Classes & activities
The Academy’s Professional Diploma is a one-of-a-kind programme for students who are looking for a specially tailored extra year of study to provide a competitive edge in building a career.
It is a highly focused combination of one-to-one tuition and professional development activity built around the needs of each individual student in consultation with the ProfDip Programme Tutor and the relevant Head of Department. Applicants will normally have completed a master’s degree but the programme is available to all applicants of the appropriate standard.
Training: In addition to the 45 hours of one-to-one tuition, all postgraduate students undertake an extensive programme of departmental activity targeted to their specialist focus.
The following are examples of specialisms studied in recent years. There is no blueprint; the nature and scope of the specialism differs in each case.
Historical Performance for modern instrumentalists
Preparation for opera studies
Orchestral Doubling specialisms (eg contrabassoon or piccolo)
Composition for television, film and media
Flute and piano duo repertoire from the first half of the twentieth century
Extended techniques on the cello
The German school of tuba playing, with an emphasis upon orchestral performance
The study of poets: lieder with texts by Shakespeare and Goethe
The role of the principal viola in an orchestra
Undergraduate students take weekly academic classes in addition to their Historical Performance studies. Classes such as Techniques and Analysis, Conducting, Technology, Keyboard Skills and Western Music History are designed to complement and add to your creative development as a performer.
In addition to weekly individual lessons, both undergraduate and postgraduate Historical Performance students participate in the following activities:
Performance Classes are led by renowned musicians from around the world 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 is at the heart of the Historical Performance Faculty and you will have opportunities to perform in several mixed ensembles, playing repertoire from Renaissance to Romantic. There are also opportunities to join the recorder consort, oboe band, viol consort and other ensembles. All groups are coached by Academy professors or visiting guests who help guide and prepare students for assessed performances and frequent public concerts.
We hold dedicated classes for learning and preparing standard professional repertoire such as Passions, masses and other orchestral works to ensure our students are already familiar with major pieces when playing in gigs and professional ensembles.
You will take part in dance projects. All of our students learn to play dance music, in order to work effectively with dancers and to appreciate dance elements in instrumental music. Most of our students also learn to dance, but anyone with any physical issues is able to set their own pace.
Whatever instrument you play, you will have lessons in keyboard continuo playing and realisation depending on your individual experience, expertise and interest. You will learn what to listen for, and what to ask for, from continuo players.
Lecture Workshops are held throughout the year and discuss the main areas of historical performance practice from the Medieval to the Romantic. Classes combine theoretical explanation and discussions with practical application to relevant repertoire.
Orchestra and Ensemble Performance
Students gain unrivalled experience in ensemble playing on historical instruments through orchestral opportunities at the Academy and beyond. You will rehearse and perform regularly and concerts are often led by members of the Academy’s own team as well as visiting artists.
We welcome the finest students from around the world to learn and perform alongside globally renowned artists, ensuring they benefit from a music-making environment of the highest quality.