Student handbook

Our handbook below addresses the current needs of our students. We invite prospective students to browse our handbook for information on student resources and polices.

Additional information for graduate students can be found in the Graduate Handbook.

Important dates

Important dates

May 31 Class schedule available to view
June 15 Registration opens
June 30 Theory placement test due

First week activities calendar

UVic Academic important dates

New student checklist

New student checklist

As a student, it is your responsibility to register for classes, submit audition materials, and attend mandatory events.

In addition, students must:

  • Register for all courses (fall AND spring).
  • Submit your placement audition recording for all ensembles except UVic Chorus; audition excerpts for all instruments are sent by email. 
  • First year students: complete the theory placement test.
  • Contact your private instructor to arrange your lesson time. (See our directory)
  • Request a locker and purchase lock from the Music Office.
  • Sign out a practice room key from the Music Office.
  • Sign and submit this disclosure form to the Music Office (

Registration and academic calendar

Registration and academic calendar

The Academic Calendar is the official guide to all programs, courses, services and regulations of the University.

Here are some important links to sections of the calendar:

While students should seek assistance with their academic advisors, it is your responsibility to register for appropriate classes for your degree (see the “Program Requirements” calendar links above).

May 31: Class schedule available for viewing and
June 3: Individual registration dates assigned
June 15: Registration opens

Bachelor of Music students complete a common first year, as do those in the Music and Computer Science program. Program worksheets (Music is listed under Fine Arts) outline the recommended courses to be taken in first year. If you are interested in Music Education, additionally register for MUS 131; if you are interested in Composition & Theory, take MUS 105. 


For inquiries regarding registration (i.e. permission overrides, time conflicts, course substitutions, courses on rotation, etc), contact the School of Music Administration Officer, Bethany McNeil ( 

Questions regarding academic advising (i.e. declaration, degree report, graduation, transfer credit, pursuing a minor, etc.) should be directed to the Academic Advisor for Fine Arts, Sarah Riecken (

Registration and program planning quick links:

Theory requirements for new students

Theory requirements

Theory Placement Test due date: June 30
Take or practice the test

All incoming students who have not completed a transferrable, post-secondary theory class must write the Theory Placement Test. The results of this test will determine whether you register for MUS 101A or MUS 111 in your first semester. The passing grade for admission to MUS 101A is 70%.

You can practice the 25-minute test as many times as you like by selecting “Unrestricted Practice”. Once you are ready to complete, select “Begin Placement Test.” You will need your UVic ID and passphrase to log in.

Please note:

  • Completion of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s advanced rudiments does not exempt you from writing the placement test.
  • Since the test completion deadline is later than your registration date, we recommend you register for MUS 101A initially. If you are required to take MUS 111 in your first semester, you can switch your registration once the test results are known.
  • We rely on the honour system for this assessment. If you cheat, we won’t know (at first), but you will face a significant challenge in MUS 101A. The test is designed to place you appropriately in the theory class that will best provide you with the necessary fundamentals that will be integral to your music studies going forward. Don’t cheat. 
  • For students with advanced theory and musicianship skills, an optional exemption/placement test will be administered prior to the start of classes to determine whether a student can advance to second-year theory and/or musicianship.


Sample exam questions:

MUS 101A species counterpoint:

Keyboard proficiency requirements

Keyboard proficiency

All School of Music students are required to schedule and pass a keyboard proficiency exam.

Students can fulfill this requirement in two ways:

  1. Provide documentation of passing Royal Conservatory grade level 5 or higher; or
  2. Pass the School’s keyboard proficiency test which can be done at any time throughout your degree program.

Keyboard proficiency exam requirements: 

  • Two contrasting works (or excerpts if longer) from the grade 5 level RCM or higher
  • Major scales two octaves hands together, up to 4 sharps and 4 flats
  • Major arpeggios, root position only, two octaves hands together, up to 4 sharps and 4 flats
  • Sight reading - grade 3 level

Transfer students

Transfer Students

If you are transferring to UVic from another post-secondary institution, you will have received your transfer credit evaluation report(s).

Direct credit for an equivalent course at UVic will be given for some courses, while others will be assigned “level credit.” Level credit means you have been given credit toward the total number of units required for your degree, but not toward a specific course. In some cases, we may be able to use level credit courses toward core requirements.

