The First Note
Howard County Parents for School Music (HCPSM) is an advocacy group that formed in the winter of 1993 in response to a threat to eliminate the position of Music Resource Teacher and possible cuts to the elementary instrumental music program. HCPSM spearheaded an effort by parents, teachers, and citizens to contact school board members to express support for the music resource position and continued staffing of elementary school instrumental music teachers. As a result, positions were saved. Through these efforts, it became apparent that there is a continued need to educate board members, school administrators, and the community on the value and importance of music education and the resources required to offer a quality music education.
Main Goals of HCPSM
HCPSM strives to promote high quality music education programs in Howard County. It's main activities include advocating by engaging with educators, students, and the community to raise awareness among the school board, school administration, and county leaders to sustain and grow our schools’ music programs. HCPSM also provides musical opportunities by collecting and donating gently used musical instruments through the ECHO Project. These instruments are provided to schools to be used as loaner instruments.
HCPSM also honors the best music educators in the county with the annual Music Educator of the Year award. This award is based on community input. Nomination packets may be submitted by anyone familiar with the teacher's work - parents, students, other teachers, site-based or central office administrators, and Board of Education members. HCPSM also likes to recognize the many volunteers throughout the county who make the music programs successful. Nominations for this award are also submitted by anyone familiar with the volunteer's activities and contributions.
In addition, HCPSM helps to promote our high standards of music education and talented student musicians countywide. Check out our calendar for more information. If you know of a performance that we're missing, please email us the details so we can update our calendar.
How You Can Help
HCPSM recruits parent volunteers in each Howard County Public School to serve as leaders and music advocates in their schools. School representatives meet monthly during the school year to discuss issues. Sometimes HCPSM representatives are asked to attend and support school board meetings or county council meetings when decisions are being made in relation to music education and resources for music.
We need your help! Become a HCPSM representative for your student's school. These representatives are asked to get to know the music teachers and the administration in their schools, become informed about music education issues in their schools, and make sure their administrators know that they value a music program that includes high quality music performance.