10 Top Music schools in Ottawa and Music degree types

The 10 Best Music schools in Ottawa that we are going to talk about were compiled through expert recommendations on threebestrated.ca and yelp.ca.

It is very important to think about the music industry as an ecosystem and since music touches nearly every area of life, it is, therefore, the job of the music schools in Ottawa to expose students to these opportunities beyond the commercial realm.

There are so many factors that set a music school apart and most times it is these factors and qualities that students explore while choosing a music school.

In this article, we will be talking about the best music schools in Ottawa and the qualities that they have to explore while choosing a music program.

Qualities that they have to explore while choosing a music program

One of the first questions you will have to ask yourself whenever you walk into a music school is: how are a school’s current faculty, students and alumni connected to today’s music industry?

You might be wondering why this is important, but don’t forget that networking during your days in music school is crucial for a student to form the foundation of a successful career.

Another crucial point is that students get the opportunity to build a meaningful network with their peers and advanced artists.

In schools, students are able to make direct connections with the music industry, and this eventually makes them not feel like newbies upon graduation-they are already attuned to the system.

Most importantly, a strong music school gives students the opportunity to build partnerships and relationships with not just the faculty, but also visiting artists.

Music touches so many parts of life. In addition to the commercial sense of the world, a top music school has touchpoints to every area where people are making music. Read on to see the list of some of the top music schools in Ottawa.

Are music degrees worth it?

We all know that degrees in Canada are expensive, this alone leaves a lot of people wondering if music degrees are worth it.

The answer is yes, music degrees are worth it especially for those who would seek employment in the music industry and it is very essential and necessary in building well-rounded musicians.

With that being said, I won’t fail to mention that though music degrees might be important, however, in some areas music degrees may not be necessary.

What can you do with a music degree?

There are so many things a music degree can do for you and much of it depends on what you as a person wants to do with music.

Now, do you want to be a music teacher? or do you want to produce beats for radio stations? or are you interested in being a famous performer?

Your answer to any of those questions will help you determine which degree track within the music you should take.

Here is a list of the common music degrees offered at most colleges and universities

  • Music Performance
  • Music Education 
  • Pedagogy
  • Music Theory
  • Music Therapy
  • Musicology
  • Choral Directing
  • Film Scoring
  • Music Production
  • Music Agent 
  • Accompanist
  • Sound Technician
  • Songwriter
  • Talent Scout
  • Vocal Coaching

For any of the jobs that are listed above, there are degrees that cater specifically to those interests.

For instance, a concert pianist may want to pursue a performance degree with their principal instrument.

Perhaps you want to work with patients and enter the music therapy field, then the music therapy degree will be perfect for you.

Individuals we have the degree in musicology which can be studied by those who wants a study of music, its origins and historical importance.

Furthermore, if you want to be an expert on ancient musical instruments, then you can take a musicology degree.

The same can be said for degrees, in theory, pedagogy, and music education. No matter which music degree you pursue, the beginning stages all look pretty much the same.

Most music degrees include the following courses as a standard.

  • Several levels of music theory
  • General music history courses
  • Singing  and ear training courses
  • Psychology and education classes
  • Applied study to your principal instrument
  • Music tech classes for other instruments
  • Accompaniment or collaborative performance classes

Types of music degrees

Just like in any college subject, each level of a music degree has different requirements and teachings.

Therefore, the higher you travel within the music degree, the tougher the requirements for entry and completion of that degree gets.

Here are some degree types and what to expect.

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Master’s 
  • Doctorate
  • Artist Diploma
  • Other Types Of Degrees


An associate degree in arts degree with a music focus varies depending on the college.

For instance, there are associate degrees that focus on music performance or music education aspects while others focus only on conducting and rehearsal practices.

The associate degrees covers many of the basic courses, such as music theory, music history, music conducting and rehearsal practices.

Other associate degrees offer a broader look at the musicianship and for most colleges, associate degrees in the arts have an emphasis on a particular area of music. 


The step up from an associate degree is the Bachelor’s degree.

This degree level offers the full package for musicians. For the Bachelor’s degree, every subject is covered as well as any applied study for your instrument.

Now, for instance, if you want to be a concert pianist then you would get not only your standard coursework but also to get to work on courses specifically geared towards the performance and business aspect of music.

This degree is ideal for classical and jazz musicians, conductors, composers, and songwriters.

There are two types of Bachelor’s degrees, the Bachelor’s in Music and the Bachelor’s of Arts.

Bachelor’s of arts are popular or are specifically for those who want music courses but may want to double major in something else.

You can expect the following in a Bachelor’s degree:

  • Music lessons
  • General studies 
  • Student recitals
  • Ensemble participation
  • Workshops, Festivals, Convention participation
  • Core music courses (theory, ear training, history, composition, conducting, etc)


You must have known the level and the love you have for music to have considered obtaining a masters degree.

The Master’s degree is for serious musicians, the degree is almost a necessity.

This is because it builds your job resume and more especially allows for further studies and mastery of your instrument or craft.

Whether it’s music production, pedagogy, performance, or music therapy, taking your studies to this level is a smart idea.

Most Master’s degrees take two years to complete. 

You should expect the following in a masters degree:

  • Recitals
  • Ensembles
  • Music Lessons
  • Research Courses
  • Comprehensive Exam
  • Additional Supportive Music Courses


A doctorate of musical arts can be regarded as the highest level can achieve.

From our research, we found out that most people who go through his route always have some level of or full interest in the teaching field.

They are excellent candidates for jobs at colleges or universities. A doctoral of musical arts takes about three to four years to complete.

This usually equates to around two years of coursework and another year to two years to complete the dissertation and publication. 

