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Whilst studying with us at Birmingham Conservatoire, either at BMus or MMus level, you can choose from our great range of Composition classes and tutorials:

Weekly Individual Composition Tutorial

Depending on your interests, you can either have all your lessons with one tutor or you can split your time between two or even three different tutors.

Compositional Studies

All composers in a year group meet regularly to learn about a range of compositional approaches and to discuss each other's work.

Compositional Set-Works

Each year we ask you to write a solo piece for a particular instrument. This will be accompanied by introductory and play-through sessions and a final recording with a professional instrumentalist.

We also ask you to write for a professional ensemble every year, which will culminate in a workshop session with them. Currently first years write for string quartet, second years for a mixed quintet, third years for amplified small ensemble and fourth years for Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.


Over three years you learn everything from the basics of orchestration to more advanced techniques.

Polyphonic Studies

These classes look at historic and contemporary ways of organising musical material.


Developing the skills required to lead both small ensembles and large groups of musicians.

Composers' Seminar

Each week we invite a professional composer, artist or curator to give a presentation on their work, followed by a discussion.


Over the year there are a large number of small group classes with visiting internationally renowned composers

Media Music

In this class we create a media work situation as realistic as possible: a TV professional gives you a range of projects to work on, covering animation, documentary and drama. A composer specialising in media music will support you in a weekly class, which covers interpreting briefs, delivering to deadlines and production.

Introduction to Contemporary Music and Art

Learn and explore alternative and experimental approaches to creating art.

Introduction to Music Technology

Learn from industry experts about vital software packages, such as ProTools and Logic, and the basic principles of sound processing.

Pedagogy: Teaching for Composers

An introduction to aspects of teaching other people composition. The classes are taken by a variety of experts from a wide range of disciplines.

Analysis for Composers (Postgraduate-only)

In this class we look at different approaches to contemporary music and find appropriate ways of analysing. The pieces that we discuss are chosen by the students.

Additional Projects

Every year there are also a vast number of additional projects that you can choose from, including writing for symphony orchestra, wind band or brass band, writing for a visiting ensemble, creating work for gallery spaces, collaborating with media students on films.

Composition Courses at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire