To help you orientate yourself and get settled in we would suggest the following routine for Sunday afternoon arrival…
First, check in to your accommodation before coming along to the college. If you are staying at the student halls of residence you can check-in after 2:00pm (please note: if you are arriving late you can check in any time as they have 24hr reception). If your instrument is very portable and you intend to carry it around with you all week, then leave it at your accommodation as you won’t need it until Monday morning.
If your instrument is not portable and you don't intend on carrying it around with you all week...
Come to the college with your instrument. You can pull up right outside the main reception to unload, but you can not park there indefinitely. There is lots of parking available very close by on either side of the college building. Rhythm section players set up your drum kit/amp in your teaching room. Front line players leave your instrument in the storeroom ready for Monday morning. The cafe will be open for refreshments (tea, coffee, alcohol, soft drinks and snacks).
If your instrument is portable and you intend on carrying it around with you all week...
You may wish to leave it at your accommodation. You will not need it until Monday morning.
Register in the main foyer. You will be given your timetable, handbook and electronic swipe badge which gives you access to all of the building. Guided tours of the building will be given by ushers to help orientate you.
Dinner will be served in the canteen
Tutor Concert in the Student Union Bar (jazz club), the bar will be open. Enjoy a nice relaxing, informal evening for everyone to meet, catch up and hear some great live jazz by your tutors.
If you are not sure where to find anything please don't hesitate to ask at the college reception. All of the RWCMD staff are extremely friendly, helpful and professional.
Monday-Friday daily routine
The course is designed to offer as much playing opportunity as possible, but is also flexible enough for you to make it as intense or as relaxed as you wish.
From Monday to Friday we keep the following routine...
08:00-9:30am Breakfast available
9:00-9:20am on Monday there will be a welcome meeting for everyone in the SU bar. From Tuesday to Friday we start each day with our group warm up session (in studio one), which is a good chance for everyone to get together for some gentle exercise/relaxation/singing/drumming/yoga-type activities to start the day.
9:30-12:30 Small band rehearsals. These form the core of our course and are organised by us. When you apply for a place on the course you will be asked to fill in a "self assessment" form, giving a general indication of your experience level. We use this information to group participants together and form small band combos, typically a 6-8 piece band. Each band will be assigned a tutor who will teach the group every morning throughout the week. The singers will have their own group for the morning sessions with their own rhythm section and vocal teacher. Our tutors are not only some of the finest jazz musicians in the country but are also hand picked for their teaching skills and experience.
12:30-2:00pm Lunch available
2:00-4:00pm Optional workshops and choir rehearsals. These are sessions where our tutors offer workshops/master classes on a particular subject or aspect of playing. In the past these have included things like: rhythm section playing, constructing bass lines, improvising using the melody, vocal technique for instrumentalists, lyric writing, samba drumming, free improvising, early jazz, etc. On two of these afternoons we run a choir which we encourage all students to attend. A song is learned and then performed in the jazz club with an all-star tutor band and is one of the highlights of the week.
4:15-6:00pm Free Time for practice, rehearsing and jamming.
6:00-7:30pm Dinner available
7:00-8:00pm Jam Session in the Jazz Club.
8:00-11:00pm Jazz Club. This is a chance for your small bands to perform the pieces they have been working on in the morning sessions. Also the tutors and assistant tutors will perform for the students. There may also be various impromptu events.
The final concert will end on Friday evening at midnight and this will be the official end of the course. If you are staying in the halls of residence your accommodation fee includes Friday night. If you choose not to use your room on Friday night you will not be able to claim a refund for that night. Check out from the halls of residence is by 10:00am on Saturday morning. College will be open on Saturday morning for you to collect your instruments before heading home.