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For over 40 years Hertfordshire Music Service has successfully delivered musical opportunities to generations of young people throughout the county. The service is now one of the largest in the country with many thousands of young people involved in our weekly musical activities, supported by over 450 teachers. 

We receive funding from the Department for Education through the Arts Council England, as well as generous support from Hertfordshire County Council to provide world class music tuition to the residents and families of Hertfordshire.

Our vision for 2020-30

All Hertfordshire’s children and young people, regardless of background or circumstances, have the opportunity to discover or develop their unique musical voice and express themselves through the language of music. 

Our 12 music centres across the county are local musical community hubs with the ambition of providing engaging, life-long music education as well as a wider variety of activities including music technology, music production and youth leadership opportunities.

HMS is a team of passionate musicians, teachers and educators who care deeply about enabling young people to experience the benefits of a high quality music education. We deliver the incredible musical, personal and social outcomes that come from learning a musical instrument week in, week out.

We are here to guide you and your family on a unique musical journey - so please get in touch and start making music with HMS!

On our journey towards becoming a fully inclusive music service, some of the current areas of development include:

Every Person a Musician

  • Enable every young person in Hertfordshire to find their own unique ‘musical voice’
  • Invest in Early Years Foundation Stage music to deliver long term, life-long benefits
  • Put inclusion at the heart of our work
  • Champion innovative pedagogy and new music

Musical ‘Voice’

  • New focus on leading progression in singing across the county
  • Exploring the universal power of singing together
  • Use of singing as a route into instrumental music
  • More options for learning a musical instrument from an early age
  • Supporting schools across Key Stages with academic musical progression
  • Exploration of new musical expression e.g. DJing, musical production and live electronic music

Musical Communities

  • Cater for life-long learning
  • More ways to access music making locally
  • Parent-baby classes through to adult ensembles and choirs for social prescribing and reducing loneliness
  • Safe, supportive space for young people
  • Community music making that meets local need and interest, including Djembe, Steel Pans and family music classes

Challenging Traditions

  • Exploring new lesson delivery methods
  • Deliver access to more genres and styles across Hertfordshire including rock, pop, folk and electronic music with formal qualification routes where possible
  • Support performances in schools of all genres to reflect new tastes and educate about other styles unknown to young people
  • Championing new music and musical collaborations

Centre for Excellence in Music Education

  • Teachers better supported to deliver consistently great music lessons
  • New supportive and self-reflective professional development
  • Developing the workforce to deliver new and exciting provision
  • Inclusion of Certificate for Music Educators award or diploma level qualifications
  • Intern training scheme and youth development programme
  • Route into teaching and mentoring for established musicians and artists

Building on our existing strengths and focussing on these areas of development will enable HMS to achieve its ambitious, inclusive vision for 2030.

We also know that creating new provision in partnership with other organisations will deliver great results for more children and young people.

A more innovative service, able to respond more quickly to the needs of students and their families will enable HMS to continue to deliver great music education for generations to come.

We will commit to listening as our vision expands and evolves in an ever changing music education landscape – we would love to hear your views, please contact us here.

Hertfordshire Music Education Hub

Music Education Hubs are groups of organisations – such as local authorities, schools, other hubs, art organisations, community or voluntary organisations – working together to create joined-up music education provision, respond to local need and fulfil the objectives of the Hub as set out in the National Plan for Music Education

Hubs are coordinated by the Hub lead organisation, which takes on responsibility for the funding and governance of the Hub.

Hertfordshire Music Service, part of Hertfordshire County Council, is the lead partner for the Hertfordshire Music Education Hub which is supported by funding from the Department for Education which comes to us via Arts Council England. The Hertfordshire Music Education Hub acts as a gateway to create music education provision that works in a local context, both in and out of school. It helps drive the quality of service locally, with scope for improved partnership working, better value for money, local innovation and greater accountability.

The core roles of a Music Hub are to:

  • ensure that every child aged 5 to 18 has the opportunity to learn a musical instrument (other than voice) through whole-class ensemble teaching programmes for ideally a year (but for a minimum of a term) of weekly tuition on the same instrument
  • provide opportunities to play in ensembles and to perform from an early stage
  • ensure that clear progression routes are available and affordable to all young people
  • develop a singing strategy to ensure that every pupil is singing regularly and that choirs and other vocal ensembles are available in the area.

 The extension roles:

  •  offer Continuous Professional Development (CPD) to school staff, particularly in supporting schools to deliver music in the curriculum
  • provide an instrument loan service, with discounts or free provision for those on low income
  • provide access to large scale and/or high quality music experiences for pupils, working with professional musicians and/or venues. This may include undertaking work to publicise the opportunities available to schools, parents/carers and students.

There can be no greater priority than to ensure the safety of the children and young people we work with on a daily basis. To this end the Hertfordshire Music Education Hub has established a Safeguarding Subgroup. The Hertfordshire Music Education Hub Safeguarding Subgroup uses its knowledge and experience to offer strategic advice and guidance to Hertfordshire Music Service on safeguarding practice and culture, in support of its role as lead partner in the Hertfordshire Music Education Hub.

More information about Music Education Hubs is available on the Arts Council England website

Hertfordshire Music Service Hub Terms of Reference (Updated October 2023)

Hub partners

We are delighted that so many organisations are part of the Hertfordshire Music Education Hub through a huge range of active partnerships:

Corporate memberships


Youth Music