James Allen’s Saturday School for the Performing Arts was started at James Allen’s Girls School (JAGS) in 1993. The idea was to create an opportunity for young people to experience and explore specialist performing arts tuition beyond the school curriculum giving them the chance to develop self-expression, confidence and skills in a non-competitive environment. In 2009 we launched South London Youth Orchestra – intensive orchestral experiences during the school holidays. Post Covid we re-modelled our school and now focus on specialist music tuition on Saturdays. As part of this restructure we launched a Community Choir for adults and teens and 'Play-in-a-Week' dance and drama holiday intensives.
At JASSPA, all disciplines are taught by experienced practitioners with a passion for teaching. The environment is both creative and supportive, and provides encouraging performance opportunities.
Music lessons take place on Saturdays from 8.30am – 4pm during term time. Our 300+ pupils come from across SE London and choose their own personal combination of activities from a broad curriculum:
- Instrumental and Vocal Tuition – running throughout the day, one to one lessons for 6-18yrs
- Music Theory - Grade 1-2, 3-4 and 5 theory classes running at 11am and 12 midday, for instrumentalists post Grade 2 practical level.
- Composition – running throughout the day, one to one lessons for pupils taking GCSE or A level music, or those really passionate about learning to structure composition/song writing – all styles covered including jazz and improvisation.
- Choirs – 10am - 11am, Choirs for all ages including a Community Choir for adults and teens
- Ensembles and Chamber Music - from 11am - 1pm. Current ensembles include Junior Strings, String quartets, Flute Ensemble, Cello Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble and Jasspa Jazz band.
- Piano Duos and trios - running throughout the day
- SLYO – South London Youth Orchestra holiday courses for instrumentalists from Grade 2 - diploma level
- Dance – 'Play in a Week' holiday intensives - currently paused due to building works and planned maintenance at JAGS
- Drama – 'Play in a Week' holiday intensives - currently paused due to building works and planned maintenance at JAGS