Released: 18th May 2022

The Purcell School is tremendously proud to be launching a new and pioneering first study Commercial and Popular Music Department, which will be available to students from September 2022.

Led by the award-winning pop and jazz saxophonist and composer Simon Allen, the Commercial and Popular Music Department will provide specialist music education to gifted young musicians talented in pop, rock and commercial music styles. The tutor team, comprising renowned industry professionals and peripatetic teachers, will deliver a unique programme of study to equip students with the skills essential for careers in commercial and popular music. The scheme of work will cover aspects such as stylistic performance, improvisation, ear training, sight reading, composition and ensemble skills, providing a rare pathway to Modern Music degree courses at eminent conservatoires and universities.

Of the department, famed session guitarist and guitar tutor Adam Goldsmith commented, ‘In my professional life I am expected to authentically recreate a guitar sound or style of music for a film or TV advert, sight read a West End show, then learn a set of songs by ear for a band tour. I am really excited to be tutoring young students in these skills, and helping them to become successful commercial musicians’.

The inclusion of the Commercial and Popular Music Department at The Purcell School will broaden students’ musical experience, and expand the artistic and creative output of the whole school. Through diversifying the first study offerings, the School will further fulfil a core mission of widening participation, and have a greater impact on the creative and musical life of the UK and beyond.

Principal Paul Bambrough commented ‘The Purcell School has an international reputation as one of the finest music schools in the world. For 60 years we have enabled gifted young performers and composers to achieve extraordinary things. I am thrilled and delighted that this unrivalled opportunity is now to be extended to those whose talents and interests lie in the fields of commercial and popular music. I have no doubt that this innovative, specialist department will rapidly become the leading course of its kind in the UK and be the start of many a successful commercial and pop career’.

For further information about the Department and a full tutor list, please visit the Commercial and Popular Music Department page.