Training the Next Generation of Music Educators – #KeepMusicPlaying

We love to share the broad range of work that goes on at the RNCM, especially our education programmes like the PGCE in Music.

This unique programme offers students the opportunity to gain Qualified Teacher Status, whilst specialising in instrumental teaching. Delivered in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University, this special collaboration between conservatoire and university allows us to nurture each student’s strong sense of musicianship and give them the practical skills to be confident, first-class educators, through in-depth training and placements at local secondary schools and Music Education Hubs.

Throughout the pandemic, we worked hard to ensure these placements could still go ahead, and we’re very grateful that our students were able to teach in schools and music services in person when they were open. Whilst schools were closed, our students moved online, gaining another unique perspective as educators, while continuing to support young musicians during those challenging times.

Alongside experience in the field, each student has the opportunity to work with a specialist tutor at the RNCM and, each year, takes part in workshops – many of which are delivered by our own alumni.

This academic year saw an unprecedented number of strong applications to the programme, with many applicants aiming to diversify their skills during the pandemic, and we were delighted to welcome our largest cohort in recent history.  The course sets our students up for a career in which they can confidently advocate for, and support, music making in many different environments and deliver music education of the highest standard.

As the academic year draws to a close, many of our students have already gained employment for next year and we wish them the very best of luck as they forge their careers as talented musicians, educators, and inspiration for the next generation!

Robert Gardiner
Assistant Head of Music Education


BBC Proms
RNCM Alumni at the Proms

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We’re proud to see so many RNCM alumni in this year’s BBC Proms line-up, including soprano and RNCM Fellow, Elizabeth Llewellyn, who opens the First Night on 30 July with a concert alongside the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Here is our recent Q&A with Elizabeth:

Two Associates of the RNCM feature in this year’s programme. Cellist Abel Selaocoe takes to the stage on 15 August with Africa Meets Europe, a boundary-crossing concert showcasing his unique brand of musical fusion, and critically acclaimed composer Daniel Kidane presents the world première of a new work at the Family Proms on 29 August.

Also featured are mezzo-soprano Christine Rice with the BBC Philharmonic on 16 August, and the many talented RNCM alumni in the incredible Manchester Collective ensemble, making their proms début on 17 August.

Composer Grace Evangeline Mason also presents a world première, performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra on 5 September.

Check the full schedule here.

An Innovative New Concert Series from Delia Stevens

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Percussionist and RNCM alumna Delia Stevens, previous winner of both the RNCM Concerto and Gold Medal Competitions, presents ConunDrums, a new concert series of “counter-concerts” curated in response to current events in our lives.

The first concert in the series, AlgoRhythms, will be livestreamed on Thursday 24 June at 7.30pm over on the Sage Gateshead YouTube channel and Facebook page and features music for percussion, video and electronics, including a commissioned world première by Sage Gateshead Artist in Residence Joe Snape.

AlgoRhythms explores themes including censorship, privacy, and the future of technology, and Delia will be joined by Professor Louise Amoore (Durham University) and Herb Kim (founder of Thinking Digital Festival) for a live discussion following each piece.

For more information, click here. Here is the trailer for the event:

In Focus: Errollyn Wallen
RNCM Students Perform at Wigmore Hall

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Our students take to the stage at Wigmore Hall tomorrow, Saturday 19 June, for a concert of works by internationally renowned Belize-born British composer Errollyn Wallen CBE.

Described by The Observer as ‘a renaissance woman of contemporary British music’, Errollyn writes works that effortlessly move between musical genres. Whether through pop-influenced songs or large-scale orchestral works, Wallen draws inspiration from a broad palette of genres and styles.

This weekend, our students perform some of Errollyn’s solos and duets, alongside pieces from The Errollyn Wallen Songbook. Following the concert, Errollyn joins journalist Jessica Duchen in conversation to talk about her ideas, experiences and thought processes first-hand.

There are still a limited number of tickets available. For more information, click here.

Here is a Q&A with Errollyn, followed by a performance of her Cello Concerto at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland:

Live Q&A with Alice Sara Ott

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Join pianist Alice Sara Ott, one of the world’s most in-demand young soloists, for our final Insights of the season on Tuesday 22 June at 5pm.

Alice regularly performs globally with the world’s top orchestras and conductors and for over 10 years she has been an exclusive recording artist for Deutsche Grammophon. In this Q&A, Alice will focus on her career as a recording artist and some of the collaborations she has been involved with.

Here is Alice’s mesmerising recent performance of Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major with the Orchestre National de Lille:

Green Man Rising
Paige Kennedy Reaches the Final 5!

Following our feature in the previous edition of Keep Music Playing, we’re thrilled that Paige Kennedy has reached the final shortlist for this year’s Green Man Rising. From thousands of applications, and even more votes, Paige has reached the top 5 and is in with a chance to perform at next year’s Green Man festival.

Each of the finalists will receive a professional video session, which will be judged by a panel of industry experts. The winner will be announced in a virtual final later this summer. Visit the Green Man Rising website here for more information on the shortlist and the judges.

Wishing Paige the very best of luck!

A huge thank you
Supporting engagement with young people at the RNCM

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A huge thank you to all our supporters who have helped to keep our music playing over recent months. Following our story in the last edition about our talented young Pathfinder students, we are thrilled to report that many of our readers generously donated to support this vital and inspiring programme, supporting the next generation of musicians. We’ll keep you updated with news about the programme and its inspiring participants.

To find out more about our engagement work with young people and how you can help today please click here.

Thank you!

18 June 2021