“Without music, life would be a mistake.” – Nietzsche

The Music Department is constantly redesigning and expanding its programs, allowing students to help realize their full potential as musicians or perhaps discover music’s power for the first time in an ever-changing, ever-shrinking artistic world. In an effort to meet the demands of music in the 21st century, students at Bishop’s have the choice of pursuing studies in two different disciplines: traditional Classical Music or in the burgeoning area of Popular Music Studies (Jazz, Rock/Pop, Musical Theatre). Interdisciplinary programs include degrees in Arts Administration and Music Education, both with a music emphasis.

Music student at the piano
Where can this lead you?

Career Possibilities

Bishop’s graduates have pursued careers as scholars, teachers, arts administrators, and composers, as well as performers, both classical and pop. Others have taken their B.A. and gone in a completely different direction. Some students just want to pursue their love of music, without making it a career. So why not major in music, as well as another subject?

Scholarships, Awards, and Bursaries at Bishop's
Money matters

Scholarships and Prizes available to Music students

Find out which prizes are specific to Music students and how to apply for a general scholarship at Bishop’s.

Courses & Programs


The Department of Music offers a wide range of courses that provide a general introduction to the subject or that lead to a B.A. degree with either an Honours, Major or Minor in Music. Students also have the option to choose between Music Performance (MPE) or Music and Culture (MCU) programs. A popular interdisciplinary program is the B.A. in Arts Administration (Music Concentration). A new Concentration in Music Theatre draws the worlds of Drama and Music together in an exciting collaborative enterprise. The Department also welcomes students from across campus to select from a wide range of courses geared to those with little or no background in music.

You will find a unique flexibility in all of our programs, allowing you to explore other areas of interest across the Bishop’s campus, and design your own personal degree. Most of our students combine their study of Music with another discipline – Drama, History, Languages, Sciences, Psychology, Business – our students have tried everything!

B.A. ProgramMusic Degrees: Honours, Majors, Minors

Honours – (60 credits)

  • Honours in Music – Special Project Option
  • Honours in Music – Performance Option

Major – (48 credits)

  • Major in Music and Culture
  • Major in Music Performance

Double Majors. How about a double major in Music and Drama, for example, and the opportunity to perform in a fully-staged musical! They happen at Bishop’s almost every year.

Minor – (24 credits)

  • Minor in Music and Culture
  • Minor in Music Performance

B.A. vs. B. Mus.
Students comparing music programs in North America often want to know if a B.A. Music degree earned at Bishop’s ranks favourably with those found elsewhere. Our B.A. Major covers the same academic territory as most B.Mus. degrees, and our B.A. Honours has been accepted by graduate programs across Canada and in the U.S. as equivalent to a B.Mus. degree. You will quickly discover that the core courses offered at Bishop’s in Music are the same as those in all other institutions. In addition, we can proudly boast small class sizes and a collegial, non-competitive environment that facilitates not only the development of your talents, but your confidence as well. Life-long friendships often begin at Bishop’s and are among our proudest accomplishments. Our students come from across the country and around the world, not to mention the Quebec culture infused throughout the University. This diversity makes our department a vibrant and exciting place to work and study.

B.A. ProgramArts Administration: Music Concentration

Students are admitted to a Humanities Divisional Major in Arts Administration. This 75-credit interdisciplinary program combines the study of business, creative arts, and public history and arts administration. The goal is to provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to participate in the business and organizational areas of the cultural sector. Students normally begin the program with core courses in Arts Administration, Business and one of the Arts concentrations (Drama, Fine Arts, Film Studies, Music, Public History).

B.A. ProgramConcentration in Musical Theatre

The departments of Music and Drama at Bishop’s University are pleased to offer a 30-credit concentration in Music Theatre as a supplement to the Major in Music or Drama. This is a program unique among Quebec universities. Students entering the Music program will be required to complete an additional 12 credits or cognates in Drama and vice versa.

Popular Courses

MUS 101 Rock 101
MUS 104 Modern Jazz
MUS 115 Film Music
MUS 180 Choral Ensemble

Experiential Learning

Andrew Paul MacDonald composer and guitarist

Musique Chez Nous

Our student-run concert series features 8-10 shows per year mixing classical music and jazz that invites local, national, and international artists. Enjoy free concerts and take advantage of employment opportunities in publicity, recording and stage management, including a paid internship.