Please note: Individual Tuition (lessons) does not transfer directly to UVic – lesson placement is based on your audition. Your transfer credit evaluations will be assessed and you will be contacted with course planning recommendations.

Placement auditions

Placement auditions: Large ensembles and chamber music

*A link to audition excerpts will be sent to all students by email.

Large ensemble (MUS x80A-F) is a requirement for most School of Music students. Available ensembles include:

  • Orchestra (MUS x80A) (audition required; see below for details)
  • Wind Symphony (MUS x80B) (audition required; see below for details)
  • Jazz and Creative Music Ensemble (MUS x80D) (audition required at the beginning of the academic year)
  • Chorus (MUS x80E) (no audition)
  • Chamber Singers (MUS x80F) (audition required at the beginning of the academic year)

Placement in ensembles that require an audition is determined by faculty on the basis of the audition results. The process varies depending on your instrument: 

  • Orchestral strings: Register for Orchestra (MUS x80A); placement auditions determine seating (basses: note that you may be placed in Wind Symphony; you also have the option of auditioning for the Jazz and Creative Music Ensemble). Auditions for strings’ final placement (and small ensemble placement) will take place at the beginning of the academic year.
  • Pianists and guitarists: You have the option of registering directly for Chorus (no audition required) or auditioning for the Jazz and Creative Music Ensemble.
  • Singers: You have the option of registering directly for Chorus (no audition required) or auditioning for Chamber Singers. 

Orchestra and Wind Symphony auditions

Woodwinds, brass & percussion

Returning students:

  • Preliminary placement auditions for returning woodwinds, brass and percussion students will take place during the last week of classes in the Spring semester.
  • Contact for audition excerpts.
  • Students will schedule their audition time via an audition form, due March 25.

Entering students:

  • Entering students are placed in either Wind Symphony or Orchestra on the basis of the admission audition.
  • Those wishing to participate in an ensemble other than Wind Symphony or Orchestra should contact  
  • Preliminary placements are announced by May 15. Students should enrol in the course in which they are placed.
  • Final placements are announced by September 1. If placements have changed for any enrolled students, they will need to change course enrolment at this point.

Chamber Music (MUS x81)

Most students will register for chamber music, or small ensemble (MUS x81). Chamber ensemble assignments are typically done by your principal instrument instructor in consultation with their performance faculty colleagues during the first week of classes. There are a couple of exceptions:

UVic Vocal Jazz Ensemble
Auditions are required for those interested in participating in the Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Further information regarding 2022-23 auditions coming soon.

Collaborative Piano
Most pianists will participate in collaborative piano for their chamber music component. This consists of a weekly ‘collab class’ as well as accompaniment of fellow students. Your piano instructor will assist you with selecting a section of the collab class and with the assignment of instrumentalists and/or singers to accompany.

If you are registered for MUS x81 but have not been assigned a group by the second week of classes, please check in with your principal instrument instructor. 

MUS 335 – Singing for the Stage
Singers interested in taking MUS 335 (when offered) may do so in place of MUS x81

Practice and rehearsal rooms, and building access

NEW POLICY: Private teaching at the School of Music (for students only)
*Effective: September 15, 2021 (revised Sept. 21, 2021)
Students are not permitted to teach or tutor privately in School of Music practice and rehearsal/class rooms or faculty studios/offices. Violations to this policy will result in a loss of practice and ensemble/class room booking and key privileges for the academic year.

Practice rooms

  • We reserve nearly 40 practice rooms for music student use, located on the ground floor of the MacLaurin B-Wing building.
  • Each music student receives a practice room key.
  • Practice rooms must be reserved online in advance. 
  • Students may book up to 2 hours per day. An additional 2 hours may be reserved if available as of 8am of the same day of booking.


  • No food or drinks on the pianos—no exceptions.
  • Do not move or remove the pianos or benches.
  • Do not cover the practice room windows (this is an important security issue).
  • Vacant rooms are only reserved for 15 minutes, regardless of the presence of personal belongings.
  • Do not leave personal belongings or valuables unattended in any room or area of the School.
  • Never remove music stands from individual practice rooms.

Rehearsal rooms and bookings

These rooms may be reserved by ensembles/groups of two or more students registered in either the undergraduate or graduate Music program. Please use our online booking form.

