Howard County Parents for School Music is on Facebook.  

What is Howard County Parents for School Music (HCPSM)?


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.


What does HCPSM do?


The primary goal of HCPSM’s activities is to raise awareness among the decision makers and the community as a whole so that our schools’ music programs have the support they need to maintain quality programming. 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 of concern.  HCPSM also sponsors the Music Educator of the Year Award, manages an instrument collection drive called the ECHO Project (Every Child Has Opportunities in Music), monitors school board discussions concerning budget and scheduling issues affecting music programs, and helps to publicize our high standards of music education and talented student musicians countywide.


What do HCPSM representatives do?


HCPSM representatives are advocates for music education in their schools. They 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. Representatives are asked to attend and share their information at monthly meetings. We also ask representatives 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.
What are the Responsibilities of HCPSM School Representatives?

A HCPSM school representative is an advocate for music education in her/his school. Some ways to be an advocate for music programs in your school will be discussed at HCPSM meetings.  HCPSM representatives are asked to get to know the music teachers and administrators in their school, become informed about music education issues in their school, and let their administrators know that they value a music program that includes high quality instruction in music performance.  Representatives share their ideas and information with other schools by attending the HCPSM monthly meetings.

We also ask representatives to participate when it is necessary to have a presence at a school board or county council meeting when decisions are made on issues related to music education and resources for music.


HCPSM needs volunteers to take responsibility for or to help with the ECHO Project, updating the website, Music Educator of the Year Award, and School Board watch. These jobs will be described at a HCPSM meeting.

Some ways to advocate for music in your school:

  • With the support of the school's music teacher(s), representatives can report matters of concern at monthly HCPSM meetings.
  • Organize a chapter of HCPSM in your school for interested parents to discuss and propose solutions to issues in performance music education that may be unique to your school. Meet with your school’s principal to share your concerns and suggestions or your thanks for programs that are well run.
  • Cut out newspaper or magazine articles that document the importance of performance music education to the mental and emotional development of children. Provide copies of these articles to the principal of your school; he/she can use these articles to defend the time allotted to music in your school.
  • Attend School Board and County Council meetings when issues affecting music (e.g., the budget or time for performance music in the curriculum) are being discussed. Give testimony at these meetings in favor of funding performance music education. Such testimony enables our elected representatives to defend allotment of funds and time for music education.
  • Communicate and coordinate efforts with your school’s PTSA and Booster organizations.
  • Encourage positive media coverage of music events and student performances by notifying local journalists and sharing information with other community members and organizations.