For students applying to the Bachelor of Music only.
In order to apply for admission to the Bachelor of Music program at Mount Allison, you must submit an application to the Department of Music in addition to your application for admission to the University.
Applying to the BA in Music? The Music Application Form and auditions are for students applying to the Bachelor of Music only — there is no need to fill out the form or audition if you plan on applying to the Bachelor of Arts with a major or minor in Music.
Step 1: Apply to Mount Allison
Apply for general admission to Mount Allison. To be considered for scholarships and bursaries, apply by March 1.
Step 2: Submit your Music Application
Submit the Music Application form by Feb. 10.
While enrolment is limited, the Department of Music will consider late applications and auditions, space permitting.
On the Music Application, you will be asked about your musical training and experience. Once submitted, the application form will be sent to the Department of Music for review.
Step 3: Audition
In-person auditions are held on campus for those seeking admission for the upcoming academic year.
For admission in Fall 2024:
- Early audition day: Jan. 27, 2024 (as part of the Music department's Audition Preparation Weekend)
- General auditions: March 2 and March 9, 2024
If you cannot come to Mount Allison during one of the audition days, the Music department will try to accommodate you on another date. After we receive your application, we shall contact you to arrange a time for your audition.
It is strongly encouraged to visit Mount Allison for an on-campus audition, but if you are unable to do so, you may submit a video recording instead.
Applicants may also submit a supplementary audition portfolio, demonstrating their musical skills and experience.
Please read the audition requirements for each instrument before you audition.
Singers and instrumentalists must perform with a collaborative pianist. You may provide your own pianist, or we may provide one for a fee of $50 with reasonable notice.
You may audition on one or more instruments, but must complete a separate audition for each.
All auditioning applicants will have an interview with a faculty member.
Guidelines for audition repertoire
Auditions should include three contrasting pieces, demonstrating your current level of playing or singing.
Suggested guidelines for piano, voice, strings, and guitar:
- Minimum Level 9, Royal Conservatory of Music, Mount Allison Local Centre, or Conservatory Canada
- Minimum Level 8, Royal Conservatory of Music
- We suggest that one audition selection be in a language other than English
- Minimum Level 9, Royal Conservatory of Music or other comparable system
- Minimum Level 5, Royal Conservatory of Music
- See the Classical Guitar Syllabus, 2018 edition and the accompanying Repertoire and Etudes volumes for suitable pieces
For students with interests in areas beyond performance, you may submit a supplementary audition portfolio that may include original compositions, arrangements, improvisations, or essays about music.
You may also include a brief description of your musical interests, experiences, or career goals.
If such a portfolio is submitted, then it is acceptable to submit only two audition pieces if desired.
The deadline to receive your portfolio is TBA or you may bring it with you to your on-campus audition.
Submitting a video recording
If you are unable to visit campus for an on-campus audition, you can submit video recordings.
The deadline for receiving your recordings: March 1, 2024
You may e-mail audition files directly to email@example.com or provide a link to an online file hosting service such as Dropbox.
Acceptable formats include:
- .avi, .flv, .m1v, .m2v, .m4v, .mkv, .mov, .mpeg, .mpg, .mp4, .wmv
You may also provide a link to an online streaming site such as YouTube, or send a video DVD by mail. Please ensure DVDs are playable on standard North American equipment.
While the department does not expect professional level production quality, it is important that your materials are of high audio quality for the panel to clearly hear and assess your performance level.
The recording should be recent (within six months) and without digital editing.
Questions? We're here to help! Please do not hesitate to contact the Department of Music with any questions about the audition, repertoire, or to arrange a free lesson: firstname.lastname@example.org or (506) 364-2374.
Step 4: Take a Music entrance assessment
The Music entrance assessment is taken by all students wishing to register for our regular first-term course in music theory (MUSC 1101: Introduction to Music Theory). This is a required course in our Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Arts (major or honours in Music) and minor in Music programs.
About the Music entrance assessment
The Music entrance assessment is designed to help us assess your knowledge in music theory and aural musicianship skills.
Success in the assessment is necessary for registration in MUSC 1101 — Introduction to Music Theory.
If the assessment reveals your knowledge and skills to be weak, we may require you to take our preparatory course (MUSC 1001 — Fundamentals of Music) before proceeding to MUSC 1101 — Introduction to Music Theory.
How to take the Music entrance assessment
Step 5: Submit a letter of reference
Provide a confidential letter of reference from your private or high school music instructor. This should be sent directly to the Department of Music at email@example.com.
Preparing to study Music
Studying music at university is a wonderfully enriching cultural experience. It is also a challenging educational one. University-trained musicians are expected to have much knowledge of their art.
At Mount Allison we are committed to helping you reach the highest standards of today's professional musicians. Not surprisingly, our expectations of you are also high. We often find that the better you prepare before coming to university, the greater your success while here.
You should know the rudiments of music, at least up to the Level 8 Theory standard of the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto. You may find it beneficial to prepare for and write the RCM Level 8 Theory exam.