This degree specializes in areas like:

  • Education
  • Composition
  • Performance
  • Literature

Other Types Of Degrees

In addition to the degrees listed above, other degrees that have a lesser focus on music are:

  • Bachelors Of Arts
  • Bachelors of Fine Arts
  • Masters Of Arts
  • Doctor Of Philosophy
  • Bachelors Of Science 
  • Masters In Musical Arts

Some of those degrees are less common and specific to certain universities.

Music Degree Employability

Employability is another aspect of a music degree and in his regard, a music degree is worth it, this is because if you have a music degree, then your knowledge of theory, note reading, performing, and teaching is pretty much verified.

Below are some really unique music jobs that can pay upwards in the six-figure range and their job title:

Job Title = Average Salary

Audio Director = $45000 – $196000

Orchestra Musician = $25000 – $150000

Music Therapy = $25000 – $135000

Music Supervisor = $35000 – $250000

Music Conductor = $29000 – $250000

Music Agent = $75000 – $1000000

Audio Engineer = $23000 – $87000

Session Musician = $40000 – $100000

List of the Best Music Schools in Ottawa

  1. University of Ottawa-School of Music
  2. The Ottawa Vocal & Instrumental School of Music
  3. Sunnyside Music School
  4. School of Rock
  5. Ottawa Music Academy
  6. Yamaha Music School
  7. Allegro Music School
  8. The Sound Post
  9. Canada Music Academy – Ottawa
  10. Shine Music Academy

Now let us review some of these music schools in Ottawa

The Ottawa Vocal & Instrumental School of Music

Lessons run September to December, break for the holidays, then January to June. Summer lessons are also available.

They have very wonderful instructors. Their staff is dedicated to supporting the development of all children and the interest in music in adults.

Their teachers use proven methodologies and highly effective curriculums in their lessons. 

Also, their programs are suited for everyone. There are classes for everyone and they offer instructions in the following areas:


They also provide Kinderdance, Adult Group Guitar,  and  Ukulele lessons.

830 Campbell Avenue, Ottawa,
Ontario K2A 2C2, Canada

Sunnyside Music School

Sunnyside Music school is one of the music schools in Ottawa that continues to grow in numbers, while still having a small community feel.

They are continually trying to find interesting classes, workshops, and ensuring that they are having talented teachers leading the way. There are one on one private lessons as well with their costs listed below.

One on one private lessons with the student and the teacher. 


  • 30 minutes: $27.50
  • 45 minutes: $41.25
  • 60 minutes: $55.00​

Sibling cost for private lessons. (If multiple family members attend the school)

  • 30 minutes: $25.00
  • 45 minutes: $ 37. 25
  • 60 minutes: $49.50

Visit Website

School of Rock

School of Rock is among the music schools in Ottawa that equips students of all skill levels, ages, and musical aspirations.

With students ranging from toddlers to adults, School of Rock is where music students grow into real musicians.

They offer the following programs:

Little wing(ages 3-5)

Rookies(ages 6-7)

Rock 101 (ages8-13)

Performance (ages 8 to 18)

Songwriting (ages 12 and over)

Online classes (agesAll ages)

Adult Program (ages18 and over)

House Band (ages 17 and unde)

Allstarts (ages17 and under)

Visit Website

Yamaha Music School

Yamaha Music School is one of the music schools in Ottawa that offers private lessons to students with previous musical experience or graduates of group programs only.

They offer private lessons in the following instruments:

  • Piano
  • Electronic Keyboard
  • violin
  • cello
  • guitar
  • bass
  • saxophone
  • flute
  • clarinet
  • drums

Note: Voice students must be ages 8 to adult in order to take private voice lessons.

Students can register for weekly lessons.

169 Enterprise Blvd, 3rd floor
Markham, ON
L6G 0A2

Allegro Music School

Allegro Music School is based out of Ottawa, Ontario and has been delivering music lessons and inspiration for 35 years.

They have established a trusted reputation and have had thousands of students achieve wonderful accomplishments over the years.

Their team comprises individuals from diverse backgrounds with extensive experience, and they make Allegro so special.

Apart from their classroom classes, they offer online music lessons as well in order to reach more students making them one of the online music schools in Ottawa.

255 Montreal Road
Ottawa, ON K1L 6C4

Canada Music Academy – Ottawa

This is one of the music schools in Ottawa that offers the following:

In-Person Private Music Lessons in a variety of instruments and styles.

In-Home Music Lessons or at their studios in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and beyond

Online Virtual Music Lessons – Take live virtual online music lessons anywhere in the world!

Certified Music Teachers: Learn from an outstanding team of professional Certified Teachers.

Online Virtual Music Lessons – Take live virtual online music lessons anywhere in the world!

Certified Music Teachers: Learn from an outstanding team of professional Certified Teachers.

Annual concerts and exciting festivals for our students.

Student Rates for lessons and instruments.

Fun, personalized music programs for children, teens & adult beginners.

Royal Conservatory of Music Examinations (optional).

College & University Preparation.

Advanced Musical Career & Artist Development.

Professional Studio Recordings.

Visit Website

Shine Music Academy

This is one of the good schools in Ottawa, and below are some of the reasons to choose them:

  1. 1-on-1 lessons with experienced teachers to develop skills on your instruments; all our teachers are active professional musicians
  2. Be In A Band: get placed in a band and learn your instrument’s role in the band
  3. Take your band to the next level with professional coaching
  4. Record your band: our lessons take place in a professional recording studio, and students will have the chance to record their music

Visit Website


While you consider the music schools in Ottawa, also think about how competitive the music industry is. Ensure you also think about the kind of career you want to have.

Once you finally choose any of the music schools in Ottawa that you want, ensure you consider their programs and faculties for better future career opportunities.

What do you think about these music schools in Ottawa? Are there better schools than these? Please leave a comment below.

Was This Article Helpful? Tell Us What You Think.