Join us

Membership of the RSCM is an investment in the future of church music. The support of our members enables us to offer education and training courses, published resources, and activities for all those involved in music in worship.

We invite you to join us and help us to do even more to serve the church and to encourage good music everywhere.

RSCM membership is available both to organisations and individuals. Organisations such as churches and schools can become affiliates of the RSCM. Individuals can become members or friends of the RSCM. The different types of membership attract different benefits and have different levels of fees. The exact fees and benefits available also depend on where you are.

How to join the RSCM

Please click on the links below to find out more about membership in your part of the world:

Membership in the UK (including Northern Ireland), Channel Islands and Isle of Man
Membership in other parts of the world

Do you have a question about joining the RSCM?

Hopefully you will find the answer below! If not, do contact us at enquiries@rscm.com or +44(0)1722 424848.

Quick scroll to questions about joining the RSCM
Quick scroll to questions about paying for membership
Quick scroll to questions about different types of congregations
Quick scroll to questions about the RSCM’s magazines
Quick scroll to questions about RSCM publishing
Quick scroll to questions about education, courses and events

Why join the RSCM?

Q. Why should my church become an Affiliate of the RSCM?
A. As an Affiliate, your church or organisation plays a vital part in the RSCM’s work and mission. You will receive specialist help and support through a wide range of membership benefits, such as publications, resources (including our quarterly, multi-denominational liturgy planner Sunday by Sunday), discounts, access to events and training courses for all ages and levels of ability, advice and other information to enable you to plan and carry out musical worship effectively.

Q. Why should I become an Individual Member of the RSCM?
A. If you are actively involved in church music – for example as an organist or music director responsible for planning services – consider joining us as an Individual Member. You will benefit from the opportunities, resources and discounts available to Affiliates, and play an important role in the RSCM’s work, both in your local area and nationally.

Q. My church is affiliated; why should I join as well?
A. It’s great that your church is part of the RSCM! When you join or make a gift as an Individual, you become part of an international network, committed to current best practice and the future of church music.

Q. Why should I become a Friend of the RSCM?
A. By becoming a Friend, you invest in the future of live music in worship by helping us to train current and future leaders, arrange inspirational courses and events, support RSCM choirs, encourage outreach through our network of local volunteers, and publish new music resources for churches and schools. You’ll receive regular news about church music and the RSCM, including your own copy of Church Music Quarterly (CMQ), and have the chance to take part in festivals, events and courses in your local Area.

Q. I am a member of a choir/band; why should I become a Friend?
A. We are all in this together! By supporting the RSCM as a Friend you will not only learn more about church music yourself, but also make an investment in the future by helping to train current and future leaders.

Q. I am a member of the clergy and leave the organist/music director to take care of the music; is the RSCM relevant to me?
A. Everyone involved in planning and leading services needs to understand the role of music in worship and to work together! We are committed to supporting clergy as much as church musicians. Sunday by Sunday, the RSCM’s liturgy planner, provides a comprehensive, week-by-week guide to service planning as well as helpful articles on the use of music in worship. We also provide training courses for worship leaders.

Q. I am a student; can you help me?
A. We offer a special membership package in the UK at substantially reduced rates for those under 18 or in full-time education.

Q. What can the RSCM offer my school or college?
A. Several hundred schools and educational establishments are affiliated to the RSCM. Schools benefit from publications and resources, and many follow the highly regarded Voice for Life chorister training scheme, as well as participating in events such as Young Voices Festivals.

Q. There are lots of churches in my team/benefice. What can you offer us?
A. We have a useful affiliation package for you! ‘Affiliate Plus’ enables a ‘team’ or ‘benefice’ to join us for the standard cost of affiliation and receive two quarterly mailings (UK) and the other benefits we offer; they can ‘bolt on’ extra mailings for an additional cost per correspondent.

Q. I am a member of the Guild of Church Musicians / Friends of Cathedral Music / RCO; why should I join the RSCM?
A. We work in partnership with many other groups, but the RSCM has its own unique mission, which is to promote and enable the very best use of music in worship – whatever the resources, style or denomination. The RSCM is a large organisation with 8,500 members across the world, making us a powerful advocate for this mission. Your support as a member or a donor enables us to expand the resources and programmes we offer and serve churches, individuals and worshipping communities more effectively.

Q. Do I have to be a member to go on a course or take part in an event?
A. You don’t have to be a member to take part in most activities, but you will receive discounted rates on many courses and events if you do join.

