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This Classical Music programme is an intensive, year-long course in which you will learn from one-to-one lessons, ensemble work, performance and musicianship classes. We aim to help you develop into the best musician possible and, one day a week, immerse you in conservatoire life.

You will also have a busy performance schedule, with Junior Conservatoire concerts taking place inside the Royal Conservatoire most weeks throughout the academic year.

You will benefit from learning within a conservatoire environment and have the opportunity to participate in Bridge Week, an interdisciplinary celebration where students from across the Junior Conservatoire come together to devise and perform new work within one of the Royal Conservatoire’s professional venues. As the National Conservatoire of Scotland, we have strong partnerships with the professional industry and you may benefit from performing opportunities or masterclasses with undergraduate and postgraduate students or visiting artists.

By studying in this Junior Conservatoire Classical Music programme, you will:

  • Learn from expert staff from the Royal Conservatoire
  • Work with students from other disciplines across the Junior Conservatoire
  • Develop your performance skills and have many opportunities to perform publicly on stage
  • Take part in prize competitions

The programme runs from September to June each year, and you can apply to join at any point in your secondary school education.

Entry to the programme is by audition only and we don’t have a minimum grade requirement – we look for the potential and dedication of every applicant. Please note that we can only accept applications from students currently receiving instrumental lessons in their chosen principal study.

The important details

For Ages:

Open Day:
27 January 2024

Application Deadline:
5 February 2024

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, 100 Renfrew Street, Glasgow, G2 3DB

9 September 2023 - 8 June 2024

Saturdays, 9.00-17.00

Audition Fee:

£2490 (subject to change)

Why Study Classical Music at the Junior Conservatoire?

The Junior Conservatoire of Music has been teaching young musicians for more than 50 years here in the centre of Glasgow. We now have more than 350 young people travel from across Scotland and the north of England every Saturday to access this renowned training programme and to work with our expert teachers.

Benefits of studying at the Junior Conservatoire include:

  • One-to-one instrumental tuition for 45—60 minutes per week
  • The option to have a further 30—45 minute one-to-one lesson in a second study
  • Participate in a wide variety of ensembles and orchestras, such as Big Band, Chamber Groups, String Ensembles, Sinfonia, Symphony Orchestra and Wind Orchestra
  • Receive your own personalised timetable, allowing for individual needs across one-to-one tuition, group lessons, choir, ensemble work and performing opportunities
  • Compete in internal and external music prizes and competitions, such as, the Junior Conservatoire Gilbert Innes Prizes, Traditional Music Prize, BBC Young Musician of the Year, Inspire Young Composers’, Rotary Club and local Music Festivals
  • Attend weekly Practical Musicianship classes which support and develop subject areas, such as theory, musicianship, composition, history of music and analysis skills
  • Work towards ABRSM Grade 5 theory/NYCoS ‘Going for Gold’ qualifications
  • Have the opportunity to work towards and sit ABRSM Grade 8 theory exam (optional)
  • Receive support with preparation towards SQA instrumental music exams
  • Receive formative feedback reports twice a year, in addition to weekly feedback from one-to-one lessons, to ensure you are achieving the most out of your studies

Programme Structure

Every student within the Junior Conservatoire of Music is given their own individual timetable to ensure you receive the right tuition for your development.

Expect your Saturdays to be busy – most students begin their lessons at 9am, with a busy timetable taking them through to the afternoon when there may be live performances scheduled.

Your timetable could include some of the following classes:

  • A 45 minute one-to-one lesson with your principal study tutor (a further 15 minutes is available for an additional fee)
  • Musicianship lecture
  • One-to-one lesson on your second instrument (if applicable)
  • Choir and vocal class
  • Ensemble classes (we have more than a dozen ensembles running each week)
  • Orchestra
  • Performance coaching

Additional opportunities are available to students who have progressed to pass their ABRSM Grade 5 Theory exam, including conducting and composition classes.

Teaching Staff

The Junior Conservatoire of Music has a wide and varied range of professional educators who work on a weekly basis with our students. The staff are all experts in their field and include musicians from each of the national orchestras.

Staff include:

  • Marianna Abrahamyan (Piano)
  • Julian Appleyard (Oboe)
  • Liivi Arder (Accompanist)
  • Lev Atlas (Violin/Viola)
  • Sue Baxendale (Horn)
  • Polly Beck (Voice)
  • Tom Berry (Double Bass)
  • Simon Bird (Trumpet)
  • Kenneth Blackwood (Horn)
  • Edward Cohen (Accompanist)
  • Nigel Cox (Trombone)
  • Susan Dance (Cello)
  • Bernard Docherty (Strings)
  • Ruari Donaldson (Percussion)
  • Barbara Downie (Violin/Viola)
  • Joanne Freeland (Clarinet)
  • Andrea Gajic (Strings)
  • Djordje Gajic (Accordion)
  • Sasa Gerzelj Donaldson (Piano)
  • Phil Gault (Voice)
  • Lamond Gillespie (Violin)
  • Sheena Gordon (Flute)
  • Sharron Griffiths (Pedal Harp)
  • Claire Haslin (Piano)
  • Kanako Ito (Violin)
  • Margaret Izatt (Voice)
  • Liza Johnson (Violin)
  • Verity Johnson (Voice)
  • Jane Lemoine (Violin)
  • Robert Marshall (Musicianship)
  • Kirsty Matheson (Double Bass)
  • Claire McCue (Musicianship)
  • Laura McFall (Musicianship)
  • Brian McGinley (Trumpet
  • Silviya Mihaylova (Piano)
  • John Miller (Saxophone)
  • Ailsa Mooney (Voice)
  • Cameron Murdoch (Piano)
  • Adele Neilson (Guitar)
  • Ancuta Nite-Doyle (Piano)
  • Andrew Nunn (Choir)
  • Fiona Osborne (Violin)
  • Angus Ramsay (Violin/Viola)
  • Anna Rastopchina (Piano)
  • Jennifer Redmond (Piano)
  • Hyeon-Jeong Ro (Flute)
  • Rebecca Roberts (Bassoon)
  • Alastair Sinclair (Trombone)
  • Alina Savanenkovaite-Shilton (Piano)
  • Peter Stewart (Guitar)
  • Tony Swainson (Brass)
  • Hiroaki Takenouchi (Piano)
  • Betsy Taylor (Strings)
  • Alison Waller (Clarinet)
  • Stephen West (Oboe)
  • Rebecca Whitener (Clarinet)
  • Marion Wilson (Violin)

