1. A network of organisations and practitioners to maximise the opportunities young people across the region.
2. A programme of staged progression for young musicians and composers with talent and potential.
South West Music School (SWMS) is a Centre of Advanced Musical Training for the whole of the South West region, covering the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and the major urban areas of Plymouth, Bristol, Swindon and Bournemouth & Poole.
SWMS encourages and develops those young people across the South West region who show exceptional musical talent and potential as performers or composers, regardless of their social or musical backgrounds. 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. SWMS students can live within their families and remain as part of their local communities. They take part in local groups and ensembles and are able to give back to their peers and their schools as they learn.
SWMS champions a new learning experience for the students, individually tailored to their specific musical needs. This is accomplished through a programme of mentoring, personalised and residential learning and instrumental tuition, specialist masterclasses, performance opportunities and advanced level ensemble music making.
Each student is assigned a mentor who is a professional in the industry at the moment. Our current mentoring team range from members of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra to the founder of the WOMAD festival. Through the mentoring process an Individual Learning Plan is developed for each student. This model enables students to receive specialist music training, relevant to their specific needs whilst they remain at their local school and within their community environment.
Whilst SWMS is not building based, we offer a series of residential courses throughout each student’s learning programme which bring young musicians together from across the region. Musicians from all styles of music work together resulting in inspirational cross-fertilisation. Topics covered in these residential courses can include; Music and Communication, Rhythmic Development, Music and Film, Words and Music, Creativity and Improvisation and Spontaneous Composition. These residential courses encourage creativity, questioning and learning to understand and accept the values and opinions of others, which is so important in their musical and personal development.
In addition to our own programme SWMS helps link up provision in the region and provide signposting for young people to engage with musical opportunities in their local area through their local authority music service, youth music action zone or project or arts organisation for example.