Explore Beethoven to Bieber, solos to software.

Study music in a program that offers you the flexibility to pursue your passions. At Waterloo, we offer instruction in more than 20 instruments, as well as vocal lessons. But that’s just the beginning.

Balance your study of performance, music theory, and music history with classes on the relationship between music and technology, gender, and peace. Unpack the psychology of music, or delve into pop, jazz, opera, film scores, and more.

Whether you’re aiming for a career as a performer, composer, teacher, recording technician, or music software developer, this program gives you the building blocks you need.

Create friendships for life

Join the Living-Learning Community at Conrad Grebel where you’ll live with other Music students, make lasting friendships, and get support from upper-year peer leaders. A residence application is required. 

Study in Bali and beyond

Grab your passport! Experience concerts, festivals, and the rich cultural life of countries from Bali to the Baltics with a music & culture travel course.


About the Music program

briefcase Available as a co-op and regular program

Graduation cap Earn a Bachelor of Arts in Honours Music

icon of the globeInternational exchanges in 25 countries

icon of network of peopleOffered by the Faculty of Arts

icon of open bookAvailable as a major and minor



First-year courses

Listed below are required first-year courses. You'll choose additional classes so that you have a total of 5 courses per term (or 6 if you include an music ensemble).

September to December (fall term)

Choose 2 of:
MUSIC 110 - Music in Cultural Contexts
MUSIC 226 - Music Studio (taken with MUSIC 116)
MUSIC 270 - Music Theory 1

Arts First requirement 1*
2 elective courses

January to April (winter term)

Choose 2 of:
MUSIC 110 - Music in Cultural Contexts (if not taken in fall)
MUSIC 226 - Music Studio (if not taken in fall) or MUSIC 227 (taken with MUSIC 116)
MUSIC 271 - Music Theory 1 (or MUSIC 270 if not taken in fall)

Arts First requirement 2*
2 elective courses

*The Arts First requirement consists of 2 first-year courses that are capped at 25 students: ARTS 130 - Inquiry and Communication and ARTS 140 - Information and Analysis. Instead of listening to a lecture and trying to capture notes, Arts First courses will have you and your classmates working together to respond to a challenge posed by the instructor.

After first year

About 40% of the classes you’ll take will be Music courses. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.

Sample upper-year courses 

MUSIC 232 – Music as a Global Phenomenon
MUSIC 246 – Soundtracks: Music in Film
MUSIC 275 – Music and Technology
MUSIC 332 – Aesthetics of Music


Customize your Bachelor of Arts in Honours Music degree

As a Music major, you can add a specialization in Music and Peace, Music in a Global Context, or Church Music and Worship.

You can also add additional interests and expertise by including a minor (or minors) as part of your degree.

Gain relevant work experience through co-op

By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore new career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve. Co-op is available if you study Music through Honours Arts and Business.

Sample co-op job titles

  • Music instructor
  • Business improvement analyst
  • Teaching assistant
  • Guidance / at-risk support assistant
  • Information management assistant
  • Senior business systems analyst

Sample co-op employers

  • Parks Canada
  • Toronto District School Board
  • Nature Conservancy of Canada
  • CIBC
  • BMW Group Canada
  • Ontario Ministry of Government Services

What can you do with a Music degree?

Waterloo Music graduates often pursue careers in music, teaching, and marketing. They often work in arts schools, entertainment companies, and theatres.

Recent graduates

  • Teacher – Waterloo Region District School Board
  • Assistant Concert Manager – Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra & Chamber Choir
  • Community Manager – Treehaus Collaborative Workspace
  • Manager, Client Success – Smile.io
  • Business Analyst – Reliance Home Comfort
  • Manager of Artistic Operations - Living Arts Centre
  • Music Therapist - St. Mary’s Hospital

Learn more about Music