RNCM Pathfinder

RNCM Pathfinder aims to break down barriers, so that young people can progress and realise their musical potential.

The RNCM Pathfinder programme is designed to increase opportunities for children and young people (8-18) who are curious, full of potential and love nothing more than playing music, but who face financial, social and/or cultural barriers to their musical progression.

RNCM Pathfinders taking class in RNCM Theatre.

RNCM Pathfinder offers the opportunity to practise performance, to encounter music through composition and to experiment through improvisation by offering workshops and creative sessions in these three areas and a wide range of genres.

Alongside the core participatory activity and through building strong relationships with the young people and their families, we also offer bespoke pathways including personalised mentorship from RNCM students, tutors and professional musicians.

RNCM Pathfinder is a programme for young people of all backgrounds and we are committed to reflect the diverse communities of Manchester and the North. Our work is centred on inclusive pedagogy, which meets young people at their starting points and promotes diverse opinions and voices. By doing so, we hope to inspire and empower Pathfinders to find their own voice, build their confidence and develop independence through ownership of learning.

RNCM Pathfinder 2023/24

Nominations for our 2023/24 RNCM Pathfinder programme are now open. We’re happy to accept nominations from schools, music hubs and other educational organisations.

Learn more and make a nomination

What Our Pathfinders Say

This Pathfinder Improvisation Session inspired me to want to play longer on my instruments and discover more through improvisation. I felt the workshop brought out the fun elements of playing an instrument.
Christian, Guitar

Thank you so much for these past few days, I’ve really enjoyed them and also learnt a lot from them. I can’t wait until the next one :)
India, Flute

Thank you for doing the Pathfinder session on Audition and Exam preparation. It really boosted my confidence and my teacher said that I will be getting full marks on my GCSE performance. I owe it to Pathfinder, because I was certainly not confident enough to perform until I did the session. Once again, thank you for supporting me with my music.
Jake, Saxophone

I kind of struggled at first but playing side-by-side with the tutor during the Pathfinder Chamber Music weekend helped me to adjust and it elevated my playing as I tried to copy what the tutor was doing.
Gwyneth, Viola

What Our Partners Say

Over the years, the RNCM Pathfinder programme has provided some amazing opportunities for many worthy young musicians from Wigan. It’s been a fantastic example of partnership working which has seen music service work enhanced by the environment and expertise of the RNCM. Long may it continue.
Dave Little, Head of Music Service

The involvement of young musicians from In Harmony Liverpool in the RNCM Pathfinders program has had a huge impact, not just on the young musicians involved but on the program as a whole. Working with Pathfinder, we have seen exponential musical growth and increases in confidence and aspiration across the cohort. I am truly thankful for the opportunity this has provided and I look forward to continuing the partnership and helping more young people take part in the joyful pursuit of excellence!
John Connolly, Liverpool In Harmony Artistic Director

The Pathfinder programme is enabling young musicians to develop their instrumental and wider musical skills. With a variety of creative opportunities, it’s wonderful to see just how much they are enjoying taking part and progressing as musicians.
Daniel Chandler, Assistant Head of Bolton Music Service

What Our Tutors Say

It is a privilege to be able to work with these young musicians and a joy to see how in a very short space of time, they become an ensemble and produce musical outcomes which exceed the sum of the parts.
Ian Gray, Tutor in Improvisation

Working with the Pathfinder students to create new music is always incredibly rewarding, and I am constantly inspired by the quality of the compositions that they create. Whether writing for themselves, or professionals, or even in one case the different sounds of a kettle, Pathfinders students show us that with a little support, they can achieve a lot.
Joshua Brown, Tutor in Composition

Support RNCM Pathfinder

Help us to inspire young musicians!

Donate now or contact our Development Team at [email protected] or 0161 907 5391.

Thank You

We would like to thank the many generous supporters who make Pathfinder possible, enabling young people from across the North to realise their musical potential:

Logos for R&Co4 Generations, The Zachonis Charitable Trust, The Michael Bishop Foundation, Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Kirby Laing Foundation