Experimental Performance

Is your creative practice hard to categorise? Do you create interdisciplinary work? If you want to study performance that’s out of the ordinary, with or without a focus on sound, then this might be the ideal course for you.

Designed for emerging arts practitioners, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire provides a unique opportunity to undertake independent artistic projects in a fully supportive environment.

Experimental Performance is offered as a pathway on our Master of Music (MMus) course.

Visit the MMus course page


Experimental Performance (MMus, PgDip, PgCert)

Designed for emerging arts practitioners. This MMus pathway provides you with a unique opportunity to undertake independent artistic projects in a fully supportive environment with practitioners from a variety of disciplines.

Visit the MMus course page

What is Experimental Performance?

Student James Mcilwrath and Tanna Chamberlain share an insight into their experience on the course and why they chose Experimental Performance as their pathway.

Student stories

Variety of disciplines

The course enables practitioners from a variety of disciplines (including, but not limited to, instrumental/vocal performance, composition, dance, choreography, theatre, visual and performance art and creative writing), and particularly those who sit between them, to come together with likeminded people.

It doesn’t ask you to measure yourself against the expectations of tradition but gives you agency. We emphasise idea-development and rigorous conceptual thought. By focusing on these non-discipline-specific aspects of performance, you will contribute to a collaborative, discursive and interdisciplinary working environment.

Experimental Performance MMus

Mentoring team

Your own artistic ideas are at the heart of your studies and will be developed, through research and dialogue, into practical projects.

You will be allocated a mentoring team comprising of a personal tutor who has experience in collaborative and conceptual approaches alongside additional specialist support according to your individual needs. Your mentoring team is there to help you realise your ideas into fully developed performances in the best possible way.

Diverse contemporary creative practice

Our Experimental Performance pathways will equip you with the skills you need to engage successfully with diverse contemporary creative practice. Optional modules are intended to enhance your wider professional development. These will be chosen, in discussion with your personal tutor, from a varied list shared with other postgraduate Principal Study disciplines.

Assessment of your principal study is through the submission of a portfolio at the end of every year (at the end of years 2 and 3 in the part-time option), followed by a viva voce.

Staff spotlight

Michael Wolters (born 1971 in Mönchengladbach, Germany) has maintained the position of an “other” in the world of contemporary music with works that queer traditional concert and performance situations. He has written music for traditional ensembles like Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and prefers to challenge conventional set-ups and rituals.

Any questions?

If you have any questions about Experimental Performance, please get in touch.

Email Professor Michael Wolters

Find us on Instagram

Get inspired. View images of the latest work created on the Experimental Performance pathway.

Follow @experfmasters

Staff and student work

Check out videos of performances and work created by students and staff on the Experimental Performance pathway.

Staff and student work

The Lab

RBC has created a space, the Lab, that is dedicated to experimental work. It’s a black box theatre space with theatre lighting and a surround sound system that offers maximum flexibility in terms of performance set ups.

The venue has fixed acoustics with a low reverberation time and duplicate input points for a mobile sound desk to be installed at either end of the room. This enables complete flexibility in the set-up and layout of the performance and audience areas.

The Lab