Where better to kick-start your career in music than Manchester; a city renowned for harbouring musical talent and innovation. It is home to three professional orchestras, the Hallé, the BBC Philharmonic and the Manchester Camerata, as well as world-famous bands like The Bee Gees, Buzzcocks, Joy Division, Oasis, The Smiths, The Stone Roses and many more, while an array of iconic music venues are spread throughout the city.
Through an inclusive and exciting curriculum, students at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) are presented with a wealth of performance and development opportunities within and outside of the College. Study at the RNCM is specifically designed to enhance professional skills and employability for students to the highest standards.
Performance is at the heart of the learning experience at the RNCM, with students actively encouraged to participate in a broad range of performance activities, including orchestral projects, opera, Session Orchestra, Big Band, chamber music and smaller-scale solo and duo opportunities. A weekly lunchtime concert programme in the RNCM Concert Hall is an opportunity for students to perform to a public audience.
The RNCM’s international partner scheme ‘The Platform’ provides more than 400 opportunities annually for students to participate in auditions, rehearsals, education projects and public performances in the UK and beyond. This immersive experience is second-to-none across the UK, offering an unrivalled depth of experience that prepares students for a life as a professional musician.
The RNCM specialises in chamber music coaching, offering a thriving and energetic programme that gives students the chance to work alongside internationally-renowned artists, developing skills and completing performances with expert coaching. Tutors include former and current members of the Lindsay, Chilingirian, Talich, Takács and Skampa String Quartets, the Gould and Manchester Piano Trios, Ensemble 360, Zephyr Winds and the Apollo Saxophone Quartet. The studio is also the only UK member of the European Chamber Music Academy.
Training is offered in historical performance, where students learn techniques and styles from the Renaissance to the early Romantic Period. These talented musicians benefit from specialist tutors and visiting artists, while an extensive collection of baroque instruments are available to loan.
Expertise in historical and contemporary instruments is also developed through the chamber music coaching programme for classic string quartets, Baroque ensembles and classical wind ensembles;masterclasses with world-renowned guest artists; and performances with the RNCM Baroque Ensemble.
RNCM Engage places students at the heart of the wider community setting, making musical performance accessible to people from all walks of life. The Engage programme collaborates with schools, hospitals and community groups throughout the North West, hosting events like Family Days and the Children’s Opera, which gives school pupils the opportunity to work with industry professionals to improve singing, dancing and acting skills. Meanwhile, RNCM students gain valuable experience in teaching as well as creative and professional practice.
Students are encouraged from the outset to look beyond their studies and think about their future career. As such, the RNCM serves as the perfect platform into the world of music, nurturing its students’ talents and confidence, while building the skills needed to establish and maintain a successful career in a highly competitive employment sector.
Students also have the opportunity to audition for a place on the highly-esteemed Professional Experience Schemes at the College, with a number of renowned orchestras and arts organisations taking part. Over 60 students are chosen each year to take part in the scheme, which provides invaluable insight to the ins-and-outs of such organisations.
Coupled with this, there is also a Student Ambassador Scheme, set-up and operated by the RNCM’s Marketing team. This enables current students to apply for paid work opportunities in their spare time, with Student Ambassadors also organising events, meetings and talks for prospective students.
Exchange Programmes form an integral part of life at the RNCM. With various conservatoire connections across Europe and further around the globe, students can broaden their horizons by experiencing life in a different culture – whether it be for a full academic year, or just for a term. Under the Erasmus programme, exchanges can be arranged for up to 10 months, including a monthly allowance to cover living expenses.
The College has strong connections across the entire music industry – including education, arts administration/management, marketing and concert management. Each Bachelor of Music student will undertake at least one placement during their studies, which follows an application, audition and interview process, further standing as invaluable experience for future life.
Commenting on life at the RNCM, student Filipe Dandalo, says: “I am enjoying everything about this place: the incredible structure, all the performance opportunities, the events and masterclasses that are always going on, the high level of the other students, the new friends I have made. But one thing that I am still impressed about is how much the people, tutors and staff, are concerned about us, the students, and how they always do their best to make us feel well and not worried about anything else but developing our musical skills to as far as we can.”
If you’re keen to kick-start your adventure with the RNCM, why not take part in the institution’s Overseas Auditions? Acknowledging that it’s not always possible for you to drop everything to bring your talent to the UK, the RNCM is happy to bring its talent scouts to you, with eager representatives making their presence known in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, the US, South Korea, and others yet to be confirmed throughout the coming months. If this has set your rhythmic pulses racing, you had better get a move on, since the application deadline for entry in September 2018 falls on October 2 this year.