School of Keyboard Studies – Audition Requirements

School of Keyboard Studies Audition Requirements

Audition Criteria

  •     Posture
  •     Technique/Facility
  •     Tone
  •     Pedalling
  •     Rhythm
  •     Stylistic awareness
  •     Memory

Audition Process

Undergraduate piano (BMus, GRNCM/MusB – informally known as ‘Joint Course’)

You are required to prepare three or four pieces contrasting in both period and style.  You are encouraged to perform all your pieces from memory. However, one piece must be performed without the score.

Round 1 (morning): Lasts approximately 10 minutes and you will be asked to play two contrasting pieces from your programme chosen by the auditioning panel as well as performing a quick study – a short piece of music lasting up to 1 minute given in the warm up room to be performed in the audition. You will have up to 10 minutes to warm up.

Round 2 (afternoon): Lasts approximately 15 minutes and the repertoire to be performed will be selected by the panel. You will also be asked to demonstrate your sight reading abilities. There will be an interview focused on the repertoire that you have performed (preparation, challenges, technique and style) and also a chance to talk about your future aspirations. You will have up to 15 minutes to warm up.

Postgraduate piano (MPerf, MMus and Advanced PGDip)

You are required to present a 40 minute programme of music in a variety of styles. All pieces should be performed from memory unless they are written after 1945 where it is at the candidate’s discretion.

Round 1 (morning): Lasts approximately 10 minutes and you will be asked to play two contrasting pieces from your programme chosen by the auditioning panel as well as performing a quick study – a short piece of music lasting up to 1 minute given in the warm up room to be performed in the audition. You will have up to 10 minutes to warm up.

Round 2 (afternoon): Lasts approximately 15 minutes and the repertoire to be performed will be selected by the panel. You will also be asked to demonstrate your sight reading abilities. There will be an interview focused on the repertoire that you have performed (preparation, challenges, technique and style) and also a chance to talk about your future aspirations. You will have up to 15 minutes to warm up.

All applicants will be asked to undertake a quick study – a short piece of music lasting up to 1 minute given in the warm up room to be performed in the audition.

Postgraduate accompaniment (MPerf, MMus and Advanced PGDip)    

You are required to present, from your own choice, an etude or a solo piece as well as a movement from a duo sonata (strings or wind), and Lied or French/English Song. You are required to bring your own duo partner. You will also be required to undertake some sight reading and a quick study (given approximately half an hour prior to the audition). The accompaniment auditions will last between 25 and 30 minutes duration and you will have up to 30 minutes preparation/warm up time.

If you are interested in repetiteur (operatic repertoire) training, please consult the School of Vocal Studies and Opera Audition Requirements.

Junior Fellowships in Accompaniment

Each year the College offers a number of Junior Fellowships in Accompaniment. These fellowships entail accompanying students across all schools within the college in return for a stipend and principal study tuition. To be considered for one of these Fellowships you will normally be required to present at audition a group of songs (2 or 3), a movement of an instrumental sonata, a solo piece (etude or similar) and two pieces of sight-reading, one given in advance of the audition (quick study), the other during the audition itself. Prospective applicants should note that there is an expectation that the applicant will currently be completing a PG course or will already have completed one. A strong emphasis is placed on professional experience and sight-reading ability.

Undergraduate harpsichord (BMus and GRNCM/MusB (previously known as ‘Joint Course’))

You are required to present three pieces contrasting in both period and style. The audition will last between 15 and 20 minutes and you will have up to 20 minutes warm up time. There will be some sight reading and an interview focused on the repertoire that you have performed (preparation, challenges, technique and style) and also a chance to talk about your future aspirations.

You will be given a quick study – a short piece of music lasting up to 1 minute given in the warm up room to be performed in the audition.

Postgraduate harpsichord (MPerf, MMus and PGDip)

You should submit a 40 minute programme of music containing repertoire from the 16th, 17th, 18th and 20th centuries. Up to 15 minutes will be selected at audition which will last between 15 and 20 minutes and you will have up to 20 minutes warm up time. It is expected that you will have experience of continuo playing although this is not essential. There will be some sight reading and an interview focused on the repertoire that you have performed (preparation, challenges, technique and style) and also a chance to talk about your future aspirations.

Reply to audition invitation

Once you have received an audition/interview date and time, please confirm your attendance via the online RNCM Audition Reply Form.

Auditions by recording

International students who are unable to attend a live audition can send an audition by recording. Please submit this online via Acceptd.

For all instruments except accompaniment, you will need to record the entire programme that you would submit to the panel for selection at a live audition. For example, a postgraduate piano applicant should record 40 minute programme of music in a variety of styles. Accompanists need to record all the pieces that you intend to perform at a live audition. The recording should include a 5 minute spoken introduction by the applicant in English.

 



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