Information

All students must apply for admission with the University of Saskatchewan in the College of Arts and Science, as well as audition for the Department of Music.  All students begin their program as general BMUS students. At the end of the first year of study, students will work with faculty to choose the appropriate BMUS stream for the remainder of their program (e.g. Individualized, Performance, or Music Education).

The application can be found at this link.

If you are a current student at the University of Saskatchewan and wish to audition to the Department of Music, please contact allison.fairbairn@usask.ca to discuss your application.

In the online application, you will be asked to choose your preferred audition date. Early applicants are given first priority for scholarships.

Our 2021 audition dates are:

  • Saturday, January 30, 2021
  • Saturday, March 6, 2021
  • Saturday, April 17, 2021

Due to Covid-19 restrictions and limited campus access, video auditions are encouraged. Video auditions can be submitted up to one day before the chosen audition date.

If you would prefer an in-person audition on one of the audition dates listed above, please contact allison.fairbairn@usask.ca to make arrangements.

Deadlines

Please pay particular attention to the application deadlines. Applications are not considered complete until the online application to the university is completed and all additional audition materials are submitted. Please complete the online application first, and then submit additional audition materials to allison.fairbairn@usask.ca.  

Application and audition materials (resumé, one-page essay of ambitions, two references): January 15, 2021 for the January 30th audition date.

Application and audition materials (resumé, one-page essay of ambitions, two references): February 19, 2021 for the March 6th audition date.

Application and audition materials (resumé, one-page essay of ambitions, two references): April 2, 2021 for the April 17th audition date.

All audition materials must be emailed to allison.fairbairn@usask.ca after the online application is completed. The resumé should outline anything the prospective student feels is relevant, including paid work, community and volunteer work, and/or musical activities. The one-page essay of ambitions should outline why the prospective student wants to study music at the University of Saskatchewan, including any future ambitions. The two letters of reference must be sent directly from the Referees to admissions@usask.ca. One or both of these letters should come from current or past music instructors. Due to Covid-19 restrictions and limited campus access, video auditions are encouraged. Video auditions can be submitted up to one day before the chosen audition date.

Students will be contacted regarding the audition schedule approximately ten days before the chosen audition date. Late auditions may be considered. For information about auditions that fall outside of the two pre-planned audition dates, please contact music.department@usask.ca.

Accompanists:

For video auditions, you may wish to play with a recording. If you do not have a recording, we recommend the accompanists below who may be able to help. Please be sure to contact them well in advance of your audition.

The Audition

Audition advice from our current students: your future friends

The audition consists of a performance, an interview, and a short theory placement test. For the performance, students will be expected to prepare a 10-minute video demonstrating music in at least two contrasting styles. Singers should consider one work in English and one in another language.

The online Theory Placement Exam will take place on the same day as the interviews. Applicants will be assigned a time for the text and must have access to strong wi-fi, a printer, and a scanner or smartphone to return the hand-written portion for grading.

Students are encouraged to study theory prior to taking the placement test. General music theory preparation materials are found below. Students who do not pass the theory placement exam may still be admitted to a B.Mus. program, but must successfully complete a rudimentary online music theory class (MUS 101.3) in the Spring-Summer session prior to beginning required music theory studies at the U of S. 

It is recommended that students have studied the equivalent of Grade II rudiments Royal Conservatory of Music, history, and music appreciation in order to be prepared for university-level study. Please note that meeting these suggested requirements does not give you credit for beginner and intermediate theory and history classes, and that every student is expected to enroll in all required music theory and music history classes no matter what their experience in the subject area may be. 

Theory Placement Exam Preparation

In order to determine your level of theory skill, you will be given a theory placement exam at your audition. 

Students who plan to be music majors (and others who choose to study music theory as an elective) will be best prepared for all of their classes and studio work if they are already fluent in basic music rudiments. Many high school musicians already have completed mastery of these rudiments. Others may not have had the opportunity yet to focus on these skills.

The following skills are required for entry into Music 133:

  1. Fluent note reading in treble and bass clef
  2. Basic time signatures and rhythmic notation
  3. Basic keyboard skills
  4. Write and identify half steps and whole steps
  5. Write and identify all major key signatures
  6. Write and identify all major scales

The following skills are recommended for entry into Music 133: 

  1. Write and identify all minor key signatures
  2. Write and identify all minor scales
  3. Write and identify intervals
  4. Write and identify triads

If you are unfamiliar with these terms and exercises, your music teacher or director at your school or church can give you some guidance in getting started. There are many basic music rudiments books for sale in music stores, but many are expensive or inappropriate. These exercises can usually be mastered without the purchase of special books. You will need to purchase some music staff paper. You may also find the web sites linked to this page helpful. The music department also has recommendations for both print and electronic resources available; we also offer an online music fundamentals course (Music 101).

If you already know basic music theory rudiments, you will be well-prepared. If you have extensive training (e.g. upper-level conservatory, AP exam) you may wish to inquire about the possibility of taking an Advanced Placement examination in late August. Please email allison.fairbairn@usask.ca for more information.

The following links may help with explanations and drills.

The following links may help with explanations and drills.