Solihull Music Service – Instrumental lessons 2021-22

Dear Parent/ Carer.
Despite the pandemic, we are belive that every pupil is entitled to a musical offer. As I am sure you are aware, this would be the time of year we would be out in schools delivering assemblies/workshops encouraging the next generation of pupils to sign up for lessons and the SMS ensembles.

Due to the restrictions, we are unable to do this so we are in the process of creating online promotional videos for pupils to watch and to introduce some of the instruments they may wish to learn. You can find lots of exciting instruments on our YOU TUBE CHANNEL and on our ONLINE PLATFORM

If you wish to apply for lessons with Solihull Music please click HERE and follow the instructions

Please see below a selection from our woodwind team: (More to follow)

Welcome to the SMS Woodwind Family
The Sax Team
SMS Flutes
SMS Clarinets
SMS Bassoon
SMS Recorder team!

Welcome Back – Summer 2021

Hi Everyone – Welcome back to the summer term 2021!

So, following the successful return of Saturday Music Centre (SMC) before half term, we would love to see pupils that play guitar (9.00am), electric guitar (10.00am), woodwind (10.40am), flutes (9.45am), ukulele(9.45am) and Brass (9.30am) come and join us at SMC.

Please be aware that if any of your pupils want to come and join any of the groups before the end of term you just need to email so we can plan for numbers. We really hope that we will see more students return to make some music over the rest of this term.

Please remember that pupils are to be dropped off as we are not allowed parents on site.  Pupils will need to sign in at the front desk, use the NHS Track & Trace App and wear masks whilst on site.  The front desk will be manned at all times and a sign will be displayed indicating what rooms are assign to what group, as set out below.   Please note staggered start and finish times and please do your best to adhere to them.  

SYMSA will be back serving refreshments this week and the times (for each group doing more than one session) to have a break are listed in brackets (Please stick to these times and brings some money with you!)

Groups rehearsing:

9.00am – 9.40am   SMC Guitars –   M Webb – Dining Hall (refresh 9.40am)

9.45am – 10.30am SMC Ukuleles – M Webb – Dining Hall (refresh 10.30am)

9.30am – 11.00am SMC Jazz Band -A Jones – Lower School Hall (refresh 10.15am)

(Please note Jazz band numbers have been increased to a maxim of 20 students)

Rock and Pop Groups:

9.00am – 11.00am   Code 4  – O Sansom (Room 202) (refresh 9.50am)

9.30am – 11.20am   Roadmen – R Jones (Room 101) (refresh 10.20am)

9.45am – 11.15am   Approx/Checkmate – R Jones (Room 201) (refresh 10.35am)

10.00am – 11.30am Superkicks – T Whitehouse (Room 203) (refresh 10.50am)

10.00am – 10.45 SMC Electric Guitars – P. Beatty (Room 206)


9.45am – 10.30am – A. Morgan – Learning Support


10.40am – 11.25am – A. Morgan – Dining area

SMC Teaching Staff will also leave when their sessions have finished. 

Next week (19th June) we hope to add more Rock and pop groups (such as drumstix) 

Kind Regards, 

Richard Jones

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 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