The Royal College of Music

The Royal College of Music (RCM) is one of the world’s great conservatories, training gifted musicians from all over the world for international careers as performers, conductors and composers.

The RCM was founded in 1882 by the then Prince of Wales, and has trained some of the most important figures in British and international music life. These figures include composers such as Holst, Vaughan Williams and Britten; conductors such as Leopold Stokowski, Sir Colin Davies and Sir Roger Norrington; singers such as Dame Joan Sutherland, Sir Thomas Allen and Alfie Boe.

With 750 students from more than 60 countries, studying at undergraduate, masters or doctorate level, the RCM is a vibrant community of some of the most talented and open-minded musicians of the 21st century. The professors are musicians with worldwide reputations, accustomed to working with talented students of each generation to unlock their full potential.

The RCM’s many performing groups – 5 orchestras, 2 jazz bands and the RCM international Opera School – are celebrated for the excellence of their performances. They are regularly invited to significant venues in both the UK and overseas for the world to see and hear their performances.

The RCM is situated directly opposite the Royal Albert Hall in South Kensington, the home of science and the arts, and 20 minutes from the Park Grand London Kensington. The RCMs facilities and location are the envy of the world and provides inspiration for students with its opera theatre, concert hall, studios, library and museum.

Governance and Organisation

The RCM is established under a Royal Charter that dates from 1883. This Charter was revised in 1994 and then again by the college more recently in 2009. Her Majesty the Queen allowed the amendments at a meeting of the Privy Council in 2009.

The Council is the governing body of the RCM and is supported by a number of committees, the main committee being the Finance and General Purposes Committee.

The Senior Academic Committee of the RCM is the Senate. The Senate is responsible for matters of academic policy and regulations, quality assurance and academic standards, the design of the curriculum and arrangements for assessment and for research policy.

Volunteering Opportunities at the RCM Museum

The museum houses objects from all areas of the RCM Special Collections including manuscripts, musical instruments, oil paintings and photographs and is closely linked with historical performances.

The RCM Museum has recently been awarded a grant from the Heritage Lotter6y Fund to redevelop its collections. The museum is currently closed to enable this re-development to happen. It is due to re-open to the public in 2019. During this time, the collections will be moved to an off-site storage space.

Over the next few years, the museum will be carrying out extensive conservation on over 500 musical instruments, digitalising all of the collection and making it available for viewing online. There will also be a number of outreach activities with schools and community groups, as well as curating temporary and pop up exhibitions.

The RCM are looking for volunteers to help with this re-development work and those interested in the museum and the collections are welcome to apply.


Since 1904, the RCM has published a regular magazine celebrating the achievements of its students, graduates ad staff.

The name of the magazine is UPBEAT and it is distributed worldwide and read by key figures across the music industry.

UPBEAT is published seasonally, coinciding with the RCM autumn, spring and summer terms. The students, graduates and staff of the RCM are encouraged to submit details of their latest news to the magazine editors. These editors then choose what stories they can publish in the upcoming issue of the magazine.

Supporting the RCM

The RCM works hard to raise significant funds to support the highest level of professional training for all its students each year.

The RCM attracts the world’s finest professional musicians to work with its orchestras and ensembles to lead masterclasses and workshops.

Much of this is enabled through the generosity of the individuals, companies and charitable trusts that support the RCM. To ensure the college can continue providing its students with the highest levels of training and performance opportunities, it provides a number of ways to get involved in supporting.

  • Become an RCM Friend

This is an ideal way to support the College. Being a Friend has a range of benefits such as advance booking for performances and concerts, seasonal events guides and UPBEAT delivered directly to you, regular Friend e-newsletter and invitations to specialFriends events including backstage opportunities to meet special guests.

There are four categories of membership with minimum donations starting at £40 per annum.

  • Become a Patron of the RCM Circles For Excellence

All donations from Patrons go to supporting the ongoing work of the RCM. There are three different circles one can become a patron of and each has special benefits to thank the individual for their donations.

Patron’s Circle – suggested donation £1,200 per annum

Director’s Circle – suggested donation £5,000 per annum

Chairman’s Circle – suggested donation £10,000 per annum.

  • Provide a Scholarship

All students who apply for a place at RCM are considered for a scholarship to assist them with tuition fees.

The College awards scholarships to those students who show the most promise. Currently, the RCM award 160 scholarships every year but their aim is to provide a scholarship for every student.

Providing a scholarship will bring the RCM that step closer to achieving their goal and you will be honoured by giving your scholarship a name of your choice and follow the students’ progress once they have received it to see how your donation has helped them.

  • Sponsorship

There is a wide selection of projects taking place at the RCM with specific sponsorship opportunities available. These opportunities are in Opera, Orchestral performance and Masterclasses.

  • Leave a Legacy

The RCM greatly appreciates supporters who leave an unrestricted legacy in their will as it enables them to support the areas of the college’s work with the greatest need.

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