Classes & activities
Your Principal Study is the primary focus of your work at the Academy. The requirements differ from department to department. The below is an overview, for more details please refer to the course specification.
The principal modes of teaching are described below:
Individual lessons for Principal Study
These classes provide a bridge between one-to-one tuition, masterclasses, and concert performances.
These provide students with opportunities to present work to a leading visiting artist, and members of the public.
Ensemble and Directed Ensemble coaching
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.