Our Foundation programme is where most of our younger students start, before progressing onto the Performance Development and Core programmes. Each programme offers more content and higher levels of teaching than the previous.

Click here to listen to the Foundation Jigsaw Piece



The Foundation programme offers:

    • A first taste of life at SWMS
    • Six unique workshops per year – two per term
    • In some cases, professional mentoring and tuition (see below for more details)

South West Music School welcomes students from 8 years old. We welcome applications from every genre – whether you are baroque recorder player, a heavy metal drummer or a classical singer – we cater for all interests.

South West Music School do not look for specific grades; instead we look for musical talent and potential. Some of our students have achieved grades in multiple instruments, others are completely self-taught – what they have in common is a passionate and committed attitude to music.

The Foundation programme consists of six workshops per year – these are spread out over the academic year, typically with two occurring each term. The workshops are based in a central location within the South West. The workshops are varied and are all led by music industry professionals and talented artists. The workshops aim to develop talented young musicians’ skills through the exploration of different musical themes. Themes covered in previous workshops include songwriting and composition, rhythm, World music, vocal work, jazz, music for film and many more. We pride ourselves on our workshops being friendly, welcoming, fun, safe and educational.

The Foundation programme is open to young musicians aged approximately between 8 – 12 years, although account is taken of musical ability and confidence.

Enhanced Foundation
In some cases, we recognise a sense of initiative and maturity in our Foundation students that enables us to offer them a DfE grant funded place with South West Music School. This means that in addition to the six Foundation workshops, students also benefit from access to four professional mentor sessions, a budget for tuition and an Individual Learning Plan.

There is a cost for joining all South West Music programmes.

The Foundation programme fee (workshops alone) for 2020-21 is £390.

Financial assistance may be available – please contact Tracy on for further information