RNCM Endangered Instruments Appeal

Safeguarding instruments in critical decline

Some instruments are at risk of disappearing forever. Without intervention, the music we all know and love will sound very different.

Endanged instruments: bassoon, viola, tuba, double bass, French horn, oboe, bass trombone.

Unfortunately, one of the threats currently facing the music sector is the critical decline in the number of musicians playing endangered instruments, including the viola, double bass, oboe, bassoon, French horn, bass trombone and tuba.

Ensembles cannot fill positions, and the few endangered instrumentalists left are not enough to fill the gap. How do you have a string quartet without a viola, or perform a symphony without oboes, bassoons and French horns? What is a jazz trio without a double bass? These instruments are integral to the music we all know and love. It is unthinkable to imagine a landscape without them.

Why is this happening?

Decades of underfunding music education means fewer children are making music and there is simply no capacity for schools to prioritise endangered instruments, which are generally less accessible and more expensive. This steady decline means less young musicians are progressing to conservatoire study. We believe this will be catastrophic for the music profession.

Support the RNCM Endangered Instruments Appeal and help us tackle this issue.

Donate Now

This is a problem facing the entire music sector. The RNCM is responding to the evolving needs of the industry by developing creative, targeted solutions to tackle this crisis at all levels:


First access and music education from the earliest stages

➔ Supporting under-18s to overcome barriers to studying these instruments and meet other like-minded young people.

➔ Hosting endangered instrument focus days to give young musicians a taste of our world-class tuition.


Tailored financial support for endangered instruments

➔ Offering financial support to encourage applicants and ensure students can continue their studies with us.

➔ Supplying and helping with the cost of instrument purchase and maintenance.


Equipping students to make a positive contribution to the industry

➔ Providing outstanding tuition from some of the world’s very best musicians.

➔ Opportunities for students to borrow and receive specialist training on related ‘doubling’ instruments.

Hear from some of our students why they love playing their endangered instruments:

Can you help us to address this urgent issue? A donation of any size this year will help safeguard instruments in critical decline and protect the future of music for everyone to enjoy.

Here are some of the ways that your support can help to solve this problem:

  • £50 Provides five free tickets for children to experience a live orchestral concert for the first time.
  • £100 Helps purchase an entry-level instrument, such as a pBone plastic trombone, for a young musician to take their first steps towards playing an endangered instrument.
  • £250 Pays for a guest tutor to facilitate a Focus Day, promoting study of an endangered instrument and bringing young talent into the RNCM.
  • £500 Funds a masterclass with an internationally renowned musician, providing our students with world-class tuition and targeted advice from an expert in their field.
  • £1,000 Supports towards the cost of instrument purchase and maintenance, enabling students to ‘double up’ on endangered instruments alongside their principal study.

You can also donate over the phone by calling 0161 907 5480. For larger donations, or if you are having any trouble with the online donation form, please do give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.