded by British expatriates (the other being Oxford University).
The school has an excellent reputation for its emphasis on both theory and practice. Students have access to world-class facilities that include several recording studios, a percussion lab, electronic music studios, and more. They also have access to student orchestras, choirs, and jazz bands that perform around campus as well as around Montreal and Quebec City.
McGill is a world leader in the study of music and music education. We offer a wide range of programs, including performance, composition, history, and theory. We have an active student life on campus, with groups like McGill Contemporary Music Society (MCMS), McGill Jazz Band, the McGill Opera Society, and many more.
Our facilities include:
- The Schulich School of Music Concert Hall – this is our main concert hall that seats 1,200 people. It features a Steinway Model D concert grand piano and a Yamaha Disklavier Pro piano for students to use for practice purposes.
- The Schulich School of Music Recital Hall – this recital hall has excellent acoustics and seats up to 500 people comfortably. There are also two Steinway Model B grand pianos in this room that can be used by students who wish to practice their repertoire privately.
Wilfrid Laurier University
Wilfrid Laurier University is one of the best music schools in Canada. The university offers a wide range of music programs including Bachelor of Arts (Music), Bachelor of Music (Performance), Bachelor of Music Education, and Bachelor of Music Therapy. These programs are offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
The Wilfrid Laurier University Music Department is a vibrant and dynamic community, with a history of excellence in both undergraduate and graduate programs. We are committed to providing a supportive learning environment for students, faculty, and staff alike.
The department is home to over 500 undergraduate students and 40 graduate students who study in the areas of performance, theory/composition, musicology, and ethnomusicology. Students can choose from over 20 different courses each year in these areas of study, including courses offered by our visiting scholars and artists-in-residence.
The Music Department strives to be an engaged community that fosters creativity and encourages exploration through its innovative curriculum. The department offers a wide variety of courses in all four main fields of music studies: performance; theory/composition; musicology; ethnomusicology.
A student may choose to specialize in one or more of these fields or study them all as part of their degree program. All degree programs include an internship component that allows students to gain valuable experience working in the field before graduating from university.
We offer two graduate degrees: the Master of Music (MM) and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).
The School of Music at Wilfrid Laurier University was established in 1969 as part of the Faculty of Arts and Science. It was later transferred to the Faculty of Fine Arts, where it remains today.
In addition to providing students with high-quality education, the School aims to foster an environment that supports artistic excellence and innovation through research, performance, and outreach activities.
The School offers seven areas of study: Composition, Conducting, Ethnomusicology, Music Education, Performance (Voice or Instrumental), Popular Music Studies, and Theory/Composition/Musicianship/History/Literature/Criticism/Musicology/Music Technology.
The music program at Wilfrid Laurier University offers students a foundation in performance, theory, and history. The school was founded in 1911 as the Waterloo College School of Music and offers programs including classical performance, jazz performance, music education, and music therapy.
The Laurier music program includes a wide variety of classes, including:
- Classical Performance
- Jazz Performance
- Music Education
- Music Therapy
The Faculty of Arts and Science is the largest faculty at Queen’s University, offering a wide range of degree programs in the humanities, social sciences, natural science,s, and engineering. In addition to providing high-quality programs of study, the Faculty strives to promote critical thinking and intellectual development. The Faculty attracts students from around the world who wish to pursue their interests in all areas of human knowledge.
There are four undergraduate degrees available in music: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music; Bachelor of Music Education, and Bachelor of Music Therapy.
At the graduate level, students can choose between a Master of Arts or a Master of Music degree. The MA program is designed for those who want to teach in universities or conservatories. The MM program prepares students for careers as performers, composers, or conductors in professional ensembles.
The Queen’s School of Business also offers a specialized MBM degree that integrates music into its curriculum. This program allows students to study business management while pursuing their passion for music at the same time.
The School of Music and Performing Arts offers a range of degrees that are unique to Queen’s University. Students can choose from four undergraduate majors (Bachelor of Music in Performance; Bachelor of Music in Composition; Bachelor of Music in Theory and Composition; BMus Honours; Diploma) as well as three graduate programs (MA; MFA).
University of Saskatchewan
The U of S School of Music offers both undergraduate and graduate programs, with several concentrations available to students. The Bachelor of Music degree is offered in three areas: performance, composition, and music education. Students can also earn a Bachelor of Arts with a major in music.
Students who wish to pursue an undergraduate degree in music can choose from several options. The Bachelor of Arts (Music) allows students to combine their passion for music with other fields such as English or history. The Bachelor of Music Education allows students to focus on teaching while completing their degree requirements. The Master of Music Education prepares students for careers as professional musicians or teachers at high school levels.
The school offers courses in performance, composition, and theory that are designed to meet the needs of students who wish to pursue careers in music performance or composition. The school also offers graduate programs in performance and composition as well as an MA program that prepares students for careers as music teachers or academic researchers.
The University of Saskatchewan is Canada’s leading research university. It has been ranked as the top comprehensive university in Canada for five consecutive years.
According to Times Higher Education, the University of Saskatchewan is ranked in the top 200 universities worldwide, placing it in the top 1% of universities worldwide.
The University offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate programs in many fields including Arts & Science, Agriculture & Bioresources, Engineering & Applied Sciences, and more.
University of Manitoba
The University of Manitoba is a public research university in the province of Manitoba, Canada. Located in Winnipeg, it is the oldest university in western Canada and the second-oldest active university in the country (after the University of New Brunswick).
