PGCE in Music with Specialist Instrumental Teaching

This PGCE course is designed for graduates of universities and conservatoires who wish to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) whilst specialising in instrumental teaching. This includes teaching wind, brass, strings, percussion, voice, piano/keyboard, guitar, bass guitar and drums.

The RNCM runs this unique Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course in collaboration with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

Who the PGCE is suitable for

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.

We are looking for outstanding musicians from all disciplines – including popular music, jazz and folk – who show a real passion for music education in all its guises and who strive to develop outstanding musicianship in their teaching practice.

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.

How the PGCE is delivered

The PGCE is delivered at both the RNCM and MMU, and during the year, trainees complete two teaching placements at secondary schools and Music Services in the North West.

At the RNCM: develop your teaching and performance skills

You will have the opportunity to develop your teaching and performance skills via integrated approaches to instrumental and vocal teaching. This includes focusing on embodied methodologies such as Dalcroze and Kodály. Instrumental pedagogy includes an introduction to related instruments within instrumental families while developing strategies for teaching individual, small group and whole class lessons. There is also a focus on developing your creative musicianship through classes on improvisation, aural and vocal approaches, ensemble leading/conducting, world music and educational research.

Experience in both classroom and music service settings equips graduates with all of the necessary skills to support the varied portfolio careers that young professional musicians and teachers undertake. Students will undertake teaching from Key Stage 1 through to Key Stage 5 (ages 7 to 18) in educational settings including primary, secondary, sixth form and special education needs.

These experiences are enabled through the outstanding professional collaboration that the RNCM has with its various Music Education Hub partners throughout the North West whose excellent teaching and mentorship provide the backbone of this course.

At MMU: world-class teacher training

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 Faculty 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 Faculty of Education – including the existing programme delivered in collaboration with the RNCM – has received outstanding reports from its external examiners.

Access to facilities at two leading institutions

As a student of both the RNCM and MMU, you will also have access to the world class facilities and teaching of both institutions. This includes the opportunity to observe and participate in performance workshops, academic classes and research seminars at the RNCM. In addition to your programme, you will have the opportunity to purchase lessons with world leading musicians and educators.


Further information

Applications are accepted throughout the year.

Click here for details on how to apply.

View the Selection Process and Audition Guidance Documents from the downloads section on this page.



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