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Join us at Laurier

Being a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.


We know your passion for your instrument or voice is a big part of what makes you you.

Find your instrument below to learn what makes studying it at Laurier unique. Looking for information on audition requirements by instrument? Check out our audition requirements.

Don’t study an instrument listed below? Contact choosemusic@wlu.ca for audition information.

Music Open Houses

Friday, Nov. 3, 2017

Friday, March 9, 2018

Bassoon

Why Study Basson at Laurier?

Studying bassoon at Laurier will provide you with the foundational skills to grow and achieve your goals in music. There are numerous opportunities to play and perform. Each faculty member is available and willing to help, and our unique family environment nurtures and supports you on your musical path.

Beyond weekly lessons, there are weekly masterclasses which allow us to delve more in depth into many topics covered during lessons. This would include reed making, excerpts, practice techniques, vibrato, double tonguing and performance anxiety.

Being part of the bassoon studio provides the benefit and community of a private reed room, with all the tools necessary to make a reed from beginning to end.

You will be assigned a coach-accompanist in first year who will coach you weekly and accompany you on your juries.

Transferrable Skills

  • Performance skills
  • Time management
  • Flexibility
  • Creativity

Performance Opportunities

  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Wind Orchestra
  • Chamber music ensembles
  • Student recitals
  • Student composer concerts
  • Concerto competitions
  • Community outreach performances

Cello

Why Study Cello at Laurier?

Why is someone attracted to an artist, a performer or even an outstanding athlete? It is the quality of what they do and how they do it. At Laurier we value quality above all else. Quality faculty, quality experiences, quality relationships and quality students. You will be challenged here, but you will be given the tools to excel and achieve your goals. Our students graduate as confident, disciplined young artists, teachers and creators. There is a sense of family here – no one falls through the cracks. You will develop advanced ensemble skills (i.e., people skills), great listening and analysis skills and a sense that you can go out into the world and succeed.

Transferrable Skills

  • Discipline
  • People skills
  • Great listening and analysis skills
  • Creative and lateral thinking

Performance Opportunities

  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Chamber music ensembles
  • Improvisation Concerts Ensemble
  • Student recitals
  • Student composer concerts
  • Concerto competitions
  • Community outreach performances
  • Intensive chamber music course

Clarinet

Why Study Clarinet at Laurier?

Laurier’s clarinet studio is a very close-knit community. You will benefit from personal attention from faculty members during lessons as well as access to a wealth of information from faculty involved in all areas of music. With weekly lessons and masterclasses taught by your studio instructor you will create a bond that will last well after graduation.

Transferrable Skills

  • Focus
  • Discipline
  • Problem solving
  • Multi-tasking

Performance Opportunities   

  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Wind Orchestra
  • Chamber music ensembles
  • Improvisation Concerts Ensemble
  • Student recitals
  • Student composer concerts
  • Concerto competitions
  • Community outreach performances

Distinguished Guests

James Campbell
The Ironwood Trio

Double Bass

Why Study Double Bass at Laurier?

Laurier is a small school where you won’t get lost in the crowd. However, you still have the advantages of larger institutions. Our modern facilities are perfect for studying and practice and our faculty members are inspiring. Waterloo Region is a dynamic area for music including groups and venues like the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society, Jazz Room plus all of the guest artists who drop in at Laurier.

Transferable Skills

  • Confidence
  • Performance skills
  • Musicianship
  • Time management
  • Collaboration
  • Consistency

Performance Opportunities

  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Chamber music ensembles
  • Improvisation Concerts Ensemble
  • Student recitals
  • Student composer concerts
  • Concerto competitions
  • Community outreach performances

Flute

Why Study Flute at Laurier?

At Laurier we strive to help every student reach their full potential as a flutist and as a thoughtful, well-rounded musician. Our close student-teacher collaboration, nurturing atmosphere and exceptional performance standards help us realize that goal. In addition to private lessons, we have weekly masterclasses where we explore not only solo repertoire with accompaniment, but a variety of flute chamber music. We have a wonderful professional coach-accompanist that coaches all Laurier flutists.