Guidelines and suggestions to study music
Here are guidelines and suggestions in a number of areas that we consider important.
Whether you find your knowledge of these areas is already far advanced or you are just beginning to explore them, we wish you to take these guidelines as encouragement to further your musical experience.
You should know the rudiments of music, at least up to the Level 8 Theory standard of the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto. You may find it beneficial to prepare for and write the RCM Level 8 exam.
We consider knowledge in the following areas important:
- Notation — fluency in reading music in treble and bass clefs; accidentals; note and rest values; duplets, triplets, and other “tuplets”; simple and compound time signatures and normal groupings of note values
- Intervals — the ability to name by sight, and to notate, all intervals from the unison to the octave in all qualities (major, minor, perfect, diminished, augmented); the inversion of intervals
- Scales and keys — all major and minor (harmonic and melodic) scales; the names of scale degrees (tonic, supertonic, etc.); all major and minor key signatures
- Chords — the structure of triads and seventh chords; triad qualities (major, minor, diminished, augmented); roots; inversions of triads and seventh chords and their figured-bass symbols
- Harmony — the functions of diatonic chords and their Roman-numeral symbols (I, II, III, etc.); types of cadences
Aural musicianship skills
Musicians are expected to have discerning ears for musical sound. The following abilities are important for students beginning their university study in music:
- Intervals — the ability to recognize all diatonic intervals, from the unison to the octave, in both melodic (ascending and descending) and harmonic form
- Rhythm — the ability to recognize rhythmic patterns of up to two measures in length, in 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, and 6/8 metres, containing regular division and subdivision of the beat as well as duplets and triplets
- Melodic patterns — the ability to recognize a diatonic melody of up to two measures in length involving steps and leaps of no more than an octave
- Chords — the ability to recognize the quality (major, minor, and diminished) of triads played in four parts, close or open position
- Keyboard skills — even if you are not a pianist or organist, your study of music will benefit a great deal from having some ability at the keyboard. If you do not yet play keyboard at all, you should consider taking some beginning lessons
Music has its own body of fundamental concepts with which musicians should be acquainted. It also has a stock of common terms (most of them Italian) that appear in written music. You should attempt to familiarize yourself with the following concepts and terms:
- melody, range, phrase, cadence, climax
- rhythm, beat, accent, metre (duple, triple, quadruple, simple, compound), syncopation
- pitch, interval, consonance, dissonance, octave, scale, diatonic, chromatic
- harmony, chord, triad
- tonality, tonic, major mode, minor mode, key
- texture, monophonic, homophonic, polyphonic, imitation, timbre
- form, variation, binary, ternary, theme, sequence, motive
- tempo, grave, largo, adagio, andante, moderato, allegro, vivace, presto, prestissimo, accelerando, rallentando, ritardando, a tempo, tempo rubato, tempo primo, meno mosso, più mosso
- pianissimo, piano, mezzo piano, mezzo forte, forte, fortissimo, crescendo, decrescendo, diminuendo
- legato, staccato, tenuto, sforzando, fermata, arco, pizzicato, con sordino
- agitato, animato, cantabile, con brio, con espressione, dolce, espressivo, giocoso, grazioso, leggiero, maestoso, marcato, pesante, scherzando, tranquillo
- da capo, dal segno, fine, attacca
- alla, assai, ben, col/colla/con, e/ed, ma, meno, molto, non, più, poco, poco a poco, primo, quasi, secondo, sempre, senza, subito, troppo
The history of music
Music has a rich stylistic history and the study of music's evolution will be a core part of your university training. Some high school music programs include an introduction to notable composers and important music genres, many others do not. A basic acquaintance with the subject is a very valuable preparation for your university study.
A listener's knowledge of music
This may be the most important point of all. For a musician, there is simply no substitute for having some music "in the ears." The more music you are familiar with, the more meaning musical concepts will take on and the better you will be able to play, listen to, and enjoy other music.
Here are some music instruction websites that you might find useful:
- Teoría: Practical Music Theory — an instructional site in music rudiments, basic harmony, ear training, and form. It includes interactive exercises, online instruction, analyses, a glossary, and other articles.
- musictheory.net — a free online resource for learning the rudiments of music theory. It features lessons with clear explanations of pitch and rhythm notation, keys and scales, intervals, chord structure and function, and basic harmonic analysis. It also has interactive exercises and tools
- Open Music Theory — a free music theory textbook, mostly at university level. Pre-university topics can be found under 'fundamentals'.
Financial aid for Music students
Mount Allison has a generously funded scholarship and bursary program to assist deserving students. We also have a generous and growing program of scholarships reserved for Music students.
All applicants to the Bachelor of Music program are automatically considered for these music scholarships, so there is no need to apply separately.
In addition to being considered for entrance scholarships, all Bachelor of Music students may be eligible to receive a scholarship in your second, third, and/or fourth years if you are ranked among the top students in your program. These awards recognize excellence in academics as well as specific areas of musical study such as performance, composition, music theory, or music history.
Currently, the Music department awards approximately $40,000 to returning students each year.