Popular Music

In 2015 we became the UK’s first conservatoire to offer a four-year BMus degree in Popular Music, and we haven’t looked back since.

Embracing innovation, diversity and change, we train students to become professional performers and independent original artists through a combination of intensive study and real-world experience. You’ll develop your musicianship and communication skills through Principal Study training, ensemble coaching and specialist classes, and regularly have the chance to perform for and receive invaluable guidance from international guest artists and industry experts during our Friday Masterclass Series.

We’ve developed strong partnerships with organisations including the BBC and Sony, and established an exceptional network of educators, practitioners and students from conservatoires in Valencia, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and California through our Interplay initiative, all of which provide enviable opportunities for artistic and career development. We also run our own independent label, Northern Quarter Records, which signs and promotes select bands on the course, and we’re home to the 40-strong RNCM Session Orchestra. This flagship ensemble for cross-school collaboration presents three concerts at the RNCM each year, and has also performed at the Royal Albert Hall, Liverpool Echo Arena, Bridgewater Hall, Media City UK and the Dulwich International Festival in Shanghai.

Friday Masterclasses Series

Our Popular Music students have benefited from the expertise and industry insight from a range of artists and producers, including Snarky Puppy, JP Cooper, Everything Everything, Callum Beattie, Becca Stevens, Mo Pleasure (Michael Jackson, Earth Wind and Fire), Cory Wong (Vulfpeck), Guy Chambers (Robbie Williams, Mark Ronson), Dominic Miller (Sting, Phil Collins), Richard Jupp (Elbow), Jamie Norton (Take That, Lily Allen), Mario Jose (Prince, John Legend) and Pete Waterman.

For more information on the audition process and requirements for our Popular Music programmes, click here.

Further Information

Popular Music Staff

Head of Popular Music
Andy Stott BA, MA, PGCE, SFHEA

Deputy Head of Popular Music
Stuart McCallum

International Artists in Popular Music
Snarky Puppy

Senior Lecturer
Katie Chatburn BMus, MMus, PGCE, LRAM

Senior Lecturer – MMus Popular Music Co-ordinator
Dr Mauricio Pauly MusB, MusM, PhD

Professional Engagements Co-ordinator, Northern Quarter Records Manager
Ben Cottrell BMus, GRNCM

Visiting Tutors in Vocals
Tommie Blaize (Incognito/Take That)
Kim Chandler (Bee Gees/Neil Diamond)
Anni Williams (Al Jarreau/CeeLo Green)

Tutors in Vocals
Nicki Allan BA, PGCE
Jenn Clempner BA, MA
Hannah McGuigan BMus

Tutor in Vocals, Musicianship Tutor
Audrey Lawrence-Mattis BMus

Visiting Tutors in Bass Guitar
Yolanda Charles (Paul Weller/Robbie Williams)
Stefan Redtenbacher (Amy Winehouse/Mica Paris)
Paul Turner (Jamiroquai/Sister Sledge)

Tutors in Bass Guitar
Ollie Collins BA
Simon Goulding
Richard Hammond BA, MA

Tutor in Bass Guitar, Tutor in Composition, Ensembles Project Supervisor
Jasper Wilkinson BA

Visiting Tutors in Drums
Elliott Henshaw (Jersey Boys/Wicked)
Ash Soan (Adele/James Morrison)

Tutors in Drums
Luke Flowers
Bryan Hargreaves BA

Drum Tutor, Musicianship Tutor
Dave Hassell ARAM

Visiting Tutors in Guitar
Rob Harris (Jamiroquai/Kylie Minogue)
Mike Walker (The Impossible Gentlemen)
Dominic Miller (Sting/Phil Collins)

Tutors in Guitar
Johnny Heyes BA
Stuart McCallum BA, MA

Visiting Tutors in Keyboard
Bill Laurance (Snarky Puppy)
Jason Rebello (Sting/Chaka Khan)
Luke Smith (George Michael/Eric Clapton)

Tutors in Keyboard
Andy Hickey BA, Cert Ed
Johnni Musgrave BA

Keyboard Tutor, Composition Tutor, Ensembles Project Supervisor
Matt Steele BA, MA

Visiting Tutor in Musical Direction
Steve Sidwell (BBC Concert Orchestra)

Tutor in Musical Direction
Jon Shone BA

Visiting Tutor in Composition
Patrice Rushen (Stevie Wonder/Quincy Jones)

Visiting Tutors in Music Industry
Fred Bolza (Vice President Strategy Sony BMG)
Dr Pete Waterman OBE (Producer)

Tutor/Supervisor – Ensembles Performance
Alex Dee BA, PGCE

Tutor in Musicianship
Dr Sabrina Schroeder BMus, MA, PhD

Principal Study Options

Bass Guitar
Drum Kit

Available Courses

Contact Us

Popular Music Administrator
E popularmusic@rncm.ac.uk 
T 0161 907 5471

Admissions and Course Enquiries
E admissions@rncm.ac.uk
T 0161 907 5465

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