Other Opportunities

If you become a South West Music School student, there are lots of opportunities available throughout the academic year which enable individuals to focus on their areas of interest or expertise. We offer a varied menu of ‘short courses’ to all of our students to participate in. Read on to find out what we offered in 2016-17…

Other Opportunities

Short Courses

Each student at SWMS can benefit from our annual menu of ‘short courses’. This menu is made up of both day long masterclasses or workshops or weekend long residential courses. They are all genre or instrument specific. Students on the Feeder Plus, Composer and Core programmes have part of their budget earmarked to pay for these additional opportunities. Although Foundation students do not hold a budget with us, there is a cost associated with each opportunity and we encourage Foundation students to come along (so long as the content of the course is not too advanced).

Please find below a sample of short courses we ran in the 2016-17 academic year.


Strings Weekends

In 2016-17, we held two Strings Weekends down at Dartington Hall in South Devon.

July Resid-30

Working with expert tutors and seasoned chamber musicians Paul Harris, Tim Boulton and Alice Neary, students explored the themes of ‘practice makes perfect’ and ‘the sound of music’ over the course of two weekends. What makes a great tone? What language do we use to describe sound? How might we broaden our tonal range? How true is the often quoted statement ‘practice makes perfect’? All of these questions were explored, alongside plenty of solo and ensemble playing focused on orchestral repertoire and the quality of each students unique sound.


Rock and Pop Days

Core 2014-27

Drawing on years of combined experience from tutors from BIMM (Bristol and London) and professional rock musicians, students got the opportunity to work on individual instrument technique and the chance to form real bands and work on classic rock and pop repertoire! Over two Rock and Pop Days, students developed their confidence and honed their skills with our awesome line-up of expert tutors.


Alexander Technique Day

Alex Tech pic

Students were given the opportunity to explore the well established practice of Alexander Technique – a way in which to feel better and move in a more relaxed and comfortable way – something musicians tend to neglect out of habit when playing so regularly and seriously. Working with Jennie Quick, an experienced Alexander Technique practitioner of 20 years.


Piano Masterclasses

Feb Resid-06

In 2016-17, we ran two piano masterclasses: one with international artist Melvyn Tan and one with Daniel Grimwood. Open to students between grade 6 – 8 standard, the masterclasses focussed on pieces from Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Debussy and Ravel.


In 2016-17, we also offered the following short courses:

  • Jazz Day
  • Vocal Days
  • Orchestra Weekend
  • Songwriting Days
  • Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Strings Day
  • Wind Day
  • Music Industry Day
  • Taiko Drumming Day
  • Chamber Music Day
  • Recording Studio Day
  • Drumming and Percussion Day
  • … plus a whole load of performance opportunities at local festivals and events!

Other Opps pic