Composition

The Composition programme is aimed at composers and songwriters who see themselves as future innovators in the field of popular music as a contemporary artistic expression.

The programme takes its starting-point in the student's vision, and aims to further develop the individual's artistic and educational profile. The student becomes part of a diverse and inspirational learning environment in which teachers, tutors and fellow students stimulate and challenge the student's development. The programme takes the form of a mixture of scheduled classes and intense project periods, and via the Conservatory’s extensive cooperation with external partners in Denmark and abroad, students obtain access to an extensive professional network that will enhance their future employment opportunities as composers or songwriters, educators and entrepreneurs in a changing music industry.

The Bachelor programme in Composition has two special subject areas:

1. Instrumental/electronic Composition
Besides composition, applicants for this specialisation will focus within the course on acoustic and electronic arrangement. The specialisation is aimed at composers of electronic music and composers who work with arrangements for various ensembles.

2. Songwriting
Besides composition, applicants for this specialisation will focus within the course on writing song lyrics. The specialisation is aimed at songwriters.

how do I apply?

You can read about this and much more under APPLICATION and ENTRANCE EXAMINATION below.

Timeline

  • Online information meeting via Zoom: 10 November 2020.
    More info TBA.
  • Deadline for online application: 1 December 2020 at 12:00 CET.
  • 1st round: Week 1, 2021. You are not present.
  • Outcome of the 1st round: No later than 15 January 2021, by email.
  • 2nd round: Instrumental/electronic composition 25-26 January, songwriting 28-29 January 2021.
  • Outcome of 2nd round: 18 February 2021, by email.
  • Start of study: 23 August 2021.

Read the general information about the application process HERE
 

Application

WHO CAN APPLY?

In addition to possessing talent and a deep passion for instrumental/electronic composition or songwriting, you must have written a sufficient number of works, and thereby acquired an adequate amount of experience and insight, to enable a personal artistic expression to be perceptible in the applicant at the entry examination.

You must be able to take responsibility for your own learning process, and be able to work independently, but also be open to cooperation with others. You should in general be open to experimentation, so as to discover new aspects of yourself as an artist. All genres and styles are welcome.

The entrance examination at RMC is not coordinated with programmes at other academies of music. You are welcome to apply to several academies.
You can apply for several programmes at RMC simultaneously, but the entry examinations are not coordinated.

WHERE TO APPLY

You must apply online through Studieoptag.
You must create a profile, fill in the online application form and upload relevant files. 

WHAT SHOULD THE APPLICATION CONTAIN?

In the application form you must upload music files and relevant attachments, describe the uploaded music and answer a number of questions about your motivation for wanting to study at RMC, provide reflections on your artistic practice as a composer/songwriter, and describe your background and experience.

Music

  • Upload 2 tracks which you feel provide a good picture of who you are as a composer/songwriter.
    Total duration: 7-10 minutes
    File format: mp3

  • You must have composed, arranged and produced the songs entirely by yourself.
  • No form of co-writing is allowed.
  • If you apply for the special subject area songwriting, you must have written the lyrics yourself.
  • You are welcome to make use of musicians and sound engineers, but you must be artistically responsible for the works’ final production and arrangement.
  • It is not a requirement that you have performed as a musician or singer on the recorded material.
  • It is not necessary for you to be able to play an instrument or sing in order to apply. We are for example happy to admit applicants who work exclusively on the computer.

Lyrics, Sheet Music, Scores or Other Graphic Notation

Which attachments you must submit depends on which special subject are you apply for.

  • Special Subject Area Instrumental/Electronic Composition
  • Upload sheet music, scores or other forms of graphic notation for the uploaded tracks, if notation is included in the working form.
  • The files must be in PDF format.
     
  • Special Subject Area Songwriting
  • You must upload the lyrics for the two tracks.
  • If the works include lyrics in languages other than Danish, Swedish, Norwegian or English, a translation of these in Danish or English must also be provided.
  • Upload one file for each set of lyrics.
  • The files must be in PDF format. 

