Music Auditions at RCS: Matthew McAllister shares his top tips

Matthew McAllister, lecturer in guitar at RCS, shares his top three tips to help you ace that audition!

Tip number 1: Be yourself

If you’re embarking on a four-year Bachelor of Music course or a two-year Masters, that’s years that you’re going to spend with us, the faculty, your teachers and with your fellow colleagues and students. So, we want to know something about your character and personality.

Tip number 2: Get to know the school

Get a feel for what to expect at your audition. It might even be worth coming along and seeing the building and where you’re going before you actually come to the audition.

On your audition day, you’ll be welcomed by ushers who will be taking people to their warm-up rooms and then to where they’ll audition in front of panels. You won’t be left on your own when you come, there’ll be friendly faces and lots of people to check up on you and make sure you’re comfortable.

Tip number 3: Be prepared

You might not play your absolute best in your audition – I never did at mine! – but my preparation shone through.

If you’ve taken real time and diligence to prepare for your audition, we will see that, no matter if you get a bit nervous on the day or it doesn’t go exactly how you expect it to.

As a panel, we are trained to look for the skill and the diligence and the practice that you’ve put into preparing. Play the pieces or the songs that you’re going to sing as much as possible for friends for family so that when you come in here, you can just get on with it and enjoy the day.

Good luck!

Interested in studying music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland? From classical and jazz to opera and trad, find the course that’s right for you at

Covid-19: discover our latest updates