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.
Train under the guidance of distinguished professional musicians from the UK’s leading orchestras – all in a supportive environment that fosters your creativity, innovation and collaboration to help you become the best musician you can be.
Why study woodwind at RWCMD?
- You’ll get a broad range of experience as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player through one-on-one instrumental lessons, and tuition in small groups, with plenty of opportunities for performance.
- You can study more than one woodwind instrument: if you want to broaden your expertise we offer a multi-instrument pathway.
- Collaboration and innovation – We’re training musicians to be creative, resourceful and adaptable.
- Our focus is on employability: In your tailored performance classes, you’ll perform to your peers in a caring and welcoming environment – no matter what your current stage of musical development is. For multi-instrumentalists, doubling class and ensemble provides the opportunity to play on any of your instruments alongside your peers.
- You’ll also have regular departmental performance classes with professional accompanists led by the head of woodwind performance, renowned clarinettist Robert Plane. These classes offer regular opportunities to play for your fellow students and get constructive feedback from your specialist tutor and classmates.
- We have a close partnership with Welsh National Opera Orchestra and BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and many of the professional musicians who teach here are drawn from the woodwind section of these two national orchestras. Other staff also include past or present members of major orchestras from across the UK.
- Performance is a huge part of your time here: you can get involved with our many and varied College orchestras, which range from a full symphony orchestra to chamber, light music, opera, contemporary, baroque and wind orchestras. There’s also a saxophone choir and two large woodwind chamber ensembles, which play regularly in venues across Wales and England.
- Some of the world’s finest woodwind soloists and teachers give masterclasses and recitals as part of our concert season in our flagship concert venue, the Dora Stoutzker Hall. Recent visitors include Orchestre National de France clarinettist Carlos Ferreira, oboists Ruth Bolister and the baroque specialist Paul Goodwin, Danish bassoonist Nikolaj Vestmar, superstar Welsh flautist and principal of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Emily Beynon, as well as saxophonist Huw Wiggin and all three of his colleagues from the Ferio Saxophone Quartet.
- Collaboration forms a huge part of what we do. Students develop their imagination and unique skill sets, as well as their employability, through staff and student-led collaboration across genres and departments – jazz, folk, composition, musical theatre, opera, design and drama.
Multi-instrument pathway: expertise in more than one woodwind instrument
For students who want to broaden their expertise we offer a multi-instrument pathway that encompasses everything from musical theatre to classical to pop.
Under the dynamic leadership of multi-instrument specialists Neil Crossley and Sally MacTaggart, you’ll embrace all styles of music and develop a breadth of knowledge that will give you the confidence to play anything placed on the stand in front of you. You’ll cultivate the skills and knowledge needed to be a versatile and employable multi-instrumentalist in today’s music industry.
On the multi-instrumentalist pathway, you can also work with any of our experts from the woodwind department, and many choose to take lessons with tutors from our thriving jazz department.
- Our orchestral woodwind students receive orchestral training and repertoire classes.
- We have 'State of the art facilities for double reed making. Our oboe and bassoon students can use our state-of-the-art reed making room, a workshop space stocked with all the latest tools and equipment. We offer free lessons in oboe reed making classes and bassoon reed making.
Led by an acclaimed performer with 20 years’ orchestra experience
Robert Plane, head of woodwind performance, is an award-winning musician who was principal clarinet of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales for 20 years.
His hugely varied career has encompassed everything from performing in symphony concerts in the UK, US, South America, China and Europe to performing as a concerto soloist at the BBC Proms, and being solo clarinettist on the soundtrack to Disney's film Maleficent and playing compositions by Steve Reich with Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead.
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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