  • B016—Large rehearsal room/classroom with two grand pianos
  • B037—Largest rehearsal room/classroom with two grand pianos
  • B115—Lounge for recital receptions
  • B120—Classroom with Boston B piano (no soundproofing)
  • A166—Classroom with upright piano
  • A168—Lecture-style classroom with upright piano
  • A169—Lecture-style classroom with upright piano

The Phillip T. Young Recital Hall may only be booked for dress rehearsals, recitals, and recording sessions.
B115 (Lounge) is available for recital receptions only.
B117 (Graduate seminar room) may be reserved for meetings.

Building access and keys

  • The Music Building (MacLaurin B-Wing) is open from 7am to 11pm daily.
  • Most rooms in MacLaurin B-Wing require key access, and all rooms are to be kept locked when not in use.  
  • Keys are available from the Music Office. 

*Please note that some keys can be checked out for day use, others longer. Terms for room usage vary by student and status and are controlled at the will of the School of Music administration. 

Scholarships and work study


School of Music students receive more than $400,000 in scholarships and bursaries each year. Most details on funding and financial aid (including work study) are managed and provided by UVic, not the School of Music.

Scholarships are awarded in two ways:

Work study

The work study program is funded by the UVic's Student Awards and Financial Aid (SAFA) office and provides additional financial assistance through on-campus part-time employment opportunities to students with financial need.

Eligible students may hold one work study position at a time and work up to a maximum of 340 hours. The program runs from September to April. 

School of Music positions include:

  • Concert Assistant (usher)
  • Recording Technician
  • Live Streaming Video Technician
  • Stage Manager for the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall
  • Stage Manager for Orchestra & Wind Symphony
  • Large Ensemble Librarian

Degree recitals

Degree recitals

Student recital times are limited to the pre-designated times and must be scheduled directly with the . Students with degree recitals will be contacted directly by the Concert Manager via email in the spring before their final year.

All recitals are scheduled on a first-come, first serve basis. Students must have the approval of their primary instructor before requesting a date.

Graduating recitals (undergraduate and graduate) are scheduled on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings throughout each term.

588 graduate recitals are scheduled on select Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 12:30pm and must not exceed 50 minutes in duration.

Program templates:

Degree recital checklist


You must prepare and print your own recital program. Templates include information that must appear in all programs. Extra information such as acknowledgements, program notes, etc. are permissible at the supervisor's discretion.

Please deliver your program to the ushers at least 30 minutes prior to your recital.

You must submit a copy of the recital program to the  for archival purposes one week before the recital date.


588 recitals must not exceed 50 minutes.

The School provides two ushers, a stage manager, a recording technician, and a tuned piano on the day of your recital.

If you wish to book the lounge (B115) for a reception, please submit an online request. Students are responsible for all event set-up and clean-up, and alcohol is NOT permitted according with UVic policy unless provided by Degrees Catering.

Recording & streaming:

All degree recitals are automatically recorded and made available for listening and download from the School of Music Audio Archive.

If you would like your concert live streamed on our website, please complete and submit the Application for live streaming along with the $30 administration fee (payable by cash or cheque to the University of Victoria).


Non-degree recitals

Non-degree recitals

Recital bookings for spring 2023 may be requested as of Sept. 7 for the following dates: 

  • Saturday, February 25
  • Saturday, April 8
  • Sunday, April 16

*Subject to availability (refer to the online booking calendar for available times).

Recitals may be booked on alternate dates based on availability, but cannot be scheduled more than two weeks in advance. Contact the Concert Manager for details. We encourage students to explore other concert venues around Victoria.

Program templates:

Non-degree recital checklist



You must prepare and print your own program and are welcome to use the template provided.


Recitals must not exceed 60 minutes in length.

All organizational aspects for non-degree recitals are to be carried out by the student.

Admission to non-degree recitals must be free. 

You must arrange for your own stage manager, ushers (x2) and recording technician. Email the  for a list of staff. The cost for all hired staff ($16/hr) must be paid directly to the staff person on the day of your recital.

Please sign out a key from the Music Office on the morning of your recital (or on Friday if your concert falls on a weekend).

