Preparing for the profession

Much of a student’s life at a CUK conservatoire will be spent training and rehearsing, under the encouraging, critical and knowledgeable eye of a tutor. To get the full value of this process, there has to come a moment when rehearsal leads to performance. That is why public performance is central to every student’s life.
Royal Northern College of Music – Photo by Roscoe Rutter Ltd

Many of these performances will take place in the conservatoire’s own performing spaces. Most of these will be open to the public. In addition, conservatoires also help students to organise performances or run their own series in public spaces beyond the conservatoire. These are keenly attended by industry professionals, artists’ agents on the look-out for new talent, as well as members of the general public.

Giving performances, within the conservatoire or beyond it, is only one way in which conservatoires help students to prepare for life in the professional world. Many also engage in partnerships with professional performing organisations such as orchestras and dance, theatre and opera companies, and also with major venues.

There are many benefits to students from such partnerships. One example is the mentoring agreements that some performing organisations have with a particular conservatoire. This allows students to gain some experience of playing in a professional orchestra, or working on a professional theatre or opera stage, under the watchful eye of an experienced professional.

These activities come under the heading of professional development, an area in which members of CUK are acknowledged to be world leaders. Conservatoires also provide copious careers advice, a professional engagement service (much used by people and organisations in search of performing artists), and seminars on many vital skills such as self-promotion and managing a freelance career.