South West Music School’s Core programme is for the most advanced student. It is open to students that are exceptionally talented and show promise for a musical future. Many of our students go on to study music at degree level in University or Music Conservatoires. In some circumstances, new students may be accepted straight onto the Core programme.

Here is an example of work created during one of courses (an online course held during the Covid pandemic):


The Core programme offers:

  • Two four-day residentials per year (one in term one, one in term three, both during school holidays)
  • Opportunity to participate in SWMS’ menu of genre and instrument Short Courses
  • A bespoke mentoring and tuition package

If you are an experienced musician that firmly believes music is part of your future (either at an academic level, as a career or just as a hobby), then the Core programme is for you. Alongside this, Core students possess high levels of ambition, creativity and passion for their music. Reggae to rock, folk to flamenco or Bach to bangra – the Core programme has something for everyone and promotes inclusivity and positive attitudes towards individual interests.

The aims of South West Music School’s Core programme are to fully develop creative potential and offer a new learning experience to exceptionally talented young instrumentalists and vocalists.

The Core programme offers two residential courses per academic year as well as mentoring and tutoring.

The residential courses take place across four days during school half terms and holidays and are held at central locations within the South West. They are an opportunity for students to participate in focused learning, looking at specific areas of musical development – ranging from performance and practice to how to manage yourself in the music business. They also incorporate an eclectic mix of themes such as musical theatre, World music, music for film, jazz or folk music.

Mentoring and tuition

Students are offered high-quality bespoke mentoring from specialist professionals based throughout the region. Each Core student is provided with a budget that can support their tuition fees.

The role of the mentor is to support and nurture the student on their musical pathway. The mentor works with the student on a one-to-one basis to explore their musical development needs. The results of these discussions form the basis for each student’s Individual Learning Plan, which outlines learning goals for the year ahead. Mentors are personally assigned to each student based on their skills, interests and geographical location.

Students can stay on the Core programme until they’re 18 years old, or 21 years old as part of our Core Graduate programme if they do not progress onto higher education.