Open Academy: for everyone

Open Academy:  inspiring, challenging, innovative and transformative musical experiences for everyone.

The Academy is world-renowned as a centre for musical excellence. It is home to some of the greatest musical knowledge, talent, passion and commitment in the world. Open Academy enables participants from schools and a variety of community groups to become part of this unique energy by working creatively alongside our world class artists and students, making music at the highest level. 

Aspirations are raised, connections are made, preconceptions are challenged, and possibilities are opened up.

What we do

Open Academy is the acclaimed Learning and Participation programme of the Royal Academy of Music. Through a year-round series of creative projects in schools, hospitals, centres for homeless people, care homes and day centres, participants experience themselves as musicians, composers, collaborators and performers alongside some of the world’s most extraordinary young musicians and professional artists.

Working in partnership with Music Hubs, charities and other cultural partners, bespoke projects are designed to inspire, challenge and support learning and development, with a particular focus on connecting with people don’t normally access live music. Participants achieve things that they never thought they could be capable of, and develop confidence in expressing their own individual creative voice. 

Our projects

Open Academy works alongside Music Hubs in Camden, Haringey, the Tri-borough (Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, and Hammersmith and Fulham) and Tower Hamlets to support and enrich the music education received by children and young people living in these areas. We also work alongside cultural partners including Wigmore Hall, Spitalfields Music, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, English Touring Opera, London Sinfonietta and Glyndebourne Opera to deliver projects that are able to go beyond what any one organisation could achieve alone. 

A typical school project includes a visit to the Academy to experience us in action. There will also be a series of several workshops back at the school, under the leadership of some of the world’s most experienced and inspiring music leaders, together with a team of current Academy students. Projects often culminate with a performance for an invited audience. 

Facts and Figures
  • Every year, around 5000 people experienced Open Academy through performances in schools, visits to the Academy, one-off workshops and ongoing projects with Open Academy and our partners.  
  • Over 200 Academy students take part in Open Academy’s work in a typical academic year, either as part of one of the courses run by Open Academy or as volunteers.
  • Every year, Academy students work with dozens of different schools over the course of around 20 creative projects in school settings. Additionally, Academy students work in around another 20 non-school settings ranging from centres for homeless people, charities supporting people living with dementia, to projects at major arts venues.


’I think this sort of initiative is beneficial to everybody. The higher-education students get a welcome reality-check on the perception of their art and skills, while also getting a preview of the intricacies of teaching. The pupils get an insight on what higher studies involve and on the role of music in life, and boosts their confidence in their abilities to create something beautiful.  But maybe more importantly, such events have repercussions on surrounding communities beyond the visibility of the events themselves. While not requiring extensive amounts of resources, they propagate values and skills across a group of people and induce creative exchanges, giving participants and their relationships the chance to experience (or witness) possibly life-changing moments and a sense of belonging to their community, and maybe something even greater.’ Academy Student