Daphnee playing the violin

Acoustic Tuesdays & Jazz Jam Thursdays

Valuable student performing experience in informal settings both on and off campus. Thursday evenings are the time to give your jazz chops a go, in an informal gathering led by some of our jazz teachers. Performance opportunities are everywhere both on and off campus as early as the first semester of study. Student bands are a regular fixture at the Golden Lion Pub in Lennoxville, for example.

Student singing at a BU Singers concert

BU Singers

The Bishop’s University Singers is a choir that performs both classical and pop repertoire. There is no choir like this elsewhere – a mix of students, faculty and community members.

Our Venues & Resources

Bandeen Hall
exceptional acoustics

Bandeen Hall

Home of the Music Department Musique chez nous concert series. Bandeen Hall, a 160-seat concert venue built in 1898 with exceptional acoustics, 12 spacious, well-lit and fully equipped practice rooms, 18 station computer labs complete with midi keyboards, Finale, and the Creative Cloud. Music students are granted access to our two world-class 7–foot Hamburg Steinway pianos, our 7-foot American Steinway, and our 22-stop Karl Wilhelm pipe organ, as well as the professional quality Purple Records recording studio.

Centennial Theatre
All the World’s a Stage

Centennial Theatre

This superb theatrical environment is achieved by recreating the wide auditorium sweep reminiscent of Greek amphitheatres; with a capacity of 550, Centennial Theatre provides actors, dancers and musicians with a significant audience, while maintaining a close relationship of auditorium to stage.

Karl Wilhelm Pipe Organ
Fine instruments & amazing opportunities

Did you know?

Music students at Bishop’s are granted access to fine instruments, such as our two world-class 7–foot Hamburg Steinway pianos, a continuo pipe organ, and a 2-manual French Baroque harpsichord made by Montreal craftsman Yves Beaupré. Organ students also have access to a 22-stop Karl Wilhelm pipe organ, located in St. Mark’s Chapel, just across from the Music Department.

Students are guaranteed 2 hours per day in our spacious practice rooms on the lower level. All of them are equipped with Yamaha upright pianos, and there is a window in every room.

Accompanist fees covered. Students requiring a piano for their instruments or for voice are provided with a certain number of hours with a professional accompanist at no cost.

There is a chamber choir open to all students that performs in St. Mark’s Chapel every Sunday, and puts on a Festival of Lessons and Carols each December. There are paid positions for section leaders.

Purple Records, a new fully-equipped recording studio has been installed in the Music Department, and students have the opportunity to make professional-level recordings in the studio or in Bandeen Hall.

Artist-in-Residence Program. Enjoy lessons, master classes and performance opportunities with nationally and internationally renowned artists. We usually invite one classical and one jazz/pop artist each year.

Second Instrument Study. Are you a violinist who also sings? A pianist who also plays guitar? We are one of the few music programs that allow you the opportunity to study more than one instrument at the same time and earn credits towards your degree.

Small class sizes. With a few popular exceptions, most of our classes are 20 or less, guaranteeing individual attention. Upper level courses are often 10 or fewer.

Want to learn about auditions to apply to our music programs? See our resources web page.

Mathieu Désy playing at Belle et Bum
every student counts

About your professors

We have small classes and individual attention, in addition to flexible programs that allow you to design your studies to suit your musical tastes. We’re friendly, but ambitious. Here, you will never fade into the background – you are meant to stand out.

The compositions of Dr. Andrew Paul MacDonald have won many prestigious prizes, including the Juno Award for “Best Classical Composition” for his Violin Concerto. His works are frequently broadcast on CBC and Société Radio-Canada, and have been performed in many Countries. Dr. Ross Osmun teaches a wide range of courses including Piano Literature, Russian Music, Music Theory and Film Music as well as offering individual piano instruction. In 2008, he received the Humanities Teaching Award in recognition of his effective teaching and dedication to the student body. As a collaborative artist, Dr. Désy has been involved in over 50 distributed albums covering all genres of music and he has toured with many of Quebec’s elite singer-songwriters and performers. He can also be credited with several stage, television and radio productions. Intrigued?


Want to know more about the Music programs at Bishop’s?

Contact Us