Back to top      


RCM Accelerate

RCM Accelerate offers start-up funding for graduating RCM students

Monday 15 March 2021

The Royal College of Music has announced a new scheme to support students graduating this summer as they launch their careers beyond College. RCM Accelerate will provide significant start-up funding to six students graduating from the RCM every year. Launching in April, the class of 2021 will be the first year-group to benefit from the new annual scheme.

RCM Accelerate is intended to support graduating RCM students to kick-start a new creative project, social enterprise, or business idea; or to take an existing initiative to the next level. Successful applicants will receive grant funding and mentoring support. RCM Accelerate will promote proactivity, creativity, and an entrepreneurial mind-set; crucial factors in the post-Covid-19 regeneration of the arts.

To support musicians graduating through the pandemic, double the value of grants will be awarded in both 2021 and 2022. Individual grants will be between £1,000 and £5,000. In total, £32,000 will be awarded each year in 2021 and 2022. 
Applications open in April and comprise a written application followed by a six-minute pitch to a panel of internal and external consultants. The creative project, social enterprise, or business idea should support the career development of one RCM musician and at least two other freelancers in the arts.

Musicians will be expected to consider equality, diversity, and inclusion, as well as environmental matters in their applications. The scheme is intended to reflect the RCM ideals of an inclusive, open and just society, supporting students from diverse social, economic and ethnic backgrounds, fulfilling the RCM’s obligation as a relevant, persuasive and world-leading advocate for the future of music, as an agent for positive and meaningful cultural change. 
Diana Roberts, RCM Creative Careers Centre Manager and Entrepreneurship Tutor, comments: ‘The class of 2021 are graduating at a time unlike any we have known. At the forefront of career support for musicians, the RCM and its Creative Careers Centre has witnessed first-hand how Covid-19 has devastated the opportunities of many who work in the arts. We hope the RCM Accelerate scheme will support graduating students now and into the future as they develop their own careers.'

Students wishing to find out more about RCM Accelerate can visit the Creative Careers Centre pages on Learn.rcm.

RCM Musicians’ Grant Fund

Alongside RCM Accelerate, the RCM is launching a new grant scheme for instrumentalists, singers and composers. The RCM Musicians’ Grand Fund will offer grants of up to £5,000 each to instrumentalists, and up to each £1,000 for singers and composers. Instrumentalists will be able to cover instrument-parts and/or instruments; singers and composers will be able to cover technical equipment.

More details on the Fund and how to apply are available for RCM students on the Creative Careers Centre’s Learn.rcm page.

The varied support and resources offered by the Creative Careers Centre are available to all Royal College of Music alumni for up to five years after graduating. More information is available on the RCM website.