Having a love and passion for music is special. Cultivating a talent for this art form and sharing it with the world, now that is profound. At the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), students become a part of a community who do just that: hone their skills at bringing music to your ears. Located in Manchester, this institution is home to over 900 students from more than 60 countries. It has nurtured the talents of young performers, composers, conductors, teachers, and entrepreneurs, readying them to pursue meaningful and sustainable careers in music.
This is a process that starts young at RNCM. Artists under 18 can join junior RNCM, RNCM Young Programmes, RNCM Young Projects and a thriving public performance programme. Those aged 18 and above can pick from a selection of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. As they’re offered by one of the world’s most forward-thinking conservatoires, you can be assured that each is revolutionary in its own way, defining the future of music.
Expect RNCM’s undergraduate programmes to be flexible too. Whether you’re taking the classical route or want to pursue popular music, you can build a programme that’s right for you. For instance, the Bachelor of Music with Honours is a four-year degree where you will develop your artistic and technical expertise with the freedom to focus on areas that will help your progression specifically. A key highlight is the masterclasses with high-profile artists.
For those with more contemporary tastes and aspirations, there is the Bachelor of Music with Honours in Popular Music. It is the UK’s only four-year conservatoire-based undergraduate programme of its kind. The focus is on artist development and teaching the essential skills of the 21st-century 3D musician: performance, composition and production — key elements that transform students into exceptional musicians, original artists and entrepreneurs.
“Popular music at the RNCM is unique and our aim is simple: to educate, train, and develop your creative, practical, and professional skills for successful, sustainable careers that
will shape the future of music,” says Andy Stott, head of school.
For those with a clear idea of where their future is heading, the Master of Music degree will help you shape your career with a personalised approach. This includes one-to-one Principal Study training, specialist classes and masterclasses, lectures and seminars, and a range of performance opportunities. The Master of Performance caters to artists who want to become professional performers. Your skills are heightened through advanced practical and pedagogical training and vocational studies.
If you have already earned your master’s degree, the Postgraduate Diploma: Advanced Studies is a specialised programme to help you perfect your craft. RNCM is recognised internationally as one of the UK’s leading music conservatoires for research, and this one-year, full-time degree will enhance your skills through Principal Study and group tuition.
Unparalleled opportunities to perform
Real-world experience is a constant feature in all RNCM programmes. You’ll have many opportunities to perform to public audiences and to work alongside professional musicians and visiting artists. By joining large orchestral projects, cross-school collaborations, full-scale opera productions, intimate chamber concerts and solo recitals, you’ll get a taste of life on stage as well as an understanding of different performing styles, repertoire and techniques.
At the same time, you’ll sharpen your professional skills too. The highly regarded Professional Experience Scheme is a chance to work with renowned orchestras and arts organisations worldwide. Every undergraduate will also undertake at least one Work Experience Placement during their studies. These include everything from performing and teaching to arts administration, marketing, and education projects in schools, hospitals and care homes.
As an all-rounded RNCM graduate, you’re set to carve a successful future in a competitive sector. You need only look at its list of successful alumni as proof. Take Yoonjee Kim, who earned a Master of Music degree in conducting in 2014. Today, the South Korean conductor and pianist is the music director of Solius Orchestra, a group she founded in 2017 in Korea. She is also the recent laureate of the 1st Makris International Conducting Competition, where she won the Best Concerto Accompaniment Award and Honourable Mention.
Another notable graduate is soprano singer Naomi Rogers, who completed her Master of Music in Performance degree and a Bachelor of Music degree at RNCM. Her exciting career has included many of the UK’s top opera platforms like Opera Holland Park, Clonter Opera, BBC1, Opera North, Buxton Opera, and Northern Opera Group.
Inspiring and versatile, these musicians offer a glimpse into your exciting future both on and off stage as an RNCM graduate. To learn more about the Royal Northern College of Music, click here.