As well as providing valuable performing experience, our links with professional organisations all demand serious engagement from our students, involving a full application process and an audition in addition to the all-important contact with professional performers.
The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO)
Under the leadership of Sir Simon Rattle, Sakari Oramo, Andris Nelsons, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and now Kazuki Yamada the CBSO has maintained a growing relationship with Royal Birmingham Conservatoire; including:
- Conductor and ensemble workshops
- Unique performance opportunities
- The CBSO Training Scheme.
The CBSO Training Scheme provides the opportunity for selected students from the Strings, Woodwind, Brass and Percussion departments to gain first-hand professional experience by observing and playing in CBSO rehearsals.
Students on the Scheme also have the opportunity to perform in CBSO masterclasses and receive orchestral audition training and mentoring from orchestra principals. Auditions for the scheme reflect professional orchestral audition procedures.
The CBSO provide free tickets to Family and Notelets concerts to enable students on the BMus 4/PG Music, Community and Wellbeing module to observe effective practice as part of their learning process. CBSO have also supported student placements, and our MMus Orchestral Performance course runs in conjunction with the orchestra.
CBSO Shireland Academy
RBC has a research partnership with the new CBSO Shireland Academy, looking at teaching and learning for young people in the West Midlands.
Birmingham Royal Ballet
Offering the opportunity to work alongside the members of the Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB) orchestra, Conservatoire students audition for places on this scheme.
Visits to orchestral rehearsals in London and to production rehearsals at Birmingham’s Hippodrome theatre are supplemented by professional and – importantly – personal mentoring by orchestra members.
Welsh National Opera
Playing alongside members of the Welsh National Opera (WNO) orchestra as part of complete string, or woodwind/brass/percussion sections, and directed by WNO’s conductors and leaders, this scheme gives students valuable insight into the special flexibility that is required in opera repertoire.
Student trips to the rehearsal process in Cardiff, as well as to performances in Milton Keynes and Birmingham complement visits by orchestra members to the Conservatoire.
Places on the scheme are decided through an audition process that replicates professional conditions.
Royal Shakespeare Company
In collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), we are pleased to be pioneering a theatrical side-by-side scheme. Students will be given the opportunity of shadowing a complete production process, from first rehearsals through to first night.
As the nature of the music differs widely from production to production, places are offered to appropriate suitable candidates. In the event that there is more than one suitable student, a professional audition process will again be employed to reach a decision.
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
Since 2018 BCMG and RBChave been offering the unique training programme, NEXT for postgraduate music students and recently graduated professional musicians looking for a career as contemporary music performers. NEXT participants learn to perform some of the most inspiring and challenging works, studying with BCMG players and world-famous soloists. The scheme includes side by side concerts with BCMG, and workshops with leading composers on the interpretation of their music.
BCMG have also hosted a number of RBC students on placements in recent years, providing support for their Music Maze programmes. BCMG also offer a learning trainee position to which a number of recent RBC graduates have been recruited to in the last few years.
Hailed as “one of Britain’s very best choirs” (New York Times), Ex Cathedra leads the choral sector in the fields of performance, learning and wellbeing. It’s partnership with RBC includes the unique Student Scholars scheme, offering c.4 young singers each year training and performance opportunities alongside Ex Cathedra’s established professional musicians.
The organisation responsible for Symphony Hall and Town Hall provides performance spaces for our students and is a member of the Birmingham Music Education Partnership.
Birmingham Opera Company
RBC regularly provides Chorus Mentors for BOC productions. Further collaborations in recent years have included masterclasses, workshops and training for repetiteurs.
Elmhurst Ballet School
In collaboration with Elmhurst Ballet School, we offer a placement scheme for pianists to explore the work of a ballet pianist. Open to all RBC piano students, the scheme allows students to progress from ballet class observation, through choosing suitable music to support various dance steps and to accompanying class themselves.
Over ten visits our students receive individual mentoring and support from Elmhurst's professional ballet pianists as they learn and hone their skills to collaborate with the dancers and work with the ballet teacher. A significant proportion of our students who have completed the scheme have gone on to work professionally as pianists for dance.
Services for Education (Birmingham Music Service)
SFE provide short teaching placements and mentoring to students on BMus 4 and PG pedagogy modules. SFE are also involved in other areas of course delivery and provide opportunities for students to gain valuable experience in a variety of music education workplaces, including those concerned with music and disability.
Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra
BPO offer opportunities for orchestral conductors to gain podium experience. They also offer a range of options for fulfilling the requirements for a professional placement including orchestral management, marketing and publicity, and outreach.
Orchestra of the Swan
OOTS provide space and time for students on the BMus 4/PG Music, Community and Wellbeing module to learn valuable skills by shadowing practitioners and participating in/leading workshops. The Swan also offers opportunities for students to participate in Dementia Cafes and schools workshops or to gain orchestral management or arts admin experience.
RBC and Flatpack Film Festival have been successfully running regular projects together where our composers write music for silent films and provide live music at events as part of the internationally renowned festival.
Our composition and experimental performance students create responses to exhibitions/spaces at Eastside Projects, which are presented at Digbeth First Fridays.
Provides a series of professional development courses which are available to students to receive specialist training in music facilitation practice. Students have completed accredited CPD with Quench.
Mac Makes Music
Mac Makes Music, based at the Midlands Arts Centre, offers a number of training programmes around social and musical inclusion practice that RBC students have benefitted from enormously over the years.
Awards for Young Musicians
AYM support the delivery of training courses for all Y1 UG students (BMus and BMus Jazz) on identifying and developing musical potential. This is vital training to help students be prepared to support the next generation of musicians.
Birmingham Children's Hospital
Provides space and time for students on the BMus 4/PG Music, Community and Wellbeing module to learn valuable skills by practising delivering interactive performances on wards to benefit the children, their families and hospital staff.
Music Mark is the national membership organisation for Music Education Hubs and is an Arts Council England IPSO. Music Mark staff have provided invited talks as part of module delivery.
Metchley Manor Care Home
Metchley Manor Care Home provides space and time for students on the BMus 4/PG Music, Community and Wellbeing module to learn valuable skills by practising delivering interactive performances. In turn, the musical experience is of huge benefit to residents, their families and care staff.
Holland House Infant School and Nursery
Holland House offers space and time for students on the BMus 4/PG Music, Community and Wellbeing module to learn valuable skills by practising delivering educational performances and workshops to children in Early Years and KS1 classes. Students receive valuable feedback from staff that helps them to progress their learning.
Derby Royal Hospital
Provides opportunities for students to practise interactive performances and wandering minstrels work on wards and in communal areas. The musical experiences benefit patients, families and staff.
Provides opportunities for students to engage with the ‘Lower Fourth Scheme’ (whole class ensemble and small group teaching).
In Harmony (Telford and Stoke)
Hosts teaching placements that enable postgraduate students on the Reflective Practitioner module to further develop their pedagogical skills in creative and flexible ways.
Wolverhampton Music Service
Wolverhampton Music Service have acted as a placement host for RBC students and a number of our recent graduates have gone on to gain employment with them.
Health in Harmony
RBC students are able to benefit from specialist training and performance opportunities to work in healthcare settings and hospital waiting areas for the positive benefit of everyone.
Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is also a member of the following organisations: