My education: Fellowship of the Norwich School of Church Music

The Norwich School of Church Music was founded in 1981 by some local church musicians in Norwich. Its diplomas were awarded either after examination or by recommendation. The diploma of Associate of the School was awarded after successful completion of two essays of between 5,000 and 7,000 words each. The titles were published by the School; one must be on History of Church Music, and the other on Liturgy and Practice. The entry requirement was five years’ experience as a church musician in whatever capacity. The diploma of Fellow of the School was awarded after successful submission of an extended essay of about 10,000 words, or of a portfolio of compositions. Entry requirements for Fellowship were the ANSCM with two extra years’ experience, or five years’ experience with certain approved qualifications.

Diplomas could also be awarded on the basis of work done, with recipients being recommended to the Council for election, usually by existing Fellows of the School. In this way they resembled somewhat the manner in which “Lambeth” degrees are awarded. The Fellowship was awarded to church musicians of long standing or of prominence; the Associateship was awarded to those who, while not necessarily musicians in the first case, had the interests of church music at heart. There was no difference in standing of recipients of diplomas by this method as opposed to those who gained them by examination.

The School closed in 2010.