Careers > Composers: apply for Sound and Music’s summer school

Posted on January 22, 2016

Image by Shannon A Thompson

Image by Shannon A Thompson

Eleanor Hardy on your chance to develop your own music with the best this summer
Are you one of those people who constantly have music playing in their head? Then you try to remember where you heard that tune before – and realise you’ve actually made it up? Well, those sounds in your head could be a real talent for composing – and this summer, there’s a course out there that could help you get your music out of your head and into the listening world.

Sound and Music is the national charity for new music, and works to provide opportunities for the next generation of composers and make new music available to wider audiences. For the eighth year in a row, they will be joining forces with the Purcell School of Music from 31st July to 6th August to give seventy-five 14-18 year olds a week with professional composers and musicians, to try out their musical ideas and get guidance and inspiration.

Successful applicants will cover a variety of musical styles, from voice to instrumental, from world music to jazz to composing for film – while still focusing on your preferred style throughout. You don’t need to have composed symphonies already to apply: if you can demonstrate a talent and a hunger for writing your own music, they want to hear from you.

How often do you get a chance to develop your music with professionals, and hear it performed once it’s ready?

The application form asks you to write up to 250 words about why you want to do the course, including what you have experienced of composing before or what music activities and groups you are involved in; to attach a written-down version of a piece you have composed, however you wish to notate it, and optionally a recording of it; and up to 250 words about that composition. You can find more information on their website.

The deadline is 31st March, so you have plenty of time to get inspired and get your ideas down on paper. The course costs £450 to cover all tutoring, accommodation, food and activities, but don’t let that put you off if you can’t afford it – they’re determined that nobody should be turned away just because of money, so there are plenty of grants and bursaries available.

How often do you get a chance to develop your music with professionals, and hear it performed once it’s ready? Start humming aloud and write it all down and your chance could be just around the corner!

Eleanor Hardy
Eleanor is Exposure’s Associate Artist. She is also an actor under the name Nell Hardy, and a singer-songwriter under the name Our Little Nell. She has decided not to take up painting because she can’t think of another name. Find her original music at or her YouTube channel.


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