Transferrable Skills

  • Passion for being a creative musician.
  • Fantastic practice and time management skills.
  • Listening to yourself and others with an increasing level of detail and understanding.
  • How to be a good colleague and the importance of teamwork.
  • How to become the best musician you can be.

Performance Opportunities

  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Wind Orchestra
  • Chamber music ensembles
  • Improvisation Concerts Ensemble
  • Student recitals
  • Student composer concerts
  • Concerto competitions
  • Community outreach performances

Distinguished Guests

Robert Aitken
Timothy Hutchins
Leslie Newman
Catherine Ransom Karoly, Los Angeles Philharmonic
Camille Churchfield
Susan Hoeppner
Joanna G’froerer

French Horn

Why Study French Horn at Laurier?

The horns at Laurier are a tight-knit group of students and teachers alike. We meet at least once a week as a group and have pride in our studio. Our students also play in many local groups including the Waterloo Chamber Orchestra, Stratford Symphony, Cambridge Symphony and the Guelph Symphony. We also form horn quartets and trios that work together on a weekly basis. Our students attend masterclasses and special events together. We have guest presenters in our masterclasses several times a term.

Transferrable Skills

  • Musicianship
  • Time management
  • Focus
  • Discipline

Performance Opportunities

  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Wind Orchestra
  • Chamber music ensembles
  • Improvisation Concerts Ensemble
  • Student recitals
  • Student composer concerts
  • Concerto competitions
  • Community outreach performances

Distinguished Guests

Vanessa Fralick, Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Christopher Gongos, Toronto Symphony Orchestra
David Martin, composer, conductor from Montréal
Ashley Cumming, BMus ’07
Julie Rochus, BMus ’08

Guitar

Why Study Guitar at Laurier?

The Laurier guitar program is very supportive and welcoming to new students. Although we have high standards for musicianship, technique and creativity, we pursue these goals in a spirit of amicable competitiveness and genuine interest. Guitar students are directed to a practical awareness of all or most contemporary and historical classical styles through weekly lessons and masterclasses.

Transferrable Skills

  • Individuality
  • Respect for technical insight
  • Sophisticated listening attitudes
  • Time management
  • Creativity
  • Ability to lead and/or follow, as appropriate

Performance Opportunities

  • Chamber music ensembles
  • Guitar duos
  • Improvisation Concerts Ensemble
  • Jazz Ensemble
  • Student recitals
  • Student composer concerts
  • Concerto competitions
  • Community outreach performances

Distinguished Guests

Celia Linde
Jorge Caballero
Jason Vieaux
Canadian Guitar Quartet
Kevin Ramessar, BMus ’01

Harp

Why Study Harp at Laurier?

Studying harp at Laurier can lead to degrees in performance, composition, music education, music therapy, music history, theory and critical analysis and comprehensive studies. You can even be involved in several of these areas at the same time. Our program caters to your individual interests. Our instructors Lori Gemmell and Sharlene Wallace have extensive experience as soloists and at the highest levels of symphonic, chamber music, folk, popular and improvisational performance. They are committed to helping you achieve you highest level of performance as well as developing well-rounded musicians prepared for the professional world.

Transferrable Skills

  • Creating and organizing community-based concerts
  • Creativity
  • Interpretation
  • Improvisation
  • Composition
  • Arranging
  • Reading chord charts
  • Focus
  • Determination
  • Professionalism
  • How to work with others
  • Musical leadership

Performance Opportunities

  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Wind Orchestra
  • Chamber music ensembles
  • Harp Ensemble
  • Improvisation Concerts Ensemble
  • Student recitals
  • Student composer concerts
  • Concerto competitions
  • Community outreach performances
  • Accompanying choirs

Distinguished Guests

Judy Loman
Jennifer Swartz
Julia Seager-Scott
Rita Costanzi
Julia Aplin

Oboe

Why Study Oboe at Laurier?

