SMS+ (14 - 18 Years, Grade 6+, Grade 5 theory)

SMS Plus is our advanced programme for young musicians.

SMS+ is our advanced programme for young musicians who are Grade 6 standard or above on their instrument or voice. 

Students must also have their Grade 5 theory (ABRSM, LCM or Rock School boards).

Students will be considering studying music for A Level/BTEC or degree level.

Students benefit from working with professional musicians, experiencing a broad range of musical styles, and meeting other like-minded young people.

Students are enrolled as a junior student of Leeds College of Music.

You can listen to our SMS + Jazz group here.

  • Starts:
  • Duration: 30 Saturday
  • Venue: Leeds College of Music
  • Fee: £580 (3 Hour Programme) / £773 (4 hour programme)
  • Age: 14-18
  • Study Mode: Part time

About the course

The course includes two hours of ensemble skills, specialising in either jazz, pop/rock or classical, and a workshop which will support students’ musical studies, audition preparation and career development.

Each student has the option of a 3 or 4 hour programme: 

  • 3 hour programme: two hours of ensemble, one workshop
  • 4 hour programme: two hours of ensemble, one workshop, and one musicianship classes

A typical timetable would look something like this:


09:00 – 11:15: Ensemble (either SMS+ Pop/Rock or SMS+ Jazz)


11:30 – 12:30: Workshop

12:30 - 13:30: Musicianship (Theory or Composition)

Students are placed in either our SMS+Jazz or SMS+Pop/Rock group.   

Each ensemble is led by one of our talented professional tutors, who have a wealth of teaching experience as well as active performing careers.  Students develop their listening, arranging, composition and improvisation skills, and learn how to rehearse and perform as a group.

The workshop will support students’ musical studies, audition preparation and career development.

Why choose Saturday Music School?

  • Become a member of Junior LCoM, and raise your aspirations
  • Playing in an ensemble promotes team work and helps young musicians to develop rehearsal skills and approaches to problem solving
  • Work with professional musicians who are experienced tutors to fast track your musical skills
  • Experience a broad range of musical styles to become a well-rounded musician
  • Music industry and performance workshops designed to broaden horizons
  • Learn how to promote yourself and your music with marketing workshops
  • Meet other like-minded young musicians and make new friends
  • Opportunities to network with a wide range of young musicians
  • Musicianship classes will develop essential musical skills, such as understanding of musical language, composition and arranging
  • Develop your creativity and musical ideas in a supportive and nurturing learning environment
  • Performance opportunities build experience and confidence
  • Improve your chances of success with support with applications, auditions and preparation for further musical study, i.e. BTEC or degree
  • Have fun making music
Junior LCoM-56.jpg


Our friendly auditions are designed to give students the opportunity to see what it's really like to study at Saturday Music School.   

Why not come along to our next SMS+ auditions day on 21 April between 8.45.-12.30pm to find out more. Places must be booked online by clicking 'Register for Audition' at the top of this page.

On our audition days, you will spend the morning with our SMS+ students, rehearsing and participating in a workshop.  There is nothing to prepare in advance. We are looking for how well you interact with the other musicians and progress during the morning.

Entry requirements, fees & applying

Entry requirements

It is a requirement that students have regular one-to-one or group lessons on their instrument/voice outside of SMS.

Students must be Grade 6 level on their instrument and have passed Grade 5 theory in order to attend SMS Plus.

It is a requirement that students have regular one-to-one or group lessons on their instrument/voice outside of SMS.  

SMS Plus is designed to support instrumental/vocal lessons which we do not provide as part of the course.


The fees for the 2018/19 academic year of Saturday Music School are as follows:

  • 3 hour programme: £580
  • 4 hour programme: £773

 The fee can either be paid full or in instalments by standing order.

Instalment payments

For a 3 hour timetable, the fees can be paid by ten instalments of £58 from August 2018 - May 2019.

For a 4 hour timetable, the fees can be paid by ten instalments of £77.30 from August 2018 - May 2019.


We want to ensure that no one turns down a place at SMS due to cost.

Fees can be paid in instalments and we also have a bursary fund that supports students and their families dependent on their situation. In 2016/17 bursaries of between 7% and 69% were awarded.  

Find out more about applying for a bursary.

How to apply

If you would like to apply for the SMS Plus course to start in September 2018, please complete our online audition form.

The majority of auditions for 2018/19 entry have now been held.  We may be able to accept a late application for some instruments.  Please apply using the audition form above. 

You will be invited to come in and play, either with our current SMS Plus students, or with a small group with other musicians of a similar standard in a band rehearsal setting.

No preparation is needed.  We will be looking for good ensemble and musicianship skills, as well as how you communicate your musical ideas to the other musicians. 

We will also talk to you to find out your musical interests and which is the right musicianship class for you.  Have a think about your favourite musicians and your influences, as well as any aspirations you have for your music.

If you are coming to an Open Day, you have the option to audition on the same day.  Further auditions will be held in June.

Terms & conditions

If a student withdraws from SMS during the four weeks of term, only the enrolment fee will be charged. After their first half-term, one term’s notice in writing must be given of intention to leave and any balance of fees paid.  If an overpayment has been made a refund will be calculated.

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