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MMus/MA Piano for Dance

Introduction

This strand of the MMus/MA is aimed at those who wish to pursue a professional career as a pianist for dance. It is delivered in conjunction with Scottish Ballet, and is the only vocational programme offered jointly by a conservatoire and a professional ballet company. As well as developing a wide range of technical and musical skills, it provides the opportunity for you to accompany and work with dancers at all levels and in a variety of styles, eventually integrating into the season of the professional company.

Over the duration of the course you will engage with all areas of the Company’s work: with Education (community classes and projects for all ages and levels of experience) and in rehearsals and classes for the Main Company. As you develop you will be given added responsibilities, working with the Main Company as the ultimate goal. While being fully supported, mentored and supervised, you will be regarded as a member of the Music Department and be expected to adopt a fully professional attitude. In your weekly schedule time will be set aside for one-to–one study with the Company Music Staff, personal practice, and other course modules, but the main emphasis is practical, working as a member of the Music Staff.

Scottish Ballet have more information about the course on their website, together with testimonials from former students.

Introduction

This strand of the MMus/MA is aimed at those who wish to pursue a professional career as a pianist for dance. It is delivered in conjunction with Scottish Ballet, and is the only vocational programme offered jointly by a conservatoire and a professional ballet company. As well as developing a wide range of technical and musical skills, it provides the opportunity for you to accompany and work with dancers at all levels and in a variety of styles, eventually integrating into the season of the professional company.

Over the duration of the course you will engage with all areas of the Company’s work: with Education (community classes and projects for all ages and levels of experience) and in rehearsals and classes for the Main Company. As you develop you will be given added responsibilities, working with the Main Company as the ultimate goal. While being fully supported, mentored and supervised, you will be regarded as a member of the Music Department and be expected to adopt a fully professional attitude. In your weekly schedule time will be set aside for one-to–one study with the Company Music Staff, personal practice, and other course modules, but the main emphasis is practical, working as a member of the Music Staff.

Scottish Ballet have more information about the course on their website, together with testimonials from former students.

Programme Outline

The Conservatoire programme is made up of four modules. In Principal Study you will receive weekly 1:1 lessons in piano through the Department of Keyboard and Collaborative Piano. In Supporting Studies you will have the opportunity to be involved with a range of options offered by the Conservatoire, including piano technique, improvisation, keyboard literature, accompaniment skills, Alexander technique and sight-reading, as well as taking place in performance classes and masterclasses as appropriate.

The programme is completed by the Approaches to Critical Artistry module, in which you will complete a practice-based research project, and up to two Elective modules in each year of study.

Staff and masterclasses

Richard Honner
Principal Conductor Richard worked for two years at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, before joining The Australian Opera in 1972. In 1977 he joined Scottish Opera where he remained for nine years as a répétiteur and staff conductor. He first worked with Scottish Ballet as a guest for the Winter and Spring seasons of 1986, joining the Company in August of that year. From 1990 to 1992, he conducted opera productions for the RSAMD. He has also worked with the Hong Kong Ballet (1989 -1999), the San Francisco Ballet, Opera Hawkes Bay in New Zealand, English National Opera and Frankfurt Opera and was official accompanist at the Sofia International Singing Competition in 1979. In 2006 and 2008 Richard conducted concerts with the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong.

Brian Prentice
Company Pianist Brian’s work with Scottish Ballet spans 20 years and as Company Pianist for the last 10 years where he has been mentoring students on the Pianist for Dance course. He has been solo pianist in ‘Twilight’, Hindemith’s ‘The Four Temperaments’, ‘In Light and Shadow’ at the Edinburgh International Festival and as a musician with the Scottish Ballet Orchestra and the Education Unit. Most recently he was Musical Director of “Elite Syncopations’. He has also worked with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the RSAMD in Glasgow and the RSNO. Brian is a member of The Assembly Players and is musical director for the Scottish singer and actress, Terry Neason.

Karen MacIver
Guest Tutor Karen has worked with most of the UK ballet companies as well as American Ballet Theatre, Mark Morris’ company, Hong Kong Ballet and Staatstheater Nuernberg. Her work with Scottish Ballet has spanned over 20 years and for the past 8 years she has been mentoring students on the Pianist for Dance course run by Scottish Ballet and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She is also a distinguished composer of film and theatre music.

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.

  • IELTS – 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component

Audition Requirements

Audition requirements are given in the MMus-MA Guide for Applicants 2015-16, which can be found at http://www.rcs.ac.uk/studyhere/how-to-apply/music/.

Fees and scholarships

Tuition fees for academic year 2017-18

  • MMus Piano for Dance (2 years) UK/EU Students – £8,094
  • MMus Piano for Dance (2 years) International (non-EU) – £15,513
  • MA Piano for Dance (1 year) UK/EU Students – £10,983
  • MA Piano for Dance (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.

Graduate destinations

Graduates from the Piano for Dance programme have gone on to work professionally in a number of contexts, including both freelance work for dance companies and permanent positions in educational institutions. Scottish Ballet have more information on this programme on their website, including testimonials from former students.

Facilities

Scottish Ballet have in their headquarters at Tramway excellent facilities as befits a professional dance company of international standing. For the student, in addition to playing for rehearsals and classes in light and modern studios, practice facilities are available and the Company possesses an extensive music library which allows for personal study of the wider ballet repertoire beyond the Company’s current repertoire.

The Conservatoire’s keyboard facilities are among the best in the sector. All keyboard students have daily access to an excellent fleet of grand pianos for practice, including new Bechstein 190 grands and Yamaha C3 grands. All teaching rooms have Steinway model B or model A grands.