Since the formation of its first jazz course in 1987, the Royal Academy of Music has steadily produced an outstanding array of creative, versatile and employable musicians.


Below you will find a list of the types of classes and modules that have been on offer at the Academy.

Department Classes
And Activities

Principal Study

30 hours per year of one-to-one instrumental lessons culminating in an end-of-year recital.

Second Study (optional)

Provision is available for tuition on a second-study instrument (5 or 10 hours per year). You must apply to your tutor at the start of the academic year.

Ensemble Projects

Provision is available for tuition on a second-study instrument (5 or 10 hours per year). You must apply to your tutor at the start of the academic year.

Ensemble Projects

These comprise weekly workshops and culminate in a public performance. The programme of concerts will vary from year to year and provides a foundation of core knowledge, enabling you to undertake a broad and varied ensemble schedule throughout your studies.

Big Band

Projects feature a wide range of repertoire, guest soloists, composers and directors. Each project culminates in an assessed public concert.

Artist Development

In an increasingly competitive musical profession, you will need to be equipped with the essential tools to flourish. We have excellent links with the jazz media and industry, resulting in regular seminars with journalists, broadcasters and record label owners. At the end of the BMus and Postgraduate Programmes there is a Artist Development Portfolio that includes many key skills and real-world examples, such as writing funding applications and press releases. You also have the chance to take electives in Principles of Education and Music in the Community, and to study for the additional LRAM teaching diploma.

Composition and Arranging

This core course has been designed to give students the tools and the confidence to continue composing when they have left the Academy.

Jazz Supporting Studies

This module provides opportunities for students to develop skills in writing two-stave short scores and fully notated piano parts, supporting the requirements of the C&A course.

Aural and Transcription

This course cultivates the aural skills that will underpin your improvisation and playing. You will learn to recognise and identify different chord qualities, modal sounds and key centres. You will also undertake regular transcription projects to internalise the vocabulary and phrasing of the great players in history.

Contemporary Rhythmic Skills

This introduces non-Western principles of rhythm drawn from Asian, African and Latin American traditions. The course aims to familiarise you with techniques of group co-ordination and with individual and collective learning methods appropriate to aural/oral methodologies.

Repertoire and Improvisation

You will learn a list of commonly played tunes by ear, all of which typify a particular harmonic or compositional device. You will then use these tunes to explore a variety of improvisational approaches and strategies.

Creative Technology

This course explores the latest developments in interactive technology within live and recorded music. You will be encouraged to experiment through practical projects, and develop an integrated approach with software such as Ableton Live, Logic and various hardware pedals and controllers. You will also gain studio experience to explore the basic requirements and practical considerations of the recording environment.

Jazz History: from African American origins to todays multicultural world jazz

Familiarity with the history of jazz has been central to the learning process of all jazz innovators.

Critical and Contextual Listening

This second-year module is a continuation of Jazz History and encourages you to engage in class discussion while exploring some of the wider contexts surrounding various key recordings and developments in the repertoire.

Rhythmic Studies of the African Diaspora

Open Days

Open Days are the perfect way to discover more about the Academy and whether it’s the right place for you.

Find out practical information about the application process, finances and career development on the Open Days Home.

Woodwind players in a large group rehearsal