Royal Marines Musician

Service:Royal Marines
Branch:Royal Marines Band Service
Royal Marines Band Service
A Royal Marine Musician performing their duty.

The role at a glance

What you’ll do

As a Musician in the Royal Marines Band Service, you’ll be a part of the world’s most versatile military music organisation. The public face of the Naval Service, combining military duties with a professional music career that will take you all over the world. Championing Defence diplomacy will see you playing-in Royal Navy Ships and performing on the biggest of stages, excelling in everything you do. You’ll need to be just as exceptional as our Commandos; the same Commandos you’ll work alongside with on operations – and lead out on parade.

If you have questions, talk to us

Your role

  • Spend up to three years at the Royal Marines School of Music (RMSoM), learning your craft and mastering the full range of musical styles that make up our repertoire.
  • Share the stage with the team of like-minded, talented musicians across a wide variety of styles; from string quartets and jazz ensembles to marching bands and full symphonic wind bands.
  • Make a vital contribution to our nation’s defence diplomacy strategy performing at military, ceremonial and social events on the world’s biggest stages.
  • Play an important role in the Royal Marines Band Service’s vital medical and logistical function, supporting the Naval Service and 3 Commando Brigade all over the world.

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Skills you'll develop

  • The ability to perform in a team or as an individual, in a variety of musical combinations.
  • Perform a wide range of musical styles; from Pop to Classical.
  • An eye for detail in both your musical performance and personal uniform and kit.
  • A flexible and adaptable mindset.
  • Pride in yourself and the service.

Qualifications you'll gain

  • ABRSM Grade 8
  • DAO Level 3 Diploma in Military Music
  • Professional examinations at key career landmarks, e.g. to Pass Out from training or qualify for promotion.
  • An opportunity to study further to Degree level 6 (fully funded) and Masters level 7 (part funded).



Career progression

What you'll need


  • Aged 16 to 32 when you start Basic Training
  • No qualifications are required for this role
  • You ideally need to be able to read music, and sing or play a brass, wind, string, keyboard or percussion instrument to a good standard (ABRSM Grade 5 as a guide)
  • A National of the United Kingdom, a Commonwealth Citizen or Dual National
  • Minimum height of 151.5cm, and a minimum weight of 65kg for males
  • For males a BMI of under 28. This rises to 28-32 BMI rate if your waist measures less than 94cm. For candidates under 18 years of age, BMI should be between 17 and 27
  • For females, a BMI of under 28. This rises to 28-30 BMI rate if your waist measures less than 80cm. For candidates under 18 years of age, BMI should be between 17 and 27
  • Pass the Naval Swimming Test

Skills and interests

  • Playing a musical instrument 
  • Performing in public
  • Working as part of a team
  • A real sense of adventure 
Check Eligibility

Starting your career

Joining process

Once you’ve confirmed your eligibility, the joining process is as follows:

  • Submit an application

    Once you’ve registered your interest and have satisfied the basic eligibility criteria, you will be sent an online application form

  • Naval Service Recruitment Test (NRST)

    You’ll be tested on general reasoning, verbal ability, numeracy and mechanical comprehension

  • Interview

    A formal interview to talk through your suitability for the role

  • Medical and eye tests

    These are quite comprehensive and must be completed by one of our Ministry of Defence-approved doctors

  • Audition and Test

    The audition process includes being evaluated by world-class civilian Professors, interviewed by the Director of Music (Training) and assessed for your level of physical fitness. Post-audition you may be given the opportunity to learn a new instrument.

Initial training

First and foremost, the Royal Marines Band Service is a military unit, so you’ll spend your first few months learning all of the practical skills you need to be an effective member of the wider Royal Marines team.

This phase of training concentrates on physical fitness and basic soldiering. You’ll need to have a high level of fitness to cope with your performance workload, as well as your military role.

Our immaculate drill is something that makes us unique, so you’ll also spend plenty of time learning how to march correctly and play your instrument at the same time. 

There's also a swimming test, so if you can't swim, make sure you learn by the time you join us.

Professional training

After your initial military training you’ll spend up to three years at the RMSoM developing your skills and mastering one or more instruments.

You’ll have a civilian professor of music, who will have considerable musical experience, for each instrument you’re learning. You’ll have individual weekly lessons with them, and your own practice room to work on your technique.

You’ll also be in the capable hands of a Band Service Instructor. They’ll be an experienced player of the instrument you’re learning, and will keep an eye on your progress, advising on technique and helping to sort out any problems.

It’s intensive training, but it’s also a fantastic way to develop your musical skills quickly and correctly. By the end of it, you’ll be ready to join one of the five bands as a fully trained Musician.