The four pillars of the University's Commitment are foundational to your McGill experience. As a student in the Schulich School of Music, you will be immersed in a culture grounded in your program’s unique perspectives, approach and curriculum.
International students constitute approximately 25% of our student body.
Master Classes, Lectures, and Residencies
We host over 50 guest speakers, master-classes, performances, international conferences, and symposia annually. Recent guests have included such luminaries as Gerald Finley, David Shifrin, Jean-Pierre Drouet, Ralph Kirshbaum, Jean Guillou, Elizabeth Wallfisch, and Danilo Perez.
McGill International String Quartet Academy (MISQA)
This two-week festival, held every year in August, features four student quartets from around the world and distinguished faculty. Learn more
McGill Summer Organ Academy
Every other year, we host a major international gathering of organ teachers and students from around the world. Learn more
Live Webcasts of Opera and Large Ensemble Concerts
10 or more concerts a year are webcast in live video and audio on the internet, allowing our students’ talent to be showcased all over the world.
Short and Long-term Exchange Programs for Study Abroad
We have exchange programs with the Mozarteum in Salzburg (Austria) and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki (Finland). We are developing exchange programs with The Royal Conservatory in The Hague (Holland) and other European music schools. Learn more
We are the only North American member of ConNext, an international partnership of major conservatories that include institutions in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Finland, Singapore, and Australia. We also have close ties with the AEC (Association of European Conservatories of Music).
Travel Funding Opportunities
We offer funding to allow students to study abroad, give concerts, present at conferences, and do research.
The McGill Symphony Orchestra (MGSO)
The McGill Symphony Orchestra presents an average of 12 concerts each season, featuring internationally-recognized guest artists, faculty members and students as soloists. MGSO concerts are webcast world-wide, and the Orchestra regularly appears in high-profile venues such as Montreal’s Maison Symphonique and Toronto’s Koerner Hall.
Opera McGill presents three major professionally directed and designed opera performances every year, offering multiple performances with two casts. Auditions are open to both undergraduate and graduate students.
Early Music Program
One of the most comprehensive programs in North America, Early Music Program includes instrumental, vocal, and ensemble training. We present an annual, fully-staged Baroque opera with period orchestra. The Baroque Orchestra also performs three additional concerts each year.
The Contemporary Music Ensemble
This Ensemble presents three major professionally directed and designed opera performance presents four programs year, featuring some of the most exciting new music of our time, including works by student composers.
Jazz Orchestras and Ensembles
Our Jazz Orchestras and Ensembles travel to perform in professional, off-campus venues. Both Jazz Orchestras participate in the annual JazzFest des Jeunes du Québec. They have appeared at the festival for over 20 years, receiving several top awards.
All students in performance programs benefit from extensive large and small ensemble experience, including jazz combo and chamber music coaching.
Comprehensive Academic Study of all Aspects of Music
The Schulich School of Music offers an exceptionally wide range of classes on almost all aspects of music, taught by world-renowned scholars in music history, music theory, music education, music technology, composition, and sound recording.
We have a range of courses on performance practice for many different periods and styles.
Science and Technology of Music
Our unique faculty includes leading researchers in the science and technology of music , including specialists in perception and cognition, musical instrument design, audio signal processing, sound synthesis and analysis, new digital musical instruments, music information retrieval, and the physiology of music performance.
The Digital Composition Studio
The Studio provides facilities for students to compose computer music and musique mixte.
Many of our Music undergraduate students earn minors in Music Composition, Early Music, Music Education, Music History, Music Theory, Musical Applications of Technology, Music Science and Technology, or in another McGill University Faculty, including the Desautels Faculty of Management, which is developping a minor in Music Entrepreneurship.
Special Projects and Internship Opportunities
Students can create unique initiatives through special projects in performance, research, professional development, and internships.
Courses in everything from Music Introduction to Music Marketing and Business Fundamentals for Musicians provide Music students with invaluable training in the business of music, applicable to careers in music and in business.
Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies
A Graduate Option in Gender and Women's Studies is offered to Master’s and PhD students in collaboration with McGill's Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies.
The Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT) is housed in the Schulich School of Music. The Centre hosts guest speakers from around the world, workshops, and training sessions. Students can be members of CIRMMT, and get access to world-quality laboratories and equipment.
Many students, both graduate and undergraduate, work as research assistants in our Music Technology labs.
McGill Graduate Student Symposium
Graduate students organize a symposium for research by students each spring, where both graduate and undergraduate students can submit and present papers. The symposium brings students from across North America to the Schulich School of Music.
The Marvin Duchow Music Library
The Music Library has outstanding collections of music, sound recordings, books, and periodicals on music, as well as a full range of electronic resources. The knowledgeable staff work with individual students and classes. The the library also provides workshops on software tools, like music notation programs. It houses computer labs and an array of specialized computers and recording equipment that students can check out from the library.
Interdisciplinary Student and Faculty Reading Groups and Research Teams
Interdisciplinary student and faculty reading groups and research teams link music to Improvisation and Philosophy, Media Studies, The Digital Humanities, The Institute for the Public Life of Art and Ideas, Religious Studies, The Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies, Engineering, and Medicine.
We have hosted several international conferences for Varied Disciplines Conferences. In 2015 alone, we hosted:
- Historical Keyboard Society of North America, 2015 International Conference, May 21-24
- Audio Engineering Society Conference on Sound Reinforcement Engineering and Technology, July 15-17
- Transplanted Roots: Percussion Research Symposium, September 17-19
- Learning and Teaching Music in the Twenty-First Century: The Contribution of Science and Technology, November 5-7
700 Public Music Performances Each Year
Our musical performances serve both the McGill University and Montreal communities. Select concerts are simulcast on the internet, reaching an international audience.
We are committed to educating and preparing the complete musician and scholar. Our core curriculum includes training on how to maintain and foster physical and mental well-being. Our cutting-edge, innovative approaches guide our students to excel, not only as outstanding performers and scholars but also as well-balanced, healthy, and confident citizens.
Grant Writing Support
We provide expert mentoring programs, as well as workshops on writing winning grant applications in all disciplines.
Musical Instruments for Student Use
We own a large and expanding collection of instruments available for student use with no fees: winds, strings, percussion, brass, and early instruments, including 16 harpsichords, one of which was built in the 17th century. Organ performance students also have access to outstanding organs in many churches across Montreal.
Composer in Residence Program
All composition students have the opportunity to be composers in residence with McGill ensembles, who rehearse, premiere, and record the students’ works.
The McGill Booking Office
The McGill Booking Office is professionally operated, has set rates, and connects students with community members wanting to hire professional musicians. It generates more than $110,000 each year in revenues for students.
We hold two each year; the winners receive substantial cash prizes and appear as soloists with the McGill Symphony Orchestra.
Annual Competitions for Strings and Voice
Our annual Golden Violin and Vocal Performance competitions each award a $25,000 prize and a solo recital.
Chamber Music Competition
Chamber music ensembles can win the opportunity to travel to residencies at major European conservatories with funding by the Schulich School of Music.
Essay Writing and Sound Recording Prizes
These prizes celebrate graduate student excellence in written scholarship, performance, and sound recording, providing professional exposure.
Links to New Music Organizations
The Composition Area has strong links to the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne de Montréal, the Orford Summer Festival, and to IRCAM in Paris, among other institutions.
Students have the opportunity to work in many units of the Schulich School of Music, including Admissions, University Advancement, and Communications and Production.