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Sparks events

Children at a Sparks event and an RCM student stood looking and holding a harp
Whether you are introducing children to music for the first time, or looking for inspiring ways to delve deeper, RCM Sparks has a programme of events just for you.

We are delighted to share the unforgettable thrill of live performances, workshops and courses with schools, families and young people here at the Royal College of Music and in the local community.

Free places and tickets

RCM Sparks wants to break down barriers that prevent people from accessing music education. We make a number of places and event tickets available for free to the following groups:

  • Children over the age of seven who are eligible for free school meals (whether claimed or not) and their families
  • 'Looked-after' children (ie children looked after by the local authority or in foster care) and their families
  • Black, Asian and minority ethnic children/young people and families*
  • Participants who have Special Education Needs*
  • Families who live in social housing
  • Families who are eligible for Universal Credit
  • Families/individuals who are eligible for disability benefit
  • Service families*
  • Families from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities*
  • Young carers and their families*
  • Refugee families/families with migrant status

*with a household income of less than £31,139.

If you any of these criteria apply to you please make sure to tell us at the point of booking. You may be asked to provide documentary evidence.

Events for families & children (ages 5-11)

Our Family Create, Ignite and Explorers programmes bring music to life in unforgettable ways, with practical opportunities to participate and insightful connections with wider festivals and performances.


03 July 2022, 11:00am
Various locations

Learn all about the techniques of conducting, try out leading a group of live instrumentalists, create a piece of music as a group and see professional conductors in action!


07 August 2022, 10:30am
Parry Rooms

Help us create a family orchestra this summer! We welcome total beginners, rusty returners or experienced players.

Events for teenagers (ages 12-18)

Our bi-annual Springboard Composition Courses allow teenagers to explore their creativity, supported by inspiring professionals and emerging Royal College of Music composers.


27 July 2022, 10:30am
Parry Rooms

Join composer Fraser Trainer and a talented team of young RCM musicians, and be part of a unique ensemble that will compose, perform and record new music.

Events for schools

We present one free lunchtime concert every term specially tailored for school children. Hosted by a professional presenter and accompanied by a free teacher resource pack, our lunchtime concerts for schools are a fantastic opportunity to introduce young people to the excitement of classical music and to the unrivaled experience of seeing it performed live.

We also run a number of other events and concerts for school groups throughout the year.


06 July 2022, 9:00am
Recital Hall

KS2 and above

Join Gamelan expert John Pawson and RCM musicians in exploring the joys of playing the Gamelan.


12 July 2022, 9:00am
Recital Hall

KS2 and above

Join Gamelan expert John Pawson and RCM musicians in exploring the joys of playing the Gamelan.

Gamelan workshops

The gamelan is the traditional orchestra of Indonesia, and the Royal College of Music has one of the largest sets in Europe. Gamelan has established itself at the centre of music education in the UK and features in the GCSE music course.

RCM Sparks offers practical and creative gamelan workshops for groups of up to 30 people. People of all ages (early years upwards) including those with disabilities, can enjoy gamelan workshops. Playing the gamelan is both fun and relaxing, requires no previous experience, and sessions can be tailored to suit the needs of each group.

A typical taster session lasts 90 minutes and includes:

  • A short introduction to the cultural context of gamelan
  • A chance to have a go at playing the instruments

By the end of the session you will be able to perform a short piece of traditional Javanese or Balinese music.

How to book

The RCM gamelan is now open for booking.

Unfortunately we are currently unable to hold gamelan workshops at the Royal College of Music, but we will bring our Gamelan to your premises. For schools wishing to host Gamelan Workshops at their premises, please get in touch with us to discuss the delivery, collection and training costs and to explore bespoke options available to you.

Some schools may be eligible for subsidised hosting.

Workshops held at the Royal College of Music are usually offered subsidised rate of £125 (including booking & administration fee, excluding VAT) for a session lasting 90 minutes.

Get in touch

If you have any queries about booking a gamelan workshop for your premises or would like to talk to us about the practicalities of a gamelan session, please contact our Gamelan team.

Gamelan team

Booking and general gamelan enquiries

+44 (0)20 7591 4394

Learning at the Royal College of Music Museum

The Royal College of Music Museum has undergone a major development, providing new facilities including a new purpose-built gallery and a hands-on discovery area. RCM Sparks is working in close partnership with the RCM Museum to develop of programme of learning and participation events that explore the wonders and historical treasures of the RCM collections.

Please get in touch to find out more.

RCM Museum

General enquiries

+44 (0)20 7591 4346