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This Composition programme is an intensive, year-long course in which you will learn from one-to-one lessons, ensemble work, composing 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 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 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
  • Learn across a broad curriculum including world music, composition, conducting and jazz

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, we can only accept applications from students currently receiving lessons in their preferred principal study.

The important details

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 Composition 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.

Many of our graduates have progressed on to the BMus (Hons) Composition Music degree programme at the Royal Conservatoire.

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
  • 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

Working with your tutor, you will create and write your own compositions to be performed by your peers and professional musicians at the annual Celebration of Young Composers. This annual event is part of the Royal Conservatoire’s critically-acclaimed new music festival, PLUG.

Through one-to-one tuition and group lessons, you’ll learn how to work across the performing arts community and develop your creativity.

We want to ensure everyone has an opportunity to apply for the Junior Conservatoire Composition programme so we will audition every student who applies on time.

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.

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: traditional musicianship, ensembles or performance coaching, composition, aural training and sang scuil. 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 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.

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.

If you have any queries regarding this process, please email us at

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.

The audition will be split into three parts: a portfolio of material sent in advance, a performance audition and an informal interview with a panel of teachers from the Junior Conservatoire.

The Portfolio:

Please send a short portfolio of compositions (no less than two pieces written for contrasting instrumentation) to the Junior Conservatoire – ahead of your audition date.

The Audition:

You should come prepared to perform one piece on an instrument of your choice — you should select a piece that you think best demonstrates your current playing ability. We will also ask you to sight-read and there will be a selection of rhythm and pitch tests, appropriate to the standard of your principal instrument, in order to ascertain your current level of general musicianship.

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.

Time will be provided in order to discuss your portfolio of compositions.

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