There are several accredited and profession music training institutions in Canada which provide the structure, curriculum, and standards required to become proficient, well-rounded musicians.. These institutions ensure that students receive a high standard of music education and assessment.
There are three Canadian institutions which offer practical and theory exams from level 1-10, Associate Teacher/Performer, and Licentiate Performer/Pedagogy:
- Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) based out of Toronto, Ontario, founded in 1886. The RCM has a reputation as the “traditional” institution with a heavy focus on classical music.
- Conservatory Canada (CC) headquartered in London, Ontario, incorporated in 1997. CC incorporates more music from Canadians in its curriculum and has a “Contemporary Idioms” stream which allows students to pursue their interest in more contemporary genres such as rock, pop, ballads, blues, and jazz, with a strong emphasis on creativity and improvisation.
- Canadian National Conservatory of Music (CNCM), often referred to as “Northern Lights” began in 2002. CNCM celebrates and promotes Canadian composers and strives to bring music to rural communities in Canada. Students prepare a written program and are also graded on their oral presentation and performance etiquette.
There are also smaller institutions in provinces across Canada including:
- British Columbia Conservatory of Music (BCCM)
- Conservatoire de musique et d’arte dramatique (CMM) in Québec
All the mentioned institutions aim to produce trained musicians but they have distinct mandates and specializations. It is worthwhile to research the differences among the various conservatories and to choose the one that best fits your needs.