Our courses are designed to give you everything you need for a successful career in music.

Classes & activities

Core Modules

Undergraduate students take weekly academic classes in addition to their principal study. The classes are designed to complement and add to every student’s creative development as performers.

Below are the module titles for 2020-2021. For detailed information about Academic Studies, download the BMus course handbook.

BMus Core Modules, Years 1 and 2

  • Analytical Skills 1

  • Analytical Skills 2

  • Performing In Context 1

  • Performing In Context 2

  • Aural Skills 1

  • Aural Skills 2

  • Score Reading

  • Artist Development

BMus Elective Modules; Year 3 and 4

  • Analysis of Post-Tonal Music

  • Approaching the Great Luthiers

  • Attentive Listening

  • Aural Skills, Further

  • Baroque Performance on Historical Instruments

  • Baroque Performance on Historical Instruments, Advanced

  • Compositional Techniques of the Germanic Traditions c.1780-c.1880

  • Conducting, Advanced

  • Conducting, Intermediate

  • Contemporary Music Workshop

  • Crossing Cultural Frontiers

  • Free Composition for Performers

  • Free Composition for Performers, Advanced

  • Fugue

  • Listening to Mozart, Thinking about Mozart, Playing Mozart

  • Maestro: a History of Conducting through Film, Recordings and Marked Scores

  • Messiaen in Context

  • Methods in the Analysis of Tonal Music, Advanced

  • Mozart’s Operas

  • Musical Aesthetics and Criticism

  • Open Academy

  • Open Academy. Advanced

  • Performing Baroque Music (with a focus on Handel)

  • Performing Experimental Music

  • Repertoire Studies

  • Research Project

  • Silent Film Improvisation

  • Song Accompaniment

  • Studio Performance

  • Worldwide Repertoires

Department Classes
And Activities

Solo Study

This aspect of our playing is prioritised in order for you to develop as far as possible as an individual artist during your study at the Academy. The following are the ways we provide support and encouragement at every stage:

  • allocating the right professor for you
  • performance experience
  • annual solo performance assessment
  • familiarity with a range of genres and styles
  • help, if needed with the use of a fine instrument or bow from our Instrument Collection
  • careful monitoring and guidance from the Head of Strings as you progress through the degree programmes
  • pastoral support and administrative assistance to make sure you remain involved and engaged

As well as regular 1:1 tuition, both undergraduate and postgraduate strings students participate in the following activities:


All string students play in a masterclass during their time at the Academy. These are performance and learning opportunities, for you to receive objective feedback on your solo playing and to observe the way an artist can guide a student in enhancing their performance. Public and private masterclasses given by distinguished artists take place throughout the year.

Performance Classes

Regular performance classes are taken by both invited guest string players and faculty members. They give students opportunities to experiment and explore communication skills in solo repertoire and to receive direct feedback about all aspects of their performance.

Chamber Music

Chamber music is a fundamental component of both undergraduate and postgraduate studies. It sits at the heart of the Strings Department. By playing chamber music you can discover how your musical personality functions, how you might combine it with that of others, how to share a concept of sound and how to communicate a shared vision to an audience.

ASSET is a special fast-track training programme for serious quartets. Ensembles from the second year of study upwards audition early in the academic year for the small number of coveted places, and the successful groups each have:

Orchestral Performance

All string players participate in orchestral activity without exception. Students audition twice annually for Academy orchestral chairs: in September for all except incoming undergraduates, and for everyone in January. The January auditions are screened in accordance with normal professional practice. We have several orchestras and ensembles which present multiple performances every year, giving everyone a chance to participate fully: First Year String Orchestra, Symphony Orchestras, Concert Orchestras, Manson Ensemble (new music), Opera orchestras, Musical Theatre orchestras and bands, Commercial Music Ensemble.

Audition Preparation and Excerpt Classes

Students in the 3rd and 4th years and postgraduate students are scheduled to participate in excerpts classes. These are small seminars and an opportunity to receive guidance on orchestral excerpt and audition material performance. Led by internationally known concertmasters and eminent orchestral principal players, these sessions help students to understand what standard and styles of performance professional audition panels are looking for, and form useful career introductions for your future.

Discovery events

Discovery Events are the perfect way to find out more about the Academy and whether it’s the right place for you.

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