Supplementary Information

  • Precise specification of your own role and the roles of any others in connection with each of the uploaded tracks.
    Max. 500 keystrokes.
     
  • A brief description of the submitted tracks. If the tracks are extracts from longer pieces, state this.
    Max. 1,000 keystrokes.

Written Application

  • What is your motivation for studying at RMC?
  • What do you wish to learn?
    Max. 1,000 keystrokes in all.
     
  • What are your artistic visions – what do you wish to achieve with your music?
    Max. 1,000 keystrokes.
     
  • What are your working methods – how do you work when you are creating your music?
  • Briefly describe in this connection the musical tools (software/instruments) you use in your composition process.
    Max. 1,200 keystrokes in all.
     
  • What inspires you in your artistic practice as a composer/songwriter?
    Max. 1,000 keystrokes.

  • Describe your background and experience as a composer/songwriter, including current projects.
    Max. 1,000 keystrokes.
     
  • Describe any other music-related experience, such as your experience as a music teacher, or as a musical partner in other contexts. Briefly describe your role.
    Max. 500 keystrokes.
     
  • State any previous music-related programmes of higher education (conservatory, university, teacher training college, university college, etc.) and other education.
    Max. 1,000 keystrokes.

APPLICATION FEE

Applicants for a bachelor programme at RMC must pay an application fee of 500 DKK. The fee covers part of the costs associated with the entrance examination and is non-refundable after the application deadline.

If you are applying for both special subject areas of the Bachelor programme in Composition, you must submit two applications and pay the application fee twice due to technical reasons. RMC will refund one of the application fees immediately after the application deadline.

DEADLINE 

The deadline for applications is 1 December at 12:00 CET. If this date is a Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday, the deadline will be at 12:00 CET on the next weekday.

Entrance examination

WHO IS SELECTED FOR THE ENTRANCE EXAMINATION?

All who apply for admission to the Bachelor programme Composition, will have their applications assessed at the first round of the entrance examination.

WHAT IS THE purpose OF THE ENTRANCE EXAMINATION?

The purpose of the entrance examination is to:

  • To give the assessors an opportunity to thoroughly evaluate your  creating skills and development potential.
  • To give you an opportunity to demonstrate your professional and artistic profile to the widest possible extent.
  • To ensure that your background and experience, your reflections on your artistic practice as a composer or songwriter and your motivation to study at RMC, are communicated.

FORM AND CONTENT OF THE EXAMINATION

The entrance examination takes place in two rounds.

The 1st round consists of an assessment of the submitted works,  the supplementary information and scores/lyrics.

The 2nd round consists of a combined presentation and an interview.

1ST ROUND

The 1st round consists of an assessment of the submitted tracks, the related attachments and the supplementary information (list of credits, reflections on the submitted works, scores/lyrics).

You are not present.

ASSESSMENT AFTER THE 1ST ROUND

At the first round, an assessment panel consisting of two assessors will make an overall assessment on the basis of the submitted tracks, the supplementary information and the sheet music/lyrics.
The panel will assess:

  • Your ability to create music and musical experiences borne by an independent artistic expression.
  • The extent to which you possess the composition or songwriting skills necessary to realise your music and your artistic expression.
  • The extent to which you possess other relevant professional skills necessary to realise your music and your artistic expression.

You will be assessed according to a 100 point scale, which is a subdivision of the Danish 7 step grading scale. A minimum of 40 points, corresponding to 02 in the Danish 7 step grading scale, is required to pass the audition.

The assessment is given, related to the level that is required to commence the programme.

SELECTION AFTER THE 1ST ROUND

On the basis of the assessments, RMC selects a number of applicants to advance to the second round. This group is usually three times larger than the number of applicants who can be admitted to the programme. The selection process also takes into account the requirements of the music business.

The applicant must pass the first round in order to advance to the second round.

All applicants will receive a response to the first round via e-mail. Applicants who are selected to advance to the second round of the entrance examination will be notified in the e-mail of the precise time at which the examination will be held.

