5 Reasons to Study Music at the Junior Conservatoire

Are you a budding musician or know someone who is keen to take their learning to the next level? At the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, our Junior Conservatoire Music is a place where students can nurture their learning within a talented and supportive community.

Our Head of Junior Conservatoire Music, Francis Cummings, shares his top five reasons for choosing to study music with the Junior Conservatoire.


I’ve lost count of the number of people who have wistfully said to me; “I wish I could play a musical instrument” or “I wish I hadn’t given up playing when I was younger.”

Music is everywhere and, for the vast majority of us, music is an integral part of our lives.

For some, it’s as a listener or consumer. For others, it is as a performer, either as a singer or an instrumentalist. Some people enjoy making music as a hobby whilst others have dedicated themselves to serious study and have chosen music as their vocational career.

At the RCS Junior Conservatoire Music, we have one thing in common: we all love music and learning and developing our performance skills is an integral part of what we do.

What is a Junior Conservatoire?

A Conservatoire is a college for the study of music (and the arts) and the Junior Conservatoire is where young people of school age come to study music. We have four courses that run on weekends catering for children aged from 18 months right through to young people who are in S6 or a gap year.

Our top five reasons to study music at Junior Conservatoire

1. We Specialise in Three Diverse Musical Genres

Our main Junior Conservatoire classes run every Saturday from 9am to 5pm and we specialise in three music genres —Classical, Jazz and Traditional Music. All of our students have individual lessons on their main instrument and a number of supporting study activities like theory, choir, performance class and ensembles (orchestras, bands choirs etc.)

Music students playing in our percussion room

2. Our Exceptional Teaching Staff

We have a large, diverse and talented teaching staff of around 130 teachers who bring a wealth of experience and expertise to their teaching.

Many are top performers and many are prominent members of our numerous national companies – Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (BBCSSO) and Scottish Opera. They also teach in our undergraduate and postgraduate courses. We believe that you will be learning from the best!

Student learning about composition

3. Our Outstanding Facilities

As you might expect from a national conservatoire with an international reputation, the facilities at the RCS are outstanding. RCS boasts five professional performance venues including the New Athenaeum Theatre and the Stevenson Hall, the Whittaker Library, recording studios, film edit suites and the Alexander Gibson Opera School.

You may get lost at first but our friendly staff are always on hand to help!

Stevenson Hall at RCS

4. Abundant Performance Opportunities

Junior Conservatoire typically runs around 70 events per year featuring two symphony orchestras, four String Ensembles, Wind Orchestra, Concert Band, Percussion Ensemble Big Band, Soul Band, Trad Band as well as various Jazz Ensembles and seven choirs!

We also run weekly performances classes, weekly student concerts and numerous performance prizes and competitions.

In short, there is something for everyone. Like everyone else, we have been very limited in what we could offer during the Covid pandemic but we are now delivering our classes in person and beginning to get our performance activity back up and running.

5. A Warm and Welcoming Community

RCS Junior Conservatoire is one of the most vibrant, energising, joyful and welcoming communities I know.

Our young people travel from the length and breadth of Scotland to meet on a Saturday and it is their dedication and their common love of music that brings them together. Lifelong friendships and networks are forged at Junior Conservatoire and there are many of our young people who regard ‘juniors’ as their ‘safe place’.

Our staff too are dedicated and skilled and a strong ethos of support and encouragement permeates all that we do. Many of our young people go on to pursue very successful careers in music whilst many others pursue other academic interests and careers. Whatever route our students take, I think that the vast majority would say that their experience at Junior Conservatoire was seminal, life-enhancing and very happy!

Students performing during a Junior Conservatoire graduation

Interested in applying to our Junior Conservatoire?

Visit our Junior Conservatoire page to learn more about our programmes.

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