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Chances of a Music Scholarship 2017

(22 Posts)
11Eleven2017 Sat 31-Dec-16 14:55:15

Call out to all mumsnetters with little scholars in these schools
Trinity, Caterham, Royal Russell, Dunottar, Whitgift.

What is the general consensus regarding level a child has to play at? Some schools require applicants to be min grade 3 others min grade 4. Would a child grade 3 actually get a scholarship or are these set aside to grade 5s applicants regardless.

Also, what instruments has your DC played? Are some instruments more likely to be successful?

Also, has your DC played in loads of concerts prior to submitting an application?

I know... loads of questions... just trying to work out if DS even has a chance....

Nonreplicable Sat 31-Dec-16 18:28:43

No experience of these specific schools but I gather it is more about the special extra that they are looking for. I believe most schools specify at least grade 4 and at least two instruments (but voice can count as second instrument). One school said that distinction at grade 4 would be preferable to a pass at grade 5.
For More unusual instruments the bar may be lowered, I believe.

Yoarchie Sat 31-Dec-16 18:33:28

You could see what teacher of your ds's highest grade instrument thinks. It also depends on the competition, not all year group cohorts will be equal. I wouldn't count your ds out with G3 if he is a talented musician. After all they should be looking for potential as well as drilling.

LIZS Sat 31-Dec-16 22:29:29

Is this 11+? Grade 3/4 seems pretty low on the main instrument unless it has been taken up recently or is unusual. Agree his music teacher should have a fair idea of chances, especially as the same ones, or their contacts, may well teach at more than one of these.

christmaswreaths Sat 31-Dec-16 23:46:26

Not the same schools, but ds1 got a music scholarship with g5 distinction violin, g3 piano and flute (no exams but plays at that standard). One of her friends also got a scholarship the year before with g4 distinction violin and g4 piano.

christmaswreaths Sat 31-Dec-16 23:48:51

Not the same schools, but ds1 got a music scholarship with g5 distinction violin, g3 piano and flute (no exams but plays at that standard). One of her friends also got a scholarship the year before with g4 distinction violin and g4 piano.

KingscoteStaff Sun 01-Jan-17 10:02:05

All 3 Dulwich schools say 2 instruments at c. Grade 4. However, they are definitely looking for a real commitment to the music department - if voice, they will be expected to join all appropriate groups (from madrigals to gospel), and as well as joining orchestras/ensembles/bands/quartets, the scholarship is often given to someone who will eventually want to organise/conduct/compose for their own group.
Also, (personal experience...) if you are a scholarship holder you are expected to prioritise music department commitments over sports fixtures or drama rehearsals.
For some children, to be 'swallowed up' by the music dept and eventually treated as a junior member of staff is exactly what they want, and prepares them well for eventual careers. You do need to go into it with your eyes open, though.

11Eleven2017 Sun 01-Jan-17 10:02:55

Wow... so grade 5 seems to be the benchmark for a realistic scholar consideration.
'LIZ' yes this is for 11+
DS isn't due to sit his G5 til march. Was just wondering whether this would hinder his chances.... only g2 on 2nd instrument. Competition seems stiff!!! 😳

originalmavis Sun 01-Jan-17 10:03:36

I know one kid who was grade 6 violin at 11+. Others play 2+ instruments at high levels.

Your music teacher ought to be able to guide you.

KingscoteStaff Sun 01-Jan-17 10:14:10

Just thought of something else - if violin, then mention willingness to add viola. Similarly oboe/bassoon.

2014newme Sun 01-Jan-17 10:17:26

Also find out the value of the scholarship and what they are expected to do in return

DeckTheHall Sun 01-Jan-17 10:23:30

I think grading is a guide - but if it is clear the child has only been taught by rote to pass grades and there isn't as much potential and musical ability as a person who has lower grades this will be taken into consideration

AnotherNewt Sun 01-Jan-17 10:29:56

The pupil I know who got he most valuable music scholarship hadn't ever sat a grade exam.

He did have a musical CV that was covered with participation in youth orchestras, residentials, productions and loads of other stuff. Then it was all down to audition.

I think the message form this is that how you fill in the application is just as important as any actual exams. And enthusiasm, track record of participation, and a genuine wish to take part in most/all of the musical life if the school, will be important factors.

RalphSteadmansEye Sun 01-Jan-17 10:34:14

Ds is at much less prestigious school and music scholars are expected to be grade 5 on first instrument and grade 3 on second at 11+.

