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Traditional Music


This Traditional Music programme is an intensive, year-long course in which you will learn from one-to-one lessons, ensemble work, performance and musicianship classes. Our aim is to help you develop into the best musician possible and, for 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 take part 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.

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 of 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 are only able to accept applications from students who are currently receiving instrumental lessons in their chosen principal study.

The important details

Open Day:
November 2024

Application Deadline:
February 2025

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

7 September 2024 - 14 June 2025

Saturdays, 9.00-17.00

Audition Fee:

£2590 (subject to change)

Why Study Traditional 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.

Many of our graduates have progressed on to the BMus (Hons) Traditional 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

We will work with you on arrangement, develop learning by ear, as well as harmony writing and musical improvisation.

You’ll have the chance to play at the world’s largest winter music festival, Celtic Connections, and in addition to your instrumental one-to-one lessons, you’ll have the opportunity to play at exciting festivals across the country.

Pipers on this course receive their one-to-one lessons at the National Piping Centre.


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:

  • Ciorstaidh Beaton (Clarsach)
  • Christopher Gray (Musicianship)
  • Amy Laurenson (Piano)
  • Isaebail MacDonald (Gaelic Song)
  • Ruaridh MacMillan (Fiddle)
  • Edward Seaman (Bagpipes/Scottish Whistle)

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 2024/25 begins at £2590 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:

  • 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

Annual auditions take place in the RCS in February/March ahead of September entry.

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 two parts: a performance audition 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: 1 x Set (March, Strathspey and Reel) and one contrasting tune (e.g. Slow Air). You should select pieces that you think best demonstrate your current playing ability. You may also be asked to perform sight readings, as well as take part in a call and response, where you’ll be asked to listen to a performance of a short tune and play it back in short phrases on your principal study.

You will also be asked a selection of Rhythm and Pitch tests, appropriate to the standard of your principal instrument. This is in order to ascertain your current level of general musicianship.

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

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.

Term Dates

Saturday, 31 August 2024

Saturday, 7 September – Saturday, 7 December 2024

Saturday, 12 October and Saturday, 19 October 2024

Saturday, 11 January — Saturday, 22 March 2025

Saturday, 15 February 2024

Saturday, 26 April — Saturday, 14 June 2025

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