The Royal Academy of Music (RAM) in London, England, is the oldest conservatoire in the UK, founded in 1822 by John Fane and Nicolas-Charles Bochsa. It received its royal charter in 1830 from King George IV with the support of the first Duke of Wellington.
The academy provides undergraduate and postgraduate training across instrumental performance, composition, jazz, musical theatre and opera, and recruits musicians from around the world, with a student community representing more than 50 nationalities. It is committed to lifelong learning, from Junior Academy, which trains musicians up to the age of 18, through Open Academy community music projects, to performances and educational events for all ages.
The academy’s museum houses one of the world’s most significant collections of musical instruments and artefacts, including stringed instruments by Stradivari, Guarneri, and members of the Amati family; manuscripts by Purcell, Handel and Vaughan Williams; and a collection of performing materials that belonged to leading performers. It is a constituent college of the University of London and a registered charity under English law.
Campus and Location
The Royal Academy of Music offers training from infant level (Junior Academy), with the senior Academy awarding the LRAM diploma, BMus and higher degrees to PhD/ DMus. The former degree GRSM, equivalent to a university honours degree and taken by some students, was phased out in the 1990s. All undergraduates now take the University of London degree of BMus.
Most academy students are classical performers: strings, piano, vocal studies including opera, brass, woodwind, conducting and choral conducting, composition, percussion, harp, organ, accordion, guitar. There are also departments for historical performance, musical theatre performance and jazz.
The academy collaborates with other conservatoires worldwide, including participating in the SOCRATES student and staff exchange programme. In 1991, the academy introduced a fully accredited degree in performance studies, and in September 1999, it became a full constituent college of the University of London, in both cases becoming the first UK conservatoire to do so.
The academy has students from over 50 countries, following diverse programmes including instrumental performance, conducting, composition, jazz, musical theatre, historical performance, and opera. The academy has an established relationship with King’s College London, particularly the Department of Music, whose students receive instrumental tuition at the academy. In return, many students at the academy take a range of humanities choices at King’s, and its extended academic musicological curriculum.
The Junior Academy, for pupils under the age of 18, meets every Saturday.