All applicants who do not advance to the second round are offered a brief, five-minute telephone conversation with the responsible internal examiner, who will elaborate on the assessment result on the basis of the assessment criteria used.

2ND ROUND – PRESENTATION & INTERVIEW

The 2nd round of the entrance examination consists of a presentation of two works followed by an interview.

Work Presentation
You must bring along and present two recorded works, meeting the following criteria:

  • Special subject area: Instrumental/Electronic Composition
    Works that have been composed, arranged and produced entirely by yourself.
     
  • Special subject area: Songwriting
    Works that you have composed, written lyrics for and produced entirely by yourself. Both works must have lyrics.
     
  • Total duration 7-10 minutes. If the composition is an excerpt from a longer work, you must make this clear.

  • You must bring the works on a USB key in the file format WAV, AIFF or MP3, so that they can be played on the examiners’ computer.

  • The works must not be identical with the works you uploaded in your application, and which were assessed in the first round.

  • You are only allowed to play two works, i.e. you cannot play extracts from other works.

  • You are not allowed to perform the works live during the presentation.

Interview
The interview is based on the work presentation and your written application.
Duration: 10 minutes.

The presentation and the interview are carried out in front of a panel of three assessors. You are not allowed to bring other persons to the entrance examination.

ASSESSMENT AFTER THE 2ND ROUND

In the second round, an overall assessment is made of:

  • Your ability to create and communicate music and musical experiences borne by an independent artistic expression.
  • The extent to which you possess the composition or songwriting skills necessary to realise your music and your artistic expression.
  •  The extent to which you possess the other relevant professional skills necessary to realise your music and your artistic expression.
  • Your ability to reflect on your artistic practice as a composer or songwriter.

Emphasis is also placed on your experience of developing and realising artistic projects, independently or with others.

You will be assessed according to a 100 point scale, which is a subdivision of the Danish 7 step grading scale. A minimum of 40 points, corresponding to 02 in the Danish 7 step grading scale, is required to pass the audition.

The assessment is given, related to the level that is required to commence the programme.

AFTER THE ENTRANCE EXAMINATION

ADMISSION

On the basis of the results of both rounds, the best-qualified applicants will be admitted to the programme. If several applicants are equally well-qualified, factors such as the requirements of the music business may be included in the Conservatory’s decision on who to admit.

Ten students are normally admitted to the programme. Due to the limited number of places available, the Conservatory may be obliged to reject some applicants even if they have passed the entrance examination.

You will receive an e-mail informing you of whether or not you have been admitted.

All applicants who are not admitted will be offered a brief, eight-minute telephone conversation with the responsible internal examiner, who will elaborate on the assessment result on the basis of the assessment criteria used.

WAITING LIST

A limited number of applicants who are qualified for admission, but who have not been admitted due to a lack of places available, may be offered a place on a waiting list. In the period up to 1 June, applicants on the waiting list may be offered admission.

ILLNESS IN CONNECTION WITH THE ENTRANCE EXAMINATION

Illness must be documented by medical certificate if you wish to have the opportunity to take a make-up examination. The medical certificate must be provided no later than three days after the examination date. The Conservatory will determine the date of any make-up examination, and you will be notified of this as soon as possible. It will not be possible to take the make-up examination at any other time than that set by RMC. You are responsible for paying the cost of the medical certificate.

ENTRANCE EXAMINATION LANGUAGE

The entrance examination is normally conducted in Danish. Foreign applicants may however take the entrance examination in English.

Programme structure

The Bachelor study programme in composition corresponds to 180 ECTS points, equivalent to three years of full-time study at 1,620 working hours per year. A year of full-time study includes all work connected with the study programme, including classes, independent study, examinations and all other study-related activities.

The programme aims to develop the student’s artistic expression and professional qualifications to enable the students to create and communicate an independent artistic expression, and to develop and practise artistic-based teaching.

The study programme has a focus on providing for the student's own ideas and practice with the best conditions for expression, in a study environment that encourages experimentation, investigation and an open working process. The teaching covers such areas as the artistic idea, storytelling, composition, arrangement, instrumentation, production and – for songwriters – lyrics writing in Danish and English.

