Established 2003


FREE Taster Lesson


“Fantastic teachers, kids really love their lessons. Great with special educational needs. Highly recommended”. 




Structured Learning
All Ages and Abilities
Music Grades 1-8
Drum Specialists
Exam Specialists
Contemporary Music

Slater Music School Guitar Tuition



Drum, Bass, Ukulele 
Elec & Acoustic Guitar 

Professional Diplomas

Rock Club



Band Development


Group Management

SMS Theory



Supporting Technical

Music / Drum Theory

Band Analysis

SMS Learning Materials



A Starter Pack including initial written materials plus a lesson / homework diary for all students.

Drum Sheet Music.jpg
SMS Starter Pack
Production monitor screen.jpeg


Sean Carter and students (2015)
Marlborough St Mary's School (2016)
Matt Clements and students (2015)
Ben Dumpleton and students (2015)
Stu Slater in performance (2014)
CP Lawrence McGowan 1
Students in studio class
Stu Slater in studio
Matt Clements Photo

Who are SMS?

Established in 2003, SMS provides contemporary instrument tuition in Drums, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, Music Production, Music Theory, plus we run Rock Clubs for bands from our Marlborough base.


We provide structured learning for all students, in 8 schools across Wiltshire, and privately at St Johns Academy, Marlborough: we are located in the music department after school hours Mon-Fri and during school holidays.

Lessons are one-to-one, pairs and/or small groups.

With 5 teachers, we teach up to 200 students, any duration between 20/30mins (schools) to 90 mins weekly (private). We have to date taught over 450+ students from beginner to advanced and also teach Professional Performance and Teaching Diplomas to those who have achieved Grade 8 or equivalent.

To date, we have achieved c.200 exam successes up to Grade 8 with Rockschool and Trinity Music Boards.

Our Teachers

In the first instance, we are only as good as our teaching staff...

Click here for the biography of all teachers. 

Our teachers are all performing musicians, throughout the UK and in some cases internationally, qualified to higher education level, and teacher training is given both internally and externally. All teachers have worked in different areas of the music business, from studio/session work, touring, judging music and talent competitions across the UK, as well as having academic interest, a background of authorship and music exam specialism.

Stu Slater is the founder and owner of our school, an academic researcher completing a Master's Degree in Musicology in Canterbury (area of research: John Cage). He is also the Deputy Chief Examiner for the UK based music board Rockschool Ltd (, line managing the examiner panel worldwide. As a senior examiner and consultant over the last 10 years, he travels both the UK and internationally, examining Grades 1-8 in drums, guitar, bass, piano, vocals, piano and ukulele. Estimates amount to c.12,000+ exams to date, across c.30 countries in Europe, South America, Canada, Middle East, Africa, Far East and Australia.


Stu has is also a syllabus advisor for the music board, including devising Rockschool’s Teaching Diplomas; co-devising the Professional Performance Diplomas; co-devising Rockschool’s Theory syllabus. He also wrote an 'Intensive Teacher Diploma Course, a week-long course, successfully delivered in UK, Ireland, Spain and Malaysia, and authored and delivered a teaching qualification for teachers in China.

Overall, he has contributed to over 50 drum, guitar, piano, theory and vocal Rockschool Grade books, written magazine articles and re-written Grade 7 and 8 drum repertoire for Yamaha Music Board.

He also plays drums in the UK touring theatre show, 'Bee Gees Fever', check it out! 

​Our School

SMS began as a local community provision, applying much of this growing academic content into schools. It has developed into a sizeable music provision and overall progress are strong.

The underlying core of the business is a desire to help children become musicians and to help musicians of all ages progress to their potential in contemporary music. We wish to assist all players to achieve their aspirations whatever their level and we encourage everyone who wants to play a musical instrument to commence their journey - it is never too early, and certainly never too late...

We also provide Duke of Edinburgh programmes (30+ to date) and offer work experience placements. E.g. numerous St Johns Y10 students have taken their week-long industrial curriculum placement in recent years.

We finally provide opportunities for our students to become involved in teaching and the running of the school, for example, we try to ensure 1-2 assistants at any one time, from sixth form age, targeted to help with rock club, band development, new products being developed, video series, and instrument tuition to younger children.

Our school work includes:


Abbey Meads Primary (Swindon)

Baydon Primary (Nr Marlborough)

Bishops Cannings Primary (Nr Devizes)

Chesterton Primary (Cirencester)

Collingbourne Primary (Collingbourne)

Kennet Valley Primary (Lockeridge)

Marlborough St Mary’s (Marlborough)

Marlborough College (Summer School)

Ogbourne St George Primary (Marlborough)

Preshute Primary (Manton)

St Johns Academy (Marlborough)

Wiltshire Music Centre (Bradford-on-Avon)

Woodborough Primary (Nr Pewsey)


'Slater Music School' is the trading name of 'Wiltshire Music School Limited'

Company Number 08019379




130b High Street (First Floor)




United Kingdom


+44 (0)7789 760 884 (admin)