Access to Music was founded in 1992 by John Ridgeon to promote and improve popular music education in the UK. The first Access to Music head office was in Leicester. The music school formed a partnership with Leicester College followed by partnerships with regional colleges.
The second Access to Music centre opened in Bristol in 1999 and the York and London branches opened in 2002. The first Access to Music award ceremony, hosted by Sir George Martin, took place in London in 2003. Subsequent award ceremonies took place in various locations around the country, including O2 Academy Birmingham and Liverpool Sound City, and have been hosted by BBC Radio DJs Lauren Laverne and Edith Bowman. The music college expanded to Brighton and Lincoln in 2004 with centres opening in both cities.
In 2009, Access to Music was acquired by Armstrong Learning, a Manchester-based education and training provider. In 2011, the head office re-located from Leicester to Birmingham, with an administrative centre established in Manchester. In 2011, Access to Music launched a new centre in Darlington based at The Forum Music Centre which later closed. In 2013, the college in Norwich moved from its King Street location to Epic Studios.
The York centre created and organised Access to Music's first trade fair at York St John University in early April 2014  and Access to Music presented a Masterclass at the first Brighton Music Conference, an electronic music event. In the summer of 2014 plans were finalised for a new centre in Manchester, opening in early October. The centre was situated in the basement of the St. James's Buildings on Oxford Street, the former location of the music venues Jilly's Rockworld and Music Box.
Access to Music delivered courses at both Further Education (FE) and Higher Education (HE) levels. It also designed its own FE music curriculum in partnership with Rockschool, the UK’s only rock and pop accrediting body and Edexcel. The HE curriculum was designed in conjunction with RNCM and BCU.
Level 1 – Introduction to Music
Level 2 – Music Performance, Music Technology and Music Business
Level 3 – Music Performance, Music Business, Music Technology (Music Production and Sound Engineering) and Vocal Artist
Level 4 – Artist Development
BMus Popular Music Performance, in partnership with BCU
BA (Hons) Music Business, validated by BCU, and Popular Music Performance, validated by RNCM