Music - Fountain School of Performing Arts
Location: Dalhousie Arts Centre, Room 514
6101 University Avenue
P.O. Box 15000
Halifax, NS
B3H 4R2
Telephone: (902) 494-3772
Fax: (902) 494-2801


Dalhousie provides ways to study many kinds of music, within the vibrant context of our multi-disciplinary Fountain School of Performing Arts. Our offerings range from large survey classes open to students from across the campus, to performing ensembles entered by audition, to one-on-one applied music and composition study for those with demonstrated talent and interest. Through our programs, students can develop expertise as listeners, performers, and creators, in styles ranging from classical to popular.

The Bachelor of Music offers focused music studies to prepare graduates for careers or further study in many areas, including performance, composition, theory, musicology, popular music, and more. Through experiential learning, training in music teaches poise, discipline, creativity, collaboration, empathy, and the ability to think on one’s feet. These transferable skills are excellent preparation for many career paths in and beyond the performing arts.

In addition to the BMus, we offer the Honours BA in Music, the BA or BSc Combined Honours and Double Majors with Music, the Minor in Music, the Minor in Musicology, and many elective classes.

Elective Courses for Non-Majors

Other courses in Music may be taken by special permission. Applied study (individual studio instruction in voice or instrument) may be taken subject to an audition and available space.

Admission Procedures for all Music Programs

All Music major programs require that candidates (including transfer students) apply to both the university and the Fountain School of Performing Arts and audition for Applied Study OR submit a portfolio for Composition Studies. See the website at for the full application process. Re-audition and testing may be required if enrolment is deferred, if a program is interrupted for a year or more, or if an applied study course is not successfully completed in one academic year.

Students who demonstrate outstanding potential at their audition, or in their composition portfolio, but who require further preparation for university level music study, will be required to upgrade skills over the summer. Details will be communicated following the audition.

Ensemble Participation

Music Majors:

All students in music major programs enrolled in an applied study course (instrument or voice) or in first and second year composition studies must participate in ensembles for credit.

Year 1: MUSC 2751.015 Ensemble 1a; MUSC 2752.015 Ensemble 1b
Year 2: MUSC 2753.015 Ensemble 2b; MUSC 2754.015 Ensemble 2b
Year 3: MUSC 3751.015 Ensemble 3a; MUSC 3752.015 Ensemble 3b
Year 4: MUSC 4751.015 Ensemble 4a; MUSC 4752.015 Ensemble 4b
Advanced: MUSC 4753.015 Ensemble (Advanced) a; MUSC 4754.015 Ensemble (Advanced) b

Music minors and Elective students:

Students in music minor programs who enrol in applied study (instrument or voice) and students who take applied study as an elective are encouraged to participate in ensembles. Students may register for an ensemble credit class, depending on course load.

The Fountain School of Performing Arts will monitor the number and types of ensembles for each student.

Students must attend regularly and punctually the rehearsals and performances of their required ensembles. Students should note that ensemble participation typically requires regularly occurring rehearsals and scheduled performances.

Membership in ensembles is open to the university and the community by audition. Auditions are held in the first week of September. Please contact the Fountain School for further details.

Dalhousie University Chorus and Dal Ora
Dalhousie Symphony Orchestra (L. Perez)
Dalhousie Wind Ensemble (J. Caines)
Dalhousie Jazz Ensemble (C. Mitchell)
Dalhousie Opera
Small Ensembles (staff coaches)
Collaborative Piano (staff coaches)

Applied Study (Instrument and Voice)

Individual studio instruction in voice or instrument is required for most music degree programs. Applied study courses may be taken as electives subject to an audition and available space. Please note that admission to all applied study courses requires an audition. Please contact the Fountain School of Performing Arts for audition dates or visit website Auxiliary fees apply. Students must achieve a minimum grade of C in first year applied study in order to advance to second year applied study. Idioms offered are:

  • Voice
  • Guitar
  • Piano
  • Organ
  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Cello
  • Double Bass
  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • Clarinet
  • Bassoon
  • Saxophone
  • French Horn
  • Trumpet
  • Trombone
  • Tuba
  • Percussion
  • Harp