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About Hampshire County Council's Music Service (HMS)

"We are committed to giving every child and young person the chance to
participate, enjoy and achieve by making music together."

Jill Larner, Head of Hampshire Music Service


Hampshire County Council's Music Service is a successful and valued business unit within the Education and Inclusion branch of the Children's Services Department of Hampshire County Council (HCC). It provides a comprehensive music education service to Hampshire schools and colleges and is proud to promote the highest quality learning opportunities through our:

  • Small group instrumental and vocal tuition in schools

  • Class music teaching

  • Instrument hire scheme

  • Area and county youth ensembles

  • Classroom support for teaching staff, as well as courses and conferences

  • “Everyone can sing” vocal strategy

  • World music, rock, pop, folk and jazz projects

  • Workshops as well as special and large-scale projects;

  • Listen2Me – a whole-class instrumental and vocal teaching programme for all primary school children

This list includes opportunities for Hampshire's children and young people through the wide range of additional music-making and learning beyond the school day.

Local Authority (LA) maintained schools are able to subscribe to HMS through a Service Level Agreement (SLA), and other schools and colleges in a similar way through a formal contract. The current SLA  Download Adobe Reader to view this PDF 390kB operates from April 2017 to March 2020 and provides a  full description of our services.

HMS works closely with schools through a management partnership arrangement. HMS managers meet regularly with representative headteachers of Hampshire primary, special and secondary schools to review the work of HMS and discuss future arrangements.

The latest audit of instrumental teaching showed that Hampshire Music Service has:

  • 55,000 children and young people engaged in teaching and events each year

  • 21,000 instrumental pupils in schools and colleges each week

  • 13,000 pupils receiving Listen2Me whole class instrumental teaching

  • 12,000 children and young people receiving peripatetic instrumental and vocal lessons

  • Hired out 6240 instruments through our hire scheme via parents since 2011

  • 1362 area and county ensemble members

  • Over 200 peripatetic teachers teaching in schools throughout the year

  • 66 area and county ensembles from one term of learning

HMS is one of the largest music services in the country. A stalwart of our provision is the innovative Listen2Me project, in which every pupil in a Key Stage 2 year group has the opportunity to learn to play up to three different instruments and to sing. This Wider Opportunities scheme is supported by Government Standards Fund and is part of a sustained national pledge to increase access to music for all pupils. The use of this funding in Hampshire has been praised by OfSTED and through our Best Value Review. This involved surveying many users of HMS - pupils, parents, teachers - and comparing the quality and range of Hampshire's provision with other music services.  The review team confirmed that HMS is efficiently and effectively managed, and that it should continue to provide the full range of its existing services. As with all evaluations of HMS, the OfSTED report and action plan, and details of the Best Value Review are shared openly on the HMS website.


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Hampshire Music Service has been the Lead Partner of the Hampshire Music Education Hub since September 2012. Partnership working has always been a keystone of our vision and we now work with many partner organisations to improve the breadth and scope of our music provision and performance opportunities. Over the course of each year over 200 events take place, ensuring the best possible opportunities for young people, whatever their musical tastes and ambitions. Please see the Hampshire Music Education Hub website for more details

HMS is also a member of Music Mark (previously the Federation of Music Services), which was established in 1996. It aims to be a national voice for its member services and the vast majority of music services are now members. It holds an annual conference and organises working groups to discuss issues of common interest, keeping a high profile for the importance and value of music services. It has a key role to play in discussions with the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) on the future funding and organisation of music services.

Hampshire Music Service is also affiliated to, or subscribes to, the following organisations and publications:

  • Arts & Business (A&B)

  • British Association of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles (BASBWE)

  • British Federation of Young Choirs (BFYC)

  • Music Education Yearbook

  • National Association of Youth Orchestras (NAYO)

HMS is represented at area and national meetings of the National Association of Music Educators (NAME) as well as at those of Music Mark


Hampshire Education Music Hub

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The Hampshire Music Service is the lead partner for the county's Music Hub.

Please see The Hub website for more info.

Hampshire Music Service Plans,
Reviews and Documentation

Hampshire Music Service SLA  Download Adobe Reader to view this PDF 390kB

Hampshire Music Service Level Agreement 2017 - 2020  Download Adobe Reader to view this PDF 390kB

Hampshire Music Service Local Authority Music Plan (LAMP) 2010 - 2013

Hampshire Music Service Annual Service Review Questionnaire 2013 Microsoft Word 47kB

Hampshire Music Service Annual Service Review Questionnaire Data 2013 Microsoft Word 347kB

Leading and Developing Instrumental and Vocal Opportunities for All Young People  Download Adobe Reader to view this PDF 2MB