Try not to stress about it. One conservatoire tutor told us they recommend prospective students think of their application like a triangle that includes:
- your personal statement
- your portfolio
- evidence or work experience, and the exam and course grades.
Each corner of the triangle is important. but together the three elements make up the whole application.
Have a look at our guide to writing an undergraduate personal statement, and then consider what other specific things conservatoires may be looking for. Think about including the following:
- Why you’re applying – your ambitions and what interests you about the subject, conservatoires and higher education.
- Your reasons for choosing the courses you’ve listed. Remember that each conservatoire will be able to see the other conservatoires and courses you've applied to, so explain why you’ve chosen those courses.
- What interests you about your chosen study area (playing an instrument, acting, singing, conducting, stage design or another specialist area).
- Your experience within your chosen specialist area and in any other activity related to the course(s) for which you’ve applied.
- What makes you suitable – for example, membership of national/international orchestras, choirs or chamber groups (such as NYO, EUYO or National Youth Theatre) and any other relevant skills and achievements gained from education, work or other activities.
This is the section to talk about why you want to take this course and what you’ve done in relation to the subject you’re proud of. Tutors ask you to get across a sense of enthusiasm and passion for your subject.
Include why you’re interested in studying at a conservatoire. Are there any aspects you can include that tell the tutors about your character, spirit, and attitude towards life and learning?
For this section, tutors told us they like to see what you’ve done with your time outside of the subjects you studied and any school or college-led activities. Tell them what you’ve done in your own time – show evidence of independent learning and the motivation to commit time to what you want to do.
Extracurricular activities are also great ways to prepare for higher education. If you do or have done any of these before, they could be ideal things to mention in your personal statement. You might be able to organise or start a new activity before you send your application.
- Clubs or societies you belong to – perhaps musical, sporting or creative
- Employment or volunteering – such as vInspired Awards, WorldWide Volunteering Certificate or Project Trust
- Skills developed with ASDAN, Duke of Edinburgh, National Citizen Service or young enterprise
As well as hearing about your extracurricular activities, tutors want to know what you’re hoping to do in the future, so tell them about your work experience and your creative ambitions.
- What experience do you already have?
- How will studying at a conservatoire help with your career ambitions?
- What achievements and experiences might you be able to talk about in your interview?
- Do think about your personal accomplishments, as well as your ambitions and goals.
- Do get across your enthusiasm and passion for the subject.
- Do proofread aloud and get your teachers, advisers, and family to check – then redraft until you’re happy with it.
- Don’t leave it until the last minute – it may take longer than you think.
- Don’t overdo the humour or quotes from others.
- Don’t write one large paragraph – split the information up and even consider using bullet points or lists.
Try and leave the tutor with a lasting impression of you.
If you’re not sure how to end your statement, you can read here for some extra tips. Your conservatoire personal statement is like an undergraduate university application, but what you’ve done in your free time really helps to show your passions and experience. Don’t be shy – this is your chance to shine.
- How to begin your personal statement: The attention grabber.
- Dos and don’ts.
- Personal statement builder tool.
- How to turn your personal statement into a CV, apprenticeship application or covering letter.