The teaching alternates between individual projects and joint learning, and aims to provide learning that as far as possible is tailored to the individual student, but at the same time builds upon on a common platform for production, discussion, criticism and the exchange of experience.

The subject Artistic Development Work - in which the student, in a process and product-oriented practice, develops an independent artistic expression - has a central placement in the programme.

The teaching is mainly provided within a particular year group; however, subjects and projects may also be provided in classes made up of students drawn from various years and/or study programmes.

The programme concludes in a Bachelor project, in which the student writes, produces and communicates his or her own works via a studio recording and a public performance.

The table below shows how the subjects and ECTS points are distributed in the programme.

Study Plan, Composition

SUBJECT

1st SEM.

2nd SEM.

3rd SEM.

4th SEM.

5th SEM.

6th SEM.

ECTS PER SUBJECT

Artistic Development Work

12.5

12.5

12.5

12.5

20

 

70

Bachelor Project

       

 

20 

20

Music Education & Learning

7.5

7.5

7.5

7.5

 

 

30

Specialisation: Composition/Songwriting 

2,5

2,5

2,5

2,5

5

20

Composition

5

5

5

5

 

 

20

Art and Culture Studies

2,5

2,5

2,5 2,5

 

 

10

Entrepreneurship

 

 

 

 

5

10

ECTS, TOTAL

30

30

30

30

30

30

180

 

You can read more about the objectives and structure of the programme in the programme curriculum, where you will also find detailed descriptions of the individual subjects – click on the link to the right, or on the individual subjects in the table above.

The programme is a full-time programme of study, and attendance at tuition is compulsory.  The language of instruction is usually Danish, but teachers may provide teaching in English to individuals or small groups as necessary.  Teaching given by guest teachers, or in connection with study tours, will however typically be provided in English.

During the course of studies it is optional to apply for exchange studies at a foreign conservatoire or for self-planned studies abroad.

The bachelor programme Composition provides the students with a foundation for further studies at Master´s level at a Danish or a foreign conservatoire. RMC offers the Masters´s programmes Music Performance, hereunder European Jazz Master and Nordic Master: The Composing Musician, as well as Music Creation and Music Education 

Career opportunities

Anders Hjernø, GRADUATED 2018

k_andershjernoe.jpg

What’s your job now?
I am a songwriter and musician, but I also work part-time as a kindergarten assistant to get a stable income while I work on getting my musical career back on its feet again.

Before I started at RMC a made a living by playing music, but I made a deliberate decision to use my student years to concentrate on writing and composing. Therefore, I scaled back the level of concert and recording activities and instead used the time to explore and experiment. In other words, do all the things I could not afford to do while my income was based on fees.

The time I use on music is divided between the artistic and more commercial activities, like fundraising, booking concerts, and having different kinds of business meetings. Besides that, I am part of running the record and publishing label Aftenrutine.

What were your most important discoveries?
I learned that songwriting and composition cannot entirely be put on a formula. I learned that I thrive on systems and schedules, but I must accept and expose myself to chaos if something interesting is to be made.

I learned to structure my time and work with many tasks at the same time, but I also learned that the most important is to find out what is the most important. There are a lot of things that are important but a few things that are the most important.

Did you know what to use the education for?
Yes, I wanted to be a blazing songwriter and I was looking forward to RMC making me one. I thought I should learn everything; to play the piano, take song lessons, write orchestra arrangements, and also reform the student democracy at the school.

At some point, I realized that there are only 24 hours in a day, and that is when I started thinking about there being many things that are important but a few things that are the most important. And then I started sorting out and scrap dreams. That was an important lesson and a lesson that can be used for the rest of your life.

How do you see the future for songwriters and producers?
I won’t make predictions on behalf of all songwriters and producers. Personally, I think that the future takes whatever form according to the battle you choose. If you want to be a star in the big leagues the future will look in a certain way because it is reserved for the few to be the big league star. If you want to be good at writing the music that is popular, then the future looks in a certain way because there are plenty of takers and many of them are really talented.