Laurier has a long history of producing oboe students who have successful careers as orchestral musicians, teachers and freelancers. The oboe studio is a vibrant, inspiring, and supportive community, which is an ideal university atmosphere. We boast a well-equipped and dedicated reed room, instructors who encourage you to achieve their personal best and guest instructors who bring unique teachings to our everyday. We all encourage and help each other.

Transferrable Skills

  • Reed making
  • Solid fundamentals of technique, including air support, embouchure, finger use, articulation
  • How to practice effectively
  • How to perform and audition well
  • Love of music
  • Love of the oboe

Performance Opportunities

  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Wind Orchestra
  • Chamber music ensembles
  • Improvisation Concerts Ensemble
  • Student recitals
  • Student composer concerts
  • Concerto competitions
  • Community outreach performances
  • Freelance work for students demonstrating an excellent work ethic, and high level of musicianship

Distinguished Guests

Alex Klein, former principal oboist, Chicago Symphony
Sarah Jeffrey, Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Bede Hanley, Auckland Philharmonic
Jonathan Fischer, Houston Symphony

Organ

Why Study Organ at Laurier?

Being part of the organ studio at Laurier means you are part of one of the best undergraduate schools in Canada. You will be able to collaborate with a number of other instrumentalists and academics while having access to a number of stylistic organs. You will be exposed to all styles of organ literature with appropriate performance practice to become proficient in different styles. The city of Waterloo affords you the chance to work with a number of professional organists, learning from the best in Southern Ontario.

Transferrable Skills

  • Musicianship
  • Confidence
  • Collaboration
  • Flexibility
  • Creativity

Performance Opportunities

  • Chamber Music Ensembles
  • Student recitals
  • Student composer concerts
  • Concerto competitions
  • Community outreach performances
  • Accompanying choirs/soloists

Distinguished Guests

James Kibbie, University of Michigan
John Grew, McGill University
Thomas Leslie, BMus ’04

Percussion

Why Study Percussion at Laurier?

When students study percussion at Laurier, they enter into a learning process that is collegial and built on relationships. The core values of Laurier’s percussion program consist of a hard work ethic, a commitment to fellow percussionists and the expectation of musical preparation and excellence.

You will have teachers that go beyond what is expected of them to encourage thoughtful learning, critical thinking, pushing you to be the best that you can be. The result is a close-knit community that values memorable musical experiences, close friendships and collective learning all within a framework of outstanding musical performance.

You will be exposed to all percussive musical styles and will graduate with a comprehensive understanding and knowledgeable skill set in percussion.

You’ll learn how to perform orchestral excerpts, solo repertoire, chamber music, musical theatre, ethnic percussion and jazz, making you a well-rounded player with a diverse set of skills. This prepares you well to enter the professional world.

Transferrable Skills

  • Analytic skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Listening skills
  • Creative thinking
  • Understanding of logistics
  • Concert production and marketing

Performance Opportunities

  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Wind Orchestra
  • Chamber music ensembles
  • Improvisation Concerts Ensemble
  • Jazz Ensemble
  • Percussion Ensemble
  • Student recitals
  • Student composer concerts
  • Concerto competitions
  • Community outreach performances

Distinguished Guests

Dame Evelyn Glennie
Dong-Wong Kim
TorQ Percussion Quartet
Aiyun Huang
Kwasi Dunyo
Kathy Armstrong
Michael Wood
Richard Burrows, BMus ’02
Evan Mitchell, BMus ’03

Piano

Why Study Piano at Laurier?

Studying piano at Laurier means you are receiving excellent training in the standard classical repertoire, instruction tailored to your individual needs and strength, no restrictive syllabus to conform to and innovative approaches to the piano, with emphasis on creativity.

Our faculty insist on a supportive and inspiring learning environment, which is also encouraged by your fellow students.

Each week you’ll receive generous lesson time allotment and masterclass work. We make sure you are striving to a high-level of performance, with plenty of opportunities to perform, both solo and collaboratively.

We want you to succeed and will do everything we can as your instructor to ensure that happens. Being a primarily undergraduate institution, we prepare students who are interested in graduate study with unbiased advice as to what schools they might consider, and guide them in their application and audition process. Throughout your time at Laurier you will study with long-time professional pianists.

