London Conducting Academy

The year-long part-time course providing comprehensive training in the art and technique of conducting.

It has been most wonderful studying with Denise over the year and on such a fantastically organised course. It was everything that I hoped for!
The structure and delivery of the course was perfectly suited to my needs musically and practically with work commitments. I have learnt a huge amount over the year and really feel that I’ve developed as a conductor with the insight and guidance from Denise.
— Benjamin James, founder & artistic director of Illyrian Ensemble, principal conductor of Barnet Youth Orchestra, associate conductor of Lewisham Concert Band.

Up to eight students are accepted each year, and places are also available to observe most sessions - book a free taster to discover the course!


Watch the course
on any of the dates below

Application deadline 1st March 2019
Late applications considered as space allows.

Next session: Schubert Symphony no 8 in B minor “Unfinished” - Sat 21st Sept Participate or observeRegister interest

The teaching has been superb, the pianists faultless, and a tour de force of professional players to work with has been invaluable. This has been such a success.
— Participants 16/17

Year course: Repertoire & tutors

September 2018 - July 2019

Autumn 2018

Thurs 20 September (closed to observers)
Mozart - Symphony no 41 in C “Jupiter”
Denise Ham

Thurs 4 October (closed to observers)
Mozart - Symphony no 41 in C “Jupiter”
Denise Ham

Thurs 18 October
Mozart - Symphony no 41 in C “Jupiter”
Denise Ham; ensemble session

Thurs 8 November
Brahms - Overture “Academic Festival”
Weber - Overture “Der Freischutz”
Denise Ham

Thurs 22 November
Brahms - Overture “Academic Festival”
Weber - Overture “Der Freischutz”
Denise Ham; ensemble session

Thurs 6 December
Strauss - Don Juan
Dominic Grier

Spring 2019

Thurs 17 January
Beethoven - Symphony no.4 in B flat
Denise Ham

Thurs 31 January
Beethoven - Symphony no.4 in B flat
Denise Ham

Thurs 14 February
Beethoven - Symphony no.4 in B flat
Denise Ham; ensemble session

Thurs 7 March
Dukas - The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Christopher Seaman

Thurs 21 March *
Schumann - Piano Concerto in A minor
Denise Ham; Soloist: Alissa Firsova

Thurs 4 April
Verdi - Act II, Scene I of Traviata
Score Study with John Longstaff

Summer 2019

Thurs 25 April *
Verdi - Act II, Scene I of Traviata
Richard Farnes

Thurs 9 May
Schumann - Piano Concerto in A minor
Denise Ham; soloist: Alissa Firsova; ensemble session

Thurs 23 May **
Mozart - Recitatives from Cosi fan Tutte
Denise Ham

Thurs 13 June
Shostakovitch - Symphony no 5
Denise Ham

Thurs 27 June
Shostakovitch - Symphony no 5
Denise Ham

Thurs 11 July
Shostakovitch - Symphony no 5
Denise Ham; ensemble session

*updated details as of 22nd Jan 2019
**updated details as of 1st May



Watch how conducting skills are developed and refined over the year. For anyone interested, whether a trained musician or not.

Available as gifts.


Single session

Year pass


Where and when does it happen? 

The course takes place one day (normally a Thursday) each fortnight during term time, from 11:15am to 5:15pm (with a break at 1:15).

The venue is Charlton House, a 400 year old Jacobean manor house and concert venue in Greenwich, London. See map & directions

Charlton House, London

Charlton House, London



Who studies on the course?

The course is open to any musician wishing to develop their conducting, for working with professional, amateur or student orchestras or choirs. 

Students are generally accomplished musicians with at least some conducting experience and a level of familiarity with core orchestral repertoire, who are wishing to develop and refine their conducting technique. Since the course provides comprehensive technical training, previous conducting experience is not essential - good musicianship is much more important.

Past students of Denise include many professional conductors, film and concert composers, music college professors, ensemble and band leaders, and orchestral musicians.


Who observes the course? 

"Having limited experience and wanting to expand my knowledge of conducting, I signed up to observe Denise Ham's classes at the London Conducting Academy. I have learnt so much already after the first term, benefitting from Denise's technical expertise and experience and being able to take part in technique sessions. The fantastic teaching combined with a friendly atmosphere have made the course enjoyable and worthwhile."
- Felicity, observer

Anyone interested in learning more about the art and technique of conducting can observe the course. Observers include music students, those interested in classical music, conductors, teachers and performing musicians.

Observing the course is a great way to learn how a conductor communicates aspects of music like phrasing, emotion, timing, character, density, structure, counterpoint and melody; the conductor's responsibilities and methods, from their own practise to rehearsal to concert; score-reading and learning technique; managing a rehearsal

Observers are welcome to join in with the group technique work at the start of each session, or simply to watch.


What happens in each session? 

Sessions begin with group technique work, which observers are welcome to join in with. The focus then usually moves onto a specific piece, and the eight enrolled students work in turn with the pianists or ensemble through sections of the work, with feedback from the teacher and players.


What should observers bring?

We recommend bringing a score of the music. To find these, you could try a library, search or buy from or, or from your local music shop such as Chimes


September 2019 - July 2020


Denise Ham (course director) • John Longstaff • Colin Metters
Toby Purser
Mark Shanahan • Alexander Janiczek (soloist)


Subject to change

Beethoven - Symphony no 1 in C • Copland - Appalachian Spring • Elgar - Enigma Variations

Schumann - Symphony no 3 in E flat “Rhenish” • Rachmaninov - Symphonic Dances
Mozart - Recitatives from “The Marriage of Figaro”

Tchaikovsky - Violin Concerto in D • Brahms - Symphony no 3 in F
Berlioz - Overture “Le Carneval Romain” • Faure - Suite from “Pelleas & Melisande”



Autumn 2019
Thurs 19 September (closed to observers)
Thurs 3 October (closed to observers)
Thurs 17 October

Thurs 14 November
Thurs 28 November
Thurs 12 December

Spring 2020
Thurs 9 January Thurs 23 January Thurs 6 February

Thurs 27 February
Thurs 12 March
Thurs 26 March

Summer 2020
Thurs 23 April
Thurs 7 May
Thurs 21 May

Thurs 11 June
Thurs 25 June
Thurs 9 July


"After doing a number of weekend conducting workshops and week long masterclasses both in London and Budapest, I decided that I needed a conducting course that lasted much longer and was more progressive if i was to really improve my conducting technique. I could not have made a better decision than to put myself in the hands of Denise Ham and the other excellent tutors at the London Conducting Academy - within a matter of weeks my conducting had changed radically and I realised that by the end of the course I would emerge a much better conductor indeed.

Catching the early morning flights back and forth from Belfast to London has been absolutely worth it, as the marvellous repertoire has been varied and the tuition extremely informative. The atmosphere and class setting, not to mention the friendships made has made for a very memorable experience. My only regret is that a course like this didn’t exist when I first started conducting."
- Gary Shields M.A (Mus) - Ormeau Concert Band, Aughnaskeagh Silver Band, Lisburn Young Defenders and Roses Lane Ends temperance Flute Bands

Greenwich Music School FS-1209 LCA4-1500.jpg

LONDON CONDUCTING ACADEMY is the professional conducting course from Greenwich Music School, led by Denise Ham.