Q. Can you put me in touch with other RSCM members?
A. The best point of contact is through the Secretary of your local RSCM Area committee. You can find their contact details in the back of our event listing available to members, The Network, and on the Area pages of our website.

Money

Q. Is the RSCM a charity?
A. Yes, the RSCM is a charity, number 312828. We rely on subscriptions from members, the gifts of members and  donors, funds raised by our volunteers, grants and legacies, course fees and music sales. Any gift made by a UK taxpayer (excluding membership fees) can benefit from Gift Aid.

Q. Our church is very poor; we don’t have any money in the budget.
A. We are very aware of rising costs facing churches and increased diocesan contributions. When you join the RSCM, you help to keep costs down for all of our members, because we can produce more publications and fill more courses at a lower per-head expense.

Q. What do I get for my membership?
A. Depending on your membership category, you receive a specific package of membership benefits, including a free subscription to our range of membership publications (for Affiliate and Individual Members this includes the liturgy planner Sunday by Sunday), and discounts on RSCM publications, choir robes and most course bookings.  You will also benefit more widely from the work we do to encourage singing, develop training programmes, represent church music within national and international church bodies, and ensure the development and availability of repertoire.

Q. What do you do with my membership subscription?
A. We use gifts and membership dues to publish printed resources; run, promote, and develop our range of practical and applied training programmes; and work with our large network of volunteers – locally and internationally – to administer and carry out our work.

Q.  How can I pay for my membership or make a charitable gift?
A. We encourage members to set up Direct Debits in order to receive a discounted membership fee and lower our administration costs.  Members can also pay by cheque or credit card.  Donors can send cheques, or make one-off or monthly gifts online, or set up Standing Orders for regular gifts. We accept most major credit cards as well as CAF and Stewardship Vouchers and CAF charity cards. With your permission we will list your name with other donors in the RSCM annual report, as our way of thanking you and encouraging others to give. You may also make gifts in memory or honour of friends, colleagues and loved ones.

Q.  Can I leave a gift to the RSCM in my will?
A.  Yes, we warmly welcome gifts of bequests, life insurance, pensions and more. Donors of ‘planned gifts’ from any part of the world may also become members (even anonymously) of the RSCM Legacy Society. If you live outside the UK, we strongly advise you to contact a financial or legal adviser  to make sure you get the best tax advantages for your legacy gift; and if you wish to give other than cash or securities, please contact +44 (0)1722 424848 or development@rscm.com.

Different kinds of congregations

Q. My church is not Anglican; is the RSCM for me?
A. The RSCM aims to meet the needs of all those engaged in church music. We are open to every church denomination, and also count school and community choirs among our members.

Q. My church doesn’t have a choir; is the RSCM for me?
A. Few churches have choirs these days! But almost all churches recognise the importance of music in worship. We support organists, pianists who want to become organists, instrumentalists and solo singers. Our liturgy planner Sunday by Sunday is ideal for clergy who choose hymns and songs without the help of an organist or director of music.

Q. My church doesn’t have an organ; is the RSCM for me?
A. You don’t need a pipe organ to have good church music. We can help you to find the right music for your church.

Q. My church is evangelical/my church is charismatic/my church doesn’t have traditional music; is the RSCM for me?
A. We work with churches across the whole spectrum of theology and churchmanship. The important thing is to have good music that is appropriate for your church, your community, and your worship context and theology. Many churches have also discovered the richness of having different styles of music at different services or within a single service.

Magazines

Q. Church Music Quarterly doesn’t quite meet my needs…
A. We always listen to comments about CMQ from our Members and Friends. In response we have previously redesigned the magazine, and continually consider ways to improve it further. Let us know if you have any specific ideas for how we can make your magazine better by contacting us at marketing@rscm.com

Q. Can I just subscribe to Sunday by Sunday? Can I get extra copies?
A. Sunday by Sunday is a benefit of membership for Individual Members and Affiliates. If you are an Affiliate member you can purchase extra copies of the entire quarterly mailing package (‘Affiliate Plus’ membership).

Q. My church doesn’t use the Common Worship lectionary.  Is Sunday by Sunday any use?
A. We use the Common Worship lectionary (recommended Bible readings) to guide our choice of hymns, songs, and anthems in Sunday by Sunday.  Where the Revised Common Lectionary offers a different provision, we allow for that too. Even if your church doesn’t strictly follow a lectionary, you will still find much of the content helpful because it is based on the seasons of the church year. In June 2009 we expanded Sunday by Sunday to include feature articles, training material and reviews of printed music, making it even more useful to members from different traditions.

