Community Music (BMus)

Community Music allows you to explore diverse musical styles, genres and music-making approaches across various instruments. You will then apply these practical skills in leading and collaborating with your peers on musical initiatives with a social impact.

Through considerable hands-on experience, Community Music will prepare you to become a professional musician specializing in facilitating music-making with everyone from non-musicians to professionals in various community contexts.

You can apply to the Bachelor of Music Therapy program in second year.

Program Highlights

  • Laurier is the only university in Canada to offer an undergraduate Bachelor of Music in Community Music.
  • Flexible in course requirements, you will have enough room to pursue a minor or double degree in an area outside of the Faculty of Music.
  • You’ll receive training in voice, drums, and either keyboard or guitar.
  • Students get to work in a variety of music genres and cultures, and frequently work with guest artists and coaches.
  • Students get experiential learning off-campus throughout their degree, as music facilitators and as performers.
  • Throughout all four years, you will be performing, learning and improving your musicianship. Small group instruction and performance experience in large and small ensembles is available to all students.


2022 graduates who secured employment or went on to postgraduate studies


Laurier ranks in the top 6 percent of universities worldwide*


students who gained hands-on learning experiences at Laurier in 2022

*Center for World University Rankings (CWUR)


Format: full time      Duration: four years     Start: September (fall term)     OUAC code: UCM

Admission to the Bachelor of Community Music is based on the collective results of meeting academic requirements, successful audition, interview with a faculty member, completion of a theory and ear training test, aural skill assessment, reference and an optional portfolio.

Program Details

About Community Music

Laurier’s Bachelor of Music in Community Music is based on a world-recognized model of music as social intervention where it is harnessed towards social change, including but not limited to: working with marginalized communities; using music for individual or community development; and using music toward systemic change. Community music as a professional discipline values the diversity of musical cultures and sees all music as cultural practices.

As a student, you will have a significant amount of freedom to design your program to suit your interests, curiosities, and career goals. You will learn a broad suite of skills, from playing various instruments to designing lesson and rehearsal plans to conducting needs assessments for business plans but still have some flexibility to narrow your focus in specific areas of interest.

You are not required to play multiple instruments to be accepted into Community Music, but you will receive training in voice, drumming, and either piano or guitar. Students may also choose to learn other instruments through the technique courses.

You will receive the opportunity to participate in experiential learning placements in a variety of contexts. From schools to nursing homes to libraries to community ensembles to teaching music lessons at community music schools. In your first two years, you will observe or support community musicians already working professionally. In senior years, you will propose, design and implement music programming under the supervision of faculty.

In fourth year, with guidance from a Laurier instructor, you'll have the freedom to create a capstone project that puts your strengths and interests into action. Capstone projects are music initiatives with a social impact.



Capstone Project

Community music students have designed and implemented a wide variety of projects in their final year. Many are participatory music classes, serving marginalized communities. Some are research-creation projects, interviewing people about experiences and creating music based on the interviews. Some are performances raising awareness about issues. Here are a few examples of kinds of projects:


  • Sing-a-long classes for adults with developmental disabilities
  • Singing classes for seniors in a long-term care home
  • Songwriting course for refugee youth in Waterloo
  • Ukelele and drum classes for newcomer families


  • ‘Music and Memory Across the Lifespan’ research project in collaboration with The Menno Singers
  • Quarantine album: Creating songs from interviews with students about their experiences of school life during the pandemic.
  • Signed Music and Accessibility at Music Concerts: A research talk about making performances more accessible to the deaf, deafened, and hard-of-hearing community.

Performance for Social Change

  • ADD The Musical: Composition of the music, lyrics, and book of a show about a girl’s experiences of ADD in high school.
  • Keep the Conversation Alive: A concert featuring emerging Black artists in Brampton, focusing on #BlackLivesMatter.
  • Polychordal album and website exploring plurality

Program Options and Courses

Apply Your Learning

Here are just a few examples of the experiences you’ll get in the Community Music program:

  • Participate in the Community Music Ensemble as part of your first-year course and showcase your talents.
  • Live in the Faculty of Music Residence Learning Community to connect with professors outside the classroom, meet alumni to explore your career paths, and feel the support of your peers.
  • In your final year, you’ll complete a capstone project based on your strengths, interests and career goals under the guidance of your instructor.
Check out the Community Music Experience and Career Guide and other options to enhance your degree.

