Our Music Foundation programme is designed for talented students seeking a place at a university music department or conservatoire.

The programme will enable you to refine your skills (composition, theory, performance and recording) and broaden your musical knowledge and understanding. It is designed to give you unrivalled breadth of content and flexibility, allowing you to focus on particular areas of passion as well as developing your skills and creating well-rounded, confident musicians.

We have two music streams:

Performance: aimed at the more classically trained musician. You will work towards entry into university, conservatoire or music college.

Technology: aimed at the more pop-based contemporary musician who has had some experience with music technology. Students will work towards entry into music tech colleges and pop music courses.

Why train with us at CSVPA

.....Regular performances throughout the year and guaranteed end-of-year shows.

.....Frequent masterclasses and workshops from visiting conservatoires on audition techniques and how to prepare for your audition.

.....You will benefit from 2 hours of one-to-one tuition every week with your instrument.

.....Class groups are small, allowing for work that can be adapted to meet your needs and also allowing for personalised feedback and guidance.

.....Our teaching staff are highly trained and are,or have recently been, active professionals.

.....Outstanding track record of getting students into music colleges and conservatoires.

What to Expect

In today’s world it is not only important to be able to play your instrument well, but it is vital to understand the history of the craft and where everything originated from. Computers are at the heart of everything we do; the ability to be able to use the software, make your own recording, mix it, improve the sound and set up a microphone are all important skills if you are to become an accomplished musician.

If you are looking for a place at a university music department you will be well prepared for higher education, having undertaken aural training, music research and performance. At a music university department your study will be more academically based; you will study a broader range of content of which performance is one element. If you are looking for a place at a Conservatoire, you will be given the opportunity to under take extensive preparation for entrance examinations and auditions. At a Conservatoire there will be more of a focus upon performance. You will be encouraged to build links within the music industry through course projects and key units throughout the year.

The Award

At the end of the year upon successful completion, you will be awarded the UAL Level 4 Professional Diploma in Performance.

“The Music Foundation really prepares you for the next steps, for university or Conservatoire. The staff are really flexible and supportive. Cambridge feels like home, it is safe, friendly and not scary."

Hyuk Namkoong | Destination – Royal Academy of Music

Entry Criteria

17 years +

Educational Level
Successful completion of Secondary Education (Grade 11 or Grade 12 depending on native contry) or 1 x A level or an equivalent Level 3 qualification and 3 x GCSEs at grade 4 or C or equivalent overseas qualification, preferably in a relevant creative subject

Students who do not meet these entry requirements will still be considered on their own individual potential to succeed. 

English Level for International Students
IELTS 4.5+ (no element under 4.0)

An audition piece is required for entry to this course. Please refer to the Audition Process tab for more information.

Please State at Time of Application
Main instrument
Secondary instrument (if any)
Length of time learning instrument
Results of any formal music certification
Level of music theory knowledge and ability to read notation

Awarding Body
University of the Arts London Awarding Body


Course Length
3 terms

Contact Time
Up to 30 hours per week

Instrument Tuition
2 hours per week

English Language
Up to 5 hours per week if required

University music department, conservatoire or music technology college


  • Two pieces contrasting in style representative of two different historical periods of piano repertoire.
  • Scales played two octaves hands together in the keys of:
    • E major, Bb major, d harmonic minor
  • Applicants may be asked to sight read if auditioning in person.


Classical Singing

  • Two pieces of contrasting styles representative of two different historical periods of vocal repertoire.
  • It is preferred (but not necessary) that the applicant sing at least one piece in a language other than their own first language.

Pop Singing

  • Two pieces of contrasting styles (eg rock, pop, jazz, blues).


Two pieces of contrasting styles from the following lists:

Nylon-Stringed Classical/Spanish Guitar

  • Classical/Flamenco

Steel-Stringed Acoustic Guitar

  • Acoustic Rock/Pop
  • Acoustic Folk/Blues

Electric Guitar

  • Rock (Rock, Blues, Funk, Metal, Pop etc.)

Jass-Style Guitar (or Electric)

  • Jazz

Woodwind / Brass

  • Two pieces contrasting in style: one lyrical and one technical showcasing musicianship and sound.
  • Both pieces should show developing tone production and finger technique.
  • Please prepare all major scales up to four sharps and four flats.

Other Items Required

Students must complete a:

  • Background information form
  • Music Theory test

Both forms must be supplied when applying for the course.

The Music Theory test needs to be completed under exam conditions. It is used to gauge the student’s knowledge and understanding of music to ensure the course it pitched at the right level. There is no pass or fail to the test, but will be used in conjunction with all the other elements to establish overall suitability to the course.

Audition Requirements

  • 1 x monologue (classical or contemporary) • 2 minutes delivered from memory
  • 2 songs taken from the musical theatre repertoire - 1 x traditional - 1 x contemporary
  • Songs must be accompanied by piano or a backing track if you are submitting a video audition
  • If you are attending an audition in person, an accompanist will be provided for your audition. Please bring sheet music for your songs in the keys in which you perform them.

For more information about how to prepare for your audition download our useful guide

What we look for in an audition

For more information about the course download the programme specification

Level 4 programme specification

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