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Issue 1 - spring term 2024

Welcome to the new Herts Music Service newsletter! We will be sharing updates about concerts and events, staff training opportunities and music sector updates once a term. We hope this newsletter will be your ‘one stop shop’ for updates on all things music education in Hertfordshire and beyond. 

Hertfordshire Music Service is the lead organisation for the Hertfordshire Music Hub and is responsible for leading on the implementation of the revised National Plan for Music Education. We work with partners from across the country as well as local organisations to ensure students have as many opportunities to participate in music as possible. 

Please share opportunities and events with students at your school where relevant!

We improve lives by creating musical learning opportunities of all kinds, nurturing and growing happiness and confidence – if you want to get more involved, read on! 

News tile
School support and CPD tile
Events and opportunities tile
Local updates tile
Partner updates and resources tile


Book your music services for 2024-25 now! Deadline 29 March 2024 

The HMS Services to Schools brochure is live and online. Simply complete the online request form to request music provision for next year and confirm existing services too. If you have any queries, please contact your Regional Manager who will be happy to help. 

New HMS toolkit launched: Building a high quality music education 

We are delighted to announce the launch of the new toolkit for schools with a step-by-step process that anyone in the school can pick-up and use. Building a high quality music education includes practical resources to accompany the process to ensure a high-quality music education is embedded in your school. 

It does not matter if the person using the toolkit is a music specialist or has never delivered a music plan, all the information is straightforward to follow, and support is available from HMS. 

HMS agree new partnership with HfL Education 

We are delighted to have secured an exciting partnership agreement with HfL Education. In addition to the Hertfordshire Music Conference on 3rd July 2024 we are running together, look out for HMS staff delivering training sessions throughout the year as part of the HfL Big Staff Meet series. 

Save the date for the Herts Schools’ Gala 2025 

Save the Date! HMS are pleased to announce the next #HertsSchoolsGala at the Royal Albert Hall will take place on Sunday 23 March 2025. Save the date for our special 30th anniversary celebration of this flagship event! For more info click here

HMS waits for results of new Music Hub bidding process… 

Arts Council England have been managing a bidding process for changes to the size and scale of Music Hubs across England. There are currently over 100 Music Hub areas and the DfE are combining many of these into fewer, larger Hubs. The good news is that Hertfordshire is one of the five Hub areas that remain unchanged, however we still had to bid to remain the Hub Lead Organisation.  

We find out the results of our bid in April 2024 and, if successful, will be able to continue to deliver the DfE funded activities we currently provide including First Access, financial support to students, music centre ensembles and fully subsidised access to resources including Sing Up, Charanga and other services. 

Fingers crossed! 

School support and CPD

New school music toolkit and Support Networks available 

We are delighted to announce the launch of the new toolkit for schools with a step-by-step process that anyone in the school can pick-up and use. Building a high quality music education includes practical resources to accompany the process to ensure a high-quality music education is embedded in your school. 

It does not matter if the person using the toolkit is a music specialist or has never delivered a music plan, all the information is straightforward to follow. 

To support your school, HMS is hosting a series of networks to bring teachers from similar schools together. Click on the relevant options below to join colleagues in learning new skills and finding solutions to challenges – all fully funded! 

Register your interest to become part of the Hertfordshire SEND School Music Network  

Register your interest to become part of the Hertfordshire Primary School Music Network  

Register your interest to become part of the Hertfordshire Secondary School Music Network  

New resources from #CanDoMusic website available 

The #CanDoMusic website builds on the #CandoMusic campaign and is run by the three national music subject associations: the Independent Society of Musicians (ISM), the Music Teachers’ Association (MTA) and the UK Association for Music Education – Music Mark. 

#CanDoMusic has two strands: 

  1. Sharing inspiring stories and best practice from classroom teachers, school leaders and other music educators. 

  1. Signposting to existing practical resources that teachers might use to ensure music is part of the solution in every school. We use the social media hashtag #CanDoMusic to highlight both the sharing and signposting strands of our work. We celebrate and share all of our combined efforts to keep music at the heart of learning for all children and young people. 

For further details, please visit  

HMS Online Training Sessions: 2 July 2024, 4.00pm – 5.30pm

The online training programme is for all staff involved in the planning and delivering of the primary music curriculum. 

The sessions are: 

  • fun, interactive, practical sessions to upskill teachers in delivering the music national curriculum 

  • practical resources, activities and ideas to take away and use immediately 

  • up to date knowledge and advice on the latest requirements from Ofsted 

  • the opportunity to network with other likeminded teachers 

Next session: Inclusion and SEND - Tuesday 2nd July 2024, 4:00pm – 5:30pm – online   

Sign up link:  

HfL and HMS Music Education Conference: 3 July 2024, 09.30am – 4.00pm 

This one-day face-to-face event is aimed at music leaders and teachers of music from across the primary and secondary age range. Bringing together colleagues who maybe newer and/or less experienced with more experienced and specialist teachers, to create a community and shared musical experience. HMS have partnered with HfL Education to make this event available to as many teachers as possible, drawing on our shared expertise to ensure this is a valuable, inspiring and impactful day. 

For more details and to sign up – click here

All levels of musical experience welcome – this day is designed to be inclusive, and aims to build confidence, develop knowledge and be an enjoyable experience for all who attend. 

The cost of the day has been significantly subsidised by Hertfordshire Music Service to allow as many schools as possible to take up this offer. Tickets cost £40 per delegate, with HMS funding £150 per delegate towards the usual £190 per person cost. We hope that this will enable maximum participation in this fantastic day, enabling schools to support their music subject leader and/or teachers of music to attend. 

