Junior Academy: your experience

On Saturdays, the Royal Academy of Music transforms into its Junior Academy and occupies all areas to create one of the most unique musical learning atmospheres available to young musicians. Intense individual lessons, a variety of performance opportunities, specialist classes and excellent teaching staff all add to the musical vibrancy of the Junior Academy. As a student, you will be immersed in a busy schedule of enriching musical activity with like-minded musicians of your age, forming strong bonds and lasting friendships along the way.

Junior Academy offers Principal Study and Second Study lessons in:
Piano  |  Violin  |  Viola  |  Cello  |  Double Bass  |  Flute  |  Recorder  |  Oboe  |  Clarinet  |  Bassoon  |  Trumpet  |  Horn  |  Trombone  |  Tuba  |  Guitar  |  Harp  |  Voice*  |  Classical Accordion  |  Percussion  |  Organ  |  Composition

Second Study lessons are also available in saxophone and conducting, subject to demand.

*Singers are accepted to Junior Academy for school years 11 upwards. Only in exceptional circumstances would we consider a younger application.

Junior Academy Classes and Activities

Individual Lessons in Principal Study
Your Principal Study is your main instrument (or voice-type for singers and composition for composers). You will receive a one-hour lesson (minimum) with a Junior Academy teacher who is a specialist in your area of Principal Study. Staff accompanists are also available to accompany in lessons.

Second Study
Although not all students will wish to learn a second instrument at Junior Academy, many do so. Lessons can be of any length appropriate to your experience and development. Because it is not appropriate for all students, Second Study lessons are not included in the course fee and are subject to an extra charge.

Chamber Music
Every student plays in a chamber ensemble each Saturday. These are coached by one of our teachers or sometimes visiting musicians, all of whom are specialists in their field. We feel that this is of great importance and value in your musical development, emphasising the disciplines, challenges and sheer pleasure of chamber music playing. Ensembles include brass, woodwind and string groups, as well as mixed ensembles with piano and vocal ensembles.

Academic Classes
You will join a general musicianship class at the level appropriate to your experience and develop vital aural and theory skills, together with musicianship and an understanding of music style and form. There are also specialist classes for theory grades 5–8 that help prepare you for ABRSM and entrance exams.

Orchestra and Choir
All Junior Academy students play in one of our orchestras or sing in one of our choirs, and in some cases, both!

Two symphony orchestras rehearse and perform works from the standard orchestral repertoire, and offer concerto opportunities for outstanding instrumentalists. There is a strong emphasis on orchestral training, with sectional work led by tutors with a wide-range of professional experience. Younger students begin their Junior Academy Orchestral Training in the smaller classical orchestra.

There are two choirs — one for female voices and the other for mixed SATB. We encourage all students to sing; besides being worthwhile and enjoyable, it forms a valuable supplement to the aural training programme.

Masterclasses and Workshops
We invite distinguished performers to visit Junior Academy to work with students. These sessions are arranged both with specific instruments as their focus, and to encounter various music influences – such as jazz or contemporary techniques. Students might play solo repertoire, in chamber groups or large mixed ensembles.

Performance plays an essential part in any kind of musical study, which allows you to take everything you have learned and prepared and put it into action and communicate it to an audience. The more you perform, the more confidence you gain in your abilities. From weekly informal performance platforms to major concerts in the Academy and venues across London, we offer a variety of performance opportunities for solo, chamber, choir and orchestral players.

Other Opportunities

Keyboard Skills: Keyboard harmony, transposition and improvisation are taught in small groups with the needs of university and conservatoire degree courses in mind, using the Yahama Digital Piano Laboratory.

Composition: With the development of composition at GCSE, A/S and A level, pupils seek help and encouragement in this area. Here are weekly composition tutorials to which students bring composition work, and termly composition workshops and concerts at which pieces are discussed and performed.

Conducting: For older students, tuition in conducting techniques, score preparation and interpretation is available in classes taken by one of our orchestral conductors or in one-to-one lessons. There are opportunities for outstanding student conductors to work with various Junior Academy ensembles.

Alexander Technique: Regular group classes introduce students to an understanding of the body in relation to the stresses and tensions of musical life. Individual referrals are made in cases of particular need.

Prizes: There are annual competitions for each discipline and for chamber music, adjudicated by distinguished visiting musicians.