What is a conservatoire?

Studying at a specialist institution

A conservatoire education is very different to a music degree undertaken in a university.

Teaching Model

At a conservatoire the emphasis is on specialist study in a chosen instrument or discipline, such as Classical Piano or Pop Guitar. Tuition takes place either in one-to-one lessons or in small groups, with very few of the lectures or seminars being delivered in large groups.

The staff at a conservatoire are experts in their field, and are active musicians, authors and researchers. They are joined by a wealth of industry practitioners and visiting professors who regularly come to the conservatoire to impart specialist knowledge to students. You can find out more about the staff at Leeds College of Music on our People page.


The facilities of a conservatoire are representative of how it delivers its tuition - you'll find a large amount of rehearsal and practice spaces and studios and a small amount of lecture theatres or large teaching rooms.

Leeds College of Music has over 60 teaching and practice rooms as well as seven industry-standard recording studios equipped with analogue desks, three mixing rooms and an SSL G Series console linked to the main auditoriums for live studio sessions and recording performances.

The campus at Leeds College of Music is open until 3am, and students are able to book space and borrow instruments until this time. This is not offered by many other institutions, where students often have to pay to hire space after 5pm.

The library of a conservatoire also caters to the specialist study undertaken. It will contain music scores, CDs and DVDs, as well as textbooks, journals and industry press. The library at Leeds College of Music has over 10,000 CDs, 8,000 LPs and 18,000 items of printed music, all of which are accessible to every student. There are no barriers to learning or widening a student’s listening and appreciation of music.

Workshops & Masterclasses

Workshops and masterclasses play a key role in a conservatoire’s education model. Leading artists and industry professionals visit the institution to deliver specialist knowledge that is at the very forefront of the industry.

Leeds College of Music offers a large programme of workshops, seminars and masterclasses, representing a wide variety of genres and instrument specialisms. Our students are encouraged to attend all of the workshops and masterclasses, regardless of instrument, genre or discipline, as we encourage as much collaboration and interaction as possible. You can see all of the events that are taking place at the conservatoire on our Events page.

We have over 1,000 students at Leeds College of Music, and each one is treated like a professional musician from their first day with us.


> What is a conservatoire?
> Admissions information
> Fees and funding information
> Support for students
> Life in Leeds
> A career in music

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Your conservatoire

Undergraduate study

We have a number of music degrees at undergraduate level – find out about our Foundation, BA, combined and top-up degrees

What's On

Our packed concert season welcomes everyone from global superstars to up-and-coming talents – and Leeds College of Music students are always at the heart of the programme

Short Courses

Keen on developing your skills on an instrument – or your voice? Check out our short courses on offer