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      Alison taught at Trinity since her graduation in 1992. Trinity is very proud of its Mandolin Faculty, over the past decade or so Trinity has established itself as one of the most exciting and broad minded music colleges in the UK. A recent merger with Laban School of Dance has opened up still more possibilities for students. It has been based for about 5 years now in a wonderfully historic and pituresque setting of part of the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, on the south Eastern bank of the river Thames. Most of the professorial staff have careers as players with London's best orchestras and/or exciting and successful solo or chamber careers. The college also boasts some of London's most respected educators in music. Students come to Trinity from all over the world. Amongst many specialist fields, it is the only music specialist further education college in UK to offer BMus (4 year performance degree) with mandolin as first study option. Alison always encourages her students in all musical interests which includes playing in other genres e.g. bluegrass, Scottish Traditional, Jazz. However the bulk of the course centres around classical style of playing.

     There are several options open to potential students:
  1. Foundation Year - a good starting place for those who have not yet quite reached the level required for BMus.
  2. Undergraduate - BMus - 4 year performance oriented bachelor level degree course.
  3. Postgraduate - a one year full-time or two year part-time performance oriented course for those who already hold a BA(Bachelor of Arts) or a BMus of some description. Proof of some professional musical experience will sometimes be accepted instead of a BA or BMus.
  4. IPS (Independent Programme of Study) - This is a course suited to people wishing to take advantage of Trinity's facilities and wishing to have individual lessons and some musicianship or history if required. You create your own package and pay only for the lessons you choose to take. The IPS does not lead to any qualification.
  5. Exchange year - it is potentially possible for students from another educational establishment (particularly in another country) to come to Trinity on a one year placement as part of their existing course. These places can be rather limited so it is advisable to apply in good time. (Oct/Nov for the following academic year)
     Visit Trinity's website (link above) for details of how to apply and fee structures. Contact members of the administration staff if you have any queries. They are very helpful. There are two sets of auditions each year: the main auditions in late Autumn (Fall) and the "late" auditions in March/April. It is advised to try and apply in time for the main auditions although it is very possible to apply and achieve a place through the late auditions. Students from abroad can audition by video/audio by submitting a DVD/Video of an authenticated performance supported by an Audio CD of the same performance. Details can be obtained through the college. Your can order a hard copy prospectus or view it online.. Claire Jones is the ever helpful admissions co-ordinator. She can be contacted by Phone: +44 (0)20 8305 4402, Fax: +44 (0)20 8305 9402 or Email.

     The mandolin syllabus is modelled around the syllabus for other instruments and mandolinists are treated in the same way as other instrumentalists. The current BMus syllabus (1st study mandolin) includes:
  • 60 mins individual instrumental coaching per week. Plus a further option of 30 mins PSE (Principal Study Enhancement) per week
  • Musicianship, Professional study, music technology, Alexander technique, history of music and many other classes as per all other instruments.
  • scales and technical exercises (specified syllabus) which have to be presented once a year.
  • performance assessments once a year. (most semesters have some sort of specific requirement as well as free choice. e.g. performing one movement of a classical concerto with a cadenza written by the student, including a piece written in the past 10 years, including a solo piece written before 1780.)
  • continuous performance opportunities via performance platforms, college concerts at various lunchtime concert series which the college submits students to play in around London
  • Opportunities for coaching in chamber music in any combination. The Heads of Harp and of Guitar are particularly supportive in this and will also present performance opportunities wherever possible for any chamber music collaboration.
  • Orchestral Extracts (e.g. Mahler's 7th Symph, Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet) - 30 specified extracts, arranged in 3 groups of 10 to be presented each year (except 4th year)
  • Faculty study time for mandolin alone to include repertoire study, duet repertoire and playing, sight-reading, stylistic interpretation etc...
  • Faculty study time for mandolins with guitars to include ensemble playing, sight-reading, orchestral playing skills, ensemble exercises, "taster" sessions for different styles and related instruments (e.g. lute, banjo)
  • Opportunity to attend the bowed strings performance platforms and faculty classes.
  • We make every effort to have visiting players in to give masterclasses or workshops. Obviously this is tricky to arrange on mandolin although we would always endeavour to have at least one masterclass with a well-known player such as Caterina Lichtenberg in each student's time at the College. Mandolin students would be most welcome to attend guitar Masterclasses.
      Although Trinity has a very high standard, please remember that students are accepted on their potential not necessarily on their current level of attainment. Many mandolinists come to the mandolin via other instruments or other genres and are often largely self taught before joining Trinity. If you are interested in auditioning but are worried you are not of sufficient ability please contact Trinity directly and they can talk to you about the sort of pieces you are currently playing and advise you accordingly.

      We have endeavoured to cover as many topics and FAQS as possible in this section. If you have any further questions please either contact the College.