The area around Prince Consort Road in South Kensington, London, is a treat for music lovers. It hosts one of the key musical universities of the world, the Royal College of Music. However, even if you are not suffiently skilled to study in there, you can still educate yourself – in a small museum in the college building. On one of my recent London trips, I had a look into the Royal College of London Museum.
Royal College of Music Museum – Location & Admission
The museum is located in the main building of the Royal College of Music. You will find it easily in the basement of the building. Of course, especially if you are visiting on weekdays, you will run into students in this place. The college is, by the way, located right across the legendary Royal Albert Hall. The nearest Underground station is South Kensington (Circle Line, District Line, Piccadilly Line), which is about five to ten minutes away. Alternatively, you may use one of several bus connections available. The area is just not part of the London congestion zone (city toll).
Admission to the Royal College of Music Museum is free. The museum is closed on Mondays and opens Tuesday to Friday from 10:15 to 17:45. On Saturdays and Sundays, the museum opens from 11:00 to 18:00. However, on these days, they do a lunch break from 13:00 to 14:00.
Royal College of Music Museum – The Visit
The museum is having two floors. The lower floor is holding the permanent exhibition, while the upper floor deals with different topics. The majority of permanent items are historic musical instruments. Even though the space is rather limited, it is a cool place, with a lot of information and interactive screens. Furthermore, you can have a free audio guide device. For mist of the instruments in display, this one does not only hold additional information, but also recordings how the different instruments sound alike.
During my visit in January 2023, the upper level of the museum hosted the temporary exhibition Music, Migration and Mobility. It dealt with the life and creative work of musicians and composers during the Nazi era. I felt that this was a really interesting temporary exhibit, which also featured quite a lot of videos with eyewitness or artist interviews.
Royal College of Music Museum – Services
The staff at the museum reception desk is really lovely. They also helped me to get around. There is also a small souvenir shop available. Even if you are not a student, you may of course also use the cafe of the Royal College of Music.
Royal College of Music Museum – My View
The Royal College of Music Museum is a really interesting place for music lovers. It is not a huge space, but I just loved the combination of looking behind the scenes of one of the most famous musical universities and having some education on historic music instruments. If you really want to have a blast in instruments, you need to head to Oxford for the Bate Collection at the campus there – but the Royal College of Music is doing a pretty nice job as well.
These are all articles, in which I dealt with events and places influencing musical history:
Free Entry – United Kingdom
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