The Music Service underwent a major programme of expansion
and re-structuring around three geographical areas, and, most
significantly, Service staff now perform in both instrumental
and curriculum roles and do so within and outwith Wider Opportunities’ settings.
The perennial problem of summarising submissions of this high
quality is deciding what to leave out.
We shall start with the Service’s own chosen example
of a specific project which demonstrated the new direction
and purpose of the Service and therefore fulfilled the Service’s
policy and practice criteria of “Coherence, Inclusion
and Learning for All”. “Step into the Picture” took
place in March 2008 and was a major collaborative event for
one area, centred on the growing relationship between the Music
Service and the University of Winchester. It involved a partnership
with the professional musicians of Southern Sinfonia, a notable
composer, a community gospel choir, singers from local primary
schools and the local area choir. The catalyst was an innovative
composition with music based on a series of paintings by a
local artist detailing the life of Christ. The musical response
was through orchestral, vocal and improvisational elements:
a multi-media performance involving the audience in dynamic
and dramatic ways. Coherence was seen in the way that all aspects
of the Service’s provision were brought together. Inclusion
in the way that a special school provided dance material, and
the age range of the performers was from seven years old right
through to adult. Learning for all was seen in the innovative
and groundbreaking nature of the production itself, the fact
that all the participants were musical and artistic learners
in the project.
And then there were some admirable features of the Wider Opportunities
(known locally as “Listen2Me”) provision, such
as over 6,000 pupils having experience of playing three different
instruments (from a choice of eleven!) over the year; and the
thoughtful ways in which Wider Opportunities were integrated
within the primary school music curriculum, with the result
that “Listen2Me” was not an added on extra but
normal musical learning with a very clear emphasis on an instrument.
The Service’s three ways of working with professional
musicians represented, for us, a model of good practice: first,
as part of conference and course provision; secondly, as part
of the world musics programme and thirdly, through specific
projects which contributed to continuing programmes.
It has to be a given that to provide high quality music education,
there has to be matching high quality INSET and CPD. There
is that in abundance in Hampshire.
In 2004, we found the range and quality of provision in Hampshire
to be quite superb. We still do!