SMS Easter update April 2021

Dear parent/carer/pupil
As we finish yet another strange term and we start to look forward to the summer term we would like to share with you some of the achievements SMS have successfully completed over the spring term.

SMS teaching

Despite schools being closed SMS has delivered online lessons in 97% of secondary schools and 84% primaries this has meant pupils have managed to maintain their instrumental lessons. Compared to other music services this is a very high figure and is testimony to the strong relationships we have with our schools. Some pupils have even managed to compete online exams and we congratulate all of those pupils that have passed!
We are in the process of submitting our risk assessments for one to one centre lessons and Saturday Music Centre to restart after the Easter holidays. We will update you as soon as we know!

SMS online school offer:

SMS continues to have a strong presence online and during lockdown provided schools with various resources provided and recorded by our very own staff. This included Whole Class Ensemble Tuition, small groups and curriculum lessons.Examples of this can be found here. We have also continued to offer online ensemble opportunities for our students in Windband, Brass Band, Guitars and Ukuleles.

Online workshops:
SMS (in partnership with Warwickshire and Coventry) hosted 3 amazing workshops that we know inspired our young musicians to keep playing, be ready for when we can meet again and to help us be in a better position to recover from this last year. Sessions included: (click on the link to watch them)
Mike Lovett – Brass
Alex Laing – Strings
Jess Gillam – Woodwind

Saturday Music Centre ‘Inspire and Engage Sessions’
In partnership with the Rock and Pop Festival Trust SMC organised these amazing sessions with ex Solihull students who have gone on to have very successful careers in music. It is important to remind parents/pupils alike that playing a musical instrument can provide you with a good career pathway. To watch these sessions please click on the links below:
Jimmy Sims – Session Bass player
Lorna Want – West End Star
Mike Dunne – Touring Guitarist
Fred Cox – Music Producer

SMS have also been busy creating some online performances for you to enjoy over the Easter break:
1st up is some of our guitar teachers:

2nd Up is our Junior Strings:

Have a great Easter break everyone, stay safe and we look to forward to rebuilding during the summer term.

Solihull Music Service – Update 1st March 2021

Dear Parents/Carers/Pupils

Welcome back to the new term and we hope this finds you well and feeling a little more positive as we see a potential route out of this pandemic.

March 8th: As we know all schools are due to return on this date. We are working hard with each school individually to support them with the delivery of daytime lessons and how this will work. SMS has to resubmit its RA to the Councils recovery team for sign off and we hope that will not cause too much delay, in the meantime we hope that remote lessons will continue as things settle down. If you have any questions please talk with your school or SMS teacher.

1 to 1 lessons: It is hoped these lessons will restart after the Easter holidays with face to face lessons starting at Lyndon and (we hope) Arden. As soon as we have confirmation of this we will let you know.

SMC and Ensembles: Depending on how the ‘roadmap’ progresses and if the return to schools doesn’t prove problematic we would hope that (inline with government thinking) we can at last restart Saturday Music Centre and our SMS ensembles in some form next term. We have to put a proposal together for Solihull MBC on how this will work but I hope by then the risk will be minimal. We are still continuing to offer online ensemble provision for some of our groups and SMC. Inspire and engage sessions: We have started very successfully these online sessions to help engage students and motivate them to ‘get their instruments out’ ready for when we can return to make music together. Please do get involved as these sessions are proving really popular and have been well received.
Mike Lovett February 11th 2021
Fred Cox February 27th 2021
Mike Dunne March 6th 2021
Alex Lang March 11th 2021
Lorna Want March 13th 2021
Jimmy Sims March 20th 2021
Jess Gilliam March 30th 2021

As always we will do our best to keep you informed and up to date, but please look after each other and stay safe and I hope we will see you in person soon!
We thought you might enjoy this performance from our SMS guitar team!

Welcome to 2021! Updated 5th Jan

Dear parents/ carers and pupils.
Well what a difference a day makes! As of January 5th we find ourselves in another national lockdown!

SMS staff will be meeting over the next few days to see how we can support our schools, pupils and parents during the next 6 weeks. Our one to one after school lessons will move online and SMS staff will be organising online lessons where possible for daytime students.

We ask for your patience over the next few days as we plan our course of action, but we are confident that we will be able to support the musical pupils of the borough as we go through this difficult period. We will update you as more information becomes available.

If you have any questions please email messages@solmus.solgrid.org.uk as the office phones are not manned at this moment in time

Saturday Music Centre and SMS ensembles will not be able to start until Solihull is placed back into a lower tier (2 at a minimum) and again we will update you as the term progresses.
SMS staff have worked extremely hard to create free online resources for pupils to access and they can be found here: SMS ONLINE RESOURCES and SMS TEACHING YOU TUBE CHANNEL.
Stay safe everyone and keep up to date by following us on Twitter @musicsolihull

Best wishes

Solihull Music Service – Happy Christmas!

Dear Parent, Carer, Pupils

As we approach the end of a long and hard term, we would like to thank you for your ongoing support and I hope (on top of school-based lessons, online lessons and 1-1 at SMS) that SMS Ensembles, Saturday Music Centre (SMC), Arden, Light Hall and St Peters can restart in the New Year
The proposal to reopen SMC and SMS ensembles will not be considered until we are out of tier 3! We continue to work with Light Hall, St Peters and Arden to find a solution moving forward next term.
However, despite the challenges we faced we thought I would share some of the highlights we have achieved this term.

  1.  SMS has continued to deliver in most schools this term despite the difficulties this presents. This shows the value schools place on music, SMS and our staff.
  2. One to one lessons after school have continued at our Lyndon school setting and online lessons offered to those at Arden School.
  3. Despite not being able to restart Saturday Music Centre and our weekly ensemble offer online sessions have been taking place to engage with those pupils and have been made into an online resource.
  4. The SMS you tube channel continues to develop and is a great online resource.
  5. Today SMS is sharing some really positive online performances to raise a smile and spirts as we head into the Christmas break. You can see these here:

Soul Matters:


Saturday Music Centre:https://youtu.be/aGpGFB5wymM (Saturday 19th 10.00am)
Con brio strings:https://youtu.be/dqHBqDUpkb0 (Friday 18th 12.00pm)
Junior strings:https://youtu.be/bCaq6JK7M8g (Friday 18th 12.00pm)
SMBC Carol Concert​:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHVuTuSEE1U

Solihull Music Service Update December 11th 2020

Dear Parent, Carer and Pupils.
Face to Face lessons: will restart at Solihull Music Service from Monday 7th December.

Our recorded online sessions on a Saturday for guitars is here and for ukuleles is here. (the 28th November session is being edited). Guitar sessions take place every Saturday at 9.45am (LINK) and the Ukuleles at 10.30am (LINK)
Online Ensemble Rehearsals: SMS conductors of weeknight groups will have been in touch about either arranging an online rehearsal (if appropriate), meet with the students or will be trying to organise a Christmas performance.
Online rehearsals
Guitarisstas 1st December
Junior Brass Band 3rd December
Solihull Youth Brass Band 3rd December
Junior Winds 7th December
Guitarisstas 8th December
Junior Brass Band 10th December
Solihull Youth BB 10th December
Guitarisstas 15th December

We will update you further with more exciting developments for Christmas as we get closer to the end of term.

Best wishes everyone and stay safe!