About Us

About Us

South West Music School is a charity working with talented young instrumentalists, singers and composers aged 8 – 20 years in the South West of England. 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. In addition, our students come together on a regular basis to collaborate, create, learn new skills and perform together.


South West Music School is part of a national network of Centres of Advanced Training supported by the Department for Education Music and Dance Scheme for exceptionally talented young musicians.

These grants are designed to ensure opportunities for all young musicians to access expert, well-rounded musical training. Information and current banding for grants can be found on the Department for Education’s website or from the South West Music School office.

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 education and continue to take part in other current musical (and non-musical) activities in their local communities.

South West Music School covers each county in the South West region: Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Bristol, Gloucestershire, BaNES and Wiltshire.

How much does it cost?

The cost of a place at SWMS depends on the specific programme and tailored package of activities provided for each student. We work with families to ensure we place students on the right programme and with the right level of support for ability level, age, musical interest, and budget. SWMS students have access to means-tested grants from the Department of Education’s Music & Dance Scheme. A full grant will cover the entire costs of a place with South West Music School, as well as providing additional financial support for activities such as instrumental tuition.
For more information about our fees, and applying for a grant, click here.

How can I apply?

We have a formal application process from March through to the end of May, however if you are interested in joining SWMS during an academic year please get in touch with Tracy Hill t.hill@swms.org.uk.  All information on the application process can be found on our How to Apply page.