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Hampshire Music Service in 7th heaven with latest award

Hampshire Music Service offers some of the best opportunities to pupils in the country according to The National Music Council (NMC), which has awarded the service a Diploma of Merit for its excellent music provision for children and young people.

It’s the seventh time the service has received a merit award for the quality of music teaching and support it provides to schools and young musicians. The award was part of the NMC’s annual Local Authority Music Education Awards which were held in London last week at the South Bank Centre.

In awarding Hampshire a Diploma of Merit the NMC noted Hampshire Music Service’s very strong performance this year.” The NMC said it was very impressed with the Service’s programmes for special educational needs which provide a huge range of training and development facilities for teachers, access to instruments for special schools, and the exciting Special Event and Special Celebration musical shows.” It went on to say Space does not permit a full description of their outstanding provision in this area, which is complemented by a similarly full set of programmes for the gifted and talented, including offering pupils the opportunity to learn how to support others. This emphasis on tailored individual development is shot through Hampshire’s submission and marks them out as an authority with a rare sensitivity to the needs of individuals.”

The NMC commended Hampshire on its comprehensive range of programmes for pupils and said it was pleased to see a new range of activities focusing on the wider community and members of the public. It acknowledged that Hampshire Music Service saw itself as an integrated part of the wider Hampshire education scene concluding If you are a pupil in Hampshire you will be benefitting from some of the best opportunities in the country.”

Among the factors contributing to the service’s success are the 70 ensembles run by the service, enabling around 3,000 children and young people to take part in a range of musical experiences and performances. Another key programme is Listen2Me which aims to bring music tuition to every primary school, and was this year widened to include infant school pupils in around 40 schools.

Young musicians and singers, under the guidance of HMS tutors, have also taken part in the national Schools Prom event held at the Royal Albert Hall.

One parent who has seen the difference that music has made to her child's life is Nicky Watling. Her son Matthew, now 18, is severely dyslexic and found school a challenge but says that the musical opportunities he got from Hampshire Music Service have changed his life”

At the age of 8 he chose to play the euphonium and was awarded a Hampshire Music Award. Nicky, who lives in the New Forest, said this made a huge difference to him. His self esteem increased immeasurably, borne out of recognition that he could do something better than others,” she said. He progressed to principal euphonium of the Hampshire County Youth Band and has won a place at The Royal Northern College of Music to play euphonium. Music has changed Matt’s life. He is passionate about playing but it isn’t simply about the playing. Music has changed how Matt feels about himself and given him a way of succeeding.”

Matthew Watling playing

Matthew Watling

Matt Watling playing euphonium

Matt added, Music has always been my passion in my life. Getting a Hampshire music award gave me a sense of accomplishment and sense of moving forward, and gave me self confidence. This was very important to me and gave me a sense of pride and of being worth something. Becoming the Principal Euphonium of the Hampshire County Youth Band was a dream come true.”

This latest award is not the only recent accolade the service has received for the quality of its teaching. In 2010 it received an Outstanding rating from the Federation of Music Services.

Councillor Roy Perry, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services and Deputy Leader, said, This is a well-deserved award for Hampshire Music Service. The ensembles, choirs and orchestras they run perform regularly at venues across the county giving pleasure to all those who come to hear them as well as to the children and young people taking part in the concerts. With the expert tuition and guidance offered by Music Service staff through the primary school Listen2Me music programme more and more children are being offered the chance to learn to play a range of musical instruments. I congratulate the service on this latest award.”

HMS managers receiving the NMC Award

HMS receives the Diploma of Merit at this years NMC Award Ceremony