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What to expect at audition

Walking onto the Britten Theatre stage
We understand that auditions are a significant milestone on every applicant’s journey towards a career as a conservatoire musician. The guidance below will help you prepare to the best of your abilities and make you aware of what will happen at your Royal College of Music audition.

Your experience will depend on your specialism and your chosen audition location. Follow the Faculty links below to check the format of your audition and what repertoire you need to prepare for your instrument. 

Most auditions last approximately 15-20 minutes, but some specialisms have longer audition processes, or may require you to attend a second panel.

The majority of your audition will be spent performing your repertoire. This will be followed by a sight-reading task. In some cases you may also be asked to perform scales, arpeggios or other technical exercises.

The audition will finish with a short discussion with the panel. Typical questions you may be asked include: 

  • Why do you want to study at the RCM?
  • What are your musical interests?
  • What do you think you need most to improve your playing/singing/conducting/composition?

Remember to bring anything needed for your instrument, if applicable. Examples include spike grips for cellos, mutes for brass instruments and sticks for percussionists.

Please be aware that you cannot bring a page-turner, your teacher or a translator into your audition. The only people in the room will be you, your accompanist/soloist (as applicable) and the audition panel. Our courses are taught in English and we expect you to be able to communicate in English at your audition. You do not need to meet the RCM's English language requirements for the audition day(s). However, if you do not yet speak English confidently we advise you to work towards a more appropriate level of competence so you can communicate comfortably with your audition panel.

Candidates for the BMus programme who have applied for joint principal study will be auditioned in both specialisms. The two auditions may or may not be on different dates.

After your audition

You will be informed of the result of your audition as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the RCM cannot enter into correspondence over the results of auditions.

Find out more