You are now in the main content area

Department of Music


Laurentian University's Music program covers three interrelated disciplines: theory, history, and performance (classical or jazz).

The University's Department of Music offers a low student/teacher ratio and small class sizes that allow for personal attention, development and growth, nurtured by a dedicated faculty.  Classes offer a comfortable atmosphere for learning and getting to know other musicians.  Students take part in guest lectures, performance workshops and larger musical productions.

There are many opportunities for students to participate in ensembles and other performance activities such as: Laurentian University Choir, Laurentian Concert Band, Laurentian Jazz Combo, Sudbury Studio Singers, shared and solo recitals, Jazz Sudbury Festival, Sudbury Symphony Orchestra and others.

Music touches the soul of humanity, and even reaches those who cannot communicate through words.  Training in music is essential to developing creative individuals who can perform, teach, compose, and communicate to others.


Student Testimonials

"During my time at Laurentian University I have learned a great deal.  The incredibly small student-to-teacher ratio allows for ample one-on-one time through the development of mentor relationships with the fantastic Music faculty at Laurentian.  The quality of interactions with the faculty at Laurentian is some of the best, with any one of its members ready and able to help you learn.  This is combined with the performance opportunities that Sudbury has to offer, with Laurentian students and faculty performing regularly at locations like Fromagerie on Elgin, The Speakeasy, and The Laughing Buddha, all located in downtown Sudbury.  The music program at Laurentian University is small and concentrated, built on an experienced and dedicated faculty that when met with as much enthusiasm as they possess, can lead a student to grow and learn a great number of things."

Jacob Starling, Jazz Guitar, Class of 2017



"My degree in Music from Laurentian gave me the flexibility and creativity to be successful in my work as a Librarian. In my courses, I was able to dig in to core themes in the study of music including historical musicology, music theory, and performance. I’m grateful to the Faculty, who were generous with their time and expertise, not only in their teaching, but also in their mentoring me through the process of forging my career path in the study of music in culture. The direct result was my successful completion of an interdisciplinary honours project, and acceptance into a graduate program in Musicology. As a member of a jazz ensemble, I learned how to think on my feet, learning through improvisation how to adapt and refine ideas as they happen in real time, on stage, while also responding to the rest of the musicians who are also improvising alongside me. Being a member of a musical group, regardless of genre, also demands intense collaboration in order to thrive. This environment forces you to learn to negotiate many different personalities and learn how to work with all kinds of people. I’m grateful for these experiences. My career is people centered and my work environment is highly collaborative. Our work is also always changing, requiring agility, flexibility and creativity in order to keep up."


Robin Desmeules, Alumna




Q: Do I need to audition to be accepted into the B.A. in Music?

A: Yes.  Studying performance (applied music in classical music or jazz) is a requirement of the program for at least two years.  No audition is required for a Minor in Music.  You do have to audition to play in the Laurentian Concert Band or the Laurentian Jazz Combo.

Q: What performance level do I need to pass my audition?

A: Classical musicians need to be performing at a Grade 8 level RCM or equivalent.  At the audition, perform two pieces in contrasting styles from different eras, and be prepared to play scales and do some sight-reading.  Jazz musicians will be expected to improvise in various styles, play scales and sight-read.  See the website for more details.

Q: What does Grade 8 level RCM mean?

A: RCM or the Royal Conservatory of Music at Toronto provides an organized graded system of performance levels for all classical instruments.  Students throughout their musical studies do exams from Grade 1 through 10.  Grade 8 requirements vary slightly per instrument, but require at least two contrasting pieces, studies, sight-reading, and knowledge of all major and minor scales and arpeggios.  See their website for more information, or ask your private music teacher.

Q: How do I prepare for my audition?

A: If you are not doing so already, invest in lessons with an accredited private music teacher on your instrument, someone who has a music degree or at least Grade 10 RCM.  They will be qualified to guide you through preparation of your Grade 8 pieces.

Q: Do I need to own my own instrument to study at university?

A: Yes.  Some music stores do rent instruments, but the university does not.  Pianos and percussion instruments are provided.

Q: Are there lockers?

A: Yes.  We have school lockers rented out by the University (Student Services).  They are housed in the Music department area.  Large instruments may be stored in the instrument storage room.  See the music administrative assistant for a key.

Q: What is it like to study music at a university?

A: All study at university is more intense and demanding than in high school.  Despite the fact that your timetable will look lighter, each course requires you to be independent, disciplined and organized - learning these skills is what first-year university is all about.  Your courses may even be in different buildings across campus, so be prepared for that.  Musical studies require you to practice your instrument for a minimum of one hour every day, in addition to playing in ensembles, and doing reading and homework assignments for every class.  You will be very busy!  And, you will be in music courses with other young people who were the best in their high school music classes, just like you - you will have a lot in common!

Q: What level theory do I require to enter university?

A: We ask that you obtain your Grade 2 rudiments certificate form the RCM.  However, as private theory lessons are not readily available in all regions of the province, on the day of your audition you may write a theory placement test.  The results of yor test will determine which level of theory class you will need to enroll in.  This test serves to ascertain which theory course is the best for you and your skill set - this is not a pass/fail situation. For those not at this level, we have a first year proficiency course in theory that allows you to catch up. 

Q: What kinds of things do I need to know for the theory placement test?

A: You need to know all your major and minor scales, arpeggios and chords, key signatures, intervals and be able to read both treble and bass clefs.

Q: Is there a piano requirement?

A: No. You will get keyboard training in a lab as part of your theory classes.

Q: Who do I go to if I need advice or help?

A: The current Chair of the Department of Music is your academic advisor, and can help you to access assistance for non-academic help (counseling, medical, etc.) across campus.

Q: Are there any careers other than teaching for which a B.A. in Music prepares me?

A: Many of our alumni pursue graduate studies in order to become performers.  Some alumni are also librarians, researchers, or instructors at the university and college level.  Other avenues to pursue are listed in the brochure, such as piano technician, sound technician, acoustic designer, music instrument builder or repair person, etc.

Q: How do I find a graduate school and apply?

A: Search for graduate schools on the web to find the universities that have the programs you want, and the specific professors with whom you wish to work.  Recently, our graduates have gone on to study ethnomusicology, library science, musicology and performance at the graduate level.  Historically, our alumni have gone to universities in Ontario, such as Ottawa, Toronto, Western and York.  Others have gone to McGill and Memorial.  Instructions for applying vary with each university.  Deadlines for applications ma be as early as November, or as late as February.  You will need to pay to apply, plus submit examples of your work (essays, performance recordings, etc.), and supply references.  Applications for scholarships (Ontario Graduate Scholarship, SSHRC, individual universities) require a separate process with fall deadlines.  Start researching grad schools the summer before your last year at Laurentian.  Make an appointment with a professor who is in the area you wish to pursue to get her/his advice.