How to become a fully qualified pop singer

How to become a fully qualified pop singer


norman lebrecht

October 01, 2015

From the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester:

The RNCM is launching the UK’s first ever four-year BMus (Hons) Degree in Popular Music this week. One of only three four-year popular music degrees in the world, the course provides intensive training for instrumentalists and singers with a high level of performing ability who intend to work as freelance musicians, bands and artists in the popular music industry.

Your thoughts?


The Canal, Manchester, Lancashire, 1925


  • Anne says:

    How do you teach something which is constantly changing or, I am informed, is supposed to benefit from the lack of formal teaching?

    The picture is out of date and unfair.

  • Susan Lyle says:

    I am a music professor at at School of Music in the USA. We just created a Contemporary (Commercial)Music degree due to student requests and the need to increase our enrollments. I don’t think it’s a bad thing but rather a way to encourage students to receive “formal” training in the fundamentals of music, music history, composition, recording techniques and many other important subjects relative to becoming a well rounded musician. While in the degree program, these students are exposed to all genres of music. I see more positives than negatives.

    • Serge Lacasse says:

      I do agree: in fact, each popular musician finds his/her own path, and a programme like this one might correspond to one profile, but not to another. This is just another opportunity that may fit certain types. At Université Laval, in Quebec City (Canada), we offer a MA programme in performance with a specialty for Singers-Songwriters. Very good stuff came out of this and still is.

  • Alvaro says:

    Demand is going to continue, and the conservatories need lueless peo

    • John Borstlap says:

      Don’t type with gloves on…. and indeed, clueless people think pop music is a serious art form. By way of warning: in the Netherlands, most conservatories already offer pop courses for years, because the government subsidises the institutions on the count of diplomas they produce, with the result that the general level of teaching is going-down considerably. Pop courses at conservatories are not a sign of ‘opening-up’ the profession, but of erosion.