Church Music Skills

Church Music Skills is a pioneering education programme designed to help practising church musicians to develop the skills and understanding that they need for their role, and to equip those who want to be able to lead music in worship.

The programme is based on distance learning, combining private study at home with practical experience in the student’s own church. It is designed for use by students studying alone or with a teacher, and may be complemented by optional attendance at RSCM workshops, masterclasses and short residential courses.

The Complete Church Organist books are comprehensive tutors, reflecting the Church Music Skills approach.

Organ units

  • Hymns
  • Worship songs
  • Accompanying chant
  • Anthems and settings
  • Solo performance
  • Improvisation

There are also 16 Supporting Studies (Worship and Ministry, and Church Music in Practice) units, and practical modules for choir trainers, cantors and music group leaders.


Nationally-organised courses for organists in the UK in 2017

Course Date Location
Autumn Church Organists Course 23 – 25 October 2017 St Albans
Survival Kit! 28 – 30 August 2017 Peterborough/Boston

Also, RSCM volunteers organise hundreds of events and courses around the UK and overseas every year. See what’s happening in the UK here. Singers may like to consider joining one of the RSCM choirs in the UK, which sing regularly in major venues. Courses are available in other parts of the world too – for more details go to the RSCM International websites.


Bursaries are available for participants on some courses.


Pipeline organ scholarships

The RSCM offers ten scholarships for teenage musicians, to nurture young talent and create church organists of the future.

Where restricted finances and lack of access to teaching or an instrument may currently be a restraint, we aim to support these scholars in the musical worship of their own church.

The scholarships are set up in partnership with the student’s ownchurch.

Young people’s course

Each year, we offer two Organ Scholarships (paying a reduced fee) for the Bath Course for young people, allowing young players to study with the Course Organist and gain experience accompanying singers.

External scholarships

See our organ and choral scholarships page.

Repertoire and publications

The Complete Church Organist – a series of organ tutors from RSCM Press

Stuck for ideas for voluntaries? Sunday by Sunday magazine has lists of suitable music for every Sunday and major festival of the Church Year.

Browse RSCM Music Direct’s stock of organ music.

Resources and downloads

The organ and its care

Advice and information