Bachelor of Music: Creative Practice Portfolio Requirements (Fall 2024)

Applying to the Bachelor of Music (BMus) at Carleton

One of the unique things about Carleton’s Bachelor of Music program is the diversity of musical instruments, traditions, and genres we support. Whether you are a classical or jazz musician, a singer-songwriter, a traditional fiddler, bagpiper, heavy metal guitarist, a DJ/turntablist/beat producer, computer musician, sound artist, or composer, we want to hear from you and we welcome your application.

The diversity of the Carleton Music program is one of its greatest strengths. It also necessitates a different audition process than the one found in most university music programs. Therefore, we have moved away from the traditional audition model to a “Creative Practice Portfolio” submission process in which prospective students create a digital portfolio that showcases their work.

To apply to the Carleton Music Program, please do the following:

Step 1
If you are a current high school student in Ontario, you must submit your Ontario University Application through the OUAC system before the deadline of March 1, choosing Carleton’s Bachelor of Music program. Once you have done so, you will be given an applicant number that you will need to cite when requesting your Creative Practice Portfolio application form from the Music Program Coordinator at 613-520-5770 or by email at

Step 2
Complete your digital Creative Practice Portfolio, which consists of the following:

1. Two or three examples of your creative work in music and/or sound arts. Two examples will suffice if you feel as though they convey the range of your work, but a third can be added if it will better represent your skills and interests. They should be from one or more of the following categories, depending on your primary focus of creative activity (e.g., live instrumental or vocal performance, composition, production, sound art, etc.):

  1. Video files of you performing on your main instrument or voice either solo or accompanied. The pieces are up to you and may include original works. They should represent your interests and abilities. The videos do not need to be professional (they can be filmed on a mobile phone), although we would ask that your performance is clearly audible and that it documents a complete take rather than one that has been edited together from multiple performances. Also, please frame your shot in such a way that your hands, body position, and other aspects of performing technique are clearly visible.
  2. Scores of compositions and accompanying sound files (audio recordings of rendered MIDI files are acceptable).
  3. Video documentation of sound art works (for example, sound installations or sculptures).

All media files should be uploaded to YouTube as private links. For an instructional video on how to upload a private YouTube link, see

2. A completed application form that includes:

  • Your name, contact information, OUAC applicant number (E.g. 101xxxxxx);
  • The URLS to the private YouTube links that showcase your creative work;
  • A written personal statement of about 500 words in which you describe your musical/creative background, training, and reasons for pursuing postsecondary study in music. Your personal statement should answer questions about your musical experience, such as: How long have you played your instrument and/or been engaged with the sonic arts? Have you had private lessons? With whom have you studied music up to this point? Do you play any other instruments? What ensembles have you played in? Do you have a background in music theory? If so, please tell us about it. What are your musical interests and goals? What do you find most interesting about Carleton’s Music program?

The application form will be emailed to you once you request it from the Music Program Coordinator ( after you have applied online and received your applicant number.

Step 3
Submit your Creative Practice Portfolio by emailing your completed application to the Music Program Coordinator at

Do you want more information? Call, write or email us at:

School for Studies in Art and Culture: Music
Carleton University
A 911 Loeb Building
1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa ON K1S 5B6
Tel: 613-520-5770

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