With 290 or so students, aged 8-18, Chetham's is the largest specialist Music School in the UK and the only Music School based in the North of England.
In the heart of Manchester, our vibrant cosmopolitan city centre location complements a dynamic music programme - we regularly collaborate with the city's leading cultural venues on a range of projects and initiatives, to present exciting opportunities for our students.
Studying at Chetham's
Chetham's is one of the UK's leading lights in music education, offering an exciting and dynamic musical programme combined with excellent academic development and specialist pastoral care.
Our exam results reflect our high standards and are even more impressive when you consider that entry to Chetham's is based purely on musical ability. As you can see from our Leavers' Destinations, the majority of our students go on to study at many of the finest conservatoires across the UK and abroad but there are also many who go on to study Music and other subjects at some of the country's finest universities.
Music at Chetham's
With talent and passion comes dedication – over a third of our timetable is devoted to music so students can expect to study music three hours a day plus practice time. Chetham's music programme is varied, dynamic and packed with opportunities; areas include instrumental and vocal study, aural training, chamber music, orchestral training, choral work, academic study, composition and music technology.
All students have a principal study and usually a second study instrument and can look forward to two individual lessons a week on their principal study and a further lesson on second study. Individual practice is also scheduled up until the Sixth Form.
Twice a year, there are assessments by external examiners, presenting the opportunity for each student, their teacher and Head of Department to review progress together and offer encouragement, guidance and advice on specified areas.
Chetham's has an award-winning reputation for its participatory arts projects and programme of work in the community, which it has developed in collaboration with major charities and national organisations.
Manchester and the North-West of England
Chetham's is an integral part of the North-West's rich cultural heritage, housed in buildings that are nearly 600 years old and boasting a truly unique and magical atmosphere. Our medieval buildings are one of Manchester’s real gems – playing music in the Baronial Hall is undoubtedly an experience in itself!
A Chet's student's diary is always busy and packed with opportunities inside and outside the practice room. Recently, our students have broadcast for BBC Radio 3, performed at BBC Proms in the Park, composed music in response to artworks from the British Art Show and performed as part of an exhibition at Manchester Museum. Our jazz musicians regularly perform at leading venues and our two Big Bands are regularly winners of national prizes. Our Chamber Choir recently performed at the BBC Proms with the Gabrielli Consort and Paul McCreesh and recorded for Deutsche Grammophone.
We also share our Manchester home with The Bridgewater Hall, Hallé, BBC Philharmonic orchestras and Royal Northern College of Music – Chets students regularly benefit from our strong links with the organisations through events and festivals. Many of Chetham's tutors also teach at the RNCM and are principal players with the city's orchestras.
Twice each year we open up the school, inviting visitors to meet staff and students, explore our historical and modern buildings, see rehearsals in progress and take tours of boarding accommodation.
Open Days are a perfect opportunity to discover more about Chetham’s, whether you're thinking of applying, have children studying at the school or are simply interested in finding out more about our work.
Prospective students and parents will have opportunities to have all of their questions answered – from financial and academic arrangements to catering and weekend activities. All visitors will be guided by current students and the schedule for the day includes time and space to meet individually with instrumental staff, the Head and Bursar, as well as to view the spaces in which Chetham’s students live and learn.
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