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Established 2003



Contemporary Music, Structured Learning

All Ages and Abilities

Music Grades 1-8

Drum Specialists



Drum, Bass, Ukulele, 
Electric / Acoustic Guitar 
Performance / Teaching Diplomas



Band Development


Group Management



Supporting Technical

Drum / Music Notation

Band Analysis




A Starter Pack including

initial written materials plus

a lesson / homework diary

for all students...


Music Production


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 multi-disciplinary instrument tuition in Drums, Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, Theory and we run Rock Clubs for bands from our base in Marlborough. We provide structured learning for all students, both privately from our base at St Johns Academy, Marlborough, and in 7 schools across Wiltshire. Our private teaching takes place at St Johns in the music department, via rental arrangements after school hours Mon-Fri and during school holidays. Lessons are one-to-one, pairs and/or small groups.

With 6 teachers, we teach c.200 students, any duration between 20/30mins (schools) up to 90 mins weekly (private). We have to date taught over 400+ 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 a 100% exam pass rate using Rockschool Music Board.

Our Teachers

Click here for the biography of all teachers.

We are only as good as our teaching staff...!

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 formally through Rockschool Music Board. 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 the academic background below, authorship and a music exam specialism.

Stu Slater is founder and owner of the school. A Senior Examiner for the music board Rockschool Ltd (www.rslawards.com), travelling both the UK and worldwide, he examines Grades 1-8 in drums, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, guitar, bass, piano, vocals and ukulele, plus Performance and Teaching Diplomas. Estimates are c.10,000 exams to date, across c.30 countries in Europe, South America, Canada, Middle East, Africa, Far East and Australia. Stu has also worked for years in other ways for the music board: 

Consultant: Appointed Syllabus Advisor (2012-pres) and Deputy Chief Examiner (2015). Current Senior role involves examiner recruitment, training, moderation, standardising.

Academic Authorship / Syllabus Writing: Stu devised Rockschool’s Teaching Diplomas; co-devised the Performance Diplomas; co-devised Rockschool’s Grade 1-8 Theory syllabus. He also wrote Rockschool’s “Intensive Teacher Diploma Course”, a week-long course, successfully delivered manyfold in UK, Ireland, Spain and Malaysia.

Commercial / Ambassadorial: Regular presentations and workshops in numerous countries for Rockschool relating to product range / processes; representation of brand. 

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

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​Our School

SMS therefore began as a local community provision, applying much of this growing academic content into schools and Stu’s local region. It has developed into a sizeable music provision and overall progress / results are strong. The underlying core of the business is a desire to help children become musicians and help musicians of all ages progress to their potential in contemporary music. We wish to assist all players 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 never too late!)

We also provide Duke of Edinburgh programmes (30 to date) and offer work experience placements. For example numerous St Johns Y10 students have taken their week-long industrial curriculum placement over the last few years.

We also provide opportunities for our students to become involved in teaching and the running of the school, for example we are currently taking on 2-3 new Assistants, all 16-18, specifically targeted to help with rock club, band development, new online products being developed, a new video series, and some instrument tuition to younger children.

Our school work includes:


Abbey Meads (Swindon)

Baydon (Nr Marlborough)

Bishops Cannings (Nr Devizes)

Collingbourne (Collingbourne Ducis)

Kennet Valley (Lockeridge)

Marlborough St Mary’s (Marlborough)

Ogbourne St George (Nr Marlborough)

Preshute Primary (Manton)

St Johns Academy (Marlborough)

Wiltshire Music Centre (Bradford-on-Avon)

Woodborough (Nr Pewsey)


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

Company Number 08019379

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130b High Street (First Floor)




United Kingdom


+44 (0)7789 760 884 (admin)

With many ongoing thanks to our Partners, Associations and Endorsements....

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© 2016 Slater Music School.

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

Company Number 08019379

Matt Clements and students (2015)