Junior Fellowships in Piano Accompaniment


The Junior Fellowships in Piano Accompaniment provide a valuable opportunity for talented young pianists embarking on a professional career to gain experience and to further develop their performance skills. Through working with vocal, string, woodwind and brass students, successful applicants will gain accompaniment experience in a variety of contexts. Three tax-free bursaries, each to the value of £8,000, will be available for the 2016/17 academic year to help defray the cost of any tuition undertaken during the academic year of their tenure.

Junior Fellows in Piano Accompaniment are required to mentor and accompany instrumental and vocal students at Trinity Laban. This will also include some involvement in departmental classes, examinations, one-to-one lessons and other sessions as agreed. Attendance is likely to be in the region of 400 hours over the year, primarily during the Music Faculty’s 35 designated teaching weeks. The Junior Fellows in Piano Accompaniment will report to the Head of the department to which they are assigned, and to the leader of the Junior Fellowship programmes. Applicants will need to be able to demonstrate substantial relevant experience, with a wide range of competencies and experience in piano accompaniment and duo work, as well as advanced proficiency in sight-reading. They should expect to contribute and add value to the Conservatoire community as well as pursuing their own careers. Junior Fellows are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities to further their own professional development by arranging lessons with members of Trinity Laban’s teaching staff.

Please also note that Junior Fellowship schemes are not eligible for Tier 4 student visas. All applicants need to have valid work permits/visas for the United Kingdom covering the full period of the fellowship prior to applying.


Normally awarded for one academic year, but with an option for re-application for one further academic year, the Junior Fellowship must be taken up in the year for which it is awarded. The Fellowships are available to external applicants as well as graduates and alumni of Trinity Laban. Junior Fellowship candidates should already have successfully completed formal studies at a level at least equivalent to a postgraduate diploma or degree. 

Applicants are required to submit a portfolio of material, as described below. Both the letter of application and the supporting material should indicate an ability and readiness to present yourself effectively as an emerging professional and, as such, should be comparable to that which you might use when approaching an artists’ agent, concert society or festival.

When preparing your application, you should show the range of your planned or anticipated musical activities for the year. It is not a finalised statement, but rather a plan of what would be desirable. Your application should also include an outline showing how you plan to support yourself financially through the year. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an audition and an interview in the Spring term and those appointed should be able to start in September of the new academic year.

Conditions of Fellowship

Junior Fellows should expect to fulfil a range of duties as negotiated and agreed with Trinity Laban, including (though not exclusive to) the following:

Piano accompaniment activities

  • To work closely with one or more departments according to repertoire specialisms, but be able to accompany for all departments as required.
  • To perform as a duo partner for students in concerts, competitions, departmental classes, masterclasses and examinations.
  • To lead piano accompaniment departmental classes on occasions to be arranged.
  • To liaise with and give support to the Head of Keyboard, and the Head of the department to which assigned and the leader of the Junior Fellowship programmes Conservatoire-based activities.
  • To collaborate with and otherwise support the team of Junior Fellows, attending Junior Fellow meetings and contributing to wider Junior Fellow events as appropriate.
  • To mentor current students by providing advice, contacts, and examples of career development.
  • To organise, lead, coach, direct, inform and/or participate alongside Trinity Laban performers and composers in projects and/or other activities as appropriate.
  • To take part in or attend, when invited, special events within and outside Trinity Laban (without further payment) and to represent Trinity Laban on special occasions, as requested, and help to promote the Conservatoire.
  • To keep the Conservatoire and any other relevant parties informed on a regular basis of external performances or events in which they are involved.
  • To fulfil any other duties negotiated and agreed with Trinity Laban.
  • To adhere to all other relevant Trinity Laban policies and procedures found in the Trinity Laban Regulations Handbook.
  • It is expected that Junior Fellows will be resident in London/Greater London and normally be at the Conservatoire for three days a week in term time.

In addition, Trinity Laban will provide Junior Fellows in Piano Accompaniment with:

  • Registration/ID card - providing full access to Trinity Laban facilities
  • Teaching and Practice Facilities: access to studios as necessary to fulfil the demands of this role.
  • Library: use and borrowing rights equal to those of full-time students
  • Performance: performance opportunities as appropriate to be discussed and arranged with the appropriate Head of Department in conjunction with the leader of the Junior Fellowship programmes.

Application documents

  • Covering letter: please attach a letter providing a brief statement (of no more than 500 words) indicating your intended personal programme over the Junior Fellowship period.
  • Short biography: a précis (no more than 200 words) version of your biography.
  • Names of referees: please provide the names of two referees (preferably of national or international stature) who are willing to provide comment on both your professional work to date and your suitability for the Junior Fellowship programme, stating how long they have known you and in what capacity.
  • Professional references: please attach scanned copies of the references from the two professional referees whose details you have supplied above.
  • Photo: please attach a high-quality (300dpi or 1MB) recent digital image of yourself.
  • Digital recordings: please attach at least one digital recording of a recent performance, with a total length of at least 15 minutes in duration. As there is no limit to the file size, please submit the highest quality version you have at your disposal. Please note that, due to the large number of applications received, should your recordings exceed 15 minutes in duration they may not be reviewed in their entirety by the panel.
  • Additional information: being as specific as possible, please indicate how you found out about this Junior Fellowship opportunity.

After shortlisting

 All shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend an interview/audition (which will last no more than 50 minutes) during which they will be required to:

  • work with one of our students on a particular movement of a chosen sonata (candidates will be given no less than two weeks’ notice of the chosen work and movement), helping them learn and polish a section;
  • work with one of our vocal students on a chosen song in its original key (candidates will be given no less than two weeks’ notice of the chosen work), helping them learn and polish a section; and
  • sight-read a short section of a concerto accompaniment (piano reduction).

