The Performance Development Programme (PDP) is for those who have been playing or singing for some time and want to take their music making to the next level. The students on this programme are looking to enhance their genre and technical skills through a specifically tailored programme of opportunities. Dependent on your age, talent, commitment and attitude towards music, we often accept new students straight onto PDP.



The Performance Development Programme (PDP) offers:

  • An introduction to composition and new technologies
  • Recording opportunities (solo and group)
  • Performances
  • Playing as part of a band or ensemble
  • Repertoire development
  • A bespoke mentoring and tuition package
  • Access to SWMS’ full menu of Short Courses

The Performance Development Programme (PDP) consists of five themed sessions and one weekend residential across the academic year. These sessions cover the topics above in more detail and will be relevant to your genre or style of music. Added to this will be a series of opportunities to perform in public. PDP also offers a bespoke mentoring and tutoring package to each student.

SWMS residentials and sessions provide a safe and friendly environment for students to spend time with like-minded musicians, focusing on a musical project and an end goal. The sessions are designed to push the students’ learning boundaries and challenge them to become more skilful, creative and confident musicians. The social element is also important and gives students the opportunity for ‘down time’ where they can relax and enjoy getting to know their peers.

Mentoring and tuition
South West Music School provides high-quality music tuition, with specialist tutors based throughout the region. Each PDP student is provided with a budget that can pay for this tuition. Alternatively, the budget can cover any existing tuition a student may receive (subject to terms).

Each PDP student is assigned a mentor. 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.

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

In 2020-21, the Professional Development Programme will cost £3798. South West Music School can award means-tested grants from the Department of Education Music and Dance Scheme to cover the cost of the programme.

For further information on financial assistance and means-tested grants, please contact Tracy at t.hill@swms.org.uk.