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We’re delighted to announce that the iconic Kent Music Summer School will be opening the doors of Benenden school again in summer 2021 for music courses.

Courses running Thursday 15th July – Monday 2nd August 2021 for students aged 8-19

After having to cancel the 2020 Summer School – the first time it hadn’t run since 1947 – amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re thrilled to be offering the opportunity again in 2021. An institution for generations of young musicians in Kent, the Kent Music Summer School means that summer is back on track.

We look forward to welcoming you to our courses in 2021!

What is Kent Music Summer School?

The Summer School has welcomed thousands of young people over the past 74 years and enabled the students to join in concentrated ensemble playing and singing on residential courses.

All our courses are led by leading professional musicians who work at the highest level throughout the year as performers and educators.

Set in 240 acres of beautiful grounds in the heart of Kent, Benenden School has excellent facilities, including a purpose-built theatre, lecture theatre and a new state of the art concert hall is also being built. Swimming and sports facilities are also available.

These amenities have contributed to the Summer School being one of the most popular and successful on offer in the country, allowing students to flourish in an unrivalled setting.

About the courses

Details on all the courses can be found at the links below! We’re bringing back many Summer School favourites as well as introducing a new course for 2021 focusing on the Ukulele.

Courses are available for young musicians aged 8-19, from beginners to experts and everything in-between.

Our 2021 courses
How can I apply?

Once you’ve selected the course – or courses – you want to join this year, click the ‘Apply Here’ button on its website page.

Then you’ll be able to add as many courses and students as necessary into your basket and apply directly through SpeedAdmin, our digital portal.

Existing Kent Music students will already have an account with SpeedAdmin, but new students, parents or carers will need to make a new account.

A detailed explanation of the application process can be found in the FAQs below.

Booking Procedure

Each booking will be processed on receipt of an online application form. To apply please click ‘Apply Here’ on any of the course pages linked above.

Bookings will be acknowledged within 7 working days of receipt. When your booking is confirmed you will be contacted with an invoice and payment information. A deposit of £35 is required upon receipt of this email to secure your place. Please do not make a payment until you have received your confirmation email and invoice.

Early booking is strongly recommended to secure your place. If a course (or section of a course) is full, your booking will be placed on a waiting list and you will be advised if a place becomes available.

Payment Procedure

You will receive an invoice with your booking confirmation, and we ask that £35 of this total is paid on receipt as a non-refundable deposit to secure your place.

You will be able to pay this invoice in one lump sum or by instalments of your choice through your SpeedAdmin account. Course fees must be received in full no later than the 5th July 2021. If you would like to discuss an alternative payment plan please email kmss@kent-music.com

Joining Instructions

You will receive the course joining instructions no later than the end of June 2021. These will give you final details on plans for the course, accessing the site, what to bring and more.

What is included in the fee?

All tuition, music, accommodation including bedding and towels, food (breakfast, lunch, dinner and refreshments), as well as leisure activities such as swimming, games and quizzes, plus seats for family and friends at the end of course performance.

Is financial assistance available?

We have a Financial Assistance scheme for those who need additional support to attend Kent Music activities, including lessons, groups, courses and Summer School.

If you require financial assistance for Kent Music Summer School activities please download the form linked below and return with supporting documents to gbatty@kent-music.com.

County Programmes Financial Assistance Application Form

If you would like further information about County Programmes financial assistance, please contact Valerie Cordina, County Programmes Manager, at vcordina@kent-music.com.

Cancellation procedure and refunds

Cancellations must be given in writing, either by letter or email to kmss@kent-music.com. Your cancellation will be confirmed within 15 working days of receipt.

Refunds will be processed no later than 31 August 2021.

The following refund entitlements apply:

CANCELLATION RECEIVED           REFUND
On or before 31/05/21                        Full, minus £35.00
Between 01/06/21 & 20/06/21        50% of full course fee
Between 21/06/21 & 04/07/21        25% of full course fee
On or after 05/07/21                          No refund

Terms & Conditions

Please visit our Terms & Conditions page for for full T&Cs. Summer School Terms and Conditions should be read in conjunction with Kent Music’s General Terms and Conditions.

If you have any questions not detailed below, please get in touch using the ‘Make An Enquiry’ button below.

Are auditions required?

No auditions are necessary. Placement will be made after careful consideration of the standard and experience of the student as indicated on the booking form together with the need to ensure instrumental and vocal balance.

What if school is still in session on the course dates?

Your child’s head teacher may grant permission to attend Kent Music Summer School and generally head teachers are very keen to permit attendance.

If your child is due to attend school when the course takes place, please ensure you inform your school in good time and follow their normal procedure for authorised absence (code B). School absence Code B covers approved educational activities and courses which take place away from the school site.