Personally, I would like to make a living off my music but I have also decided that I do not want to feel like a failure if that does not happen. That is a pleasant decision to have made because it gives me peace to work on writing some music. My battle is not to have a career because it is not important to me. My battle is to have the peace to create insightful and precise works, and it is nice if that makes a career. If not, I have still created something insightful and precise and that is the most important.

Dísa Jakobsdottir, graduated 2015

disa_jakobs.jpg.png

What’s your job now?
I sing in different bands, I am a masseuse, work with a herbalist in a herbal pharmacy and do meditations with vocals, gong, and Tibetan sing scales, and teach singing at the conservatory in Reykjavik. 

Why did you choose to study Composition?
I wanted to challenge myself as an artist and singer, figure out what I was capable of within music – as well as outside the framework – and experiment with my voice. I also wanted to meet other people within the same field and learn from them, share inspirations, and get ideas and feedback.

What were your most important discoveries?
I learned to trust my own ideas more, learned that I could make music from scratch, and like the result, and learned to move away from the mainstream. There was something stuck inside of me for a long time and the programme helped me out of it. I also discovered many new places within my voice and ways to play with it, which I am very grateful for. It is my main instrument and core.

What’s the best thing you got from the programme?
I was very happy with having space and room to experiment and to receive feedback on my ideas. I got a great network and good friends met inspiring people and teachers that showed me new perspectives on art, spirituality, and different ways to listen and perceive.

Graduates of the Songwriter programme are typically engaged in writing songs for their own bands/projects, or for other artists, publishers, film or television, etc. Songwriters often work on a freelance basis in a market that is rapidly changing and highly competitive, but where there is also a growing need for content providers who can supply original material of high quality. The employment opportunities depend on both market fluctuations in the business and on the priorities of cultural policy, and may therefore vary a great deal.

Awinbeh Ayagiba, GRADUATED 2016

awinbeh_ayagiba.jpg

What’s your job now?
Currently, I am working on releasing my solo record which I have been working on for the past few years. Besides this, I compose and produce for other artists, most recently Jada, Phlake, Benal, Alina Baraz, Soon, Elias Boussnina, and others.

Why did you choose to study Composition?
I was in a place in my life where I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do. I got a tip about the songwriting programme and I got in against all expectations. I had played in a lot of bands before, but it was in kind of a standstill, so RMC was a nice opportunity to kind of start over and get better overall.

What were your most important discoveries?
That it is never too late to learn something new. I had a lot of ideas about what and what not I was good at when I began at RMC. But after three years of experimenting I have moved over to production, especially vocal production, and this craft, which I didn’t have much knowledge of before RMC, became essential to how I now work with music.

What’s the best thing you got from the programme?
Great friends! And a nice network. We had some very good teachers who introduced us to a lot of new thoughts and things, which was cool, but personally, I got just as much out of reflecting myself in and working with the other students. In the beginning, I was very worried to be exposed as someone who didn’t belong – but speaking with each other in the courtyard you soon realize that everyone is in their own kind of process, which was cool to get different perspectives on.

Nikolaj Paakjær, GRADUATED 2018

nikolaj_paakjaer_david_milo_davidson_.jpg
Foto: David Milo Davidson

What’s your job now?
I teach young people with mental challenges in primarily songwriting and music production.

Why did you choose to study Composition?
A large part of my time was already spent on songwriting, so it was very liberating to quit my teaching job for a while and focus all my time on it. It was a dream come true that songwriting was all I needed to do for a few years.

I also had the wish to get my work out of my kitchen and get some feedback on the things I was doing and the expression I was developing. It really spoke to me to be able to be a part of such a concentrated, creative, and vibrating environment where you get inspired and challenged.

What were your most important discoveries?
I think that during the three years I sharpened my expression as a songwriter and found that fundamental voice and DNA that is in every piece of music I make. I got better at creating clarity about what each song is supposed to be.