Performance Opportunities

  • Chamber music ensembles
  • Improvisation Concerts Ensemble
  • Jazz Ensemble
  • Student recitals
  • Student composer concerts
  • Concerto competitions
  • Opera production accompanying

Distinguished Guests

Janina Fialkowska
Angela Hewitt
Marc-André Hamelin
David Owen Norris
Emanuel Ax
André Laplante
Diana Dumlavwalla, BMus ’04

Saxophone

Why Study Saxophone at Laurier?

The friendly and supportive atmosphere in the Faculty of Music is a proven breeding ground for success as a performer as well as an educator.

Aside from becoming better musicians through diligent and intelligent practicing, you can become adept at teaching and adjudicating as a result of the participatory nature and cooperative approach in masterclass.

Transferrable Skills

  • Diligence
  • Musicianship
  • Confidence
  • Time management
  • Cooperation
  • Leadership

Performance Opportunities

  • Wind Orchestra
  • Chamber music ensembles
  • Improvisation Concerts Ensemble
  • Jazz Ensemble
  • Student recitals
  • Student composer concerts
  • Concerto competitions
  • Community outreach performances

Distinguished Guests

John Sampen, Bowling Green University, OH
Allison Balcetis, University of Alberta
Quasar Quatour de Saxophones, Montréal
Bobbi Thompson, Western University

Trombone

Why Study Trombone at Laurier?

Transitioning into the trombone studio at Laurier allows you the chance to learn from two highly experienced instructors, both of whom perform tenor trombone with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. The close-knit environment we offer gives you the chance to learn from your teachers as well as your peers.

Transferrable Skills

  • Improved technique and musicianship
  • Ample performance experience
  • Creativity
  • Consistency
  • Efficiency

Performance Opportunities

  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Wind Orchestra
  • Chamber music ensembles
  • Trombone Choir
  • Improvisation Concerts Ensemble
  • Jazz Ensemble
  • Student recitals
  • Student composer concerts
  • Concerto competitions
  • Community outreach performances

Distinguished Guests

Joseph Alessi, New York Philharmonic
Jeffrey Hall, Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Vanessa Fralick, Toronto Symphony Orchestra
David Martin
Alastair Kay
Trevor Dix, BMus ’96

Trumpet

Why Study Trumpet at Laurier?

We are a community and a family with a number of great opportunities to play incredible repertoire in our local ensembles. Kitchener-Waterloo has many groups that welcome undergraduate trumpeters including the Waterloo Concert Band, Kitchener-Waterloo Community Orchestra, Wellington Winds, Ebytown Brass and numerous Salvation Army Bands. Laurier is a highly respected university, which will provide you with a quality education.

Transferrable Skills

  • Creation
  • Cooperation
  • Reasoning and analysis
  • Teaching skills
  • Communication
  • Goal setting

Performance Opportunities

  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Wind Orchestra
  • Chamber music ensembles
  • Improvisation Concerts Ensemble
  • Jazz Ensemble
  • Student recitals
  • Student composer concerts
  • Concerto competitions
  • Community outreach performances

Distinguished Guests

Guy Touvron
John Thiessen
Alain Trudel
Mike Herriott

Tuba and Euphonium

Why Study Tuba and Euphonium at Laurier?

Laurier’s tuba and euphonium studio is a supportive, enthusiastic and dedicated group of students who are guided by our talented instructor Jane Maness.

The size of Laurier’s program offers the chance to have much more personal instruction ranging from technique, solo repertoire, chamber music and orchestral experience.

Instruction is very goal-oriented. Pedagogical skills instruction will ensure you can become successful teachers.

Transferrable Skills

  • Technique
  • Musicianship
  • Problem solving
  • Personal discipline
  • Work co-operatively
  • Personal integrity
  • Empathy and kindness

Performance Opportunities

  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Wind Orchestra
  • Chamber music ensembles
  • Improvisation Concerts Ensemble
  • Student recitals
  • Student composer concerts
  • Concerto competitions
  • Community outreach performances

Distinguished Guests

Scott Irvine, True North Brass, Canadian Opera Company
Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Assistant Conductor

Viola

Why Study Viola at Laurier?

