The Royal College of Music (London),

Manhattan School of Music,

The Royal Danish Academy of Music,

and mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna

announce the launch of

The Global Conservatoire

This new digital learning environment, or “global classroom,”

will expand each partner school’s course offerings, opening up students

to a new world of asynchronous music studies against a rich cultural backdrop.


April 2021 – The Royal College of Music (London) has joined with the Manhattan School of Music (MSM), the Royal Danish Academy of Music (RDAM), and the mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (MDW) to launch the Global Conservatoire, an ambitious digital learning environment that will expand each institutional partner’s course offerings, opening up a new and flexible world of asynchronous courses against a rich cultural backdrop.

This innovative partnership, which launches as a pilot programme in 2021–22 with one course in the autumn term and additional offerings in spring, will bring faculty and students from each of the four institutional partners into an online classroom, cultivating an international exchange of ideas. The programme’s asynchronous design will allow students from four conservatories in three different time zones to work at their own pace, completing courses around busy rehearsal and practice schedules. 

Students in the Global Conservatoire will gain new perspectives on a range of music studies, learning in a global ‘classroom’ while never having to leave their home institution. Drawing from the expertise of faculty from each of the programme partners, the Global Conservatoire’s online curriculum will provide access to subjects unique to each partner school.

The first year or pilot phase will offer eight courses in 2021–22 with the Global Conservatoire’s offer expanding each year during the partnership’s first five years. The resulting courses will provide students with a diverse choice, with offerings equally apportioned among the four partner schools.

The Global Conservatoire, which will be available to both undergraduate and postgraduate students, seeks to draw on its partners’ wide-ranging background and extensive collaboration in distance learning prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the lessons learned from last spring’s rapid-response pivot to online learning through this academic year. By consolidating its partners’ collective experience in the digital realm and unique subject expertise, the Global Conservatoire is a groundbreaking initiative that transcends borders, connecting students from four prominent international conservatories into what will eventually become a virtual, transnational academic hub or ‘global college town.’

From a statement issued by the leaders of the Global Conservatoire’s four partner institutions, Professor Colin Lawson, Director, RCM; James Gandre, President, MSM; Uffe Savery, President, RDAM; Ulrike Sych, Rector, MDW:

“We are so pleased that an idea sprung from our collective discussions in the autumn of 2019 has blossomed so fully and efficiently, and with an immediacy that reflect the times in which we find ourselves.

Individually, each institution that comprises the Global Conservatoire (GC) educates future artists, arts administrators and educators. What the GC, an entirely new type of virtual inter-university, international environment, will do is effectively broaden each of the four partners’ curricular offerings and add a truly global dimension to their students’ learning experience.

We are proud to launch the Global Conservatoire and to welcome our students to a new digital age of global learning.”

Students seek evermore globally informed and progressive courses, as well as flexible study patterns, greater subject choice, and a variety of delivery styles. The Global Conservatoire partners understand the value of adapting to meet students’ needs. By drawing on world-leading education principles that harness the digital sphere, this exciting partnership will transform the quality and methods of online teaching in performing arts higher education, and, in doing so, bring students heightened digital fluency and an enhanced global perspective.