What’s the best thing you got from the programme?
I got to meet a lot of sympathetic and inspiring people in a community where we in honesty could share the different aspects of life as a songwriter – from the overflow of inspiration to the dessert walk that it can also be. People that I continue to do creative work within different contexts.

Teachers

Below you will find the list of teaching staff on the programme in the current study year, permanent academic staff as well as contract teachers.

RMC prioritizes diversity in terms of genre and fields of expertise when the entire group of teachers is composed.

As a student, you are offered a wide spectrum of professional impulses from permanent teaching staff as well as from contract and external teachers.

Within the core subjects of the programme, the teaching performed by the permanent staff will normally not exceed more than two thirds of the total number of teaching hours.

In relation to special courses, projects and similar activities, you will have the opportunity to meet a large number of external teachers.

Artistic Development Work:

Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard

Søren Kjærgaard

Jacob Anderskov

Simon Van Deurs Formann

Kasper Tranberg

Anders Mathiasen

Sharin Foo

Nina Persson

Artistic Development Work - Individual Subject-specific Tuition:

Tróndur Bogasson

Sophie Ziedoy

Soffie Viemose

Sinne Eeg

Simon Van Deurs Formann

Simon Toldam

Simon Kjær

Pablo Llambias

Oliver McEwan

Nis Bysted

Nina Persson

Nikolaj Torp

Niclas Knudsen

Nicklas Schmidt

Nathan Jenkins

Najaaraq Vestbirk

Maria Marcus

Loke Rahbek

Kristian Finne Kristensen

Awinbeh Ayagiba

Kit Downes

Kasper Tranberg

Kasper Staub

Karen Sangvin

Joel Krozer

Jens Ramon Murga Meinert Thomsen

Frederikke Hoffmeier

Frans Petter Eldh

Eivör Pálsdóttir

Clarissa Connelly

Christian Hjelm

Carolina Echeverri

Britt Hein Jespersen

Bjarke Porsmose

Birk Gjerlufsen Nielsen

Astrid Sonne

David Elberling

Nikolaj Vonsild

Sharin Foo

Anders Banke

Qarin Wikström

Special Subject:

Pablo Llambias

Frederikke Hoffmeier

Emil Elg

Jesper Andersen

Frederikke Hoffmeier

Anders P Jensen

Music Education and Learning:

Malene Bichel

Jens Skou Olsen

Lars Brinck

Kim Boeskov

Maria Westvall

Composition:

Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard

Stine Grøn

Kasper Staub

Nikolaj Vonsild

Maria Faust

Marie Fisker

Michael Møller

Anders P. Jensen

Jacob Anderskov

Cultural and Business Studies:

Ralf Christensen

Nanna Balslev

Morten Carlsen

Micaela Kühn Jara

Jens Tang Kristensen

Jakob Weigand Goetz

Gry Worre Hallberg

Anna Ullman

About RMC

Rhythmic Music Conservatory (RMC) is an educational institution under the Danish Ministry of Culture and works on a non-commercial basis. RMC was founded in 1986 as the first music academy in Europe to specialize in contemporary rhythmic music.

 

RMC offers the highest education in contemporary rhythmic music - a multifaceted concept that embraces widely diverse genres such as rock, pop, jazz, urban, metal and electronic music.

 

Contemporary rhythmic music is a creative and performative art that builds upon a solid foundation in professional and cultural traditions.

 

At RMC contemporary rhythmic music means openness, curiosity, diversity and a critical position.

RMC Vision Statement 2019-2022

RMC is a pioneer in the study, practice and development of contemporary music.

 

At RMC, students and staff thrive in a creative atmosphere of inspiring exchange and inventive inquiry.

 

RMC educates future innovators in music who enrich artistic and cultural experience in the world.

 

Informed by deep knowledge and upon a foundation of highly developed skills, graduates install themselves in society and actualize potentials in a wide network of relations, both locally and globally.

Head of programme

Programme Coordinator

Claus Finderup

cf@rmc.dk

Study Programme (BMus C)