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Music mediation: unique training in Canada

The Université de Montréal Faculty of Music offers the first and only specialized program in music mediation in Canada. That training is characterized by the importance placed on the practice of mediation on the ground and by its application at the heart of the Québec music scene.

It is intended for:

  • Performers
  • Composers
  • Musicologists
  • Music administrators

Social commitment hand in hand with musical expertise

Music mediation brings together a set of practices that through music aim to bolster cohesion, social commitment, fairness and diversity.

Music mediators exchange with a wide range of participants, among them:

  • People acquainted with the cultural scene
  • Marginalized or stigmatized people
  • The school-going public
  • The elderly
  • Young professionals
  • Neighborhood collectives

Just one watchword: music so that we meet and act collectively.

An approach bringing together passion, inventiveness and knowhow

The spectrum of activities that can be undertaken by students in music mediation ranges from the reinvention of the more traditional forms of musicological popularization (digital program notes, participatory preconcert lectures) to the more experimental or innovative forms of co-creation activities, of community orchestras, of citizen programming or of collaborative instrument making.

Music at the heart of human relationships

Music mediation at the Faculty of Music is based on a commitment to communities that place culture – and more specifically music – at the center of interpersonal relationships.

Our pedagogical approach

Being on the ground

If cultural mediation rests on an important theoretical foundation, it has to be lived “in practice.” At every step of their journey, students in music mediation are guided in the design and realization of their activities in workshops and internships. Thanks to numerous collaborations established with music institutions on the Québec scene, they carry out mediation activities that suit them, while enriching their professional portfolios.

Among the partners:

Foster a practice nourished by theoretical considerations

Important research in music mediation is conducted in the Faculty of Music. At the leading edge of what is happening in science, that work fuels the courses and seminars offered in the DESS

The student volunteers are heavily involved as research assistants (on-site coordination, dissemination of research results to the public, data collection), and can consequently plan on continuing their studies at the master’s or doctorat level in research in musicology (mediation option).

Relying on student cooperation

The solidarity of student cohorts is also a characteristic of the DESS, which is based on exchanges and teamwork. Student collaboration creates strong ties and carries on even when the academic career is over. Indeed, students founded the MeMuQ, a non-profit organization that brings together and guides graduates after the conclusion of their studies in music mediation.

Enrolling at the heart of an international network

The DESS in music mediation is built on international teamwork geared towards training and networking. Since 2017, students have participated annually in an international winter school in music mediation, which to this point has been held in Switzerland, France and Québec.

To see all documentaries, click here.

Career prospects

For many institutions, but also for performers, composers and musicologists, music mediation becomes the trump card of an increasingly diversified professional career. Such training now constitutes an asset for any artist- musician hoping to forge a career, but additionally for any professional on the music scene.

If training in music mediation opens up job prospects in musical institutions, cultural centers, social organizations and the media, it also allows artists to put together enriched production projects.

At the conclusion of their DESS, our graduates carry out mediation in cultural or community settings, move in the direction of research in music mediation or complete their academic career in managing cultural organizations.

Our graduates talk about the DESS

« The DESS in music mediation made it possible for me to move from theory to action by discovering founding principles in the literature as well as inspiring practices on the ground. The seminars allowed me to come into contact with cultural workers, to better understand their reality, the ecosystem of the music scene, as well as to expand my professional network. Thanks to the internship that is part of the curriculum, I landed a job in music as soon as I graduated. »

— Marie-Eve Paquin, cultural mediation coordinator with the Orchestre symphonique de Québec

« The DESS allowed me to develop solid skills in music mediation. The many projects, the internship and the mediation winter school also introduced me to the realities of the environment, enabled me to meet people and develop not just new ways of doing mediation but also new ways of working. It’s a complete program that brought me a range of skills useful to my career. »

— Pierre-Luc Moreau, artistic coordinator. Festival international de Lanaudière

« The guidance and teaching offered by involved teachers who really listen to you allowed me to discover myself as a music mediator. A stimulating year during which I acquired new human and professional skills. Thanks to this experience, I currently work as assistant director, projects and communications at ARTENSO, a college center for the transfer of knowledge that concerns itself with general interests and with issues specific to research and innovation in art and social engagement in the field of cultural mediation. »

— Elsa Fortant, assistant director, projects and communications, at ARTENSO (Art and Social Engagement)


Program head

Properly preparing for an audition
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