Frequently Asked Questions

When and Where does Teaching Take Place?


Sheffield Music Academy takes place every Saturday during term-time from 8.30am-5.00pm at Birkdale Senior School, Sheffield. As our timetables are tailor made for each student the exact hours vary for each individual.


Can I Afford to join?


Any student can apply to study with us no matter what their personal circumstances or background. As a small charity, we work closely with the Department for Education who fund a limited number of means tested bursaries every year. We are also supported by businesses and smaller trusts to contribute towards fees and help pay for instruments and associated learning costs. This support ensures that we can provide eligible students with a high-quality music education without the worry of financial restraints.

As fees are based upon a student's tailored timetable, please contact General Manager Jess O'Neill to discuss further.


Am I Good Enough to Join?

We look for young musicians who are dedicated, talented and passionate about music! Students will need to pass audition before being accepted into the Academy, but no formal qualifications or grades are needed for entry. 

Will the Classes Suit My Needs?

Every student receives a timetable that is tailor made for them with selections from our wide curriculum of classes. From one-to-one instrumental lessons and choirs to small ensembles, aural and theory classes, students get a chance to experience all aspects of creating and enjoying classical music. Classes are designed to challenge and inspire. We also work with staff trained to adapt and accommodate classes to suit a range of special educational needs.

What opportunities are there to perform?

Students have the opportunity to perform every single week in our lunchtime concerts. Not to mention the weekly performance classes and workshops as well as our regular master-classes with professional performers. Academy students have previously performed in Sheffield City Hall and The Crucible as well as at Bradfield Festival of Music, The Broomhill Festival and Sheffield Classical Weekend. Giving students the chance to perform is a key part of Sheffield Music Academy, as are the opportunities for discussion, learning and improvement that performance provides. 

What Will Happen After I Graduate from Sheffield Music Academy?

Sheffield Music Academy gives students a place to grow and thrive as musicians and many of our graduates go on to study music at University or Conservatoire. Other graduates follow non-musical careers and qualifications but take the dedication, drive and enthusiasm that learning music at SMA provides. We regularly support our graduates in applying and auditioning for conservatoires and colleges as well as ensuring that they are fully equipped to navigate the application process. But no matter where they go and what they do all our graduates take a passionate love for music with them as leave the Academy.

Will Sheffield Music Academy Take Me Away From My Current Teacher?

Not necessarily. We would never make a student leave a teacher they are happy and working well with. We are more than happy to work alongside a student's existing tutor to ensure your musical progression. We always discuss student and parent's preferences and needs before you join us.

If you are eligible for a bursary it may be that SMA will fund your lessons with an external tutor but you will still be expected to attend the Saturday school as part of your membership.

How Can I Apply?






Sheffield Music Academy