Q. I want to save the planet! Can you communicate with me electronically?
A. We are constantly adding material to our website and also have several email newsletters which are available to everyone, whether you are an RSCM member or not. Not everything can be posted online since those who plan music and worship need hard copies of the resources available to members. That said, please let us know how we can best serve you and reduce our use of paper. To help defray our mailing costs and keep our membership rates low, we offer a limited number of advertisers the opportunity to include relevant publicity material inside our quarterly mailing package.

Q. How often will you contact me?
A. We send a quarterly mailing to Members and Friends, and email newsletters to which you can subscribe online. Your RSCM Area may also contact you from time to time with details of local events.

Publishing

Q. What does the RSCM publish? Is it suitable for my church?
A. RSCM Press publishes church music and educational materials. Our music covers the full range of musical styles and resources, serving the needs of everyone from those with no choir to those with lavish musical offerings. Most of the music is selected with the ‘middle ground’ in mind.

Q. We have a very small music budget. What discounts are available to members?
A. Affiliated churches and choirs receive 25% discount on RSCM publications purchased through RSCM Music Direct. Individual Members receive 12.5% discount. Many of our core publications have photocopiable pages to make them even more affordable for small churches or choirs.

Q. Why are the discounts only on RSCM publications?
A. RSCM is not a trading company, and RSCM Music Direct sales are handled by our partner, Norwich Books and Music. The terms we get from other publishers and suppliers vary. However, please do contact RSCM Music Direct (musicdirect@rscm.com) if you are ordering more than single copies – we can often negotiate with publishers and suppliers for larger orders.

Education, courses and events

Q. What events are happening in my area?
A. Details of local UK and Ireland events can be found on our Area pages. Many local Areas have their own websites, with further information and contacts. Full details are also published in our quarterly event listing, The Network, which we send to our members and Friends in the UK and Ireland. The RSCM’s centrally run courses take place in different parts of the UK during the year, so be sure to check the RSCM website to see what’s coming up near you!

Q. Is there a minimum standard to enrol on a course?
A. There is no minimum standard for many of our courses, including the young people’s courses and Singing Breaks, which attract people of all ages and levels of ability. The educational programmes (Voice for Life and Church Music Skills) offer different levels according to experience, while places on Cathedral Courses are allocated by audition.  Our Education department can provide further advice at education@rscm.com.

Q. I am a pianist who just about manages to play the organ at church. Where/how can I find basic training to help me play for the services?
A. Our Church Music Skills programme provides training through a distance-learning scheme, so that you can develop your skills as you play at your own church. RSCM Press has published tutor books, The Complete Church Organist, to support the programme. We also welcome players at Grade 5-7 (organ) level at our residential courses for church organists, offering small-group tuition on technique and service-playing skills under the direction of an experienced and sympathetic team. Local RSCM Areas also offer occasional workshops and training. Our Pipeline Organ Scholarships offer support and funding for teenage pianists wishing to learn to play the organ within their own church.

Q. I am an RSCM member.  Can I advertise my event/concert on the web or elsewhere, even though it is not an official RSCM event?
A. RSCM members can place display or classified advertisements in Church Music Quarterly (CMQ) at a discounted rate. Classified advertisements placed in CMQ are also posted free on our classifieds webpage, where details of current rates are available.

Q. What is Voice for Life?
A. Voice for Life supports and promotes singing in churches, schools, and other communities. The programme provides a comprehensive range of training materials, repertoire, courses, and training choirs such as RSCM Voices and RSCM Millennium Youth Choir. It enables choir trainers and teachers to work with their singers more effectively and helps singers to grow as people as well as musicians.

Q. What is Church Music Skills?
A. Church Music Skills is a pioneering education programme designed to help practising church musicians develop the skills they need for their role. The programme is flexible, with the option to pursue a formal qualification or to ‘mix and match’ units of learning according to individual needs. The student selects the most appropriate ‘stream’ to pursue (eg for organists, choir directors or music group leaders) and then supplements this with a range of supporting studies. Church Music Skills is based on distance learning, combining private study at home with practical experience in the student’s own church.

Q. Can I undertake any studies at degree level?
A. Our Foundation Degree and BA in Church Music courses are no longer accepting new students.