About Us

About Us

South West Music School is a charity working with talented young instrumentalists, singers and composers aged 8 – 19 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.

Funding provided by the DfE can ensure that each student has adequate resources to undertake involvement with SWMS and that all costs are met according to need (there is a separate application process to determine grant eligibility).

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?

Our fees align with the Music and Dance Scheme grant allocation, and are subject to change on an annual basis. The fees for 2021-22 are:

  • Foundation (workshops only) – £390
  • Enhanced Foundation, Performance Development, Core, Composer and Singer/Songwriter – £3802

SWMS students have access to means-tested grants from the Department of Education’s Music & Dance Scheme.

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.