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About the Academy

The Wandsworth Music Academy is a centre of musical excellence in South London, providing high quality music lessons and progression pathways for children and young people aged 5-21.

Many of our past students have gained entrance to top conservatoires and universities including; Guildhall School of Music, Royal Northern College of Music, Trinity College of Music and Leeds College of Music.

From the very beginning of instrumental and vocal learning young people are supported to play and sing in ensembles, orchestras and bands through our bespoke ensemble development programme encompassing a variety of musical genres and traditions. Our ensembles include; three Symphony Orchestras, three Jazz Orchestras, West African Djembe drumming, Pop and Rock Bands, Choirs, Steel Pans, Guitar Ensemble, Musical Theatre and multiple Chamber Music groups.

Wandsworth Music Academy ensembles perform regularly at a variety of prestigious events and venues, including the Royal Festival Hall, Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships, London Jazz Festival, Royal Albert Hall, Hideaway Jazz Club and the annual foreign orchestral tour.

The Music Academy runs on Saturdays 8am-2pm and Wednesdays 4.30-9.30pm at Burntwood School and on Tuesday 4.30pm-8.30pm at West Hill Primary School.


Saturday Academy

The Saturday Academy focuses on ensemble tuition and is home to the boroughs leading ensembles. There are three different age strands of learning:

SoundStart sessions run for 30 minutes and include singing, rhythm games and recorders, helping to develop children's core musical skills and foster a lifelong enjoyment of music. Y2 pupils also attend the WMA choir and WPT.

Children enjoy a full morning of music making including a small group or 1-1 instrumental lesson, ensemble (orchestra or band), theory, choir, steel pans and/or djembe drumming.

Various ensembles & lessons

Secondary students may apply for membership of the borough's leading orchestras and ensembles and are also offered the option of a 1-1 instrumental lesson. Additional sessions such as theory, music production and steel pans are also available.

Saturday Academy Ensembles

The following ensembles are available on Saturdays:

The Wandsworth Philharmonic Orchestra is a full symphony orchestra for advanced orchestral musicians. The Orchestra performs a varied and challenging range of repertoire at its regular calendar of high profile events, including concerts at the Royal Festival Hall, Wimbledon Tennis Championships and an annual foreign tour. Recently the orchestra have visited Italy, Spain, Austria and Germany. The orchestra regularly works with members of the Philharmonia Orchestra.

The orchestra rehearses every Saturday during term time, 10.45am-12.30pm. In addition the orchestra also meet for intensive sectional coaching during a 3 day half term course each term. Entrance is by audition and/ or observation for pupils of Year 7+ and a minimum standard of Grade 5+.

The Wandsworth Concert Orchestra rehearse between 12.30-1.30pm on Saturdays. The orchestra also meets each half term for intensive sectional coaching. Entrance is by audition/ invitation for pupils in Year 6+ and of approximately Grade 3-6 standard.

The orchestra performs a regular calendar of high profile events, including concerts at the Royal Festival Hall and Fairfield Halls.

The Junior Orchestra rehearse every Saturday during term time, 12.30-1.30pm. The repertoire is fun and engaging, whilst introducing young musicians to the world of ensemble playing. The highlight of the year is the annual performance at the Wandsworth Carol Concert.

Entrance is open to all pupils from Year 3, playing orchestral instruments at approximately grade 1-3 standard.

We run 3 Jazz Orchestras across all ability levels at the Music Academy.
The Senior Jazz ensemble rehearses on Wednesday evenings and perform regularly at the renowned Hideaway Jazz Club and the London Jazz Festival. Entry is by audition for pupils in Year 7+ working at Grade 5/6+.

We run also two Jazz Orchestras on Saturday mornings which are feeder groups to the Senior ensemble. These groups are open to pupils in Y5/6+ from Grade 2-6 level.

The Jazz Orchestra now rehearses on Wednesday evenings, 7-9pm.

The Music Academy has several Rock and Pop Bands catering to all levels of experience, ages and musical interests. The bands are open to the following instrumentalists; Singers, guitars, bass guitar, drums, keyboards and percussion.

Senior Rock and Pop Bands (Year 7+) Entrance by audition and/or observation
Intermediate Rock and Pop Bands (Year 6+)
Junior Rock and Pop Bands (Year 3-7)

Steel Pan Jam is open to all secondary aged pupils and rehearse on Saturdays 12.30-1.30pm. No previous experience of playing steel pans is required.


Wednesday Academy

The Wednesday Academy runs between 4.30pm and 9.30pm during term time and offers 1-1 instrumental and singing tuition, music theory and a vast array of vocal and instrumental ensembles.






Wednesday Academy Ensembles

The following ensembles rehearse on Wednesday evenings:

Wandsworth Youth Choir (WYC) is a group of young, enthusiastic vocalists who simply love to sing. The choir is open to singers in Year 6+ who are passionate about singing and who are interested in performing alongside likeminded people as part of a fabulous choir. Singing together is not the only thing that this choir does! They have also been away on our ‘Music and Mud’ weekender doing exciting outdoor pursuits like abseiling and high ropes as well as working on their vocals!

The Youth Choir perform annually at the Royal Festival Hall and have performed at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the ‘Scratch Messiah’ and BBC Proms!

Rehearsals take place on Wednesday evenings at Burntwood School.

The Wandsworth Jazz Orchestra is the Senior Jazz ensemble at the Music Academy and perform regularly at the renowned Hideaway Jazz Club and the London Jazz Festival.. Entry is by audition for pupils in Year 7+ working at Grade 5+.

The Wandsworth Performance Troupe is for young people who love to sing and dance! The Troupes explore a variety of musical style with a focus on musical theatre. The performance troupes have regular high profile performing opportunities and have recently performed at The Royal Albert Hall, Fairfield Halls and the Royal Festival Hall.

WPT Junior is open to children in Years 3-5/6 and rehearse on Wednesdays at Burtnwood School, 5.30-6.30pm

WPT Senior is open to pupils in year 6+ and rehearse on Wednesdays at Burntwood School, 7.00-8.30pm

Concert Band & String Thing - The Junior ensembles for wind, brass and string players are open to children of approximately pre grade 1-3 standard. The ensembles rehearse on Wednesdays evenings and are ideal for young instrumentalists progressing from Whole Class Ensemble Tuition programmes in schools.

Senior Chamber music ensembles: Senior Brass and Senior Strings rehearse on Wednesdays evenings are are open to instrumentalists at approximately Grade 4/5+ standard.

Our new Djembe drumming group is open to all young people aged 11+. No previous experience required.