The Mini Bass course is our pioneering scheme for beginners aged between eight and 10. A fully-insured instrument is provided for practice purposes at home.*
Established in 1985 in association with the Yorke Trust, this exciting initiative allows students to learn double bass on specially designed instruments in individual lessons and small groups. Tuition also encompasses basic theory and ensemble work. Most students will proceed to the RCMJD as full members in due course, subject to audition.
Students on the Mini-Bass scheme have gone on to play in some of the world’s top orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra.
Who can apply?
Subject to space being available on the scheme, students are accepted from the age of eight (occasionally six or seven) on the basis of a short and straightforward musical aptitude test, and must also show a keenness to learn.
What is on offer?
Students are given a 30-minute individual lesson and will also take part in a 1 hour group session during which they study basic music theory through a carefully tailored and accessible scheme of work. Mini-bass students will also take part in a choir (1 hour) and, when ready, an orchestra (up to 1 hour and 15 minutes).
Students may request to extend their programme (at additional cost) to include second study lessons and/or further musicianship classes by arrangement with the Head of Junior Programmes. After 3 or 4 years, we aim that our mini-bass students are at an appropriate level to audition successfully for full membership of the RCMJD.
Please note that the fees for the mini-bass scheme are heavily subsidised; we therefore regret that it is not possible for parents of mini-bass students to apply for further assistance with fees from the JD Bursary Fund.
When is it?
Like the RCMJD as a whole, the mini-bass course takes place between 9am and 5pm on Saturdays during term time, though the course will not fill all those hours and timetables will be kept as compact as possible for our youngest students.
Where is it?
At the Royal College of Music.
How do I apply?
To apply for the mini-bass scheme please fill out the application form putting 'mini-bass' in the first study field and if you are a total beginner, put '0' for the number of years you have been learning.
If you currently play an instrument, note it down under second study and don’t forget to tell us how long you’ve been learning. Don’t worry if you can’t complete every section. For more general information on how to apply as well as the closing date for applications and a downloadable application form, see the How to Apply section.
*At the start of the course fully insured instruments up to quarter-size are provided free of charge by the RCMJD. As a student progresses there is a possibility that they may outgrow the instruments in our collection and require one of a size and/or level that we cannot provide. We regret that we cannot cover the hire cost of mini-basses outside the RCMJD collection.