We firmly believe that attaining your potential as a musician is best achieved in a warm and collaborative environment.

Every student arrives with different strengths and develops at a different speed: our busy programme of first study activity is undertaken in an atmosphere of mutual support and encouragement, where there is always an acknowledgment that mistakes are part of the learning process.

We offer a wide range of experiences for our students, as soloists, in orchestras and as chamber musicians. We also devote considerable attention to pedagogy – an essential and extremely rewarding asset for future employment. We take the greatest care to nurture and develop the full range of every student's skills to create individuals with a wealth of knowledge, who are fully prepared for the demands of a profession in which a portfolio of skills is a prerequisite.

Performance classes

Weekly performance classes give students the platform to practise their performance skills in front of fellow department students. Classes are led by brass staff members and visiting international tutors.

We are very fortunate to have a phenomenal faculty collaborative pianist, Joanne Sealey, who plays for all classes and performance assessments.

Learn from top performers

Our instrumental teaching staff are not only performers of the highest calibre, but are also dedicated and inspirational tutors. Our students also benefit from the opportunity to work with our four incredible Visiting Artists.

We also regularly have guest masterclasses and coaching sessions from some of the world’s finest soloists and ensembles.

Chamber music

There are endless opportunities to perform in chamber music groups, competitions and concerts within the Conservatoire. Through our External Engagements department, many paid opportunities also arise.

Instruments for loan

The Conservatoire has several instruments available for loan, including Sackbuts, natural trumpets, BBb, C and F tubas, Wagner Tubas, Bass trumpet etc. 


Find out more about the audition process and requirements for the department.

[00:00:11] Speaker 1 I think people should study here because it's a really friendly environment where everyone's really supportive and it's just like you're part of one big group of friends who's all trying to get the best out of each other.

[00:00:20] Speaker 2 I love coming here for the vibe, the feeling of the brass faculty here. It's amazing. Everyone is all out for the same thing to create the best musician they can.

[00:00:30] Speaker 3 What has really struck me, apart from the incredible facilities, is the real sense of community amongst the students. An incredibly supportive atmosphere where individuals are allowed to really thrive. It's an amazing college and they've obviously really invested in the building, new facilities.

[00:00:49] Speaker 1  And in addition to our brilliant facilities in which we have loads of practice rooms, by the way, we're so fortunate to have the most incredible team of visiting tutors here who will nurture and guide you throughout your time at college. They work with the CBSO, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Grimethorpe Colour etc. etc. and we're also so lucky to have our own faculty piano player in Jo Sealy, who will accompany you through your time at RBC.

[00:01:12] Speaker 4 I think when we get a lot of opportunities at Birmingham. A lot of people don't necessarily get because Amos the Head of Brass is very well connected. He knows a lot of people so that we get amazing masterclasses, from people like Peter Steiner to, other visiting tutors that we've got with the CBSO, with orchestras abroad, we get fantastic visiting tutors.

[00:01:34] Speaker 5 So every student here has lessons with their main tutor and also specialist classes for their instruments. So we have ten home classes where we don't just talk about playing techniques. We also talk about things like performance anxiety, posture, all the kind of things that go round into making you a well-rounded player as well as a good technician.

[00:02:00] Speaker 6 I would recommend this Conservatoire to other people because it's such a friendly environment. It's such a safe environment to learn in and make mistakes and improve, and everybody helps each other along.

[00:02:12] Speaker 5 All the students here get fantastic opportunities to perform as well. The performance classes are on every week, and all the students are expected to be up on their feet practising their performance skills.

[00:02:23] Speaker 7 Especially considering I'm an international student from Germany, it was very easy for me to settle here. Even though it's a different language and different cultural background. But everyone was very welcoming. And yeah, I think it's one of the best decisions I made to study here.

[00:02:43] Speaker 1 We're very fortunate here at the number of opportunities we can provide you as a student. Number of playing opportunities. We have a huge number of orchestras, jazz ensembles, females, orchestral, big band, trombone, choir, trumpet club, French horn ensembles, chamber music. There's a massive amount going on and you will be busy here.

Our courses


The BMus (Hons) degree at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire will help you to realise your potential and prepare you for a career in the music profession.

Apply for undergraduate


Specialist support in principal study areas and career management, designed to provide you with the experience, skills, and knowledge needed for a musical career.

Apply for postgraduate

Orchestral brass

We offer extensive orchestral training through our brass repertoire classes, as well as mentoring schemes with four professional ensembles.

Orchestral brass

Brass band

Our Brass Band is probably the busiest ensemble in the Conservatoire! It rehearses under the expert baton of Ian Porthouse.

Brass band


We have a variety of tutors who provide specialist teaching and advice within the Brass department at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Tutor listing

Staff spotlight

Ian Porthouse is Director of Brass Band Studies and Cornet Tutor at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Ian is the musical director of the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland and in 2020 was the guest conductor of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.

He was awarded the Illes Medal in 2020 for his services to brass bands.

Music courses

We offer a wide range of music performance degree courses and programmes at Birmingham Conservatoire at undergraduate, postgraduate and short course level.

More music courses

Open Days

When possible, the best way to explore what's on offer is to come and see us in person, and we host a number of Open Days throughout the year. Come and be taught by our trailblazing academics and study in our innovative facilities.

Open Days


We give our students lots of opportunities to develop their performance skills in front of a public audience.

Come along to an RBC performance to see our current students in action, alongside some of the biggest names in classical and contemporary music.

See upcoming performances

Social Media

Follow @birmconsbrass on Instagram along with our other social media channels and discover more about life at BCU, including what the University and city will offer you if you study here.

Follow us