School of Keyboard Studies

The School of Keyboard Studies offers a wide variety of performance opportunities.

Playing in internal and external recitals, performance classes, competitions and our prestigious annual Keyboard Festival will inspire you and give you invaluable experience.

Our international team of talented and committed tutors will challenge and encourage you to ensure that you reach your full potential, giving you knowledge and skills necessary to become a professional musician in today’s world.

Principal Study available in:

Accompaniment (postgraduate)

Programmes available in:

Postgraduate Diploma: Advanced Studies
Postgraduate Diploma: International Artist (‘International Artist Diploma’)
PGCE in Music with Specialist Instrumental Teaching

How You Will Learn

Throughout your degree you will receive:

  • Weekly one-to-one tuition
  • A weekly performance class
  • Internal recitals and competitions

You will have many opportunities to perform within the College in public festivals, concerto auditions, chamber music, recitals and numerous competitions. Extensive external professional engagement opportunities are also on offer throughout your degree throughout the region.


The RNCM has the largest fleet of pianos in the UK. The standard and number of instruments available to you is exceptional; each piano tutorial space has two Steinways and all other rooms are equipped with Yamahas.

As well as studying with our own highly-experienced tutors, you may also take inspiration from our masterclasses and talks from world-renowned visiting artists, including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Jean Efflam Bavouzet, Alfred Brendel, Nelson Goerner, Richard Goode, Stephen Hough, Lang Lang, Pascal Rogé and András Schiff.

Each year, there are opportunities for 2-3 students to perform at the Wigmore Hall.


Our alumni enjoy successful international careers as concert pianists, chamber musicians, recitalists, accompanists and educators, including:

Mark Anderson: Leading soloist, chamber musician and Assistant Professor in Piano at the University of British Columbia
Vovka Ashkenazy: Internationally-acclaimed soloist
Peter Donohoe CBE: Internationally-renowned soloist and chamber musician
Ian Fountain: The Royal Philharmonic Society Instrumentalist of the Year and Gramophone Award recipient 2013
Stephen Hough CBE: World-leading concert pianist, writer and composer
Jin Ju: International prize winner, fast becoming one of the most new and exciting pianists of her generation
Eduard Kunz: Leading concert pianist
Martin Roscoe: Internationally-leading UK pianist
Tom Scott and Jonathan Scott: Pianists and composers; perform as Scott Brothers Duo

Examples of recent alumni who are gaining notable success include Daniel Browell, Julian Clef, Alexandra Dariescu, Dominic Degavino, Maya Irgalina, Elena Nemtsova, Alexander Panfilov, Ben Powell, and Emmanuel Vass.


Principal Study harpsichordists have access to a wide variety of instruments on which to play, and receive 40 hours per year of harpsichord tuition. There is a comprehensive programme in place to ensure they develop fluent continuo playing techniques, and an extensive range of performance opportunities with both modern- and period-instrument chamber groups, as well as in opera and orchestral concerts.

Recent School Highlights

  • Susanna Braun, a 2nd Year Undergraduate student of Helen Krizos, won First Prize in the International Piano Competition for Young Musicians in the Netherlands.
  • Jeremy Young, the RNCM’s Head of Chamber Music, has released a CD of chamber music by William Sterndale Bennett on the Naxos label. Watch a video about the CD here.
  • Brian Low, a 3rd Year Undergraduate student of Helen Krizos, has been awarded runner-up[ in the Pendle You’d Musician Competition 2018.  As a result of his prize, Brian will perform alongside Jean-Efflam Bavouzet and the Manchester Camerata in May 2019.  As a prizewinner at the Future Stars International Piano Competition earlier in 2018, Brian also recently represented Malaysia in the XXIV International Chopin Festival in Busko-Zdrój.
  • Ashley Wass, Deputy Head of Keyboard Studies, has released a recording of a specially written track by Jools Holland and arranged by Carl Davis in support of The Lenny Trusler Children’s Foundation.  The single reached No. 1 in the iTunes Classical Charts.
  • Maksim Kinasov, an MMus student of Ashley Wass, won 2nd Prize in the Sheepdrove Piano Competition at the Newbury Spring Festival.

Keyboard Studies Staff

Head of School
Graham Scott GMusRNCM, PPRNCM

Deputy Head of School
Ashley Wass BMus, PGDip, ARAM

International Chairs in Piano Studies
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet
Stephen Hough CBE
Kathryn Stott

International Visiting Tutors in Piano
Phillipe Cassard

International Tutor in Fortepiano Studies
Stefano Fiuzzi

International Tutor in Harpsichord
Terence Charlston

International Tutor in Song Duos
Julius Drake FRAM

Principal Study Piano Tutors
Benjamin Frith BA, ARCM
Paul Janes MusB, GRNCM, PPRNCM
Helen Krizos LMusA
Peter Lawson GRSM, ARMCM
BingBing Li
Sally Ann MacLeod PPRNCM
Murray McLachlan MA, LRAM 
Richard Ormrod MA Cantab
Dina Parakhina PGDip, MDip (Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory)
Dr Stephen Savage PhD
Graham Scott GMusRNCM, PPRNCM
Colin Stone MA (Oxon), Hon ARAM
Ashley Wass
Frank Wibaut ARCM, Hon RAM
Jeremy Young LRAM, ARAM

Tutor in Jazz Piano
Dan Whieldon

Tutor in Contemporary Piano
Peter Lawson GRSM, ARMCM

Tutors in Accompaniment
Paul Janes MusB, GRNCM, PPRNCM
Dr David Jones BMus, MusM(Perf), PhD, PGDipRNCM

Tutor in Pedagogy
Helen Krizos LMusA

Tutor in Subsidiary Piano
Sam Brook
Benjamin Powell BMus, MMus, PRNCM, MPhil

Staff Pianists
Roderick Barrand MusB, GRNCM, ARNCM
Gemma Beeson MusB (Hons),GRNCM,PGDip,MMus
Leanne Cody MusB, GRNCM, MMus
Harvey Davies GRNCM
Jonathan Fisher BMus, MMus
Jonathan Gooing BMus (Hons), MMus, LRSM
Dr David Jones BMus, MusM (Perf), PhD, PGDipRNCM
Benjamin Powell BMus, MMus, PPRNCM, MPhil
Stephen Reynolds GRSM, ARMCM
Lauryna Sableviciute MMus
Jonathan Scott BMus, PPRNCM, ARCM, FTCL
Ruth Webb BMus, PPRNCM, PGDip

Head of Accompaniment
Dr David Jones BMus, MusM (Perf), PhD, PGDipRNCM

What our Students Say

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I am really enjoying my studies. My schedule is busy each week with lectures, lessons and teaching. I recently had a lesson with Stephen Hough, which was very inspiring. My favourite thing about the course is the wide variety of electives you can choose – there’s something for everybody.

On the performance side of things I’m very busy too – I have two concertos and recitals coming up. Within the College, there’s opportunities for all: anybody can apply for the Spotlight Recitals and Lunchtime Concerts – you can put your name down for anything you want. There’s so many competitions that pianists can take part in, including the concerto competition, the Beethoven competition, the Mark Ray prize, and a duet prize.
Iyad Sughayer, BMus (Hons), Piano 2016

Hear from more School of Keyboard Studies students and alumni on our Student Stories page.

Further Information

Click here to read more about the audition process and audition requirements
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