Thinking about studying Music or Performing Arts?

When choosing your music or performing arts degree, it’s important to choose the right institution for you and your future career. Both conservatoires and universities offer these options for training, but what’s the difference? What does a conservatoire offer that you might not find in another higher education institution?

What is a conservatoire?

A conservatoire is a specialist institution, which trains students in music and performing arts. Conservatoires often have a practical focus, with professional tuition and bespoke facilities. They are also industry-focused, which means the environment mirrors the experience of working within the arts.

There are eleven conservatoires in the UK, all offering a variety of either music or performing arts courses, sometimes both.


Studying at a conservatoire

There are several areas that make conservatoire study different to studying music or performing arts anywhere else!

A bespoke environment

Everything is specially tailored to performers, from the teaching and facilities, through to the student wellbeing team and the services offered by them. Check out what the Royal Welsh Conservatoire and Trinity Laban have to say about their offerings.

Expert one-to-one tuition

A defining element of conservatoire education is one-to-one tuition, with most tutors actively working within the creative industries. In addition to helping you develop technically; one-to-one tuition can be key in helping you find your place within the industry. These pages from the Royal College and Royal Academy tell you more about their expert tutors.

Conservatoire facilities

Studying at a conservatoire means that you will have access to state-of-the-art, industry-standard facilities. These might include recording studios, specialised practice rooms, Mac labs, dance studios, specialised music libraries, state-of-the-art performance spaces and instrument loans. Take a look at the facilities over at RCS and Royal Central.

Preparing for industry

Studying at a conservatoire should be an opportunity to kick off your career whilst you study. You will gain the practical knowledge and skills required to go on to build a sustainable career which is likely to span a range of areas within your chosen industry, as well as opportunities to make connections and build your network. Why not see how Leeds College of Music helps their students prepare for life in the industry.

Masterclasses with industry professionals

Often conservatoires invite guests from the industry to speak to current students and run specialist masterclasses to give further insights into the industry and their careers so far.  This allows students to get a glimpse into the journey of an industry professional. See what the Bristol Old Vic (part of CDD) and Guildhall have to say about masterclasses

Performance opportunities

A huge part of studying at a conservatoire is performing. This might be performing in the spaces on campus, having the opportunity to play at local venues or even at national events. Every conservatoire offers different opportunities to perform, some may be part of your course whilst others may be extra-curricular that you would need to apply and audition for! Let RNCM and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire tell you more about the types of performance opportunities they offer.

For more information about studying at a conservatoire, take a look at this article on the UCAS website or this handy guide from Conservatoires UK