We are still accepting applications for the BMus (Hons) Music (for the vocal, instrumental & composition pathways) and BMus (Hons) Jazz courses. Places are subject to availability. Please get in touch with our Admissions Team before submitting an application.

Take advantage of a wide variety of opportunities to perform, collaborate and experiment – all in a supportive learning environment that builds your professional skills and imaginative approach, to prepare you for a career in the music industry. 

Why study strings at RWCMD?

  • From your very first term here you’ll perform and create, in solo, chamber or orchestral projects. You’ll explore different stylistic approaches, supported by specialised teachers.
  • Our unique strings placement schemes, partnering with Welsh National Opera (WNO) Orchestra and BBC National Orchestra of Wales, allows you to audition for placements, leading to mentoring with the principal of each section. These schemes have led to students getting on to the extra lists with both orchestras. WNO and BBCNOW leaders and many principal players also teach here.   
  • You’ll learn in small classes and take part in tailored, one-to-one coaching from industry professionals in a highly personalised approach that allows you to develop as a versatile and employable musician. Core strings staff include Lucy Gould, Alice Neary.
  • You’ll be taught by internationally renowned visiting artists, all with contemporary careers performing at the highest level, from all kinds of professional backgrounds including orchestral leaders, chamber musicians and soloists, covering genres from early music to jazz.
  • Recent visiting artists have included Nicola Benedetti, Rachel Podger, Timothy Ridout, Lawrence Power, Peter Wispelwey and Daniel Muller-Schott.
  • You will be part of a chamber music ensemble, each with its own mentor chosen from the many chamber musicians on our staff, mentoring and guiding you throughout the year. 
  • Our wide range of orchestral projects, including musical theatre, opera, acting showcases, as well as symphony orchestra and string ensembles, means that you’ll be involved in orchestral projects every term.

Historical performance

Our unique approach to historical performance, guided by the expertise of Dr Simon Jones, means that every student has a rigorous training in a variety of historical styles, collaborating with historical keyboard instruments like the harpsichords and fortepianos. Being historically aware and informed is a key part of a string players portfolio and much sought after by ensembles. Every student gets the chance to play the viol and then to take it up as a separate study, giving you an even greater knowledge of the historical perspective.

Teachers include Rachel Podger and Jonathan Manson and recent graduate ensembles include Arculo, formerly The Royal Welsh Consort of Viols.

Led by a musician and lecturer with decades of experience

Dr Simon Jones, head of the strings department, is an acclaimed violinist who has performed and recorded internationally as an orchestral leader and chamber musician. He’s also an industry professional who has taught instrumentally and as a university lecturer.

His combined professional experience, spanning more than 30 years, has allowed him to shape a programme that equips students with the skills to become inventive, adaptable and employable musicians.

  • Find out more about RWCMD
    • Our thriving, multicultural institution welcomes 800 students from more than 40 countries. You’ll train side-by-side with other instrumentalists, actors, singers, composers and performance designers and will work with them on projects throughout the year.  
    • Collaboration forms a huge part of what we do, allowing you to immerse yourself in new experiences with a broad range of disciplines and skills from across the college. Our unique student-led company REPCo, encourages students to work together to be bold, imaginative and entrepreneurial.
    • Our industry partnerships provide real-world, enhanced learning experiences with leading arts organisations and professional musicians, also offering you opportunities to build your future professional networks.
    • RWCMD is a vibrant arts centre staging 500 performances a year (many of which are free) which are a combination of world-leading artists and student work, often side by side. Regular major events at RWCMD include BBC Young Musician of the Year, and BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and standalone events such as the World Harp Congress in July 2022. 
    • The College is the first UK conservatoire to achieve a gold standard level of quality assurance across Music, Drama and Under 18s in the recent international MusiQuE, Music Quality Enhancement review. Reviewers were particularly impressed with the College's approach to the individual student experience, multidisciplinary collaboration, and overall ambition, citing RWCMD as a shining example of best practice across European conservatoires, and reflecting the College's exceptional people and unique community. 
    • As the world’s only Steinway-exclusive conservatoire the College now has a world-leading fleet of pianos, and every acoustic piano at the College is a Steinway.
    • We fundamentally believe in the power of music to transform and enrich society, developing skills in teaching, coaching and co-creating projects to create musicians of the future who will make an impact as performers, teachers and enablers within the broader community. Fundamental questions - ‘How can we shape the industry of the future’, ‘How can we use art to make a difference’ - help us to produce musicians who are truly relevant to a 21st Century world.
    • You’ll practice, study and perform in a beautiful, inspiring setting, bordering Bute Park, one of the largest green spaces in the city. We have a chamber music hall with extraordinary acoustics, a glass-lined foyer and performance space, the Richard Burton Theatre, as well as state-of-the-art studios and rehearsal spaces.
    • Our campus is right in the centre of Cardiff, the UK’s first Music City, and the thriving, compact capital of Wales, which is only two hours by train to central London. 
    • Cardiff was named as the most cost-effective city in the UK for students, according to the NatWest Student Living Index 2022.

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