Would you send a child to a specialist music school?

(62 Posts)
Colleger Tue 02-Aug-11 19:03:44

DC has asked to audition for the Purcell and I'm not sure what to do. I don't mind DC auditioning but if it is a YES, then I'm unsure what to do. The place would be for entry into Year 7.

Has anyone gone through such a school at a young age and was the academic education up to scratch? Where did the school fall short - was PE/Games adequate, were there opportunities to debate and take part in academic competitions such as the Olympiads?

rufus8 Wed 09-Nov-11 13:14:35

panic....DS starting at Wells..everyone seems so down on it

Colleger Wed 09-Nov-11 20:43:13

Depends what you want Rufus. I wouldn't choose Wells to specialise in music or choose it as an academic independent but if you have an average child then they'll have a wide range of good opportunities there.

mummytime Wed 09-Nov-11 21:18:50

I don't know why people are down on Wells either. The cathedral's organ scholar last year had been there and was fabulous, now a prestigious Oxford college Organ scholar.

rufus8 Thu 10-Nov-11 16:04:04

Indeed. I would hardly describe the music as average particularly that associated with the Cathedral.
On reflection I think we all need to be careful asking for advice. Nothing beats ones own instinct. We should also be cautious... some who post on musmnet( if you look at the message record) seem to have an opinion on every independent school in the UK ( which is odd) and do not compare like with like. Not every one can afford or know the scholarship system of the top public schools. Nor indeed would they want to sign up to the values they promote.The bottom line is that its great to have a forum to find out information but it needs to be treated with caution.This is explained by the forum guidelines

diamondsinthesand Wed 14-Nov-12 03:24:31

This is an old post but to add to the mix - some musical/artistic children can also be a bit 'wierd/different' - not to their parents, but to their less sensitive peers.
So a specialist music school (I went to one) can be a kids first oportunity to be completely accepted and 'normal' . Then they make really good friends and the teamwork of a good orchestra is way beyond anything an academic school can offer.
That can make a huge difference in life. I remember kids who found they weren't bullied for the first time in their lives and others who would have been mincemeat in an ordinary school, but who were safe in a hothouse musical environment.
That's a huge part of success and future happiness, whatever you end up doing, such as law or medicine or modern languages etc.

hardboiled Wed 14-Nov-12 10:21:10

Hi Colleger, just wondering how your DS is doing in Purcell?

caritomama Mon 17-Jun-13 11:56:49

As there aren't many schools specialising in music, we'd have to move house to get our daughter into one. although its obviously impossible to tell what a child will do in the future she is very gifted musically and spends most of her time playing, composing and talking about music (and maths). I'm wondering about schools that dont specialise in music but just have a very good music department, Reigate Grammar, for example, as this one is close to us. Could anyone offer advice?

Xenia Mon 17-Jun-13 12:03:30

A bit of an old thread... but.... some of ours could have gone to music boarding schools (3 won music scholarships to academic day schools instead) but (a) I am not happy with boarding although had they wanted they coudl have gone but did not want to (like own home, own bed, own time, total lack of regulation of life too much) (b) I think the top 20 academic day schools tend to have music which is good anyway whilst also not being too focussed on music.

Reigate grammar is 100th on the FT league tables which sounds pretty good. I don't know about its music. Purcell school is 411th much much worse for A level results.

I think it can be a bit young to pick a music career in a residential music boarding school at 11+ although for some children it will be the best choice.
Chetham's is 308th and cannot find Yehudi M school.

HabbaDabbaDoo Mon 17-Jun-13 12:20:24

We considered Purcell but when we look at their academic results they were ok as opposed to outstanding. In the interest of keeping DS's career options open we decided to look for a 'normal' academic school with a challenging music program.

DS has orchestra practice twice a week and quartet practice once a week. Saturday's he attends a Saturday morning music program where he spends 3 hours doing (another) quartet, strings orchestra and symphony orchestra. The school orchestra sessions does get in the way of a lot of the extra curriculum stuff but this didn't stop him being in the hockey team.

This way DS can indulge his passion for music but it keeps doors open if at a later stage he decides that he wants a 'regular' job.

HabbaDabbaDoo Mon 17-Jun-13 12:22:01

Gawddammit! Just realized I replied to a zombie thread.

Xenia Mon 17-Jun-13 12:33:22

Yes, I saw that too although someone did post on it earlier today...
One of mine seems to have managed to be a phantom member of the choir this year (voice broke) which is the opposite of the Habba son's impressive efforts.

There really is a lot of music in the music boarding schools and if you happen to change your mind about how important it is later it then is hard in my view. Also music is one of the worst paid careers there is and most people end up teaching in schools for a pittance an hour rather than become a leading soloist so I suspect for many it is best to keep it as a hobby.

caritomama you'd probably be better off starting a new thread with a suitable title - maybe with an idea of area -as people will get confused on here and probably not be as much help to you.

eg I have some experience, but up here in Scotland, which isn't much help to you!

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