A close-knit and very active department, the Organ Faculty offers programmes for organists to study solo repertoire, hone technical skills and learn the crucial aspects of playing in a wide variety of contexts and styles.

Classes

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

Core Modules

This CPD Diploma course is an opportunity for professional portfolio career musicians to gain valuable skills, knowledge and practical experience in the field of creative music leadership.

On this course you will take part in lectures and seminars at the Academy, covering topics including:

  • Designing, leading and evaluating projects for schools
  • Improvisation and collaborative composition
  • Work with older people, including those living with dementia
  • Hospitals and health care settings
  • Working with people with special educational needs
  • Early Years settings
  • Cross-arts work

You will benefit from 20 hours of one-to-one tutorials throughout the year, which may be used flexibly. You may wish to group your hours of tutorials into blocks of several hours at key points in the year — for example to explore a specific topic in more depth, or in preparation for a practical project which you would define and lead in the summer term.

You will be required to keep a learning journal over the course of the year. You will be encouraged to draw on this when submitting a reflective portfolio which examines the skills and abilities required for creative leadership, the extent to which you feel that you have progressed, your strengths, and the areas that require further attention.

As well as being offered opportunities to be part of Open Academy projects, you may also be offered placements on projects with some of our partners, including Wigmore Hall, Spitalfields Music, Glyndebourne Opera, the Royal Opera House, English Touring Opera and London Sinfonietta.

In the final term of the course, you will be supported to design, lead and evaluate your own project.

Department Classes
And Activities

Masterclasses and Performance Classes

Public masterclasses are a regular feature and a highlight of the calendar for our students. You will have the opportunity to work on specific repertoire with leading performers in the organ world. By contrast, Performance Classes are led by Academy professors offering you an opportunity to discuss and experiment with your interpretive ideas in an informal environment.

Improvisation

These classes held in groups with occasional individual coaching for the more advanced students. They are designed to introduce you to improvisation in both formal and free styles, and to enable you to develop an ability to express yourself through improvisation both liturgically and in concert

Performance Practice

An important aspect in the study of the organ and its wide repertoire, these classes provide an in-depth approach to national styles of organ performance are complemented by study trips to mainland Europe and overseas

Specialist Keyboard Skills for Organists

These classes are grouped based on experience and aural abilities and include preparation for RCO (Royal College of Organists) diplomas, score-reading and advanced aural training

Technique Class

This class helps you to overcome technical challenges in order to play as musically as possible and approach a variety of repertoire.

Organology

This series of lectures and site visits teaches you about the construction, design and mechanics of organs. We believe knowing how the organ is constructed and works is fundamental to knowing how to play it.

Choral Conducting: Organ and Church Music

Students are encouraged to attend teaching in the Choral Conducting department (as an elective), and to work with relevant Organ professors in other fundamental church musician skills. Opportunities to attend rehearsals at Christ Church Oxford and London cathedrals are arranged and encouraged.

Chamber Music

Performing with other musicians is a vital part of an organist’s development and is taken very seriously at the Academy. With the installation of the new organ in the Duke’s Hall, we can play repertoire requiring large instrumental forces.

Study Trips

Performance practice projects are supervised by specialists and frequently take the form of overseas visits where repertoire study is matched to a specific organ-building tradition. Recent trips have been to Hamburg’s St Catharinen and St Jacobi Churches, to Lübeck, Paris, Rouen, Toulouse, Southern Germany, Denmark, Italy, Spain and to the historic organs of the Siebenbürgen in Transylvania.

Harmonium

Unique to the Academy, we offer a series of intensive classes designed to introduce the harmonium to our students.

Organ and Church Music Principal Study option

This relatively new Principal Study option gives students an opportunity to balance solo performance with church music.

Open Days

We launched our first-ever Virtual Open Days in September 2020. Check out all our content here: ram.ac.uk/opendays