Woodwind faculty classes and activities

Undergraduate students take weekly academic classes in addition to their woodwind studies. Classes in Analysis and Aural, Conducting, Technology, Keyboard Skills and Western Music History are designed to complement and add to every student’s creative development as performers. For more information about Academic Studies, see the BMus Programme.

In addition to weekly individual lessons, both undergraduate and postgraduate woodwind students participate in the following activities:

Orchestral Studies

Each instrument group holds classes where you will study standard repertoire and orchestral excerpts which are a crucial part of all professional auditions.  These classes are taken by Academy professors who have exceptional knowledge and professional experience.

Performance Classes

Performance Classes are led by leading woodwind professionals and give you an opportunity to experiment and explore communication skills in solo repertoire and to receive direct feedback about all aspects of your performance.

Chamber Music

Both allocated and self-generated chamber music for woodwinds and mixed ensembles plays a major role in the Woodwind Faculty. All groups receive coaching from Academy professors who help guide and prepare you for assessed performances and frequent public concerts.

The Academy promotes successful chamber ensembles and many current and former student woodwind ensembles have been given Fellowships or given prestigious performance opportunities to support and raise the profiles of emerging woodwind ensembles.

Symphonic Winds

Directed by the Head of Woodwind, these concerts and projects are rehearsed, performed and often recorded both within the Academy and in venues throughout London.


All woodwind students play in masterclasses during their time at the Academy. These performance and learning opportunities are for you to receive objective feedback on your solo playing and to observe the way an artist can guide a student in enhancing their performance. Public and private masterclasses given by distinguished artists take place throughout the year.

Reed-making for oboists and bassoonists

Audition Techniques and Strategies

A combination of advice, discussions and mock auditions help in preparing you for taking professional auditions.

Repertoire sessions

It is important for you to be familiar with standard repertoire and orchestral rehearsal techniques so that you will be prepared to play confidently in an orchestra, even at a moment’s notice.


As an Academy student, you can choose to take the LRAM (Licenciate of the Royal Academy of Music) teaching diploma course, which offers a practical and engaging introduction to the principles of teaching.

It is also possible for students to take up historical instruments (eg, baroque flute, oboe, bassoon and classical clarinet) and have specialist lessons as a Second Study. Likewise, students interested in musical theatre pit orchestra playing (eg, doubling saxophone) can register their interest with the Head of Woodwind for special project placements.

Both undergraduate and postgraduate students are required to perform a recital at the end of each year for assessment. Postgraduate woodwind players on this course also take a concerto exam.

Regular masterclasses, collaborations with venues throughout London, side-by-side schemes with London orchestras such as the Philharmonia and London Sinfonietta and both internal and external competitions fill each week with a variety of exciting and career-enhancing opportunities. While the course is orchestrally focused, the diverse experiences offered by the Woodwind Faculty provide our students with the skills and connections to transition into the music profession.

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