Why Choose Music? The UPEI Advantage!

In the UPEI Music Department, not only will you develop and hone your musical craft, but you will also develop essential life-long learning skills for success beyond the completion of your degree. We guarantee an intimate learning environment with a focus on individual instruction and small classes, ensuring a personalized learning experience—you are never just a number. You really get to know your professors and they are able to assist you personally in establishing and achieving your musical and educational goals. In fact, the moment you begin your program at UPEI, you are assigned to a faculty mentor who monitors your progress throughout each year of your studies and assists you in a number of ways. It’s like having a personal coach watching out for you, helping you to overcome individual challenges and guiding you toward success.

When you become a UPEI music student, you are welcomed into a dynamic community of performers, composers, scholars, and educators that encourages a spirit of collaboration to flourish between faculty and students, and also among students. Instead of competing against your peers, you will compete with yourself to achieve, and as you work to further your musical and academic development, you will discover a network of peer support that involves students of all years of the music program.

In the UPEI Music Department, we recognize that first-year students sometimes have difficulty making the transition to university learning and seeing how all their courses fit together to create a larger, coherent learning experience. That is why we provide Music Immersion, an initiative geared toward helping you through your first year. Through specially arranged one-on-one and group sessions, Music Immersion helps you to deal effectively with a variety of academic issues that arise in the initial year of university music studies and to understand better how all the parts of the program fit together. This establishes a strong foundation for your first year of studies and beyond.

Nurturing Practicing Musicians

We believe that, no matter what aspect of music you decide to pursue, it is essential that you are able to express yourself musically at a high level. As a UPEI music student, you will study your instrument or voice in weekly, individual lessons with the appropriate instructor for four years, regardless of the path within the discipline of music you eventually choose to pursue. Whether you intend to become a music educator, or plan to engage in graduate studies in theory, composition, or history, you will continue to be a practicing musician alongside those who plan to become performers. You will have numerous performance opportunities in master classes, performance classes, and public recitals on a regular basis, and you will be active in one or more of the Department’s ensembles throughout your undergraduate career. These ensembles include the Wind Symphony, University Chorus, Men’s and Women’s Choruses, Chamber Singers, Percussion Ensemble, and Jazz Ensemble. You may also register for chamber music courses for credit and to perform solo recitals in their third and fourth years.

This emphasis on being active as a performer not only helps you down the road; it can also pay dividends while enrolled at UPEI. Qualified instrumentalists are often engaged by the PEI Symphony Orchestra to perform as members of the orchestra. Some have also soloed with the orchestra upon winning that honour as a prize in the Provincial Music Festival. Each summer many students find employment as professional musicians in Prince Edward Island. Many of our voice students have been in the cast of such shows as Anne and Gilbert:The Musical and some of our brass students perform annually as members of the Confederation Brass Quintet. This group is a resident group at the Confederation Centre of the Arts and it performs twice daily there throughout the summer months. Other students perform as cast members in a variety of dinner theatre productions also throughout the summer months. These numerous professional performing opportunities are unique to music students at UPEI who are a part of a rich and diverse music scene that does not exist elsewhere. Typically 20% of our students are professionally employed as musicians during the summer months.

Support For Our Students

We are fortunate to be able to offer a number of substantial scholarships to incoming and returning students due to a number of generous benefactors. In addition, we support our students with opportunities to work with visiting artists by bringing them to campus to present master classes and performances. We also sponsor excursions by faculty and students to play concerts and present workshops in communities throughout the Maritimes. Sometimes opportunities arise outside of the University environment and so we provide small scholarships to support our students financially when they participate in intensive summer performance opportunities (such as the National Youth Band or National Youth Choir) and/or scholarly activities (such as conferences).

Possible Professions

Depending on the path you choose, the foundation provided by a UPEI music degree prepares you for many possible career paths. Some of these are listed below:

  • Administrator of arts organizations
  • Audio-visual producer/director
  • Broadcaster
  • Composer/orchestrator/arranger
  • Conductor of ensembles
  • Impresario/concert manager
  • Instrument builder/repair technician
  • Music educator
  • Music journalist/critic
  • Music librarian
  • Music publisher
  • Music software developer/trainer
  • Music therapist
  • Musicologist/theorist
  • Performer (orchestras, bands, choirs, small ensembles, churches, theatres, recording studios, freelance)
  • Piano technician/tuner
  • Private studio instructor
  • Retail distributer of music and instruments
  • Sound engineer/acoustician

Studying music at UPEI provides you with a broad-based education that prepares you to take advantage of many opportunities. It also helps you to become a self-reliant and responsible citizen who can participate fully in your community. If you want to make the most of your musical ability and potential, why don’t you get in touch with us now to explore what studying music at UPEI can do for you!