The Department of Music at York University offers an innovative, comprehensive program which integrates academic studies and studio training across a wide range of musical cultures and traditions. Our program is designed to help students develop the knowledge and skills required to perform, research and create music in a variety of styles and contexts. While the curriculum is grounded in traditional western concepts and practices, it also incorporates new and alternative approaches to musical understanding and creativity. Along with classical music, jazz, world musics, contemporary repertoire, and electronic and digital applications all figure prominently in the program.
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: either 24 one-hour weekly lessons for 6 credits, or 24 half-hour weekly lessons for 3 credits.
Students have the chance to participate in jazz workshops, percussion and world music ensembles, contemporary improvisation groups, chamber choir and orchestra, and various piano, string, and wind ensembles. 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 have many opportunities 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.
The Department of Music is part of Ontario's only Faculty of Fine Arts, which also houses degree programs in Dance, Design, Film, Theatre, Visual Arts and interdisciplinary Fine Arts Cultural Studies. 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.