Entry Requirements

Entry to Junior Conservatoire is by audition only, and progression through the levels is not automatic — students will be assessed each year if they would like to continue with their studies.

We do not ask for any minimum grade — instead the panel will be looking for applicants of great potential who demonstrate they have the commitment and ability to work hard and become the best performer they can be.

Fees & Funding

Tuition fees

The Junior Conservatoire course fees for 2023/24 begins at £2490 for 30 weeks of tuition. In addition to weekly 45-minute principal study lessons, this course fee is inclusive of all timetabled classes: practical musicianship, ensembles or performance coaching, composition, aural training and choir(s). In addition to these classes, students may be able to opt into a number of elective courses, according to availability and in agreement with the Head of Junior Conservatoire.

Students can choose to enhance their study combinations by learning a subsidiary study instrument, or by increasing their weekly one-to-one lesson time at an additional cost.

Funding & Scholarships

We want to make the performing arts as accessible to everyone as possible. Anyone who faces financial barriers to participate in the Junior Conservatoire can apply for a bursary or scholarship. As soon as you have been made an offer, you will be sent a link to the bursary and scholarship application form.

These funds are currently supported by the generosity of individuals and charitable trusts and foundations including:

  • James McAvoy Drama Scholarship
  • Agnes Allan Bursary
  • ABRSM Junior Scholarship UK
  • Wolfson Foundation Scholarship
  • Stevenson Scholarship
  • Miss Nancy Williamson Bursary
  • William R MacFarlane Scholarship
  • Savoy Scholarship
  • John McIntyre Memorial Scholarship

How to Apply

We want to ensure everyone has an opportunity to apply for the Junior Conservatoire Classical Music programme so we will audition everyone who applies ahead of the application deadline.

Please note, we are only able to accept applications from students who are currently receiving instrumental lessons in their chosen principal study.

All applications should be completed online and there is an audition fee of £45.00.

When to apply

Our initial application period for session 2024/25 closed on 5 February 2024, however, depending on your instrument, age and stage, we may be in a position to consider a late application. To complete our late application form, please follow the link below:

Late Application Form

We will respond by email as soon as possible and, based on the information you provide, if we are able to accept your application, we will then invite you to pay a separate audition fee of £45.00. Please note, it may be a number of weeks before you receive an update.

Audition dates

Initial auditions are due to be held at the RCS in February/March 2024.

Open Day

Please see our Junior Conservatoire Open Day page for more information on our upcoming open days.


If you have any questions about the Junior Conservatoire or the application process, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

Audition Information

We want your audition to be an enjoyable experience and encourage you to take this opportunity to find out more about the Junior Conservatoire.


Classical Music auditions will be split into two parts: a performance and an informal interview, both with a panel of teachers from the Junior Conservatoire.

The Audition

You should come prepared to perform two contrasting pieces on your instrument – you should select pieces that you think best demonstrate your current playing ability. We will also ask you to perform some scales and arpeggios, to sight-read and undertake some aural and rhythm exercises.

If you have a second instrument, we’ll also ask you to perform one additional piece on this.

The Interview

The interview is a chance for you to ask us questions also, so please use the opportunity to ask anything that you’d like to know about the Junior Conservatoire. We’ll ask you questions around your musical experience, your practices and what you hope to get from being a part of the Junior Conservatoire.

Accompanist: Please note that an accompanist will be provided but you may bring your own accompanist if you wish. There will be no rehearsal with the accompanist prior to the audition.

Principal Study Percussion applicants will be asked to prepare the following:

The performance of one piece on each of the following instrumental disciplines:

  • Tuned percussion
    Snare drum

Less-advanced/younger percussion players may offer to perform on only two of these instruments. This should be agreed with the Juniors Music office in advance of the audition. Total performance time should not exceed twelve minutes.


The audition will also include the following elements:

Sight Reading, appropriate to your current standard on any of the above disciplines.
Scales and arpeggios, appropriate to your current standard on tuned percussion.

Term Dates

Saturday, 2 September 2023

Saturday, 9 September – Saturday, 9 December 2023

Saturday, 14 October and Saturday, 21 October 2023

Saturday, 6 January — Saturday, 16 March 2024

Saturday, 10 February 2024

Saturday, 20 April — Saturday, 8 June 2024

Get in Touch

If you have any questions about the Junior Conservatoire or the application process, please don’t hesitate to contact us:

a teenage girl mid-way through playing the violin sits surrounded by other musicians