Classes & activities
This programme is aimed at students who are professionally active and have the highest levels of technical and artistic expertise. In addition to refining professional standards in work patterns, preparation and performance, the programme encourages students to reflect critically and inventively on their work.
The course is highly flexible so that it can meet the specific and individual needs of students at this advanced stage of development. You will be expected to pursue a series of goals identified at the beginning of the year which might include a range of concerts, recordings, competitions and/or other projects. You will be encouraged to think innovatively about your work, and will be required to self-manage the implementation of your plans.
Your studies will be supported by regular one-to-one tuition with those who can best help you to develop your artistic and professional goals; this might include regular teaching from within your instrumental department, and/or sessions with teachers/coaches from other departments.
Provision will be individually discussed and agreed in consultation with your Head of Department and the Course Tutor at the beginning of the year. You will be given the opportunity to meet and discuss your work with other Advanced Diploma students and also (where appropriate) offered the chance to take part in masterclasses with international visitors.
Advanced Diploma students are encouraged to draw on the Academy’s staff (often across departments) to support the development of their career and artistry, and can expect a flexible schedule that will allow them to pursue a significant portfolio of external professional activity.
For more information see the course specification document.
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.