Current Courses

" guys are endlessly helpful and supportive. Thank you!"

"The Orchestral Stage Management Day at the Barbican was amazing. I have always wanted to develop my knowledge of the orchestral side of the industry both personally and as a Stage Manager. I learnt so much working with the LSO staff and at the end of just one day I am confident that I could set up a full concert orchestra for any classical piece. How great is that? We also were able to look in on rehearsals as well . A day full of wonder and knowledge. I can’t recommend this course enough. Hard work but a huge new string to my bow!" (Course attendee in 2015)

SMA logoTraining Support Vouchers

These can now also cover some travel costs as well as massively reducing training rates for eligible members.- ONLY £30 for a full one day course!   Please take advantage of industry giving something back to hard working SMs, and remember no one else on the course or in the industry will know the price you paid!! 


Members who are unable to afford our upcoming Cueing to Music or Corporate Showcalling training at this time will shortly be able to apply for our fantastic Training Support Vouchers.  This scheme is generously supported by GDS and The Theatrical Guild -  and allows us to offer some training places at ONLY £30 per place on the full one day course.  If you need financial assistance to attend a course which would be beneficial to your career (potentially including a contribution to travel expenses over 50 miles) and you are currently unable to work (including temporarily) please let SMA know which course you would like to take (one course per member per calendar year), why you are currently unable to afford to pay the members price, and how you feel that your career would benefit from taking the course now. We will contact you to help you get the support that you need.  



SMA Members £135.00  non members £155.00
Special SMA Members Discount  price extended  until October 19th: £125
SMA Training Support Vouchers available for this course- Read More

This very popular and unique course can be the beginning of new and exciting career options.  With show friendly hours (the course ends at 4PM in central London) this is a rare opportunity to learn new career enhancing skills. 
Click here for the booking form and then  BOOK NOW!
Developed with the internationally renowned London Symphony Orchestra, the one day course is designed to equip Theatre Stage Managers with the skills, vocabulary and information necessary to apply for and win well paid Orchestral stage management jobs and assist LSO with their recruitment for SMs.  The course will include an unique opportunity to sit in on an LSO rehearsal and see how a Maestro and orchestra work together rehearsing for a world class concert.

The Course Leader is  London Symphony Orchestra's  Senior Stage Manager Alan Goode who will guide you through setting the stage for orchestral performances, looking after instruments and supporting musicians,  

"A fascinating and excellent Course full of practical information and hands on experience"  Attendee 2016

You will learn how to read an orchestral stage plot, doubling instruments, keeping players safe by using baffles and levels, the 'stage managers shuffle' to refine and perfect your stage presentation, the language  and conventions of orchestras and the role of the leader, plus expectations of the "Maestro" (conductor).  
The course will give you confidence knowledge and skills to apply for orchestral stage management roles.

The orchestra schedule is now finalised and we have confirmed our slot
9AM- 4PM October 24th 2018 at LSO St Lukes Concert Hall
161 Old St, London EC1V 9NG​    

SMA Members £135.00  non members £155.00
Special SMA Members Discount  DEADLINE EXTENDED: £125

click here for the booking form

Cueing to Music  Level 2

Autumn Dates 

Many a successful Opera Musical or Ballet DSM has had reason to thank the very popular and practical SMA Cueing to Music courses for their career progression;  these popular one day (each) courses are designed to take people with little or no musical knowledge through to calling shows at major opera house standard, and will give you confidence in running shows and in understanding and using the musical terms and language  required.  One Day Courses: 0930-1630

"Just opened my 3rd opera as DSM since I went on the @SMAssoc 'Score Reading to Music' course. Highly recommend it to all ASMs & DSMs"

Cueing to Music Level 1 has now successfully taken place and there is time to book and reserve your place on Level 2 

SMA Cueing to Music
Level  2 
The Albany, Douglas Way, London SE8 4AG

Level 2 : Monday 22 October  0930-1630
Course Price   £155.00     Members and affiliates  £130.00
SMA Members Early Bird  £115.00  DEADLINE EXTENDED!

