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We offer musical training at the highest international level combined with a flexible programme of study tailored to individual needs. All this takes place in a happy, vibrant, stimulating and balanced environment.

Our inspirational team of teachers led by Simon Smith provide a foundation for the development of talented young musicians.

Outstanding tuition and performance opportunities provide young musicians with variety, whilst offering the chance to specialise and prepare for the enjoyment of a career in music.

What We Offer

  • Outstanding tuition by a dedicated team of high-profile teachers
  • Timetabled daily supervised practice
  • Chamber music including trios, quartets, quintets and interaction with wind, brass and percussion
  • Membership of the Symphony Orchestra, Baroque Ensemble; Contemporary Music Group and the flagship of the department, the renowned Wells Virtuosi – String Chamber Orchestra
  • Regular masterclasses with performers and teachers of international standing
  • Performance opportunities throughout the UK and abroad
  • Practical, relevant advice on preparation for auditions, competitions, music college entrance and potential career paths
  • Workshops and performance classes offering practical advice on all aspects of performance, incorporating stage etiquette, diet, coping with nerves, anxiety and concert dress
  • A healthy, happy and fun working environment that is about people and music

Ensemble and Performance Opportunities

One of the many benefits and joys of receiving a musical education at Wells is the opportunity to take part in weekly orchestral and ensemble rehearsals. Our string department offers:

Double Bass Ensemble: For all double bass pupils
Double Bass Quartet: For senior pupils
Harp Ensemble: For all pupils
String Ensemble: Specialist String Group for Years 7-9
String Chamber Orchestra: Senior School auditioned ensemble
WYMSO: Years 4 – 6 string group for all, including external
WYMSE: Years 1 – 3 string group for all, including external

Meet Our Staff

Co-ordinator of Strings Studies
Staff Structure

Simon Smith – Co-ordinator of Strings Studies

Violin & Viola
Edward Burns
Joanne Green
Alex Laing
Catherine Lord
Robert Salter
Sophie Simpson
Simon Smith
Alex Thorndike
Liz Whittam


Simonetta Barone
Penny Driver
Richard May
Harriet Wiltshire

Double Bass
Josie Jobbins
Claire Whitson

Ruth Faber

Classical Guitar
James Rippingale

About some of our staff


Latest News

Summer School

International Chamber Music Summer School
Sunday 11th August to Saturday 17th August 2024

Join us for an inspiring and fun week

This course is designed for students aged 12 to 18 who wish to focus on the intensive study of chamber music. Players can enrol as pre-formed groups or as individuals to be formed into ensembles. This course is designed for experienced ensemble players who have reached, as a minimum standard, the equivalent of Grade 7 and have the requisite skills and desire to work at the highest level.

£995 Residential £795 Non-residential

Join our String Department