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Chetham's School of Music

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Description of Chetham's School of Music

  • Location: Manchester, England,
  • Established: 1969,
  • Number of students: about 300,
  • Language of instruction: English,
  • Type of training: mixed.

Chetham's School of Music is the largest music school in the UK, offering programs for students from 8 to 18 years old. In this institution, it is possible to obtain a complete academic education along with specialized group and individual music lessons.

The school's long history began in 1421: students still have the opportunity to perform in the 600-year-old Baronial Hall, adjacent to the Chatham Library. The institution opened as a charity school in 1653 and for 400 years taught the county's boys from poor backgrounds before becoming a coeducational music school in 1969.  For half a century, students and alumni of Chetem have achieved success in major competitions, held positions in various musical professions as performers, conductors, band members and teachers.

With a long and varied history, the school has maintained a commitment to quality education, an individual approach and a love of music and creativity.

Educational process

All students study a program that concentrates on music and academic subjects in accordance with the national curriculum. Choral practice is mandatory.

Chetham's School of Music trains singers from Manchester Cathedral who follow the same syllabus as other students and also learn to play instruments. They don't need to take auditions and choral singing, but when a student reaches the age of 13-14 or has a broken voice, they can apply for training through the regular audition process. 

Ensembles form an important part of the curriculum, all students take part in at least one of them. Ensembles include the Chetam Symphony Orchestra, which has performed around the world, including Germany, Spain, and the United States, as well as the Manchester Camerata and Northern Chamber Orchestra. 

Programs and prices, tuition fees in Chetham's School of Music

Program name
Ask for calculation
Last booking 5 weeks ago
All year round
from 28119.00 £ / year
from 28119.00 £ / year
There are either 2 semesters or 3 trimesters (terms) in one academic year
All year round
from 28119.00 £ / year
from 28119.00 £ / year
There are either 2 semesters or 3 trimesters (terms) in one academic year
All year round
from 36768.00 £ / year
from 36768.00 £ / year
There are either 2 semesters or 3 trimesters (terms) in one academic year

Accommodation, meals, prices

About 2/3 of students prefer to live in the school's residence. Students are divided into three boarding houses:

  • Victoria House - for students 8-12 years old,
  • New College House and Millgate House are for students from 13 to 18 years old.

Students live in double or quadruple rooms, have their own personal "corners": a sleeping and working place, a wardrobe for storing things.

The advantage of the boarding house is that there is no need to spend time traveling home, you do not have to do homework without the help of teachers and classmates - all amenities are located in the hostel and are available to all students. The building has a nursing team and a medical center.

Most residents visit the dining room, where three meals a day and snacks are served during breaks. Older students have access to the kitchenettes in the dormitory, the refrigerators in which are also filled by the cafeteria staff.

Activities Chetham's School of Music

The extracurricular life of students at Chetham's School of Music is multifaceted and includes:

  • Year-round concert programme at Manchester Sable, Royal Northern College of Music, Band on the Wall and Bridgewater Hall,
  • Recitals in churches and public places,
  • Off-site concerts abroad,
  • Sports activities: kung fu, zumba, ballet and others,
  • Themed clubs: computer games, board games, drawing, design, charity and much more.

Sometimes on weekends, camping trips, climbing and mountain biking tours, trips to the cinema and theaters are organized for students.


  • Long history,
  • The largest music school in the UK - and the only one located in the north of England,
  • Partnerships with professional orchestras, music industry companies.

Facilities and equipment at Chetham's School of Music

The school is located in a modern building with a large acoustically prepared hall, concert venues and rehearsal rooms, classes for lectures and seminars. Also on the campus there are sports and children's playgrounds, residences, walking areas and a parking lot.

Admission dates and extra charges

The curriculum of the music school does not differ from the programs of standard secondary schools: students study from autumn to mid-summer, pass intermediate tests and pass final exams. For them, long vacations are organized in June-August, weekends in honor of international and national holidays.

Additional expenses:

  • Accommodation in a boarding house - 36,768 £ per year,
  • Registration fee - 150 £,
  • Deposit for booking a place - 300 £,
  • Assessment of listening abilities - 100 £,
  • Additional lessons in playing instruments - £ 939 per year,
  • Extra night in a boarding house - 30 £ (for example, before leaving for the holidays),
  • Books and supplies as needed,
  • Personal expenses.

Enrolment process

Students are admitted to the school based on their musical ability and talent level. Application Process:

  • Submission of the application and required documents,
  • Payment of the registration fee,
  • Audition (before it, you can take a test audition and get advice from the admissions committee),
  • Getting results,
  • Payment of the deposit for booking a place on the course,
  • Final registration on campus.

Enrolment statistics

Alumni of Chetham's School of Music organize orchestral concerts and ensembles around the world.

Entry requirements, how to apply, what is required to enrol

Applicants from 8 to 17 years old can enter the school by providing personal documents: passport, medical insurance, visa or residence permit. The main stage of admission will be musical audition, since admission is conducted according to the level of abilities and talent. In addition to the ability to play an instrument, developed auditory perception, creativity and the ability to read or sing text from a sheet are required. Grades and exam results are not required, however, foreigners must provide a certificate of English proficiency at CERF B level 1 or higher. 

Admission is carried out before September. Before applying, prospective students can attend the Open Day, which is organized twice a year.

Scholarships Chetham's School of Music

The Neil Vint Scholarship Fund was established in honor of a student who tragically died in 1994. In memory of Neil, his parents established a regular collection to help young musicians at the beginning of their professional careers. A total of £1,000 is awarded annually to one of the applicants in special need of assistance.

Many students have access to 100% tuition and living funding through the UK Government's Music and Dance Programme. 

The cost is calculated depending on the income of the students' parents and varies depending on the student's place of residence. If the student lives on the territory of the residence, the fee will be slightly higher. For example:

  • Income of £10,000 per year - £ 0 (tuition fees),
  • Income of £40,000 per year - £2553 or £3279
  • Income of £100,000 per year is £11,379 or £14,964 .

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Residence permits, citizenship and other services

  • Guardianship services during the studies
  • Student supervision

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Recommendations on when to apply

Language courses, schools and children's language camps Primary and secondary education - private schools Preparation programmes for entering universities - higher education Higher education (after completing accredited programs A-level, IB, High School) - Bachelor, Master, MBA
- we recommend to apply 6-9 months before the start of the course (some camps and schools offer discounts for early booking or for lengthy study programs)
- there are some very popular and high demand children's camps, where the applications need to be submitted 1 year in advance (in particular Switzerland , Great Britain , USA , Canada , Austria)
- we recommend to apply one year before the start of the training program,
- some schools have a specific time frame (September-November - please specify an individual school)
- some schools require tests in several stages (UKISET, internal tests of the school: English, mathematics, logics, subjects, interview, some require a personal visit)
- we recommend to apply one year before the start of the program,
- for Foundation and Pathway programs, IELTS and TOEFL certificates are usually required, respectively

- recommended submission one year before the start of the program,
- the deadline normally closes in January, for TOP HEIs and, as a rule, in March in other universities
- for a bachelor, a Foundation or Pathway preparatory program a completed A-level, IB, High School + IELTS / TOEFL are required
- for Masters you need a graduated higher education, in some cases you need a pre-Masters program
- MBA requires completed higher education, work experience preferably at least 2-3 years, etc.
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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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