5% discount for both courses booked together

Dates confirmed:  Level 2 will be held on  Monday 22 October 2018  
At The Albany Deptford London SE8 4AG

Course Rates 

  • Standard Member Rate (and Affiliates' Members- BECTU, ABTT evidence required): £130.00
  • SMA Members  ONLY Early Bird Rate: (for each one day course) NO DEADLINE!!:  £115
  •  Non-Members Rate:  £155


For all - 5% discount when booking both Level 1 and Level 2 together

Further information about the course and booking information can be found below


Cueing to Music One Day Course Level 2   Course Leader Andrew Killian

Monday 22 October 2018: Level 2. 0930-1630

The Albany Deptford London SE8 4AG

Course Aim: To enable a potential DSM or Showcaller, one with basic musical knowledge and understanding, to cue from complex and problematic music scores with confidence. 

Course Objectives

1. To reinforce understanding of musical counting and notation. 

2. To practice cueing from music with unusual time signatures. 

3. To simulate performance issues with a mixture of Musical Qs, visual Qs and clearances. 

4. To simulate a demanding music test at opera company level 

09.30 Welcome. Housekeeping. Course Overview. 

10.05 Session 1 Qing at a Standard 

11.30 Coffee/Tea break 

11.45 Session 2 Qing at speed 

12.45 Session 3 Simulating a demanding opera company music test in real time 

13.00 Lunch 

13.30 Session 4 Where’s the Beat?  Cueing from unusual and/or irregular rhythms 

14.30 Session 5 Impossible Music 

15.30 Coffee/Tea break 

15.00 Session 6 Higher Stakes : When you have to look away from the music… 

15.45 Session 7 The Battle of Borodino . 


Full course materials and certificates supplied.

Click Here to download a Booking form for CTM Level 2 Course

Please email your completed booking form  for CTM Level 2  




Click here to download a Booking Form  for  CTM Level 1 Course

Click Here to download a Booking form for CTM Level 2 Course

Please email your completed booking form  for CTM Level 1  to 

Please email your completed booking form  for CTM Level 2  to 

Please email your completed booking forms for both CTM Level 1 and Level 2  to

SMA Cueing to Music
Level  2 
The Albany, Douglas Way, London SE8 4AG

Level 2 : Monday 22 October  0930-1630
Course Price   £155.00     Members and affiliates  £130.00
SMA Members Early Bird extended!  £115.00

5% discount for two courses booked together

When your booking form (s) have been received, your place will be reserved. We will email an invoice to you for payment  and when payment has been received your place will be confirmed  - Thank you very much 




SMA are always taking expressions interest for  many  possible courses

(Where you aren't able to attend the current upcoming course detailed above)

                           AUTUMN BOOKING NOW:      Cueing to Music Level 1         

AUTUMN BOOKING NOW:        Cueing to Music Level 2     □

 BECTU COURSES BOOKING NOW:   Creative Industries Safety Passport

Emergency First Aid & refresher      □
Finance for freelancers      □
BOOKING NOW OCTOBER 24th : Orchestral Stage Management with LSO     □
                   Props Sourcing & Making      □
                          Corporate Showcalling with Kate Salberg        □
                        PLANNED FOR THE FUTURE        Theatre Showcalling Masterclass      □
                             Elements of Company Management     □
                                  Elements of Stage Management (SMs)     □

WATCH THS SPACE:                                  Working with QLab      
                           Stage Pyrotechnics Course for SMs   
                             Mental Health First Aid       
Make 2018 the year to upskill, and widen your SM career horizons and prospects!



Please email the SMA Office and we will notify you when your preferred courses are taking place


Alternatively please click on this link and complete the Training Interest Survey

Our very effective and practical Cueing to Music  courses are always popular, enjoyable and sometimes career- changing!       

   5% discount for booking two courses or more, including all SMA courses, or groups on any SMA course  


‘I went on the SMA’s Score Reading Level 1 and Level 2 course in May 2014. A year later, I was offered a job as an Assistant Stage Manager at Glyndebourne Opera House. The course was an incredibly valuable experience and is clearly highly recognised.

