PGCE in Music with Specialist Instrumental Teaching

The RNCM runs this unique Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course in collaboration with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). It is designed for graduates of universities and conservatoires who wish to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) while specialising in instrumental teaching. This includes wind, brass, strings, percussion, voice, piano/keyboard, guitar, bass guitar and drums. You will spend time at both the RNCM and MMU and complete two teaching placements at secondary schools and Music Services in the region.

The course is delivered jointly by the RNCM and MMU. Over the year, trainees spend time in both institutions. Tutors ensure that the trainees’ experience is a unified and joint one, integrating the various features of teaching music in different contexts. During the year, trainees complete two teaching placements at secondary schools and Music Services in the North West.

I have always wanted to be a music teacher, but having had little experience of teaching prior to my PGCE, I was unsure whether I wanted to go into classroom teaching, or whether I would prefer instrumental teaching. This course seemed perfect, as it allowed me to have the experience of teaching music in a range of different educational settings, allowing me to work out exactly the type of teacher I wanted to be.

Emily Blackford, PGCE in Music with Specialist Instrumental Teaching, 2016-17

Read more about Emily’s experience on the PGCE course on the Student Stories page.

At the RNCM

Trainees have the opportunity to further develop performance skills, and will be introduced to examples of integrated approaches to instrumental/vocal teaching, including the methodologies of Dalcroze Eurhythmics and Kodály. Instrumental pedagogy includes an introduction to related instruments within instrumental families where appropriate; teaching individual, group and whole class lessons; and creative musicianship.


MMU staff and subject mentors provide full training on how to teach music within Key Stages 3-4 (ages 11-16) with extension to post-16 A level work. You will study the National Curriculum in depth and explore issues such as how children acquire musical knowledge and understanding; classroom organisation; teaching mixed ability groups; equality of opportunity in schools and communication skills.

The MMU Institute of Education is a major provider of initial teacher education and continuing professional development for teachers at Undergraduate and Postgraduate level in the North West, and one of the largest teacher training establishments in the country. Much of its work is recognised as being at the forefront of developments in the sector. The PGCE training at the Institute of Education (including the existing programme delivered in collaboration with the RNCM) has received outstanding reports from its external examiners.

This one-year full-time course offers instrumentalists and vocalists a range of distinctive features. If you want to learn how to teach music in a secondary school context and how to teach your own instrument and related family instruments or voice in a variety of different settings through innovative methodologies, then this is the course for you. It is hard work but good fun and very rewarding!

Further information

Click here for details on how to apply.

Download the Selection Process and Audition Guidance Documents from the links on the left hand side.



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