(Supported by the Department for Education and Skills)



Highland Council
Kingston upon Hull
North Lincolnshire
North Lanarkshire
Waltham Forest

Barking & Dagenham
Gwynedd and Ynys Mon
Milton Keynes

Brighton and Hove

We are conscious that our report can only touch on the many examples of good practice to be found in these submissions. Set out below are some of these.

Aberdeen's City Music School, one of Scotland's three music schools is special in the sense that it has an extensive outreach programme and commissions leading contemporary and classical composers to work with schools throughout the region. And out of one major arts project (North Sea) came an education resource pack for teachers seeking to continue developing the work.

Bury, tantalisingly, hint at good work but withhold the detail.

Cardiff have extended instrumental tuition in their schools and launched a number of world music initiatives.

The Wales Music Development Fund has enabled Caerphilly to maintain the high standards we recognised last in 1999. Among several notable features of the year were the appointment of four FTE music tutors and two FTE choral animateurs together with the acquisition of 500 new instruments.

Despite a serious staff shortage, Doncaster continued with their week long Music Centre Festival featuring all twelve orchestras, nine bands, guitar, recorder and chamber groups and two choirs. Adults were offered small-group tuition on all instruments, and, during the year, 109 took part.

Harrow Music Service worked supportively with several other London LEAs, invested in a good range of INSET and made imaginative provision for disaffected pupils and those with special needs. The LEA's generous support for Harrow Young Musicians ensured a wide range of performance opportunities.

Herefordshire Instrumental Music Service is now making its mark with exciting initiatives, including a centre for early music, the development of a school for harp tuition, a new string programme for infants and school-based staff, world music and singing programmes, large-scale residential music courses and the commissioning of new brass and orchestral works.

Last year's Diploma winning Highland Council Education Service continues to defy the logistical odds with a substantial investment in Scottish traditional musics, comprehensive training and support to meet the diverse needs of community radio groups and their volunteers, and targeted work in three areas comprising the most excluded young people in the 15-24 age group.

It was a rare pleasure to hear from Islington and we look forward to several promising developments being extended and consolidated as a partnership between the private company under contract to the Authority and existing music provision.

We have previously registered our growing interest in the performance of Kingston upon Hull's Music Support Service. Indeed, it only remains for the multi-genre festivals, the work with professional musicians and the community arts provision generally to be integrated with schools music provision and the Service will make the headlines.

Lincolnshire's submission, despite featuring important developments that fall out of the year in question, provides hard evidence of a music support service that is growing in confidence. An intensive programme of singing projects seems to have dominated the year, though a partnership with a professional string quartet proved to be enjoyable and valuable for students and staff. Jazz featured both in school and out-of-school projects and workshops, including an interesting resurrection of the tradition of reconstructing a well known pop tune as a jazz work. If the Authority had been able fully to fund the youth service's policy of promoting music and the arts, this could have been an award-winning entry.

It is impossible to ignore an entry which features a Bassoon Blowout and the UK's first Tamboo Bamboo Band. Indeed, Luton's engagement with their multi-cultural communities is so much in evidence and successful that it was recognised by OfSTED. That is not to say that the more Euro-centric music forms were neglected; far from it.

Norfolk mean business: they have appointed an adviser for the promotion of the arts with a main music service brief. And shortly after the year-end, a dedicated adviser, to be Head of the new Music Education Service, takes up post. While performance opportunities in brass and jazz ensembles featured strongly throughout the year, it is good to learn that the county youth orchestra is to be re-established with more support for orchestral playing through linked and targeted instrumental tuition opportunities.

We have been told by North Lincolnshire of some good ground work leading up to Key Stages 1 and 2 for both pupils and teachers and of an especially fruitful partnership, over three months, with the North of England Chamber Orchestra.

North Lanarkshire's successful support of their wind bands, choirs and Rock Festival, which is central to their overall educational achievement policy, was extended to other musics. For example, Scottish Opera staged a range of workshops throughout the year. This Authority is beginning to demonstrate the most consistent commitment to music education of all the authorities in Scotland.

