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Street Address:

HMS Nelson, Queen Street, Portsmouth PO1 3HH, UK


+44 2392 725 158




Specialist qualification study. A two years and eight months course qualifying junior musicians to join bands. The program for buglers is two years. All musicians studying at the School have the opportunity to commence study on a BMus(Hons) degree course validated by Plymouth University. Entry is by audition. Bandmaster’s Course. One year of intensive study which, for the Royal Marines musicians following the degree program, would gain them an externally validated Master of Music degree. Studies include conducting, aural skills, orchestration, arranging, harmony and counterpoint, composition, theory, music history and analysis. Successful completion leads to the award of an LRSM Diploma of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

Institution Notes:

The Royal Naval School of Music was founded in 1903. It is the professional music service of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines and as such has an international reputation for the quality and variety of music it performs. In 1950 the School was re-named the Royal Marines School of Music. The versatility of musicians within the Band Service is of the highest order and each musician is required to perform with the Symphonic Wind Band, Marching Band, Big Band, Dance Band, Symphonic and Salon Orchestra and various chamber groups. There is a dual-instrumentation requirement that all trainees become versatile on two instruments, so many will have to learn a new instrument from scratch. Musicians and buglers normally join the Royal Marines School of Music at age 16+, and, after the initial 15 weeks of military training, start specialist qualification study. Training for all musicians and buglers, both male and female, takes place at the School based in Portsmouth. The buildings were once the Royal Naval Detention Centre and the thick walls provide a most effective sound insulation for undisturbed practice. Each musician or bugler has his/her own practice room, and some cells have been combined to form larger rooms for ensemble rehearsals. Other facilities include a resource centre with internet access and a CD library, computers for music and essay work, a bar/rest area, a large new concert hall, and the parade area for Parade Band practice. There is an instrument workshop which repairs brass, string and woodwind instruments as well as drums and other percussion. All courses are open to students from foreign and Commonwealth countries. Information on course costs and dates can be obtained from the Directorate of Foreign and Commonwealth Training, Barham Block, HMS Nelson, Portsmouth, or through the UK Defence Attache.

Last Updated:

September 2022