Program Details

The University of Toronto Percussion program features a unique curriculum blending contemporary, orchestral, and world-music perspectives and traditions. The program features experiential learning in a creative research environment under the leadership of Prof. Aiyun Huang.  The undergraduate curriculum offers a comprehensive education on building the fundamentals of percussion. The graduate curriculum focuses on professional training and interdisciplinary research with the aim to enable students to work alongside professionals, researchers and artists in a collaborative setting. Graduate students are expected to take an active role in charting their own path with a forward-looking attitude through performance, scholarship and/or interdisciplinary research.

Degrees/Studies Offered

— Bachelor of Music (BMus)

— Masters of Music (MMus)

— Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

— Artist Diploma (AD)

— Advanced Certificate in Performance (ACP)

Opportunities in Graduate Studies

Area research and teaching opportunities for graduate students:

Graduate students have the opportunity to participate in faculty-led creative research projects featuring percussion with technology, neuroscience, film, and recording. Graduate students are encouraged to develop multiple areas of expertise leveraging research opportunities both inside the Faculty of Music and within the University of Toronto at large. The current research agendas can support graduate students with research interests in:

— Contemporary Music Performance Practice
— Percussion and Technology
— Percussion and Music Learning (Pedagogy)
— Percussion and Neuroscience

Funding opportunities for graduate students:
— Student Assistantships
— Research Assistantships


— Lesson
— Percussion Ensemble
— Masterclass (undergraduate)
— Orchestral Literature (undergraduate)
— Major Ensemble (undergraduate and MMus only)

– Contemporary Music Ensemble
– African Drumming
– Brazilian Drumming
– Persian Drumming
– Korean Drumming
– Steel Band
– Taiko Lesson
– Percussion Ensemble
– Masterclass (undergraduate)
– Orchestral Literature (undergraduate)
– Major Ensemble (undergraduate and MMus only)


— African Drumming

— Brazilian Drumming

— Persian Drumming

— Korean Drumming

— Steel Drum Band

— Taiko 

Required: 15-20 minutes of music

— Open and close rolls
— One rudimental etude
— One orchestral etude
— One two mallet solo
— One four mallet solo
— All major and minor scales (natural, harmonic and melodic)
— One etude 
— Tuning fourths and fifths

**Due to COVID, the candidate has the option to submit a recording of four pieces (20-30 minutes) of contrasting styles on a minimum of two different instruments for consideration. For further clarification, please contact area chair.**

Required: 25 minutes of music

Please prepare one of the following lists;

1. Four contrasting works in;
— Snare: one etude from Delécluse Douze Etudes
— Timpani
— Mallets: marimba or vibraphone
— Multi-percussion: e.g. Rebonds A or B, Asanga, She who sleeps with a small blanket, Side by Side or a work of similar level

2. Three contrasting works in
— Snare
— Timpani
— Mallets
+  Selection of 10 orchestral excerpts in snare, xylo, glock, timpani, cymbals, tambourine and triangle.

Tape round:

two contrasting work plus research statement (two pages)

Live round:

For 2023, we will be accepting auditions via recording, as well as offering a limited number of in-person auditions (subject to Public Health guidelines with vaccination requirements in effect). Applicants must indicate their preference on the U of T Graduate Audition Preference survey and submit it by December 9, 2022.

A recital of 30 minutes must clearly demonstrate the candidate’s:
1) knowledge of percussion repertoire
2) expertise in candidate’s chosen topic of research



Contact the Head of Percussion
Further information on applying/auditioning (direct link)