How to Prepare for a Post-Secondary Music Program Entry Exam


For many universities and academies, high school marks and perhaps an insightful essay is all you really need to get into a program. However, there are still educational programs that require a more personal touch- and amongst ones like fine art or dance, music stands out as well.

Music is not a fundamental part of the curriculum in most high schools- it’s something that you invest time, energy, and funds into outside of school. But once you decide that it’s more than an extracurricular or a hobby, it takes on another whole level of importance and dedication. One of the hardships is that, unlike your school curriculum, there isn’t one sure way to learn everything that your future music program will require. Each is different, but one thing is for sure: you can’t continue just doing the status quo as you have been until this point. Some things need to change fundamentally- regardless of the exact type of program you will be applying to.

Personal Attention

If you don’t already have a private coach for your music, it’s time to invest in one. The one-on-one attention is essential, and your teacher will have most likely gone through similar applications and interviews at one point in his or her life. Communicate your goals and ambitions, together crafting a targeted and meaningful plan for getting you where you need to be.

Get Technical

You could be close to a genius or a musical prodigy, but if you don’t know your theory, you will have a hard, hard time finding a program that will take you on. Some even require theory exams upon application or scores from standardized tests. Even if you don’t think that you’ll be spending much time with theory and “paperwork”, these are the staples of music education, so get a private tutor if you need to, or otherwise find other ways to review this knowledge.


Playing just one instrument or just being a good singer is not good enough. Though no one is expecting you to be amazing at every instrument out there, having secondary instrument is always a bonus. Sign up at a great school for guitar lessons in West Island or find an adult beginner’s piano class. Being proficient in more than one instrument is just like knowing an extra language – it can help you cross barriers and expands your horizons.


Though you will likely have to go in for an interview or audition at some point or another, the progression of technology has allowed us to “introduce” ourselves and our skills without much travelling. Sending recordings has become quite common, so either having some time in a recording studio or finding a way to get a quality recording at home is essential. Some music schools have the ability to record (they do it as a teaching tool), but if not, there are private studios. One tip though: if you have the time and inclination, buying recording equipment and learning how to master it is a skill that you will find useful later on in your education and your career.

Getting into a music program at a post-secondary institution is hard work. However, once you are in, you will have the pleasure of spending your days studying the music you love with fellow enthusiasts. Put in the effort now to nail your application and then the hard work REALLY begins! Though becoming a professional musician is a long, hard road, it is incredibly rewarding and one of passion. Best of luck to you! Let the journey begin!

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