Oldham's impressive year of achievement was demonstrated by a variety of choral work, an intelligent pre-school project and early years musical development, a good range of projects and workshops involving professional musicians and work with unemployed teenagers. It would, for us, have been even more notable had we seen evidence of the completed Asian music programme, which based workshops in almost all LEA schools, being integrated into the overall music curriculum.

Oxfordshire continued with much of the excellent work that won them a Diploma last year. We were pleased to receive evidence of growing activity as part of the Development Plan for Lifelong Learning. We also like the Authority's policy and means of maintaining a clear link between the music service and the school curriculum. The advantages of that policy can be seen throughout this submission.

We are not surprised by OfSTED's recent positive report of Portsmouth's Music Service. We have referred elsewhere to the successful collaboration with Southampton and the Isle of Wight in the Solent Music Project. This submission, however, is special for a youth service music programme that provides for the musical needs of the Service's mainstream clients, including young women's groups, as well as disaffected young people and offenders. Such is the success of this project that we will be bringing it to the attention of the National Youth Agency as a particularly good example of youth service provision.

Renfrewshire drew our attention to a thoughtful joint music and drama project that focused on supporting the teaching of the expressive arts 5-14 curriculum in primary schools. The linking theme was the Christmas message and subject specialists were commissioned to work with a cluster of primary schools, which as well as enhancing pupils' experiences, also provided valuable in-service support to the schools' staffs.

Rochdale had a good year. We liked the idea of primary school workshops using 'A' level and GCSE students as well as instrumental staff, demonstrating twelve different instruments, in the course of delivering live instrumental workshops to primary schools.

Sefton's Music Support Service made a substantial commitment to the commissioning of new music for performance by LEA ensembles, the success of which was facilitated by fruitful partnerships with the Royal Northern College of Music and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society. World musics and jazz were also prominently featured in the work of the Service.

We detect the makings of good all-round provision in Somerset. Of particular interest was the adoption of a policy, in response to the Noise at Work regulations, for the protection of 'at risk' instrumental teachers who are now provided with moulded ear plugs and, along with all new staff, with base line audiometric testing and repeat testing. We shall be seeking to give this policy and practice wider publicity.

Our tip for the music service to watch is Slough. Given that it has only been fully financed since April 2000, with a part-time music adviser arriving only seven months earlier, this Service is already getting many things right through close partnerships with a range of music professionals and agencies, sound INSET, effective collaboration with other LEAs, sensitive and imaginative provision for pupils with special educational needs, a real commitment to working with the youth service and a good range of performance opportunities.

Many of those elements feature strongly in an excellent submission from Staffordshire Performing Arts; indeed this would have been an award winning entry had the year been more musically universal in its provision.

Stirling's commitment to youth participation in the organisation and creation of music is further evidenced in their submission which, like Portsmouth's, is notable for the opportunities provided throughout the year. We shall be drawing this to the attention of the Scottish Community Education Council as yet more very good practice in this area.

In our report of 1999, we paid tribute to Swindon for their recovery from crisis. Indeed, since becoming an LEA the music service has doubled the volume of instrumental tuition in schools. It was a good year all round with new initiatives to promote minority brass and string instrument playing, an increase in the number of live concerts in schools, a senior music festival to complement the already established infant and junior events, the launch of a 'rock school', the commissioning of a successful vocal cantata for 8-11 year olds to mark the opening of the National Heritage Museum and much more.

Thurrock's three music schools were pivotal to the growing number of performance opportunities provided on a variety of instruments, and, as a policy priority, the Music Service extended provision for young musicians with special educational needs. INSET was focused on good practice in instrumental teaching and, in partnership with the LEA advisory service, training packages were customised for individual schools following an audit of need.

The Trafford Music Service was radically re-structured to improve access and awareness of existing provision. We look forward to reading of the fruits of what was clearly an important turning point for music education in the Borough.

Waltham Forest ran 142 music workshops for their schools and supported 28 borough groups and bands, though we received no details of levels or genres.

The two Wandsworth Junior Centres for Young Musicians increased the number of free places to 35 per cent and provided additional classes in brass, cello, oboe, steel pans and choral music. The Service supported 44 students at the Centre for Young Musicians and we congratulate them on their continuing role as one of the most generous supporters of the Centre in London.

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