SMS update 27th April 2020

Dear Parents, Carers and Pupils

We have some exciting things to share with you this week as well as the on going development of our online resources. Please check back during the week.

Todays update is regarding online instrumental lessons:
I have been investigating the possibility of delivering direct online lessons to our pupils since the start of the current situation. After much research and advice from the council and teaching unions we have come to the conclusion that due to concerns about safeguarding and equity of access we are currently not able to currently offer this service.

I will keep this under review and as the situation changes. Other organisations in differing circumstances to ourselves may well have gone down this route but we will currently adhere to the advice we have received. We will not be charging parents for any of our tuition whist we are unable to teach but will continue to work on our free set of resource on our website.

We will  focus on other ways that we can deliver a learning experience to our students such as streaming lessons via YouTube or via tweeter/instagram where pupils can join in a lesson or play along to a teacher. SMS staff are also working very hard creating online tutorials and resources for their pupils as well as trying to keep in regular contact through parents or through schools.

I am aware that some of you are in contact with your childs tutor so we have written a guide to help you to help keep everybody safe

·       Please engage with music service staff on behalf of your children and please don’t ask the children themselves to directly email the member of staff.

·       Any tasks that we may request are suggestions. We understand the difficulty of the situation for many at the moment so please do not feel any pressure from us.

·       If you are sending video evidence –

o   Please make sure that children are appropriately dressed.

o   Please record the video yourself and send it yourself. Please do not ask your child to do this.

o   Please record in a space that is as visually neutral as possible with no other siblings in shot and no family photos visible.

o   Please be patient if you are expecting feedback as our tutors are also working under difficult circumstances.

o   Please only send video evidence if you have been requested to do so by the tutor.

Toby Smith – Head of Service


SMS update 20th April 2020

Dear Parents/Carers/ Pupils

Welcome back to the Summer term, we hope you all had a good Easter considering the circumstances we find ourselves in. We hope this finds you all safe and well.

SMS staff worked extremely hard in the two weeks before Easter creating online resources for your children/pupils to access over this difficult time. These will be continued to be added to over the coming weeks as well as some other exciting developments to try and ensure our young musicians stay engaged.

When you visit our you tube channel please make sure you subscribe and like as the more followers we gain the more possibilities it enables us to access. SMS have also set up an instagram site, which again we hope will enable young people to interact with SMS and the musical content we have to offer – more details to follow.

You will no doubt have heard various news headlines about when schools may be allowing children in again. The government was very quick to shut down the reported 3 weeks. From discussions with members of Childrens Services earlier, the feeling is that, the absolute earliest for children to return would be after May half term and even then it wouldn’t be a full return to normal lessons.  We will keep you informed the more we know but until the government release a plan for coming out of lockdown we won’t know for sure.

As the weeks go on our staff will be making contact with you all, either directly or via your school to set some work and to check in. We also hope to start creating some online performances using SMC/SMS ensembles and schools to encourage pupils to practice, perform and to share!

String and guitar Warwick Arts Centre concerts have been cancelled (as I am sure will be the one in June) so our WCET children will unfortunately not get their final celebration this year. We will have to think about some sort of closure for them going forward all other events planed for May and June (Small group concerts, Rock and Pop nights) have also had be cancelled.

For those of you that are looking for some musical activities to do as a whole family please click on this link and have a go!

More online resources will be sent out via our Twitter feed over the coming days.

We will continue to update you as the situation develops and to keep you informed.

Look after one another and stay safe.

Best wishes


SMS update 6th April 2020

Dear Parents/Carers/Pupils

Thank you for the positive feedback and for engaging with our online resources over the last week. We have been thrilled to see so many of you accessing the material. We will be adding more resources over the coming weeks, but at a slower rate over the Easter Holidays.

After the Easter break, we will begin investigating the next phase of our online presence. We are hoping to launch online lessons via our YouTube channel and will start to look at the possibility of direct online lessons.

We will continue to let you know of new resources becoming available via our twitter feed @musicsolihull however over the Easter break you may want to get involved in this great resource from the BBC   thumbnail_maxdbex_200401251602325090023I1

There are some great musical activities here to keep you and the family occupied.

This is a link to a message from some celebrities encouraging you to get creative whilst you are at home

Stay safe everyone and look after each other.

Best wishes – SMS

SMS Online Resources


Dear Parents/Carers,
We hope this finds you well in these extraordinary times and that you are doing your best to stay safe and well.
With the novelty of school closures wearing thin on our pupils/children we are delighted to announce the arrival of our online resources for all our music students and the wider community.
Please click on the online resources tab. 
Here you will finds lots of different musical activities to get involved in.
At the top of the page you will find a link to our You Tube Tuition channel where pupils can play along or learn to play different pieces with some of the SMS staff. (Please be aware this will continue to grow as time goes on)
Underneath this tab you will find resources for the different instrument groups, just click on the relevant link and it will take you to the instrument page. There you will find some links to online music sessions or further links to specific levels for particular instruments. If you are involved in the Whole Class Ensemble Tuition programme there is also material for you to practice.
At the bottom of the opening page you will find links to classroom based lessons – which we hope is something the whole family can get involved with. This will develop further as we add more resources in partnership with our schools.
The whole website is live and we will continue to add and develop it further over the coming weeks and months to make sure our young musicians get get the most from it.
We will send out regular tweets via @musicsolihull as we add further resources. (Please make sure you are following us!)
Please encourage your children to practise at least half an hour every day. There is also the fantastic opportunity to learn together as a family, as we are all stuck at home at this present time. We hope that every family will learn a song to sing per week as we know that will spread at little happiness. (Backing tracks for songs can be found under our vocal lesson tab)
Please keep checking back to the website and twitter feed as we will continue to update you.
Get those instruments out…….sing out loud……stay safe and look after each other.
We hoped you enjoyed Solihull’s involvement in the Big Play Day on Friday 27th March. If you missed any of it you can find performance’s here.
Best wishes
SMS Staff

SMS update 26th March 2020

Dear Parents/carers

Thank you all for your support during these challenging times for all of us.

As you will be aware we are currently unable to offer face to face lessons with our pupils and are following the current government advice.

We are in the process of gathering together resources that your children can access so that they can still carry on their musical learning journey at this time.

We are spending our time currently compiling this resource and hope for all of this to go live on Monday. You will be able to find this at

Further details will follow this weekend via the website and the SMS twitter feed @musicsolihull.

Friday 27th of March is our Big Play day. Over 160 schools in the West Midlands have taken part and recorded 1 minute of music that will be uploaded on to the West Midlands Music YouTube channel tomorrow. Many Solihull Schools are taking part so if you can follow it on the sites below. Please encourage your children to watch it and celebrate a day of music with us. The running order for the Solihull schools taking part has been shared on our twitter account.

Facebook (

Twitter (@WestMidlandsMu1)

West Midlands Music website:

West Midlands Music YouTube Channel:

In the meantime keep an eye on our website and twitter feed and we will keep you updated of our progress.