If you have enthusiasm, a strong work ethic and love for the viola, then studying at Laurier is the place for you. You will have our instructor Christine’s commitment to teach you about all things related to the viola — repertoire, technique, and various pedagogies.

Christine views the viola studio as a place where learning is fostered about the viola, the meaning of music and how to listen and teach yourself and fellow classmates.

There is an atmosphere of intensity and hard work and encouragement to do your best. It’s great fun! You will also have the opportunity to work with other faculty members, all of who are dedicated and gifted teachers.

Transferrable Skills

  • Learn to work with others
  • Become a team player
  • Reach heights you never dreamed of as a musician
  • Develop as a human being

Performance Opportunities

  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Chamber music ensembles
  • Improvisation Concerts Ensemble
  • Student recitals
  • Student composer concerts
  • Concerto competitions
  • Community outreach performances
  • Intensive chamber music course

Distinguished Guests

Roger Chase, Roosevelt University
Timothy Deighton, Penn State University
Jutta Puchhammer-Sédillot, University of Montréal
Mimi Zweig, University of Indiana
David Rose, University of New York/Fredonia

Violin

Why Study Violin at Laurier?

At Laurier there is a shared desire to pursue interdisciplinary discovery with teamwork being our core value.

Standard classical repertoire is an essential part of our training at Laurier and you will be encouraged to explore your own voice through collaborative ventures in contemporary genres and contexts. Since the Penderecki String Quartet is the quartet-in-residence at Laurier, we operate in cooperative ways, opening our door to all who seek us out. This has wonderful benefits for you as a student because you’ll feel like you are studying with all of us.

In the violin department, we share our masterclasses between the studios, sharing vibrant ideas among all violinists at Laurier.

Transferrable Skills

  • Goal-setting
  • Inner discipline
  • Confidence
  • Aural Skills

Performance Opportunities

  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Chamber music ensembles
  • Chamber Orchestra
  • Improvisation Concerts Ensemble
  • Student recitals
  • Student composer concerts
  • Concerto competitions
  • Community outreach performances
  • Intensive chamber music course

Distinguished Guests

James Ehnes
David Stewart
Mayumi Seiler
Mimi Zweig
Martin Beaver
Jeanne Lamon
Christian Howes
Francesca Andereg

Voice

Why Study Voice at Laurier?

Laurier has an excellent record of providing a superior undergraduate experience for voice students in a supportive and collegial environment.

The depth and thoroughness of the curriculum, with truly outstanding musical skills training, and the unsurpassed supports built into the way of providing practical training, all combine to provide you with the tools and skills that consistently stand out when you encounter your peers in further graduate study or professional training.

Our instructors are highly experienced teachers, most of whom have international experience as performers in opera, concert, recital and recording. At the same time they are approachable and take teaching seriously, aiming to educate you as “the whole person” and not just the voice.

Transferrable Skills

  • Solid vocal technique
  • Efficient practice skills
  • How to use your body as your instrument
  • Outstanding musical skills
  • Effective learning and memorization of a song
  • Self-reliance
  • Comprehensive introduction to the International Phonetic Alphabet

Performance Opportunities

  • Choir
  • Improvisation Concerts Ensemble
  • Student recitals
  • Student composer concerts
  • Concerto competitions
  • Opera productions
  • Community outreach performances
  • Choral scholar positions available in local area churches

Distinguished Guests

Adrianne Pieczonka
Rosemarie Landry
Allyson McHardy, BMus ’91, OpDip ’92
Sir Thomas Allen
Frederica von Stade
Neil Semer
Jane Archibald, BMus ’99
Kate Applin, BMus ’09, OpDip ’10
Daniel Cabena, BMus ’05

Contact Us:

Want to learn more about the Faculty of Music at Laurier? Come visit us or request our viewbook.

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