Professional Music non-academic requirements and the Ryerson advantage

This blog is the final one of a three-part series about Ryerson’s brand new Professional Music program. I interviewed Noah Schwartz, the interim director of the program, about everything to do with this program. The first blog discusses what the program is, while the second discovers what students can expect while in the program. 

This part of the blog series discusses what makes Ryerson’s program different from other music programs, the non-academic requirements, career paths after the program and some advice Noah has for incoming students. 


Jenna: What makes Ryerson’s program different from other music programs?

Noah Schwartz: Well, it’s very different from the other offerings in Canada and in Toronto.This is a much broader undergraduate experience where students will get interdisciplinary experiences in liberal arts and a much wider and more diverse, rich amount of courses and perspectives. In terms of the degree programs in Canada, this is not a conservatory program, nor is it focused on instruments or proficiency. So there’s very much nothing like it at the degree level.

an image of the Toronto skyline at night reflecting on the water


J: I really like that! The next question is can you explain the significance of the non academic requirements for applying this program?

N: We want [students] to come in passionate for music. In this case it means they need to make music in some way. We’re not dictating what that means so they can DJ, they can produce, they can arrange, they could film! We just want some sort of audio or video expression of their passion for music. Sometimes students will be like, “well, what if I don’t make music?” And it’s like, do you have friends in bands? Do you help them make shows? You have to do something to show us that you can have it because it takes a lot of self direction and initiative to be successful here. We just need it to be something to show that you’re engaged. 


J: What are some careers that students could possibly pursue after the completion of this program?

N: There’s a wide variety – I put them into different categories. In terms of the media production side, there’s careers in advertising, film, television, and then video and audio production. In the business entrepreneur side they’re starting their own businesses and then there’s working in a variety of music businesses, whether it’s touring agencies, management companies, film supervision or record companies. On the performance side, there’s working in a variety of live productions and live performance situations, whether it’s managing theaters, managing tours or managing live streaming now. We also think students will be ready for graduate work, whether they want to pursue a media or cultural studies or education master’s degree like Masters in Media Production or Masters of Education, as well as be prepared for going to MBA or law school.

An image of a crowd at the concert, they're singing and taking images of the event


J: What is some advice you would give to any prospective Professional Music applicants?

N: There’s a few things they should definitely do, like [attend] to a Virtual Open House,or contact me if they want to get their own questions answered. You have to be passionate about music, and then just try to portray that as clearly as possible. But it’s just about being interested in whatever you’re interested in, and then getting us excited about that. So whether you’re interested in hip-hop or pop, country or circuit bending or a type of dance or video game integration, just explain it if you’re passionate about it. That is probably the best thing you could possibly have going for you.


That wraps this three-part series about the Professional Music program. I am so glad I was able to learn all about this innovative program and I hoped you enjoyed it and learned something too! The program is accepting applications this fall for fall 2021 admission. Take a look at their website for more information. 

If you have questions about the Professional Music program, Noah Schwartz can be reached at

If you have questions regarding the application process or admissions, you can contact the Ryerson Service Hub.

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