I wouldn’t be where I am now without the SMA’s opportunities.’


Supporting Excellence in Performance

 All SMA Courses finish by 4.30 PM to allow for evening show calls.    

 Earlier times or one to one courses can sometimes be arranged

SMA Members say " discounts helped me to improve my skills and move on to better paid work"

(Don't forget you can also get SMA discounts on courses from BECTU, ABTT and others. If in doubt, ask!). 




If you would like to develop your career by pursuing an SMA training course but are prevented from doing so by financial hardship please contact The Theatrical Guild to discuss eligibility for financial assistance. Tel: 020 7240 6062 or contact SMA HQ

  • Cueing to Music - We run this course, at two levels, at least once a year, and when there is demand we are able to run it a second time. The  Level One and Two courses were held in Spring 2018. When there is no course date indicated on this page, please do still express an interest as we will always attempt to organise it when there is sufficient demand. Contact us
  • Organise your finances/ assertiveness/ negotiating contracts - The majority of stage managers are self employed and dealing with the financial side of working for yourself can seem daunting. If there is enough interest, we'd like to take some of the stress away with a course which addresses all of the common, and maybe some not so common, queries and pitfalls, whilst also giving you the confidence to negotiate your contracts, something that we stage managers don't have agents to do for us! Interested? Contact us

Learn a new skill

Learn how to find courses in British Sign Language  . Courses are available from:

Frank Barnes School
Jubilee Waterside Centre, 105 Camley Street, London, N1C 4PF
18 Leather Lane, London, EC1N 7SU
Hackney Community College
Shoreditch Campus, Falkirk Street, Hackney, London, N1 6HQ
Alternatively, you may search for other accredited courses through the Signature website following this link:

How Safe is Your Theatre?
Run by respected trainer Geoff Joyce, get together with colleagues and book this course at your theatre or register interest with the SMA and with enough interest we’ll consider running one in-house.  SMA Members receive discounted rates
This course examines the health and safety regulations that specifically relate to theatre staff, stage managers, technicians, workshops and front of house staff.
Read the full course details here -  including contact details for more information.

Manual Handling Training.  Out of date training in manual handling results in strains and muscle damage due to twisting and pushing or straining- we are aware of a number of cases where members lost many days and even months of work as a result of these injuries last year. Geoff Joyce offers a complete course in all areas of manual handling, and SMA Members receive discounted rates.  Contact the SMA for more details, or consider booking a course for all of your backstage crew - especially if the risk assessment involves lifting or manoevering heavy furniture, pushing trucks or heavy and tricky scenery moves.

HM Revenue and Customs: Free short courses on tax issues
'Like many I thought I would struggle with the financial aspect of freelancing, but there's a lot of information out there. I pretty much had my hand held through my first tax return, courtesy of HM Revenues and Customs'.
They run free, short courses (an afternoon) in most areas, it's pretty easy to get, but do check it covers stage managers and UTR as well.


NEW for SMA Members:
BECTU:  SMA has negotiated special rates (close to BECTU Members rates) for SMA Members. Contact SMA first whenever you see a BECTU course of interest.
ISMSMA has also negotiated similar with The Incorporated Society of Musicians 

>ALSO always check these for the latest news on training WITH SMA DISCOUNTS:

ABTT: Association of British Theatre Technicians - a year round programme of industry leading technical training
RC-Annie: For all your violent needs
Stage Electrics: too many training courses to list, including Portable Appliance Testing, Introduction to Sound, LEDs etc.
UK THEATRE (TMA/SOLT) : similarly - many, many relevant courses
ITC: Independent Theatre Council - An extensive and excellent year round programme of very relevant courses
PLASA: PLASA have a huge database with lots of training from outside the theatre sector - nonetheless relevant - particularly if you are interested in technical aspects.
Contact SMA if you see any interesting training- we may have a special rate or be able to negotiate one!