Professional Development

At the Academy, we encourage the attitude that you enter the profession on the day that you begin your course here.

The concert hall is only one of many avenues through which a musician makes a career. Our Professional Development services endeavour to ensure that Academy graduates are able to make the most of professional work opportunities, wherever and whenever they present themselves.

We offer ‘drop-in’ guidance as well as a wide range of one-off events and seminars to help you in areas such as

  • CV preparation
  • PR and marketing
  • running ensembles
  • general entrepreneurship
  • career strategies

Our Professional Development service draws on excellence throughout the industry. It delivers current, relevant professional activity and is embedded at the heart of the Academy’s ethos. Our holistic and streamlined series of events, seminars, lectures and training opportunities provide Academy students with rich and varied professional experience throughout their studies.

You can work with mentors and on industry placements in our Music Business strand.

You can gain leadership experience and produce creative workshops in our Open Academy activities.

Your Professional Portfolio is a compilation of professional materials that prepare you for your professional musical career.

Masters graduate Katy Ovens writes:

‘Sitting in the welcome talk amongst fellow first year students in my introductory week at the Academy, Neil Heyde’s words rang crystal clear: ‘Learning how to be a great musician is as much learning how to communicate with your peers and the world at large as it is honing your skills. Artistic identity is formed through the links you make with others.’

A musician’s job description stretches far beyond instrumental competence to include self-promotion, networking, management, and much more, therefore our training should encompass this. For this reason, the role Professional Development plays in the Academy’s education is crucial. What could be better preparation than editing your CV with an employee of one of the UK’s leading musicians’ diary services or receiving tax advice from an accountant specialised in freelance performance careers? Needless to say, attending the Academy’s Professional Development day is invaluable for developing our ‘artistic identity’.

Drawing inspiration from the hints at the bottom of the Ten Rules for Students and Teachers, popularised by John Cage, I encourage all young musicians to be curious and critical of themselves and the professional world they will soon enter. Go to talks, lectures, and concerts, both inside the Academy and the music world and, perhaps even more importantly, outside of it. Talk to your colleagues and share ideas, for to be the ‘whole musician’ we need to nurture all aspects of ourselves – not just the self that exists in a practice room.’