If you wish to book the lounge (B115) for a reception, please submit an online request. Individual students are responsible for all event set-up and clean-up, and alcohol is NOT allowed according to university policy unless provided by Degrees Catering.


Non-degree recitals are not recorded unless requested and paid for by the student. To request a recording, contact the at least ten days in advance of your recital. You must also be prepared to pay for the cost of the recording ($16/hr) directly to the technician on the day of your recital.

Live streaming:
If you would like your recital to be live streamed, please submit an Application for Live Streaming along with the $30 administration fee (payable by cash or cheque to the University of Victoria).

Tuesdaymusic and Fridaymusic


  • Fridaymusic concerts are scheduled for most Fridays during the academic year from 12:30-1:20 p.m. in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall
  • Concerts are designated to specific performance areas (voice, brass, piano, etc.) and some concerts are “open” to all performance areas. Check the online calendar for details.
  • Concerts allocated to specific instruments are organized by department section heads.
  • Apply by online submission
  • Applications must be received at least two weeks in advance and permission of one’s private instructor is mandatory
  • All Fridaymusic concerts are live streamedrecorded and available for download from the School of Music online archive.

Please direct inquiries to the Concert Manager,

Attending concerts

Attending concerts

All School of Music students receive free access to ticketed School of Music concerts at The Farquhar as well as complimentary tickets to most events in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall. 

  • For concerts in The Farquhar at UVic: Reserve a ticket at the UVic Ticket Centre, in advance or at the door, with your UVic ONECard.
  • For concerts in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall: Complimentary tickets are available at the door approximately one hour prior to performance or no later than 15 minutes prior to the concert start time. A valid ONECard is required. 

Complimentary tickets are subject to availability.



  • New/transfer students: Locker assignments will be emailed to each student prior to the start of classes. If you do not receive an assignment, please see the Music Office upon arrival. Lockers are assigned on a priority basis. Students enrolled in MUS 140-540 and MUS 245-545 Individual Tuition have priority. Additional lockers will be assigned based on availability.
  • Returning students: Please use the locker assigned from the previous year. If, for any reason, you are not taking lessons within the calendar year, you may be asked to move or vacate your locker. Priority is given to students enrolled in Individual Tuition.
  • You must use a lock provided by the School of Music. The cost of the lock is $25.
  • Please keep your locker secured at all times, even when you are at school but away from your locker. Thefts have occurred. 
  • All lockers must be vacated by Friday, April 21, 2023

Computers and AV support

Computers & audio-visual support

The School of Music does not have its own computer lab. The SIM Lab (Studios for Integrated Media), located in the Fine Arts Building (across Ring Road), provides computers and equipment for all of the most sophisticated audio-visual projects, including notation software and the loaning of high-performance audio-visual gear.

The university also has libraries and labs across campus for student use.

Recordings, archive, and streaming

Recording, live streaming & audio archive

  • All School of Music concerts (excluding non-degree recitals) are recorded and many are live-streamed. Most recorded concerts are available on the School of Music's Audio Archive.
  • Non-standard concerts (such as non-degree recitals) are not automatically recorded. In such cases, students must request recording at least one week before the concert date by contacting the . Recording technician fees are the responsibility of the student.
  • The School of Music provides access to in-house professional recording at a reduced cost to students. Please contact for details.

To request live streaming for your degree or non-degree recital, please:

  • Complete and submit the Application for live streaming along with the $30 administration fee (payable by cash or cheque to the University of Victoria).
  • For non-degree recitals: please make arrangements for a recording technician by contacting the . Technician fees ($16.50/hr) are the responsibility of the student.
  • Email your program to for posting to the website.

Privacy disclosures (for ALL students)

Important privacy disclosures

ALL School of Music students are asked to complete this form in advance of starting classes.

The School of Music is a dynamic environment of performance opportunities and events. While our desire is to always respect the privacy of our students, the nature of public performance also requires us to use photography, record, and promote student activities, including the use of names, images, etc. Filling out the above form ensures that we are able to respect your rights while also promoting your concert events.



Campus Security and emergency numbers are very important and are available 24/7.

Call 250-721-7599 for SafeWalk, a service that will provides security escorts from place to place all across campus. Never risk commuting alone when you feel unsafe or uncomfortable on campus—trust your intuitions.

Campus security also maintains a lost and found.


Forms and documents