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Music Arts

Music Arts

Prepare for an independent music career by building business skills and developing your musical craft.

Program Image
Start Date:
Typical Length:
2 Years
$3,515 (Domestic) • $11,350 (International)
Tuition is valid for the 2020-21 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.
+Locations & Availability

September 2020
Campus/Location DeliveryIn-class – Complete your program through courses that are held at a campus.

Online – All program courses are delivered online.

Blended – Complete your program through a combination of online and in-class courses (some courses are delivered 100% online). In-class courses are held at a campus.

Collaborative – program is delivered virtually on campus
Ivany Campus • Dartmouth Full time • In-class Seats available
Marconi Campus (classes at The Convent) Full time • In-class Seats available


Do you possess a fundamental level of musical ability and the skill of reading music? Do you have an interest in how the music industry works?

This program prepares you to pursue a career as a professional freelance musician and entrepreneur in the music business. It covers ear training, music theory, ensemble practice and rehearsal, music skills development and performance, as well as music technology, business management and applied computer applications.

In this program, you build on your musical craft while learning essential business skills, such as accounting, grant and proposal writing, contract development and marketing. You also get an understanding of the roles of managers, agents and other industry professionals.

Explore this program on YouTube »

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details
  • Qualified applicants will be invited to an audition. The purpose of the audition is to demonstrate your musicianship and level of theory comprehension. The audition helps ensure that you'll have a reasonable probability of success in the Music Arts program. Auditions take place at Ivany Campus. For details on what to expect at the audition, see the Music Arts Audition Requirements (PDF 107KB).
    • If you don't respond to your audition invitation, or if you miss a scheduled audition, your application is cancelled.

Program requirements

  • Portfolio Development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that tuition values on these pages are for 2019/20 and are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Co-operative education

  • This program is eligible for an optional cooperative education (co-op) credit course between year one and two.
  • Co-op provides an opportunity for paid employment – in a field related to your program.
  • Opportunities are full-time work placements that last 12 to 16 weeks.
  • Our co-op program follows Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL) guidelines.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities

Career options

  • The music industry is a major contributor to the economic pulse of Nova Scotia and central to cultural life throughout the Maritimes. Graduates are ideally positioned to launch or enhance their own independent careers in the music business. Having achieved a high standard of musicianship and a comprehensive knowledge of business practice, grads can enter the industry with realistic expectations and attitudes about a career in music and will be equipped with the tools to thrive.

Choose NSCC

  • The Music Arts program offers industry-standard practice rooms and rehearsal spaces.
  • Emerging technologies, for both live and studio performance, are incorporated into your learning in order to mirror the trends of the music industry.
  • You collaborate with peers and professionals in related programs, including Music Business, Music Production & Engineering, Screen Arts, Graphic Design and Professional Photography.
  • Continue your studies at university – This program includes courses that count towards a university degree. Find out more

Other info

  • You're required to take private music lessons (either with an existing instructor or through recommendation by NSCC) and are responsible for the costs incurred (they’re not included in regular tuition fees).
  • Due to the ensemble nature of the program, qualified applicants may not be accepted on a first-received, first-qualified basis.

Courses may include

Course descriptions
Code Course
BART 2050   Music Business I: Live Performance
BART 2060   Music Business II: Essentials
BART 3020   Live Performance Development and Presentation
BART 3050   Music Business III: Product Development
BART 4050   Music Business IV: Artist and Career Development
MART 1000   Theory I: Diatonic and Blues Harmony
MART 1001   Ear Training I: Rhythm and Root Movements
MART 1002   Primary Instrument & Primary Instrument Workshop I
MART 1003   Creative Ensemble for Live and Studio Performance I
MART 1004   Keyboard Basics I
MART 1006   Midi and Music Notation
MART 2000   Theory II: Arranging Techniques
MART 2001   Ear Training II: Sight Singing and Chord Progressions
MART 2002   Primary Instrument and Primary Instrument Workshop II
MART 2003   Creative Ensemble for Live and Studio Performance II
MART 2004   Keyboard Basics II
MART 2006   Recording and Sequencing for Film
MART 2300   Music History I
MART 2500   Capstone Project I
MART 3000   Theory III: Composition and Film Scoring
MART 3001   Ear Training III: Transcription and Improvisation
MART 3002   Primary Instrument and Primary Instrument Workshop III
MART 3003   Creative Ensemble for Live and Studio Performance III
MART 3006   Studio and Session Recording
MART 3300   Music History II
MART 4000   Theory IV: Applied Composition and Arranging
MART 4001   Ear Training IV: Transcribing for Large Ensemble
MART 4002   Primary Instrument & Primary Instrument Workshop IV
MART 4003   Creative Ensemble IV
MART 4006   Applied Live Sound
MART 4500   Capstone Project II
SAFE 1000   Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
SAFE 1001   Introduction to NS OH&S Act

Next Steps

  1. 1

    Visit NSCC

    Visit NSCC » Campus Tour
  2. 2

    Application Process

    Who Can ApplyHow to Apply
  3. 3
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