Discover the craft of writing for musical theatre with British Youth Music Theatre’s Young Writers and Composers Course.

A mind-expanding, week-long residential retreat for those wishing to develop skills and unlock their creative inspiration. Do you write songs, poetry, spoken word or sketches?  Do you sing, play or perform your own material? You may have already written a musical, or want to try the challenge for the first time. Whether you’re a newcomer wishing to explore, or have experience and want to develop further with our professional team, this course will cater to different levels.

Explore the principles of writing music, lyrics and script (book or libretto) with practical group sessions, individual tutorials and masterclasses led by highly experienced professional writers and composers. Includes the opportunity to workshop ideas and share your work and with the BYMT Alumni Performers.

Embrace the possibilities and breadth of musical styles available, choose your area of interest and focus: writing music, writing lyrics, writing book/script; or any combination of these. Form creative partnerships and observe the broad range of techniques and influences open to you.


British Youth Music Theatre courses are led by highly respected professionals in their field, giving participants the opportunity to experience learning from the industry’s best. Course leaders: Writer/Director Carl Miller and Composer/Musical Director Christopher Ash will be joined by special guests throughout the week.

Carl and Chris’ work has been produced across the country and internationally including at the National Theatre, The Other Palace, the Belgrade Coventry, Leeds Playhouse and Birmingham Rep. Their recent musical Wasted was described by WhatsOnStage as "essential viewing if you’re interested in the future of the British musical”. As a Musical Director for the Olivier Award winning improvisers The Showstoppers, Chris will also be bringing his experience in using improvisation for writing to the course.


A six-night, fully-residential programme, the core of the week will be whole group sessions focused on practical work, and active involvement for participants. The course also includes opportunity to specialise, develop work, benefit from mentoring through individual one-to-one sessions, and seminars and Q&As with industry special guests.


Welcome, introductory session and ice-breaking


Three sessions each day will include –

Listening / reading and discussion of examples

Sharing material written by group members and from existing work


Sharing viewpoints and ideas in an open and creative way that is supportive and encouraging;
Rewriting and development of ideas

Practical writing exercises

Elements of songs;
Elements of scenes;
Getting started and keeping going

Craft-specific sessions

In smaller groups writers/composers will specialise in bookwriting, lyrics or music
(although we will cover some aspects of all three with everyone as well)

Individual tutorials

Each participant will receive a one-to-one mentoring session with the course leaders.

Q&As and Seminars

Training and Q&A sessions with industry special guests
*guests will be announced soon


Preparation of informal sharing to be delivered by British Youth Music Theatre’s Alumni Performers;
Review and look forward

An informal sharing of work for an invited audience of family and friends


  • Inspire you to keep writing or composing
  • Give you the practical tools to support your further development
  • Leave you with a sense of the breadth of possibilities in writing music theatre: the diversity of styles and people possible.
  • Connect you with other writers who may be future writing collaborators and friends


For participants aged 16-25. We invite applicants from any part of the country and abroad. A good understanding of spoken and written English is required.

You don’t have to be able to read music notation to participate in the course, particularly if you are interested in the script writing thread of the course.

However, if you are interested in the composer/songwriter aspect of the course you would either need ability and confidence with an accompaniment instrument, or abitlity and confidence with reading/writing music notation, so you will have at least one of those skills to benefit from the composer thread of the course.

Any applicant who is musical (eg. a singer) but can't play an instrument nor write notation would still get a lot out of the course as a lyricist/book-writer and could also be involved in melody-writing exercises from a musical point of view.

Much of the course will be whole group, intergrating all three disciplines and so any participant would benefit from this aspect of the course.


Godolphin School, Wiltshire
The Godolphin School is an independent boarding school founded in 1726.
Godolphin School, Milford Hill, Salisbury SP1 2RA


Sun 4 August - Sat 10 August 2019. Sessions start at 4pm on Sun 4 August, participants will leave at 5pm on Sat 10 August.


British Youth Music Theatre courses are subsidied by Arts Council England as well as various other funders, and as a not-for-profit organisation the course fees help us to cover our costs. The course fee covers full board accommodation, the highest quality tuition, and 24-hour pastoral care.

Domestic students - £750 (deposit: £150), domestic is classified as British/Irish taxpayers.
Overseas students - £850 (deposit: £150), overseas is classified as non-British/Irish taxpayers, living outside UK or Ireland.

There are two ways you can pay your course fee: (1) In full OR (2) A deposit with three subsequent instalments. This is a brand new course from BYMT which has a minimum requirement of 13 students to be able to go ahead.  In the unlikely event that we will be unable to fill the places, the course will be cancelled and your deposit/fee will be refunded in full. We will let participants know by Friday 28 June.

You can also ring the office on 020 8563 7725 and book over the phone.