Becoming an organ scholar

Every organ in every church, cathedral or chapel is a different instrument, and opens a new world… If the idea of playing on one of these on a regular basis sounds exciting and your keyboard skills are pretty good, why not consider training towards an organ scholarship?

What is an organ scholar?

An Organ Scholarship offers unparalleled opportunities to talented organists who wish to develop their skills as a professional musician. An organ scholar’s life is a busy one, especially if you are balancing it alongside university or school studies, and often involves the opportunity to work with and train the choir.

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Life as an organ scholar

Viraj, the Organ Scholar at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, explores what the role involves and explains some of the benefits of being an Organ Scholar.

He also discusses the application and audition process and offers some practical advice.

Where are organ scholarships available?

You can be an organ scholar at many cathedrals, major parish churches and university chapels, but you often need to apply in very good time – and be organised! 

If you're looking for an organ scholarship, then the RSCM has a very useful directory of where they are available.

Meet some organ scholars

Hear more from organ scholars about their experience at different cathedrals and universities in the UK.

Read their stories

Support and Resources

An excellent series of videos produced by Oundle for Organists and the Royal College of Organists helps potential organ scholars prepare for auditions.

There are also courses you can attend, usually in the holidays, such as the Oundle for Organists Summer School, which takes place in July.