Our Keyboard department is a world class faculty where students thrive in a busy environment full of events, classes, concerts and opportunities.

We have a close relationship with nearby London (three of our piano tutors also have London conservatoire classes; many organ students already hold prestigious London posts) while capitalising on Birmingham’s unique opportunities and relative affordability.

Develop your classical style

The early undergraduate years have certain requirements to establish breadth and rigour. All second year piano students, for example, study and perform on our two Fortepianos. This is essential to an understanding of classical style which can be translated to the modern instrument.

Self-motivated approach

We foster a self-motivated approach. Pianists may choose to have more than one tutor, and all undergraduates are able to use ‘student-allocated tutor hours’ for related study, as well as other activities such as collaborative coaching, to further broaden the mix of their study.

Mutually supportive ethos

Our students are some of the finest competition-winning international talents, with impeccable work ethics. But they also enjoy a friendly and mutually supportive ethos that gives Birmingham arguably the best working atmosphere of any UK conservatoire.


Birmingham forms an important nexus in international pianism. Our series of visiting artists is second to none worldwide. Practise with pianos of the highest standard.



Led by internationally acclaimed organists and tutors, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire enjoys a reputation as a leading European centre for organ studies.



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

Our courses

BMus (Hons)

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, whether that is in performance, composition, or music technology.

BMus (Hons)

Master of Music (MMus)

This course is suitable for both recent graduates and suitably qualified mature students, with a range of support to ensure that you leave Royal Birmingham Conservatoire ready to pursue a musical career.


Advanced Postgraduate Diploma

Support your developing career as a professional performer with Royal Birmingham Conservatoire's post-Masters, Advanced Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Performance. Choose from one of seven specialism.


Our tutors

We have a variety of highly experienced tutors, both full time and visiting, who provide specialist teaching and advice within the Keyboard department.

Our tutors

Our facilities

Our audio and video digital infrastructure is designed to enhance and support live performance and allow students to experiment with new technologies.

Our facilities

Our alumni

Meet some of the musicians who have studied our Advanced Postgraduate Diploma (Professional Performance) in the past.

Our AdvPgDip alumni

Staff spotlight

Professor John Thwaites is head of Keyboard. He is best known for his collaborative work with strings and as a founder member of the Primrose Piano Quartet.

He has appeared in the major British and many International Festivals, the major London concert halls, and on British and other radio and television channels, including BBC Radio Three Lunchtime broadcasts and appearances for "In Tune".

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 our 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