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Piano Accompaniment

Introduction

Piano Accompaniment is a varied and challenging postgraduate programme, led by lecturer and piano accompanist, Scott Mitchell, alongside a team of highly experienced professional accompanists and chamber musicians. You will engage in a wide range of collaborative opportunities to prepare you for this demanding profession working with students and lecturers from all departments at RCS.

Developing core accompaniment skills form the foundation of the programme. In addition to the extensive development of standard accompaniment repertoire, additional supporting skills are also cultivated in weekly group classes including; sight-reading, orchestral reductions, transposition, figured bass, choral accompaniment, vocal and instrumental coaching and languages.

MMus Accompanists also enjoy extensive performing opportunities, whether in concerts, competitions or accompanying students. The programme provides a wide range of choice for assessment, including studio recordings, commissions of new collaborative works, independent projects and full-length recitals.

Students who have graduated in this course have gone on to have professional careers as accompanists and work for a wide range of institutions and organisations throughout the world. Graduates also work in the fields of music education, arts management and administration, and music in the community, where an MMus degree is highly valued.

 

Introduction

Piano Accompaniment is a varied and challenging postgraduate programme, led by lecturer and piano accompanist, Scott Mitchell, alongside a team of highly experienced professional accompanists and chamber musicians. You will engage in a wide range of collaborative opportunities to prepare you for this demanding profession working with students and lecturers from all departments at RCS.

Developing core accompaniment skills form the foundation of the programme. In addition to the extensive development of standard accompaniment repertoire, additional supporting skills are also cultivated in weekly group classes including; sight-reading, orchestral reductions, transposition, figured bass, choral accompaniment, vocal and instrumental coaching and languages.

MMus Accompanists also enjoy extensive performing opportunities, whether in concerts, competitions or accompanying students. The programme provides a wide range of choice for assessment, including studio recordings, commissions of new collaborative works, independent projects and full-length recitals.

Students who have graduated in this course have gone on to have professional careers as accompanists and work for a wide range of institutions and organisations throughout the world. Graduates also work in the fields of music education, arts management and administration, and music in the community, where an MMus degree is highly valued.

 

Programme Outline

Developing core accompaniment skills forms the foundation of the programme.

In addition to the extensive development of standard accompaniment repertoire, additional supporting skills are also cultivated in weekly group classes including; sight-reading, orchestral reductions, transposition, figured bass, choral accompaniment, vocal and instrumental coaching and languages.

As an MMus Accompanist, you will have many performing opportunities, whether in concerts, competitions or accompanying students. The programme provides a wide range of choice for assessment, including studio recordings, commissions of new collaborative works, independent projects and full length recitals.

Audition requirements

The audition and interview

Before your audition, you will have 15 minutes (or more dependent on your Principal Study) to warm-up on your instrument. RCS is not able to offer additional practice facilities before the allocated warm-up time, because the building is in full use by current students or by other audition candidates.

Through the audition, applicants will be required to demonstrate:

  • a high degree of technical competency on the instrument or voice in the service of specific repertoire
  • an ability to demonstrate a considerable degree of understanding of the repertoire performed
  • an ability to perform specific repertoire convincingly
  • a considerable degree of self-confidence and creativity with respect to the repertoire performed
  • a degree of self-sufficiency, initiative and independence in selecting, preparing and performing a particular programme
  • a developing musical personality

The interview will assess the candidate’s suitability for the programme in terms of knowledge, experience and commitment.

Accompanists

Instrumentalists (excluding piano, guitar, jazz, Scottish music and percussion and timpani) and vocalists will be automatically allocated an official RCS accompanist to play for them at their audition (unless RCS is notified that the applicant intends to use his/her own). Applicants will be given time with the accompanist prior to their audition in order to run through their programme. RCS does not require advance notice of your audition programme.

 

Piano Solo

Performance of a programme from memory, comprising not less than three contrasting works (total playing time 25 minutes; total audition time 30 minutes, which will include a short interview). Sight-reading may be given.

Harpsichord

Performance of a programme comprising not less than three contrasting works (total playing time 25 minutes; total audition time 30, which will include a short interview.) Sight-reading may be given.

Organ and Accordion

Performance of a programme comprising not less than three contrasting works (total playing time 25 minutes; total audition time 30, which will include a short interview.) Sight-reading may be given.

Entrance requirements

In addition to the general entry requirements, candidates will preferably already have public performance experience of working with singers and instrumentalists. Knowledge of a specialist area of relevant repertoire (e.g. vocal, string, wind) is also desirable.

Audition

Applicants will be required to accompany a singer and an instrumentalist in works notified to them two to three weeks in advance (a rehearsal period of 30 minutes on the day of the audition will be allowed). Applicants will also be required to play at sight, to undertake a quick study test (given to them shortly before the audition).

 

All decisions will be posted on UCAS Conservatoires following your audition via UCAS Conservatoires Track, (you will need your username and password). You will also receive notification from UCAS Conservatoires when decisions on all your choices are available.

How to apply

Before applying we recommend that you follow our Applicant Guide journey which provides all the essential information regarding entry requirements, and the full application and audition process.

Begin your Applicant Journey here.

Making your application

Applications for the MMus/MA programme should be made through the UCAS Conservatoires website. There is a UCAS application fee of £25 (which is in addition to the audition fee) which allows you up to six choices of programme of study.

Entry requirements

  • Normally a good Honours (at least 2.2) degree, or its overseas equivalent, in a subject area relevant to the demands of the programme

Entrance to the Conservatoire is based on talent, potential and ability, therefore consideration will be given to relevant experience which is deemed to compensate for any traditional education. We accept a wide range of qualification, including international qualifications. If you wish to check the suitability of your qualification/experience, please contact admissions@rcs.ac.uk.

English Language

The language of study is English. Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of proficiency in English. We accept the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Other equivalent English Language qualifications may be considered, please contact admissions@rcs.ac.uk for more information.

Fees and scholarships

Tuition fees for academic year 2017-18

  • MMus Performance (2 years) UK/EU Students – £8,094
  • MMus Performance (2 years) International (non-EU) – £15,513
  • MA Performance (1 year) UK/EU Students – £10,983
  • MA Performance (1 year) International (non-EU) – £18,648

Scottish/EU students

New Scottish and EU domiciled students may be eligible for a Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan. All eligible students will be able to apply directly to Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for a non-means tested loan of up to £3,400. See the following website for further details of the PSAS scheme:

http://www.saas.gov.uk/full_time/pg/index.htm

Scottish domiciled postgraduate students on eligible courses can also apply for a Postgraduate Living Cost Loan up to £4,500 towards living expenses. This is in addition to the existing loan available towards the cost of their tuition fees.

Scholarships

Any potential student who auditions for a place at the Royal Conservatoire will automatically be considered for a scholarship. They are awarded on a combination of talent, potential and financial need. More information about Scholarships is available here

Sources of external funding

For more information about alternative funding sources, including external scholarships and bursaries, please visit here.

The Conservatoire’s International and Student Experience team are available to advise and assist applicants and current students in respect of queries about funding your studies at the Conservatoire. Please email or telephone +44 (0)141 270 8281/ +44 (0)141 270 8223 for further information.