We are always happy to talk with schools to answer any questions that they may have.

My child has special educational needs or a disability - can they still attend?

We aim to make courses accessible for all to attend. Please contact Kent Music via the ‘Make an Enquiry’ button below to discuss your child’s requirements before completing this application.

Who are the staff?

The Music Team of conductors, tutors, accompanists, vocal and instrumental coaches are experts in their field. A qualified child safeguarding officer, nurse, lifeguards and a team of experienced pastoral staff are present throughout.

Our Pastoral Team are experienced in supporting young people during their stay ensuring their safety comfort and well-being throughout. They stay in the same accommodation houses as the students so there is always someone on hand to help if needed. We engage a Student Welfare Officer who remains on-site during all courses and is available if any student wishes to talk to someone other than than someone from the music or pastoral team.

All Kent Music Summer School and Benenden School staff members have Full Disclosure DBS certificates and current Child Safeguarding training and many of them have first aid training.

What is the accommodation like?

Benenden School is in a 240-acre beautiful parkland site in the heart of the Kent countryside and the school facilities are exceptional.
The accommodation houses at Benenden that we are likely to occupy are made of individual rooms. We will inform parents/carers of the situation as soon as this is confirmed.

Catering is of the standard you would expect from this prestigious school! Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided each full day as well as refreshments at the morning, afternoon and evening break times.

Leisure facilities include a supervised heated indoor swimming pool, tennis courts and a varied range of indoor and outdoor supervised games and sports activities such as rounders, cricket and frisbee. There is also a shop on site.

We hope that these activities will be permitted during the Summer School this year, and if so, time will be scheduled for use of the leisure facilities.

Is the food provided suitable for children with allergies or specific dietary requirements?

A wide selection of food is available at each of the daily meals –breakfast, lunch and supper. There is a variety of milks available – almond, soya, hazelnut as well as skimmed and semi skimmed.

There is also a separate toaster provided for gluten-free bread and there are gluten-free and vegetarian options available at all meal times.

Food served at the counter is nut-free. If you require a different diet, e.g. vegan, this can be provided as long as we are given sufficient notice.

The registration form you will be asked to complete will give you the opportunity of letting us know your requirements. All food is labelled with EU allergen symbols e.g. sesame, crustaceans, molluscs and eggs.

We are very hopeful that KMSS will take place in 2021 but as you will understand, all plans and arrangements being made are subject to change and will depend on the prevailing COVID-related government guidelines and safety measures.

Although we are unable to answer specific questions about exact arrangements at this time, we can reassure you that the safety and welfare of students and staff are paramount and with that in mind we will ensure:

  • All required measures are implemented and adhered to
  • Full details of the procedures will be sent to you and posted on the website as soon as they are confirmed
  • A full Risk Assessment for Summer School will be made available by the end of June 2021.
  • Full refunds will be processed at the earliest time if courses are cancelled due to COVID-19

For more information on how Kent Music is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, including our latest updated guidance document, please visit our dedicated webpage.

What happens if courses are cancelled?

We will only cancel a course when no other safe options are available. If this occurs, parents/carers will be contacted at the earliest opportunity, and full refunds will be processed as quickly as possible.

What happens if my child/ward has COVID symptoms or has to isolate and cannot attend the course?

If a student cannot attend due to COVID symptoms or exposure, please contact the County Programmes team as soon as possible on kmss@kent-music.com.

Full refunds will be processed on production of proof of a positive COVID-19 test and/or a doctor’s certificate.

What measures and guidance have Kent Music put in place to ensure all the courses are safe?

The health, safety and welfare of all participants and staff is our top priority.

We will ensure all measures by the prevailing regulations and laws at the time of the course are adhered to.

Will COVID-19 testing take place for staff or students?

If required by government or Benenden School, we will conduct routine tests.

We will advise parents/carers as soon as we have this information confirmed, shortly before the start of your course.

I would like to wait until I know more about the COVID situation this summer before I apply. When is the latest we can apply for a course?

We believe the courses will be extremely popular this year so we strongly recommend you apply as soon as possible to secure your place.

Full refunds will be given if we must cancel due to COVID, so you will not be at any financial disadvantage by making an early application.

Will students be allowed to share rooms?

At the time of writing, government guidance on residential courses has not yet been published.

The accommodation houses at Benenden that we are likely to occupy are made of individual rooms although this has not been confirmed. We will inform parents/carers of the situation as soon as this is confirmed.

Will sports and/or swimming facilities be available to use during the course?

We hope that these activities will be permitted during the Summer School. If so, time will be scheduled for use of the leisure facilities.

Will the end of course concerts go ahead as usual?

We are planning for or celebratory end-of-course concerts to go ahead as usual on the final day of each course.

Questions about Kent Music Summer School? Get in touch at the button below: