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 a wide range of additional music-making opportunities 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 operates from April 2011 to March 2014. The range of work of HMS in schools and colleges includes not only instrumental, vocal and class music teaching, but also: ensemble directing; music curriculum inspection and advice; the Hampshire Music Primary Curriculum Project; the 'Especially Music' initiative; music workshops and concerts. A full description of this provision is included in the SLA document.
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 is teaching 21,000 instrumental pupils in schools and colleges each week, making it one of the largest music services in the country. An exciting recent addition to our work 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 diferent 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.
HMS continues to provide ensemble opportunities in bands, orchestras and choirs and individual tuition to pupils through the Hampshire Music Award scheme. This work is funded from a separate, non-delegated budget.
Hampshire Music Service is a member of the Federation of Music Services (FMS), which was established in 1996. The Federation 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. The Federation 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 FMS.