Centre for Performance Science



Study Opportunities


Performance Simulator

A new training facility for musicians

RCM Centre for Performance Science

The Royal College of Music, Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana (Lugano) and London-based creative design consultancy Studiohead have developed a new performance simulator, complete with realistic back-stage and on-stage areas, as well as an interactive virtual audience and audition panel. The stage was designed and built by Skyline Whitespace, one of the leading providers of custom modular stands in Europe, who are devoted to designing powerful experiences.

Musicians typically rehearse far away from their audiences and in practice rooms that differ significantly from the concert venues in which they aspire to perform. Due to high costs and the inaccessibility of such venues, much current international music training lacks repeated exposure to realistic performance situations, with students learning all too late (or not at all) how to manage the stresses of performing and the demands of their audiences.

The performance simulator operates in two modes: (i) concert and (ii) audition simulation. It is a portable facility that allows musicians to develop and refine valuable professional skills, including enhancement of communication on stage and effective management of performance anxiety.

Introductory video

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Further information

Project team

Lisa Aufegger, RCM 
Hubert Eiholzer, Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana
Mats Küssner, RCM
Aaron Williamon, RCM *

* Contact aaron.williamon@rcm.ac.uk

For general inquiries please contact simulator@rcm.ac.uk

Project outputs


The BBC Radio 3 programme The Scalpel and the Bow explored how interactive, simulated performance environments are now being used to train musicians and surgeons to perform under pressure. Visit the page for recorded interviews, pictures, and information from the project. 


Williamon A, Aufegger L, & Eiholzer H (2014), Simulating and stimulating performance: Introducing distributed simulation to enhance musical learning and performance, Frontiers in Psychology, 5(25), 1-9 [DOI]