First-Year Courses

  • Introduction to Community Music 
  • Music and its Contexts 
  • Foundational Vocal Techniques 
  • Musicianship II 
  • Foundations of Popular and Commercial Music 
  • Class Drumming 
  • Ensemble 
  • 1.5 electives 

Sample Upper-Year Courses

  • Leadership and Facilitation in Community Music Contexts
  • Managing an Arts-Centered Career
  • Songwriting and Song Analysis

Similar Programs

Bachelor of Education Pathway

Take advantage of our automatic admissions agreement with Laurier's Bachelor of Education (BEd). In your fourth year, you'll be eligible for consideration for this stream if you have a GPA of at least 75% and at least 50 hours of relevant volunteer work.

Navigating the Music Industry Ecosystem Certificate

Learn how to make a living in music with the online Certificate in Navigating the Music Industry Ecosystem. This certificate will cover music royalties, licensing, production, publishing, touring, networking, law, marketing and more.

Metalworks Institute Pathway 

Blend a Laurier music degree and a Metalworks diploma, receiving state-of-the-art, hands-on audio engineering experience from Metalworks alongside the traditional and innovative music degree options at Laurier in as little as four years.

Randolph College for the Performing Arts Pathway

Earn a Laurier Bachelor of Music and a Performing Arts College Diploma focusing on acting, singing and dance from Randolph College for the Performing Arts in a condensed time frame. 

Frequently Asked Questions

We’re sure you have questions. We’re here to answer them! Don’t see your question answered below? Email us at

Tuition and Scholarships

Getting a university education is an investment in your future.

At Laurier, we take financial health seriously by providing a wide variety of funding opportunities for you throughout your degree, such as scholarships and bursaries, and by equipping you with the skills to manage your finances effectively in the years to come.

Faculty of Music Scholarships

We award roughly $100,000 in Faculty of Music Audition Scholarships to incoming students. This is in addition to any academic entrance scholarships, entrance bursaries or competitive scholarships you may receive.

Audition Scholarships recognize well-rounded students who demonstrate strong technical ability, academic achievement, recreational/extracurricular involvement and/or financial need during their audition process.

"I learned a lot about how to use music within a community setting and greatly improved my improvisation skills! I thoroughly enjoyed learning various instruments and putting the skills I gained into practice. I would highly recommend this program to people who enjoy working in a close-knit community and want to express their love of music in new and innovative ways."

Claudia Vanderheyden, current student in Community Music

Your Career Awaits

It’s not only about the journey; it’s about the destination. Let us help you get to where you’re going.

Here are just some examples of our graduates' destinations. What’s yours?

Sample Career Options

Note: Additional training and education may be required.

  • arts program administrator
  • band director
  • city/cultural event planner
  • classroom/private teacher
  • lyricist
  • music program coordinator
  • music teacher
  • music video director/editor
  • music/arts reporter/journalist
  • performer
  • sound effects designer

Explore more careers.

Faculty of Music Scholarships 

On top of any entrance scholarships, you may earn a Faculty of Music audition scholarship. Roughly $100,000 is awarded to first-year students each year. Financial success doesn’t end in first year; scholarships are available to upper-year students by application

Support After Graduation

Alumni for life means that you have access to Career and Employment Support offered at Laurier for your entire career.

Waterloo Campus

The Waterloo campus is tucked into about one city block, so you’re steps away from your classes, food and your new favourite study spot.

There are many ways to tour our Waterloo campus, whether that's on a guided tour with one of our Laurier student ambassadors, on your own using virtual reality, or even on-demand through one of our pre-recorded tours. See our campus spaces and start to picture yourself at Laurier.

Interested in More Info?

Email, call 519.884.0710 x2492 or see all Music faculty and staff.