Saturday Morning Music School at Powers

Saturday Morning Music School

Originally created and led by former Belmont Public Schools music teacher John McLellan, Saturday Morning Music School provides small group instruction to 4th and 5th graders in the Chenery Upper Elementary School’s orchestra and band program.

An add-on to what your child is already learning in school music programs, SMMS supercharges their progress on their instrument. Students receive focused instruction in small groups on the basics of their instrument (posture/hand position, technique, tone, rhythm), learn how to practice, perform, and work as a team, and ultimately, gain confidence in themselves.

How the program works:

We introduced a new model for learning in 2022, where students, their peers, and their teachers learn and grow together in a fun and nurturing collaborative environment.

All SMMS students will come to Chenery for two hours each Saturday. Beginning students will receive instrument instruction from 9:00-10:00 am, while continuing students will receive instruction on their instruments from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm.

The middle hour from 10:00 – 11:00 am is a time for the entire SMMS community to gather for cooperative learning, whether in String Orchestra, Concert Band, sectionals, or other small groups. Each week, this middle hour might look different as SMMS faculty and interns instruct students in whatever way is most needed – kids might take turns as section leaders, dive deeper into extra work on their parts, receive additional group instruction, or come together as an orchestra or band made up of all ages and levels.

This model provides younger students with an invaluable opportunity to learn from their peers while still getting the more detailed instruction from their group class teachers. Learning alongside peers motivates students to aspire to higher leadership roles and responsibilities and truly take ownership of their part in the larger musical community (not unlike the intimate environment of the Powers Youth Orchestra!). More advanced students have a chance to serve as role models and mentors, reenforce what they’re learning, test out creative ideas, and aspire to even greater heights.

Come join us at Saturday Morning Music School, and test the limits of what you can do!


2024-2025 Information


  • $450 (includes group instrumental class + Orchestra or Band + $20 registration fee)

All SMMS students meet for two hours each Saturday – one hour for their group class, and one hour for ensemble.

  • 9:00-10:00 a.m. – Beginning (first year) group classes
  • 10:00-11:00 a.m. – String Orchestra and Concert Band
  • 11:00-12:00 p.m. – Continuing (second year) group classes

Saturday Morning Music School programs will meet on the following days:

  • October 5, 12, 19, 26
  • November 2, 9, 16, 23
  • December 7, 14 (concert day)
  • January 4, 11, 18, 25
  • February 1, 8
  • March 1, 8, 15, 22 (concert day)
  • March 29 snow date, if needed

All programs will still be held at Chenery Middle School, 95 Washington Street, Belmont.

SMMS 2024-2025 Faculty


Registration can be completed on this webpage – please scroll down and click on the class you want to register for below, which will allow you to complete registration online through our ASAP site (you will be asked to create an account). Registering for a group instrumental class automatically registers your student for the most appropriate ensemble as well (either String Orchestra or Concert Band).

Belmont Scholars

The Belmont Scholars program enables students who qualify for waivers of the BHS Instrumental Music Program fee, the BHS Fine and Performing Arts fee, and/or the Chenery Middle School Fine Arts, Athletics, and Activities fee in Belmont Public Schools to also qualify for private lesson and Saturday Morning Music School scholarships at Powers Music School.

Scholarships will be granted to private lesson students through an application process based on household size and income limits. Applications are processed through Belmont Public Schools. Please click here to view the fee waiver guidelines, process, and application. Once you receive notice that your family qualifies for fee waivers, please present that notification to us upon registration at Powers.

Thank you so much to our financial aid sponsor, Watertown Savings Bank, for their generous support of the Belmont Scholars and financial aid program. This contribution made it possible for us to provide these scholarships.

Please contact Powers’ Associate Director, Meghan Miller, at 617-484-4696 or

Classes & Programs

Subject to change

Beginning Group Instrument Classes

4th grade string students, 5th grade band students, or students with no prior experience

Continuing Group Instrument Classes

For students who were registered SMMS student last year, or have at least one year of instrumental study at school