Delve into a rigorous curriculum that offers a mastery of keyboard technique, opportunities to perform and collaborate, as well as the practical skills to succeed in today’s music industry.

Why study keyboard at RWCMD?

  • You’ll cultivate an in-depth knowledge and understanding of piano repertoire through one-to-one training with a principal study tutor and in regular performance workshops with other pianists. With small class sizes you’ll receive highly personalised support and attention from all our staff at the College.
  • We prioritise collaboration in all its forms, shaped by the belief that we learn best when we feel empowered to contribute, take risks, support and challenge each other.
  • You’ll also take part in performance workshops, skills classes (including sightreading and improvisation), innovative study projects, ensemble coaching, historical and contemporary performance, and a full range of classes in supporting musical studies, all led by international experts in different fields.
  • You’ll have regular masterclasses with some of the world’s most renowned pianists, performing here as part of the prestigious annual Steinway International Piano Series. Recent artists include Angela Hewitt and Pavel Kolesnikov, and our Artist in Association Llyr Williams gives regular recitals and masterclasses.
  • You’ll have opportunities to engage with professionals from diverse industry backgrounds, including pianists from Welsh National Opera (WNO) and the Royal Ballet, as well as practitioners of church music, jazz, music theatre and orchestral performance.
  • You’ll gain practical experience of all the essential skills involved in teaching and inspiring the next generation of pianists.
  • Play in a varied programme of recitals and collaborative performances, often in our Dora Stoutzker Hall, the first purpose-built chamber music recital hall in Wales and one of the best in the UK.
  • We’re the first Steinway-Exclusive Conservatoire in the world, and the first conservatoire in the UK to have two Steinway Spirio pianos, giving you a unique opportunity to discover everything this revolutionary technology has to offer.

Building a diverse range of skills through intensive training

Your training will help to broaden your musical outlook, while providing you with a solid foundation for future specialisms and a healthy professional portfolio.

As sight-reading skills are the most powerful currency in the professional world, you’ll get a substantial amount of coaching in this area. You’ll also take part in intensive harmonic and rhythmic training at the keyboard and develop your score-reading, transposition and improvisation skills.

Working with tutors from our drama department, you’ll also develop confidence in platform presentation and verbal communication.

You’ll schedule your own practice hours, and when it comes to conducting any research, you’ll find all the facilities, resources and support you need in our on-campus library.

World’s first Steinway-Exclusive Conservatoire

In 2020 the College became the world’s first ‘Steinway-Exclusive Conservatoire’ building on its All-Steinway status and taking delivery of a further 24 Steinways to create a first-class Steinway fleet of pianos. 

Rich and varied careers after graduation

We’ve achieved an outstanding graduate employment record, because our students develop the broad range of skills necessary for a successful portfolio career.

At RWCMD you’ll learn to embrace the values of self-motivation, commitment and initiative. Our focus on collaborative music-making fosters the interpersonal skills that are essential for any successful career in music.

Our piano students progress onto careers as performers, teachers, rehearsal pianists, conductors and technicians. They go out into the world as useful musicians, able to contribute to musical culture in a lasting, valuable way, and as genuine collaborators with a real sense of their place in their communities.

Led by a renowned recitalist, concerto soloist and accompanist

Simon Phillippo, head of keyboard studies, has performed and broadcast extensively throughout the world as a recitalist, concerto soloist and accompanist. During his 14 years with Welsh National Opera he conducted more than 150 opera performances across the UK and performed with orchestras and opera companies worldwide. 

Simon has taught at many universities across the UK, making his home at RWCMD in 2015. His keyboard programme at the College drives students to pursue excellence in piano in a stimulating training environment, while providing them with the skills needed to thrive in today’s music industry.

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