Tony Bridgewater spent the first part of his career as a music teacher at Ridgewood High School and Old Swinford Hospital School, Stourbridge, in the West Midlands.
During his time at Old Swinford the Music Department expanded considerably. He directed the school Concertband, Swingband and Choir, and gave many concerts both in England and on tours abroad in Europe. A large proportion of students learnt a musical instrument and participated in extarcurricular musical activcities; 12% of the whole school population took part in the tour to Italy.
Of his many A level students, all achieved grades A-C, and about half of them went on to study performance or composition at leading universities and conservatoires, some also achieving scholarships. He was a GTP teacher trainer and subject coordinator for the King Edward's Consortium, Birmingham, and helped many students to begin their own careers as music teachers.