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musical excellence in the south west

Hello and welcome to the South West Music School website!  We are a Centre of Advanced Training (CAT) and a music charity working with talented young instrumentalists, singers and composers aged 8-18yrs in the South West. 

Due to the geographical nature of the South West we are not building based but are a 'virtual' school working with young people on an individual basis in their local area.

South West Music School (SWMS) provides students with the same standard of music education as specialist music schools and junior conservatoires. The additional benefit of SWMS is that it allows students to stay in their existing school and continue to take part in other current musical (and non-musical) activities in their local communities.

For a quick 3 minute snap shot of what we do, click on the photo above to watch a short video.
Performing musicians

For singers and instrumentalists of any instrument or genre, the programme is in two parts.

Students start on the Feeder Scheme, a year-long programme consisting of 6 workshops in different venues across the South West.

The Feeder Scheme then ‘feeds’ into the Core Programme, the main instrumental and vocal part of South West Music School, consisting of mentoring, individual tuition and residential projects.

Performing musicians can audition to join South West Music School from age 8-16yrs and can stay on the programme until they are 18yrs old.  Applications usually open in late January with a deadline in May and auditions in June.  Successful students will spend the first year on the Feeder Scheme and then re-audition annually the following June to earn a place on the Core Programme.

Our programme is inclusive, open to all regardless of musical or personal background. South West Music School is also musically inclusive – designed to identify and nurture exceptional instrumental and vocal talent from all areas of music. The SWMS programme is diverse and ranges from Reggae to Rock, Folk to Flamenco and Bach to Bangra. The only restriction to our programme is the need to possess very high levels of musicianship and commitment.


South West Music School has formed a partnership with ‘Sound and Music’ to provide a package of specialist mentoring, individual tuition and residential projects for talented young composers. This training and education will be led and guided by composers from the professional music world who have a proven record of successful work in music training.

Composition students can apply to join South West Music School from age 13 - 17 years and can stay on the programme until they are 18yrs old.  Applications usually open in late January with a deadline in May and interviews in June.

To read some individual student successes - please click here.

Here is an interesting read about the employability of music graduates...http://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/oct/11/music-students-employability

(If you would like to be kept up to date with our news, please sign up to receive the e-newsletter on the left hand side of this page)

South West Music School (SWMS) is registered in England as a company limited by guarantee (Company No: 7307202) and a charity (Charity No: 1138482)

You will never be able to untie all the 'knots' for individual kids but I sincerely believe SWMS's holistic approach is doing an awful lot of 'un-knotting' for its students
Core Programme Parent

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