Popular Music – Audition Requirements

This is your chance to shine, so it’s good to remember that during this time we’ll be looking for candidates who demonstrate a high level of technical proficiency, musicality, confidence and communication and stylistic understanding through their performance.

For 2023 entry, undergraduates and postgraduates are required to submit their Stage 1 recorded audition via Acceptd. If successful at Stage 1, you may be invited to share more of your personality and discuss your current work and future aspirations via an additional performance and/or interview. You can choose to attend Stage 2 in person at the RNCM, but online options are also available for anyone who would prefer not to travel.

BMus Popular Music applicants are also required to complete a certified online entrance exam as part of the process. Questions will cover theory and aural skills, recording and production.

Current RNCM students are not required to submit a Stage 1 audition video. Instead, they must submit their most recent Recital Mark Sheet via Acceptd. Current Postgraduate RNCM students can submit a recent recital video if they do not hold an RNCM Recital Mark Sheet.

Audition requirements are outlined below, but if you require further information, please email [email protected] or call 0161 907 5465/210.

Undergraduate

Stage 1 (Recorded)

You should perform ONE piece of your own choice (excluding graded examination pieces) to an MP3 backing track and ONE piece from the following list:

Bass Guitar: Animal Spirits – Vulfpeck
Drum Kit: Stand Up –  The PB Underground
Electric Guitar: Beat It –  Michael Jackson
Keyboards: Rosanna – Toto
Voice (female): Get Here – Jessie J and Jools Holland
Voice (male): Human – Rag’n’Bone Man

Please note:

  • We recommend that candidates download (rather than stream) backing tracks and tracks for set pieces.
  • With advance notice, we can provide backing tracks for drum and vocal set pieces. For other instruments please refer to the studio track.
  • Candidates can opt to accompany themselves or perform their own versions of pieces, but auditioning in this way won’t impact the assessment.

Your submission should also include a two-minute introduction (either as a separate video or as part of your main audition recording), outlining who you are, why you would like to study with us, and a little about the repertoire you’re playing.

Stage 2 (In Person or Online)

Successful Stage 1 applicants will be invited to undertake a live audition at the RNCM. Here you should perform the same two pieces you submitted as part of your initial recording, or a new piece that you think best demonstrates your skills and ability, lasting no longer than five minutes.

Please note: if you have applied for Joint Principal Study you are required to perform one piece on each instrument. As above, these can be new pieces or ones you performed in your Stage 1 recording, lasting no longer than five minutes each.

This Stage will also include an interview, where the panel would like to learn a little more about you and your future aspirations.

If travel isn’t possible, you can opt to complete Stage 2 online, via Zoom.

Postgraduate

Stage 1 (Recorded)

You should prepare THREE contrasting pieces/songs that demonstrate a range of technical and musical challenges appropriate to postgraduate-level study.

Please note:

  • We recommend that candidates download (rather than stream) backing tracks and tracks for set pieces.
  • Candidates can opt to accompany themselves or perform their own versions of pieces, but auditioning in this way won’t impact the assessment.

Your submission should also include a two-minute introduction (either as a separate video or as part of your main audition recording), outlining who you are, why you would like to study with us, and a little about the repertoire you’re playing.

Stage 2 (In Person or Online)

Successful Stage 1 applicants will be invited to undertake a live audition at the RNCM. Here you should perform the same two pieces you submitted as part of your initial recording, or a new piece that you think best demonstrates your skills and ability, appropriate to postgraduate study and lasting no longer than five minutes.

Please note: if you have applied for Joint Principal Study you are required to perform one piece on each instrument. As above, these can be new pieces or ones you performed in your Stage 1 recording, lasting no longer than five minutes each.

This Stage will also include an interview, where the panel would like to learn a little more about you and your future aspirations.

If travel isn’t possible, you can opt to complete Stage 2 online, via Zoom.