The Sound and Music Summer School is a residential course that gives you the opportunity to explore your musical creativity over six days at The Purcell School. Whether you create in a DAW, with a band, use notation, improvise or are curious about experimenting with creating music, we will support you to bring your creative ideas to life with the guidance of expert tutors from a range of musical genres.

Now in our 15th year, we’re proud of the creative community we’ve fostered at the Summer School, and in the past have invited alumni to contribute to our Minute of Listening music catalogue and feature in the British Music Collection. Read more about what past Summer School attendees are working on now on our alumni page and get inspired! 

The Summer School is proud to host a diverse community of young music-makers and we are committed to fostering an environment that is firmly anti-racist, accessible to those with disabilities, LGBTQ+ supportive and gender-diverse.

How does it work?

Be inspired by professional composers in group and 1:1 tuition, meet like-minded young music-makers from across the country and experience music-making without bounds, with access to resources including recording studios, industry standard equipment and computers. The week culminates in the performance of an original piece of music you have composed, with all students later provided with a high-quality, professionally mixed and mastered recording of their piece. 

Who is it for?

The Sound and Music Summer School is for young composers and creative musicians aged 14-18. You need to be a UK resident or a UK citizen living overseas. As this is such a unique week, we may give priority to people who haven’t been before over those who have attended previous Summer Schools. 

We are committed to being inclusive of young D/deaf and disabled people, and anyone with access requirements. You are welcome to get in touch at any stage of the application process to have a chat about how we can best support you to make the most of the week. For more details about accessibility and the support we offer, please visit our Access and Support page. 

Where and when?

The course will take place from July 30th - August 4th 2023 at the Purcell School, a specialist music school located in the town of Bushey, South Hertfordshire. We are committed to supporting students living further away with the logistics of travelling to the Summer School.

How much is it?

The costs of Summer School places are heavily subsidised. We ask those who can to pay £500 to attend the Sound and Music Summer School, which covers all tutoring, accommodation, food and activities.  

However, we are determined that everyone who is accepted on the course should be able to attend regardless of financial circumstances. We have a substantial number of means-tested bursaries and split-payment schemes on offer, including generous support from our partners Faber Music. You can indicate if you’d like support as part of the application form.  

The actual cost of each place to Sound and Music is much higher, but as a charity we take on the majority of the costs. If you would like to contribute more this would be gratefully received, but will not affect the outcome of any application.

How do I apply?

Applications are now closed.

On the application form, we'll ask about the following: 

  • personal and contact details of yourself and a parent/guardian 
  • any support you need financially or with access 
  • information for our Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form 

You will then be given the choice to either answer written questions or to schedule a 15-20 minute informal Zoom call with the Education team, to discuss the following: 

  • why you want to come to Summer School 
  • your musical interests and influences 
  • some information about how you make music 
  • any support you need financially or with access 

If you have existing recordings or scores of your music, we encourage you to share them at this stage to help us assess your application. However, if you don’t have anything you want to share this will not affect your application.

[Scores don't have to be ‘conventionally notated’, they can take many, many forms! Take a look at some examples here].

Not sure if you're ready? 

Don't panic! This application is not a measurement of your musical or compositional achievements to date. We just want to learn more about the musical interests and ideas you’d bring to this year’s Summer School, and how we could best support you to do this.

Got a question for us? 

If you’d like more information about how the Summer School works, financial support options or have any questions not covered here, please contact and we will get back to you!

"There was so much opportunity to speak one-to-one with tutors and the environment was always incredibly supportive!”
2020 Summer School Student

Want to know who you'll be working with? Get some more insight on how the week works in these quickfire interviews with our key tutors.

Meet the Key Tutors

Ben Corrigan profile photo

Young composers of all genres, backgrounds and stages of learning come to the Summer School; take a look at some people we've supported over the years.

Meet our Summer School alumni

Find out what a week at the Sound and Music Summer School is really like in these quickfire interviews with some of our alumni.

Watch our interviews with young composers


At the end of each Summer School, every piece of music created in the week is performed by professional musicians in a live concert.

Watch the final concerts from 2022

Featured composer

Thank you to our funders

Thank you so much to those that have supported Summer School 2023:

The Bliss Trust
The Boris Karloff Charitable Foundation
Faber Music
The Finzi Trust
The John Thaw Foundation
The Lochlands Trust
The Margaret Engering Music Trust
The Rowley Trust
The Scops Arts Trust
Three Monkies Trust
Sally Groves