The Songwriter Programme

South West Music School is pleased to be offering this exciting new programme, specifically focused on the craft of songwriting in its many forms. Our tutors for this programme are all highly regarded and award-winning professionals, working within the world of music performance and production: Matthew Ker (lead tutor), Mara Simpson and Tyler Spicer.

The Songwriter Programme

The Songwriter Programme offers:

      • A bespoke mentoring and tuition package
      • One songwriting residential course
      • Collaborating with peers to create and perform new work
      • Access to SWMS’ full menu of Short Courses

      The Songwriter programme will be of particular interest to those who would like to explore the process of writing and performing original songs, and is open to all students, whatever their level of experience or technical ability as singers or writers.

      The programme will cover diverse aspects of songwriting and performance, from lyrical story-telling to vocal interpretation, from song structure to cross-genre experimentation.

      With a focus on creative risk-taking and artistry, students will discover inspiring new approaches to musical and lyrical expression, whilst developing their musicianship and compositional skills through collaboration and ongoing mentorship.

      Songwriter’s ‘Lyrics Retreat’, Spring Term 2023

      We were so excited to bring our wonderful group of Songwriters over to the amazing Tawstock Court for a weekend of lyrics and songwriting. Laura and Matthew thoroughly spoiled us with fabulous catering and such a warm welcome. What a magical venue for a creative project! Many thanks to our tutors, Matthew Ker and Mara Simpson, for encouraging and inspiring our students to produce some exceptional work. On Sunday afternoon, friends and family were treated to a lovely informal sharing of work before heading home. Well done to all and again, many thanks to Laura, Matthew and their lovely team for making us feel so welcome.

      Songwriter’s October Residential 2022

      We returned to the wonderful setting of Lavethan House, near Bodmin, for a wonderful ‘Songwriter’s Retreat’ styled course.

      As well as working individually, in pairs and groups to write a wide range of songs, students enjoyed a fantastic Open Mic night in the Barn. We rounded off a busy three days with an informal performance for friends and family, sharing just a few of the songs produced over the course. Many thanks to our team of tutors, Matthew Ker, Tyler Spicer, and Mara Simpson.

      Songwriter’s Summer Recording Project 2022

      Students worked with their mentors and online as a group to polish and develop their various songs, ready to record with Matthew and Mara’s support.

      In addition, a number of the students joined us for our July summer residential at Millfield School with our core and composer programme students. During this residential course, students worked with a wonderful team of tutors: Ben Sutcliffe, Zaid Al-Rikabi and Stuart Packer, to write and perform songs inspired by the myths and legends of Glastonbury Tor.

      Congratulations to all our students for producing such creative, interesting and inspiring work. What a busy year!

      Songwriter’s April Showcase 2022

      A wonderful informal concert at Queen’s College, Taunton:

      We enjoyed a wonderful final Singer/Songwriter showcase of the term on Sunday 3rd April! The students have been working with their tutors on collaborative pieces, coming together to finalise and perform these original compositions. They were beautifully delivered and sometimes emotional with poignant lyrics. We’re very proud of all the students, and hope to record these pieces next term!

      Songwriter residential – October 2021

      A fantastic first residential for our new Songwriter group!

      As a new programme this year, we decided to kick off with an overnight residential for the students to enable them to get to know each other, and their tutors a little better. Thanks to the guidance of the talented Matthew Ker and Mara Simpson, the students lost no time in writing some amazing lyrics and accompaniment individually and collaboratively.

      On the second day the students met Mark Crossland another tutor for this programme. He gave them an introduction to his work in production and musical theatre.

      In the afternoon of the second day the students performed their pieces for us, it was clear that they had formed new musical friendships and collaborations. Some beautiful performances -exciting things to come! Including recording.

      “What a fabulous time D had. She made some good friends and absolutely loved the experience. Can’t thank you enough!”

      “C came away from it exhausted, but elated. This is the first real chance C has ever had to play/make music with others, so he really enjoyed it. We were so impressed with the quality of all the students performances and are amazed that they managed to create such wonderful work in just over 24 hours. What a lot of talent in one room! Once again, thank you to you all for providing such a wonderful opportunity for such talented young people.”