During the day, participants will hear from and work with experts in the field of music education. You will take part in and learn warmups and musical group activities to use in your classes straight away, building towards a shared musical performance, supported by a team of Herts Music Service teachers. You will consider how and when music learning happens best, in order to enable students within your setting to both enjoy and progress in their music learning. 

Events and opportunities

Gala Work Experience opportunity: Deadline 22 March 2024 

We’re delighted to share a brand new opportunity for young people aged 15 - 21 to help behind the scenes in planning the Hertfordshire Schools’ Gala 2025! 

Successful candidates will attend regular meetings to collaborate on thoughts and ideas for planning aspects of the Gala, including staging, programming, lighting, sound and more. 

You don’t need any experience, just lots of enthusiasm and an interest in music and live events. 

We encourage applications from young people with ethnically diverse backgrounds, the LGBTQIA+ community and the disabled community. 

Depending on your skill set, there is also the opportunity to have a role on the day of the Gala, in addition to a complimentary ticket to watch the performances, if you're not performing in the event. 

To apply, please complete the online application form available here

Have Your Say about music education in Hertfordshire: Deadline 19 April 2024 

Have Your Say about music education in Hertfordshire and win a free music workshop for your school! Surveys are open now and close on Fri 19 April 2024. Click here for more details

The details of the different surveys for school staff, parents/carers and young people have been shared with all schools by email – please check your admin or office inbox for this message. 

At HMS, we are always looking to increase the quality, relevance and accessibility of music education in Hertfordshire as well as improving our own services to your school and pupils. Simply share the surveys with parents and carers and your school music subject lead. Once a response is received, your school will be entered into the prize draw for a fantastic music workshop – for free! 

In the summer, HMS will publish the anonymised results and outline the impact your responses will have on the delivery of our services. 

Hertfordshire Music Service values the feedback of all residents and stakeholders so if you require this survey in a different format or language, please reach out to us by emailing and we will offer any help we can. 

County Youth Music Groups: Represent your school on the national stage! 

Celebrate your talented young musicians by encouraging them to represent your school in one of our County Youth Music Groups! There are currently opportunities to join ahead of the summer and an exciting programme in 2024-25 including the Herts Schools’ Gala! Click here for more information

County Youth Training Choir 

A fantastic opportunity to learn new music, make new friends, enjoy singing, and work with our enthusiastic conductor James Slimings! For young people in Years 5-8. 

To get involved, visit or email 

Hertfordshire Schools Symphony Orchestra & County Youth Orchestra 

Opportunities available for upper strings, oboes and bassoons in particular, but all instruments welcome. 

Our County Youth Music Groups are looking for violin & viola players to get involved with HSSO and CYO to represent their county! 

To find out more, visit or email  

Local updates

We manage our relationship with schools through a team of six Regional Managers. Each ‘region’ has a Regional Manager who is supported by a team of teaching specialists and support staff to understand local needs and create relevant events and opportunities for your students to participate in musical activities. 

You can find the contact details for your Regional Manager here by clicking on ‘Contacts for schools – Regional Managers’. 

Find out about recent events and future opportunities in your area by selecting the region your school is in. 

North Herts and Stevenage

Information to be shared in the summer term issue.

East Herts and Broxbourne

Information to be shared in the summer term issue.

Welwyn, Hatfield and Hertsmere

Information to be shared in the summer term issue.

Watford and Three Rivers

Information to be shared in the summer term issue.


Information to be shared in the summer term issue.

St Albans

Information to be shared in the summer term issue.

Partner updates and resources

We work with a wide range of partners to bring a diverse range of musical opportunities to Hertfordshire schools. This includes both national and local partners to ensure that local needs are met whilst ensuring opportunities across the country and beyond are available to students at your school. 

Applications now open for National Youth Orchestra 2025 

Each year, 160 teenagers from different backgrounds across the UK come together through their love of music, ready to push their limits, discover new skills and play their part as changemakers for their generation. Applications are welcomed from musicians aged 13-18 years old who play an orchestral instrument at an advanced level, equivalent to Grade 8, but with no need for formal graded exams. First round auditions and final round assessment days are FREE, with travel and accommodation bursaries for those who need them. 

Find out more here

Music Mark: Schools programme access available via HMS 

By engaging with HMS in a music review process, you can unlock fully funded access to the Music Mark schools programme. Click here for more details. 

Music Teachers Association: Conference 2024, 17-19 May in Caversham 

The Music Teachers’ Conference is a widely respected annual gathering of professionals in music education with a comprehensive and diverse programme lead by some of the best speakers in the UK. Hosted by a member school, the 2024 conference is at Queen Anne’s School, Caversham. 

The Conference brings together 250 delegates benefitting from over 30 CPD sessions. The programme includes sessions for Early Years, Primary and Secondary as well as a wide range of subjects, pannellists and practical workshops.  

For full details and prices, please visit 

National Open Youth Orchestra Ensembles: Apply by 24 March 2024 

NOYO Ensembles create an inclusive environment in which brilliant 11-25 year-old disabled and non-disabled musicians can develop their skills at an advanced level, without the barriers that can make progress difficult for young disabled musicians. Playing with a really diverse group of musicians, improvising, being creative with music and making friends… It’s all part of the experience. 

To find out more, please visit  

BBC Ten Pieces marks 10th anniversary with works by women composers 

For more information, please visit where you’ll find details of how students at various school phases and settings can get involved. 

New music resources

Local amateur musician Rilla Paterson has offered schools access to some of her own compositions you may wish to use in your school. Please visit for more information about prices and to hear samples of her work.

Pictures sourced and used from Unsplash - Beautiful Free Images & Pictures | Unsplash.

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