Application deadline and application fee

The application deadline is Friday 5 February 2016 at 17.00h. 

The application fee is £50. Please note that this payment is non-refundable and that any application not been supported by an online payment will not be processed.

Date of auditions

16 March 2016

Please find below some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about this Junior Fellowship:

Q. I currently live in London but I am not a UK citizen. Will obtaining a Junior Fellowship entitle me to remain in the UK?
A. Due to recent changes made by the UK Border Agency, holding a Junior Fellowship sadly does not entitle you to apply for a visa. As such, gaining a Junior Fellowship will have no influence on your ability to extend your current visa.

Q. If I am not shortlisted, will it be possible to receive feedback on my application?
A. Sadly, due to the large number of applications we receive, it is not possible to provide individual feedback to applicants who were not shortlisted for interview.

Q. Can I receive advice on my application prior to its final submission?
A. Yes – should you require any guidance on the content of your application we will be happy to offer this. This is best provided by email: be as specific as you can with your query and we will do our best to assist you.

Q. I wasn’t shortlisted although I am a brilliant musician with glowing references. Why is this?
A. We are not only looking for brilliant musicians but for individuals who can demonstrate an understanding of the Trinity Laban ethos and whose proposed programme of study will benefit our students as well as themselves. 

Q. You ask for a recent digital recording. What do you mean by ‘recent’?
A. While it is important you submit your best recording, we would expect that you are a developing musician who is currently possessing the best technical and expressive capacity you have had. As such, we anticipate that the recording(s) you provide will be amongst the latest you have recorded.

Q. Can I submit just one long digital recording or should I provide lots of different, shorter recordings?
A. While there is no strict answer to this, we would recommend including 2-3 shorter but contrasting extracts or movements (for instance, highlighting different styles or where you are performing with different instruments/singers) as opposed to a single complete work or movement. 

Q. Can I submit a YouTube or Soundcloud link in my application material instead of uploading a digital recording?
A. No – if you no longer have the original file please use KeepVid or a similar online application to extract your recording from the website in question then upload this file onto Decision Desk.

Q. I only have audio (as opposed to audio-visual) recordings of my performances. Will this affect my chances of being shortlisted?
A. No – while an audio-visual recording is most revealing, it is the quality of the performance featured on the recording that is of greatest importance to the panel.

Q. I have a recording of a very recent concert performance and although I am very pleased with my playing the sound quality isn’t great. Should I still submit it?
A. In most instances, yes – unless the audio quality makes it almost impossible to hear the quality of your performance. Again, it is the quality of the performance featured on the recording that is of greatest importance to the panel.

Q. What is meant by ‘intended personal programme’?
A. Please detail, in no more than 500 words, what you are seeking to achieve over the 12-month period during which you are applying to be a Junior Fellow, and how this relates to your career aspirations in general. Although this is not essential, we would also recommend you discuss why you have chosen to apply to Trinity Laban and what benefit your association with Trinity Laban will bring to both yourself and to our students.

TIP: If you are currently unaware of what distinguishes Trinity Laban from its competitors we recommend that you study pages 5-7 of the Trinity Laban Strategic Plan 2014-9 ahead of drafting your personal programme of study.

Q. I have been shortlisted however I do not live in the UK. Do I need to travel to London for my interview?
A. Not necessarily – if you are shortlisted but face difficulties getting to London on the specified audition date it may be possible to arrange a Skype audition. This will of course require you to find a suitable location (and any additional musicians) with a good internet connection.

Q. I am looking to apply for the Junior Fellowship position as a composer. With regards to the application, when I submit recordings of my compositions, should I also include the scores?
A. Yes – if you are the composer of a work featured on one of your digital recordings, we would recommend that an electronic (preferably PDF) copy of the score is submitted along with your application materials.

Q. What should I write in my budget outline?
A. The budget outline can be a simple table. This submission requirement is designed only to demonstrate that you have considered and worked out how you will be financially supported (e.g. is this a combination of bursary, parental support and paid teaching work?) over the 12-month Junior Fellowship period. You can of course include the Junior Fellowship bursary money in your calculations. In terms of possible income streams and performance-related expenditure, we would suggest making a realistic guess but not going into great detail. So long as you can demonstrate on paper that it is financially viable for you to undertake the Junior Fellowship, the panel will be satisfied with your budget outline.

Q. What should my referee write in their reference letter in support of my application?
A. We do not specify what a referee should write. A reference is often only a couple of paragraphs but can be longer if your referee has more to say. A good reference is effectively a character reference by someone who is an established musician and who has had experience of you performing in either a training or a professional context.

Q. I have completed my application materials but I am still awaiting a response from one of my referees. Can I still submit my application?
A. While we would prefer for all the application materials to be submitted in a single document, we will accept references sent to us directly by your referee via separate cover, provided they arrive prior to the application deadline. References received late may not be considered by the panel and this could adversely affect your application.

Q. Is it possible to amend our application materials once they have been submitted?
A. Once you have begun the online application process you can remove and/or replace files you have already uploaded. However once your application has been submitted you will be required to contact the Junior Fellowship administrator via email to request  further amendments prior to the application deadline.

Q. I am applying for more than one Junior Fellowship programme, does this mean that I have to submit two separate applications on Decision Desk and pay the fee twice?

A. Yes you will be required to submit two separate applications on Decision Desk as well as pay two separate fees via the online shop as you are applying to audition for two separate panels.

Q. Will I have time to warm up with the performers from the college prior to going into the audition?

A. No, the performers will only be in the actual audition with you, you will warm up on your own, the performers will be given the same pieces as you to learn prior to the audition. You will have to open rehearse the pieces with the performers during the audition as that helps the panel to assess how you interact with the performers.

If you have further queries after reading all of the information provided, please email [email protected].