Pradaqueen Sun 01-Jan-17 16:13:11

Join in the musicians thread in extra curricular. Loads of advice there and someone may be able to help with this specific schools. My DD is going through this process at the moment and is working towards G7 violin and G6 piano. This is because one school will only accept applications from G6 and the other three demand at least G5. She has also passed G5 theory, belongs to a local orchestra and takes part in music festivals. This was on the advice of her first instrument teacher. It is not impossible to gain a scholarship place with lower grades but your child will need to be an excellent sight reader and able to pass the aural tests. I would grab books on those and start working in that element. They are looking for a genuine love of music and commitment and it may be that your child has both of these things. Good luck OP to you both!

stringchild Sun 01-Jan-17 18:03:08

DC has just been awarded three very large music scholarships; she is g5-g8 level across 3 instruments but has taken few exams. But what the schools were really interested in were her non-exam music activities - NCO, children's choirs, schools groups, etc and her references. So i would talk to the schools and the teachers - in our experience you need teachers to write references which really convey how musical your child is, what sort of playing level they are, how much they 'join in', how they will contribute as a scholar inside and outside school. DD loves music, and joins in everything she can, and it showed in the audition, and the feedback we got was that that attitude was the big factor in the size of the award. So talk to the schools but also make sure your child knows they probably want to know about him, what concerts he goes to, why he chose the pieces he is playing, not just hear some highly polished audition pieces smile.

BellaNigella Sun 01-Jan-17 20:16:00

My experience is that grades matter less than potential and it helps if your DC plays a much needed ensemble instrument e.g. oboe or French horn or bassoon. Different instruments take longer to get to a certain grade than others (e.g. violin or piano vs clarinet or recorder) and a discerning music department will take into account how long your dc has been learning. For the right child the (often considerable) musical commitments to school ensembles etc would not be burdensome but a joy but worth asking the relevant directors of music. If your child is keen on singing that would be a plus certainly at T and W. Some schools run music courses and participation is looked upon kindly. Good luck to your DS!

Ladymuck Mon 02-Jan-17 12:05:17

I would say that the teachers assessing potential scholars can spot the difference between those who have a passion for music or at least their instrument(s), and those for whom it is yet another subject/activity to be learnt or practised. They are trying to identify those children who, when presented with the 80+ different co-curricular options at senior school, will automatically gravitate to the music department and pretty much live there.

Many prep schools locally will have encouraged pupils to start an instrument by year 3, so most would expect to be on grade 3 by Jan year 6. But if someone had first picked up in an instrument in middle of year 5 say and was grade 3 with distinction by Jan of year 6, that would probably stand out. So it isn't so much about the grade itself, but the journey and passion.

gettingbythistime Tue 03-Jan-17 11:06:56

Different schools are looking for different things. Some schools are looking for higher grades whilst other schools are more interested in natural passion and will over look a more obviously tiger mother pushed/forced conveyor belt kid. I too was told years ago that dd wouldn't stand a chance if she had not ticked boxes for having played in x & y ensembles prior to filling out a scholarship application however she is a natural and just did what she does. She played her two instruments but also asked if she could play the piano and sing (an Adele song which was a bit random). She got a good scholarship. This was for a different school to the ones you mention but a good school all the same. It is demanding. She tours with the chapel choir as well as many performances at the school although she does love it. At the time of taking exam she was 10 and got a gr5 distinction plus gr4 merit violin. Best of luck

usedtobeboss Wed 04-Jan-17 20:22:44

My ds is at a less prestigious, non-London school, but still with an excellent music department. One of the reasons he was offered his scholarship was because he expressed a desire to learn a particular (reasonably 'rare') instrument, on which the school is keen. He also had G5 on his first instrument and G3 on his second, and had made a point of saying he was looking forward to singing in the choir too.
So, I think it's key to check out what individual schools are looking for, and to begin to build up a relationship. The main reason we chose the school we did (he had 2 scholarship offers) was because of their efforts to build a relationship with us, inviting us to concerts etc. That, and the very personable and dynamic director of music - something which also counts for a lot. It's a significant committment, so that bond is important.

nocampinghere Fri 06-Jan-17 09:36:42

the music scholars at DD's school were grade 7 or 8 when they arrived in yr7. But in many instances i don't think the grade is the key decider - they want those where music is their passion, their love. They want them to be involved and lead the music in the school. Not someone who has just meticulously gone through the grades from an early age. They also want to see lots of extra curricular music activities - eg NCO.

manicinsomniac Fri 06-Jan-17 20:15:42

For our prep school, it depends very much on the standard because the majority of applicants are internal and the scholarships are worth very little so we do like to award at least one per area of gift/talent. Usually grade 5+ but it could go down to Grade 3 if necessary.

However, I imagine many 11+ places are a lot higher because, by the time 13+ preparation comes round, most of ours are not successful with music scholarships unless they are grade 7+. We have a 12 year old about to take his diploma on 1 instrument while having grade 8 in another who apparently isn't the only candidate at their chosen school at that level so still not guaranteed!

Although, our music teacher says you could win one without even a grade 1 exam if you have enough potential and talent (imagine those instances are vanishingly rare though)

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