Knowledge Exchange

A women playing the violin in silhouette, with the audience in the background.
Knowledge Exchange at the Royal College of Music is the collaborative process of using our practical and academic expertise with external partners for mutual benefit. 
Join us in our mission to make a meaningful impact through KE and unlock the power of music for all.

What is Knowledge Exchange (KE)? 

Knowledge Exchange is the process of universities (in our case, conservatoires) working with external partners, in a mutually beneficial way to create a positive impact on the cultural, social and economic prosperity of the UK and beyond.

The RCM’s researchers and practitioners engage with diverse communities, audiences and users to solve societal and cultural challenges through collaboration and co-production. You can see examples of the kind of work we do in the infographic below.

Our offer

Our expertise spans a variety of musical domains including: performance training, music and health, electronic music innovation, music and heritage and music and early years provision. This also includes our extensive programme of concerts, workshops and activities for members of the public. 

Our Knowledge Exchange Fund supports staff to create innovative, commercial and societal projects for the College with external partners. Our KE projects explore new ways of working and developing prototypes or products which engage with a range of industries, communities and users.

Knowledge Exchange

An introduction to Knowledge Exchange at the RCM

Working together

We collaborate with a wide range of partners including businesses, charities, public health institutions, social enterprises and cultural and heritage organisations to find innovative solutions to real world problems.  

Our Centre for Performance Science, in partnership with the Imperial College Centre for Engagement and Simulation Science (ICCESS), delivers unique, interdisciplinary training. ‘Thriving in Radical Uncertainty’, an online programme for global leaders from the The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), brought experts from widely different fields including medicine, music, magic, forensic science, and cookery together to challenge the leaders from unfamiliar perspectives. 

To find out more, contact our Knowledge Exchange team.

Public engagement  

Our civic mission is to advocate for music, connecting in meaningful and sustainable ways with more diverse audiences and learners, and developing the College’s role as a vibrant cultural hub that has a positive impact on its local community.

Our performance programme gives affordable public access to our exceptional concerts, events and workshops, which feature world class performers. Find out more at what's on.

RCM Sparks, the RCM’s learning and participation programme, provides inspiring opportunities for families, schools and young people to engage with music education and musical instruments. Sparks works with RCM departments including the Museum, CPS and Creative Careers Centre, and externally with arts and educational organisations on projects responding to specific needs.

RCM Sparks also runs bespoke workforce professional development for local organisations. The LEYF (London Early Year Foundation) London nursery network wanted children attending their nurseries to experience high quality music-making at the start of their musical journeys. RCM Sparks were commissioned to upskill LEYF nursery workers as Music Champions so they could achieve a Platinum Standard for music in their settings.

Watch the LEYF early years training programme with RCM Sparks

RCM composition professor Deirdre Gribbin works with young people from usually excluded groups through her Venus Blazing Music Theatre Trust. Deirdre’s ‘We Compose’ outreach project for 15-16 year olds with cognitive disabilities at the Park Theatre London encouraged participants to communicate beyond society’s expectations through composing and performing. RCM students worked alongside Deirdre, learning from the young people's different approaches to cognitive thinking and communications.

Watch the ‘We Compose’ outreach project with Deirdre and RCM students

Our socially-minded recent graduates are supported by the RCM Accelerate Scheme to kick-start a new creative project, business idea, social enterprise or develop an existing initiative. Cellist Niki Moosavi set up the 97 Ensemble after discovering that 97% of women aged 18-24 have been sexually harassed. Her social enterprise aims to employ freelance musicians to reach out to women who have been victims of sexual harassment or violence.

Watch the 97 Ensemble project with Niki Moosavi

Connect with our students

Need an instrumental, voice, or composition teacher? Anyone wanting to improve their classical music skills can book lessons in person (Southwest London) or online (global service) with our specially selected student teachers and recent graduates through our Teaching Service. To find out more contact our Teaching Service team.

Looking for a performer or composer? You can hire our students to play at your corporate function or private event, for freelance orchestral work, recording sessions, as accompanists or composers, via our Professional Engagements Service.

From 2023, you can now commission a tailor-made short piece of music for your special occasion, including weddings, birthdays and ceremonies.

Use our facilities

Want to use our facilities? Find out how to book our Studios and hire other RCM venues.

Emma Hewett

Research and Knowledge Exchange Manager

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