The history of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) can be traced back to the year 1845, when a group of young businessmen formed Glasgow Educational Organization, later reformed to Glasgow Commercial College.

In 1847 on the base of the Commercial College the Athenaeum (scientific society) was established. Its aim was to provide knowledge in commercial skills, literature, languages, sciences, mathematics and music. Its inaugural address was delivered by Charles Dickens.

In 1888, the commercial teaching of the Glasgow Athenaeum separated to form a new institution called the Athenaeum Commercial College. On the 15th of September 1890, the department that didn’t relate to the commercial teaching was turned into Glasgow Athenaeum (Limited) School of Music. Despite the name change, the institution continued to teach all the disciplines until the year 1929.

In 1929 the school became the Scottish National Academy of Music. It was also this year in this year that the Academy introduced its first course to train music teachers.

In 1944 King George VI granted the prefix ‘royal’ to the academy and it became known as Royal Scottish Academy of Music. In 1950 the Royal Scottish Academy of Music established a new drama department entitled the Glasgow College of Dramatic Art. In 1968 the Royal Scottish Academy of Music changed its name to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.