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Learn an instrument

Young guitarist
The RCM Teaching Service is available to members of the public who would like to receive musical training from experienced Royal College of Music musicians.

Our teachers enjoy an active life in the music profession and have themselves been taught by world-class professors at the Royal College of Music. We can provide a wide range of instrumental, vocal, composition and theory tuition within the classical sphere, however it is unlikely that we will be able to find someone to coach you in a rock, pop or jazz style. 

The RCM Teaching Service is coordinated by the Royal College of Music’s Creative Careers Centre, which is a world-leading centre for career development in musicians.

Applications open

Applications for the RCM Teaching Service are open during RCM term time. In the 2019–20 academic year we will be accepting applications in the following periods: 16 September – 13 December, 13 January – 3 April and 27 April – 10 July.

Teachers & lessons

Your teacher will be a current RCM student or a recent graduate, all of whom have received exceptional training in their discipline. Once we receive your application we will try to match you with the most appropriate teacher based on your requirements and arrange your first lesson.

If you are not happy with your teacher at any time, or experience any problems, please contact us so we can discuss your concerns and find a resolution.

Please note that there is no service for arranging for RCM professors to teach members of the public.

Duration & location of lessons

You will be asked in your application to indicate your preferred lesson duration. This should be reviewed with your teacher at the first lesson to ensure the duration is appropriate for the age and ability of the pupil. Note that lesson fees are charged according to the length of each session.

Our teachers travel to their pupils’ homes to teach. If you prefer lessons at an alternative location you will need to arrange this yourself and let us know what you have arranged.

Our teachers are not permitted to teach at their own homes and it is not possible under any circumstances for members of the public to have lessons on RCM premises.


You will need an instrument so that you can practice and make progress. You will not be able to use your teacher’s instrument. If you need to hire an instrument or would like to buy a new one, your teacher will be able to help you with this.

Most piano teachers will be willing to teach their pupils on a suitable keyboard. However, this depends on the ability of the pupil. As you progress in your lessons you may need to review whether a keyboard is still suitable. Your teacher will be able to discuss this with you.

Your first lesson

When your first lesson is confirmed your teacher will contact you directly to discuss any further details and answer any questions you might have.

We advise establishing a learning agreement with your teacher. This will help clarify details such as future availability, payment terms and changing or cancelling lessons. Your teacher will discuss this with you at your first lesson.

Please note that your first lesson is not a trial lesson. Your teacher must be paid for their time.

Subsequent lessons

Once we have introduced you to your teacher, you should organise any subsequent lessons with them directly.

If after the first lesson you would like to continue lessons but with a different teacher, please let us know. If this is within three months of the first lesson we will not charge you a further application fee. Please note that in the majority of cases you will still need to pay your first lesson teacher for their time, as well as paying any subsequent teachers.

Teaching for children & vulnerable adults

While we make every effort to source teachers that match your requirements, it is your responsibility to make your own judgement on whether the teacher is suitable. Not all of our teachers have undergone a DBS check.

It is rarely possible for us to provide instrumental or vocal teaching to children below the age of five. This is due to the nature of the work and the experience needed to teach young children to a standard we deem to be of sufficient quality. However, RCM Sparks provides a number of workshops and events for groups of families and young children, some of which may be of interest to you.

If you are using the RCM Teaching Service to source a teacher for a child or vulnerable adult who requires adult supervision in their lessons, it is your responsibility as the employer of the teacher to ensure that such supervision is provided.


There are two main fees payable: your application fee, which covers use of the RCM Teaching Service to source a teacher for you, and the fees for individual lessons.

Application fee

We charge an application fee of £48 (including VAT).

Your application fee will be charged once the date, time and location of the first lesson have been arranged. This must be paid at least 48 hours before the first lesson is due to take place.

  • If the application fee is late, your first lesson will be postponed and rearranged once the fee is paid.
  • If you cancel your first lesson after it has been confirmed you will still be liable for the application fee.
  • If you would like to engage a second teacher you will be asked to pay another, reduced application fee of £24 (including VAT). If three separate teachers are required the subsequent application fee will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
  • We will supply a replacement teacher at no extra charge if lessons with your original teacher do not prove suitable. This offer is valid for up to three months after the first lesson with the initial teacher. If you request a replacement teacher after the three-month window you will have to make a new application and will be liable to pay the full application fee of £48 (including VAT) again.

Rates for lessons

The RCM Teaching Service has fixed lesson rates charged according to the length of the lesson.

  • 30 minutes: £25
  • 45 minutes: £30
  • One hour: £35

These rates pertain to one teacher per pupil.

Lesson rates do not include travel expenses, which your teacher may charge. Travel expenses will be the cost of a return journey within London and will be negotiated when the first lesson is arranged.

Apply for a teacher

Applications can be made online. If you would prefer a paper application form please feel free to contact us and request one.

Please remember that we charge an application fee for using the RCM Teaching Service.

If you chose to postpone your application before your application fee has been processed you have one month to confirm that you wish to proceed with the application, after which we will assume your application has been cancelled.

Apply now


If you have any questions or would like to speak to us about our services, please feel free to get in touch.

RCM Teaching Service

General enquiries

+44 (0)20 7591 4368