Saturday ELLSO

Learn to play at Saturday ELLSO! 

Never played before?

Learned as a child but let your skills go rusty?

ELLSO is the place for you!

Led by experienced and committed tutors, ELLSO has a well established system for helping adults learn to play music for the first time or improve their exisiting skills. Our programme is designed to cover the needs of all players - from absolute beginners to those with considerable experience who wish to develop interpretive skills and tackle established string repertoire.

There are no examinations or auditions - everyone plays in ensembles arranged for their level right from day one and can take part in three informal end of term concerts to show off what they've acheived. ELLSO members are friendly and enthusiastic, and willing to tackle a wide variety of music even though, as late starters, some have not yet reached a high technical standard.

You can learn violin, viola, cello or bass 

You can have a lot of fun and make new friends along the way!

Our unique Saturday morning Learning Programme

We meet on Saturday mornings during school term time. Starting at 9:30 am, the morning comprises four teaching sessions:-

  • One dedicated to developing technique on your chosen instrument
  • Another to acquiring essential musicianship skills
  • Two to playing in ensembles.

And of course the all-important break for tea and sandwiches...

Group technique classes

Depending on your technical ability and the instrument you play, you will be in one of five stages (Stage 1 for complete beginners, up to more experienced players in Stage 5).  You will appraise yourself against ELLSO's special scheme of work for that stage in conjunction with your tutor's advice. This ensures that you’re in the appropriate stage relative to your experience and skills.

Musicianship classes

We spend a good deal of the morning with people who are at a broadly similar stage to ourselves, but we all learn musicianship at the same time to allow for free choice from several options.The options on offer vary from time to time depending on the tutors available; currently we are running classes in

  • Music theory 
  • Ear training through singing
  • Rhythm work
  • Playing by ear
  • Harmony and composition


Nothing is quite like the feeling you get when you play in the orchestra for the first time - this is where your newly found skills will join with those of others to make that wonderful sound which is the orchestra rehearsing and improving week by week!


ELLSO membership subscription - £15 per year

ELLSO Saturdays Tuition fee - £190.00 per term (some concessions are available)

Violin/viola hire - £20.00 per term

Cello or double bass hire - £40.00 per term

See Where We Meet 

Saturday ELLSO - 9:30am to 1:30pm takes place at:

Phoenix School 
49 Bow Road 
E3 2AD


It is very close to both Bow Road tube station (District & Circle lines) and Bow Church DLR and a short walk from Mile End tube (Central line).

There is free parking in the nearby streets on Saturdays. There is limited parking on the school grounds, but this is reserved for tutors, double bass players, and players with mobility difficulties.

Term Dates for Saturday ELLSO

For a list of the term dates for Saturday ELLSO from September 2023 to July 2024, see here.

Join Us

If you like what you have seen and are interested in joining us, go here to check on availability of places and to fill out an application for membership.