The University of Manitoba has a reputation for being one of the top music schools in Canada. The school offers a wide variety of programs for students interested in pursuing careers as composers, performers, and music educators. Master’s degrees are available at the graduate level for students who want to pursue careers as musicologists or ethnomusicologists.
The Bachelor of Music program at this school consists of four years of study with an emphasis placed on composition and performance studies. The Bachelor’s degree at this school will prepare graduates to enter the workforce as professional musicians or teachers.
The Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba is home to over 120 faculty members, who teach approximately 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The faculty offers training in all areas of music including performance (voice, keyboard instruments), conducting, composition and theory.
University of Victoria
The University of Victoria is one of Canada’s top universities for music. The university has a long history in music education and offers Bachelor of Music degrees in performance, composition, musicology, and ethnomusicology. Graduate degrees are also available in these fields, as well as in music education.
The university’s School of Music offers many courses in performance and composition at the undergraduate level. At the graduate level, students can pursue an MA or Ph.D. in ethnomusicology or musicology. There are also two graduate certificates offered: one in world music studies and one in digital media production.
The University of Victoria is the top-ranked music school in Canada, according to the 2019 QS World University Rankings by Subject. The university’s School of Music offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in composition, performance, musicology, and music education. It also hosts the Pacific Opera Project (POP), an annual summer opera festival that showcases students’ work alongside professional artists from across North America.
The University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Music was ranked 20th globally for musicology in the 2019 QS World University Rankings by Subject. The faculty has more than 60 performance ensembles and over 600 student musicians who perform on campus and in Vancouver communities. Students can earn BMus degrees in music theory and history, performance practice, composition, or piano accompaniment.
McGill University’s Schulich School of Music offers undergraduate programs in music education, performance, composition, and theory as well as graduate degrees in ethnomusicology and jazz studies. In addition to its academic offerings, the Schulich School hosts several festivals throughout the year including FestiBlues (jazz festival), Afrofest (African music festival), and Musique et Autres Cultures Urbaines (MACU).
The Royal Conservatory Of Music
The Royal Conservatory of Music is a world-renowned institution that has been providing musical training since 1877. Located in Toronto, Canada, the conservatory offers more than 500 courses in music theory, composition, performance, and more. Graduates from the conservatory have gone on to become some of the most well-known musicians in history, including Glenn Gould and Oscar Peterson.
The Royal Conservatory of Music is one of the top music schools in Canada and around the world. It is known for its high standard of education and its rigorous curriculum. The school has two campuses: one in downtown Toronto (the main campus) and another in Thornhill, Ontario, about 40 minutes north of the city center.
The conservatory offers many degrees at all levels including bachelor’s degrees in applied performance (in jazz studies), composition, and conducting as well as diplomas in music performance as well as certificates in various areas such as music business or recording arts production.
The Royal Conservatory of Music is one of the largest music education providers in the world. The organization offers a variety of courses to help students get started on their musical journey, including workshops and classes in various instruments and genres.
The Royal Conservatory also runs several programs that are designed specifically for young people — including its Youth Performance Program, which provides high school students with performance opportunities and an opportunity to connect with peers through workshops and concerts.
Humber College Faculty of Media and Creative Arts
Humber College Faculty of Media and Creative Arts is one of the best music schools in Canada. It offers several programs that are ideal for aspiring musicians, including Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degrees in Music Production and the Music Industry.
The BFA in Music Production is an intensive four-year program that provides students with the skills they need to succeed in today’s competitive music industry. Students learn how to compose, produce and mix audio recordings, as well as how to develop the creative aspects of their craft. The program also includes professional training in business development, marketing, and entrepreneurship.
The BFA in Music Industry prepares students for careers outside of traditional music production. Students learn about various business aspects of the industry including copyright law and intellectual property rights management, as well as marketing strategies for promoting artists’ works online and offline.
In the heart of Toronto’s entertainment district, Humber College offers a variety of programs in music, film, and game design. The school has two campuses: one in Toronto and one in Brampton.
The Humber Music Program is an intensive program that allows you to choose between two options: a four-year Bachelor of Music degree or a three-year diploma. You’ll gain valuable experience through performance opportunities such as concerts, recitals, festivals, and master classes with internationally renowned guest artists.
The School of Creative Media offers degrees in art, design, and media production. The curriculum combines theory with hands-on learning through interactive labs and studios where students can develop their skills using state-of-the-art equipment such as motion capture cameras, audio recording software, and high-end graphic design software.
Acadia University School of Music
Acadia University is a small university in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. The University has two campuses; one in Wolfville and the other in Sydney, Nova Scotia.
The school of music at Acadia University offers Bachelor’s degrees in Music Performance, Music Composition, and Music Education. The school also offers a Master’s degree in Performance for Classical Guitarists.
The Acadia University School of Music provides students with an excellent music education within an intimate community atmosphere. In addition to providing students with a strong theoretical background, the school also provides practical experience through performance opportunities on campus and off-campus concerts by both faculty and students.
The Acadia University School of Music is one of the top music schools in Canada. The school offers an extensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as post-graduate certificate programs. In addition to these academic programs, the school also hosts several performance groups that give students a chance to showcase their talents. They include:
- Acadia University Wind Ensemble
- Acadia University Orchestra
- Acadia University Jazz Ensemble
- Acadia University Choir
Canada is a country rich in music, and whether you are a music lover or just a casual listener, you’re likely to have heard of some of the major music schools present in our great North. Yet with so many music schools in the country specializing in a wide range of disciplines, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. Thankfully, we have put together this comprehensive list of the best music schools in Canada, to help make your decision that little bit easier.