Royal Academy of Music
Friday 03 August 2012
Royal Academy of Music
History: Founded in 1822, and moved to its present home in 1911. The first conservatoire to introduce a BMus course (four-year degree), with King's College London in 1991. Now a full college of the University of London.
Address: Marylebone Road, right next to Regent's Park in the centre of London.
Ambience: Brick and sandstone building containing grand concert hall. Also boasts an opera theatre, concert and rehearsal rooms, library, electronic studios, restaurant and bar, and a museum and research centre, which opened in 2001. New studios and practice rooms opened in 2009.
Vital statistics: One of the best places to learn how to play or compose classical music and opera, although it does jazz and media music too. It's small: around 700 students from around 50 different countries. Teaching staff are top professionals, including conductor Sir Colin Davis, violinist Maxim Vengerov and composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.
Added value: New recital hall, extra performance and rehearsal space and a public museum of music, with free entry. Here you can see some of the academy's stunning collection of musical instruments. Students are happy with their teaching, according to the National Student Survey.
Easy to get into? You need two A-levels, an A or B in music and a B or C in one other subject. Entrance audition is tough and counts for the most, with "evidence of professional performing potential in your principal study, sound general musicianship and a good aural response" being the main priority.
Glittering alumni: Elton John; conductors Sir Simon Rattle and Edward Gardner; composers Sir Richard Rodney Bennett and Michael Nyman; singers Dame Felicity Lott, Jean Rigby and Katherine Jenkins; the pianist Joanna MacGregor; the percussionist Evelyn Glennie; Christopher Warren-Green, violinist.
Transport links: Close to tube and bus.
Who's the boss? Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, who is a performer, writer and recording producer as well as principal of the Academy.
Teaching: Scored 88 per cent for student satisfaction in the latest National Student Survey.
Research: Ranked as Britain's top conservatoire, based on results from the national Research Assessment Exercise. The museum is becoming a major centre for performance-based research, with several public events every week.
Nightlife: Small, comfy bar. Much of the entertainment is classical music. Students' union lays on discos, balls and international nights. However, if you want to party hard, all the sights and sounds of London are on your doorstep.
Any accommodation? Yes. Students have access to a range of accommodation through the University of London's housing office.
Cheap to live there? No. Most students live out, but local rents are around £110 per week for a room in a shared flat.
Fees: Study options range in price from a £9,000 Bmus to a £14,000 Advanced Diploma, though students can top up undergraduate qualifications with a Phd for £5,500.
Bursaries: Means-tested bursaries are availlable to full fee-paying undergrads. A merit scholarship is also offered. The Academy plans to increase its scholarship provision considerably in 2012.
Prospectus: 020 7873 7393; www.ram.ac.uk
UCAS code: Not part of UCAS, apply direct.
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