Music school or music scholarship in an independent school

(52 Posts)
Paulweller11 Sun 28-Feb-16 19:11:58

So, my eight year old daughter is currently grade 5 violin- she's been playing for just 2 years.
She's currently in yr 4.
Her teacher reckons she'll be grade 7/8 by end of yr6 (currently catching up on music theory)
So I have an independent school in mind for a music scholarship- but if she auditions for Chets, and gets in......what would you do?
Torn between ; if she's good enough to get to Chets, shouldn't she go?
Or send her to independent school with music scholarship and still get the academic side (altho to be fair Chets results aren't that bad considering, they do quite well)???
All what ifs I know, but still, any help appreciated?!

ReallyTired Sun 28-Feb-16 19:17:11

Clearly your daughter is incredibly talented at music. I suppose the question is how passionate she is about her music and whether she wants to make a career of it. Won't she need a second instrument if she applies for a music scholarship?

Paulweller11 Sun 28-Feb-16 19:26:06

She loves it!
She wants to go to music school, although she's 8 so also wants to know someone there.
She also plays piano and sings but only at gr2 for those. She doesn't really practise either of those though 😬.
She plays in county orchestra and local orchestra too.
Difficult decisions to be made I guess.
Don't want to audition her at music school if it's a pipe dream though- any parents with kids at a specialist music school?

etinocadoego Sun 28-Feb-16 19:44:27

Think very carefully about whether you want her to have a career in music. It's 'not being able to live without playing' rather than a day job- precarious, poorly paid.
If she gets a music scholarship to an independent school she'll be expected to 'pay it back' through orchestra participation concerts etc.

Paulweller11 Sun 28-Feb-16 20:06:24

Yes I know what you're saying.
On scholarship front though, she already plays in 2 orchestras, one weekly, one monthly and she loves it.
Wouldn't be able to find private secondary without some sort of scholarship anyway.
She would pass 11+ but I don't want her to take it if she doesn't need to.

Balletgirlmum Sun 28-Feb-16 20:14:42

There is a big difference in funding between the two.

The majority of music scholarships in independent schools will be either free music lessons or a small amount of money off the termites fees. You may also be eligible for bursary help but it will still leave a considerable amount to pay.

Schools like chets are funded by the MDS scheme from the government. If a child is talented enough to gain a place there is a sliding scale of fees according to parental income.

Academic results are often good but there is a big difference between academics in an MDS school & in a selective private school (I have two children one in each system)

Balletgirlmum Sun 28-Feb-16 20:15:12

Hopefully Newlife will be along soon as she has a dd there.

Paulweller11 Sun 28-Feb-16 20:18:48

The independent school that I'm looking at offers 50% off fees for music scholarship.
Thanks

Balletgirlmum Sun 28-Feb-16 20:22:31

That's very good then & if your dd is academic a serious consideration.

You would need to visit & ascertain exactly what the music provision is there.

Paulweller11 Sun 28-Feb-16 20:29:32

Yes I will, I know they've just built a new music department- but would be interested to know exactly how much music there is( one lesson is inc with the scholarship)
Surely Chets would have a whole lot more music provision though, and she would be surrounded with fellow musicians (although this is both good and bad I guess)
Yes she is academic also, but currently wants to be a musician/ music teacher (no doubt inspired by her violin teacher)- of course she is only 8 so could change her mind.

Balletgirlmum Sun 28-Feb-16 20:39:27

Hmm yes.

For comparison dd gets a daily 90 minute ballet class then depending on the day between 1-2 hours of dance/conditioning & 3 hours on Saturday mornings.

She'd be getting 2-3 times weekly 45-60 min ballet class plus 1-2 tap/modern classes per week at normal school.

RapidlyOscillating Sun 28-Feb-16 20:55:24

I think it's a really hard decision for you as it seems that your dd could fulfil her musical potential on top of 'normal' school, with Saturday RNCM/ halle youth ensemble/ nco etc on top. But would she love Chets? And be incredibly fulfilled there?

My dd isn't a great instrumentalist but we have sent her there (to sing) because it's just such a good fit for her. A happy side effect is that she will reach her potential (which probably won't be Chets standard) on her instrument as the practice is integrated into the school day and she's inspired by her peers.

Yours daughter would have a couple of hours a week taught on her main instrument, plus various ensemble sessions and duet classes plus music theory and academic music as timetabled subjects. Practice is semi supervised too.

RapidlyOscillating Sun 28-Feb-16 20:57:33

It sounds quite similar in terms of hours to what balletgirlmum's dd does - maybe there's a bare minimum that the normal curriculum can be fitted into that the various specialist schools have worked out?!

Paulweller11 Sun 28-Feb-16 21:01:48

Exactly, and RNCM every Saturday would eat into her free time,and a 21/2 hour drive every Saturday (which I don't mind- but it is a lot for a child every week) at least at Chets it's all done in the week (she would be a day pupil- I would have to move- but that's fine) and weekends would be pretty free.
Also in normal school, she would have to fit in her music, at least in Chets it would be there, and she would be surrounded by likeminded people(music wise anyway).
Of course, she still has to audition....,
What age did your child go?
whats pastoral care like?

RapidlyOscillating Sun 28-Feb-16 21:04:55

There has certainly been an element of consolidation!

She started at 10, could have gone at 9 but logistics and finances prevented. The place wasn't held but obviously re-auditioning wasn't so scary having done it before.

Not really needed any pastoral care as yet but the buddy scheme with a sixth former studying the same instrument seem to work well and everyone has been very friendly so far.

Paulweller11 Sun 28-Feb-16 21:05:00

I guess it's working out if the passion for music will last forever, or just for now?
Or will music school extinguish that passion, as some will say it has with others? Of course others still love music and make a good living from it. Difficult to know what to do for the best really.

Paulweller11 Sun 28-Feb-16 21:06:11

Also does she have the right character- she's quite a reserved character (although you wouldn't think it when she plays in front of people)

RapidlyOscillating Sun 28-Feb-16 21:09:11

I think instrumentalists eventually have Saturday morning lessons, and performances outside of school hours at short notice occasionally.

I forgot to say before, I was chatting with some parents earlier and they were saying that their younger children will audition as early as possible as they feel you're more likely to get in. The standard is a bit bonkers, especially in piano. Also, you do an informal advice audition first and they give you feedback if you're not ready for a full audition.

RapidlyOscillating Sun 28-Feb-16 21:11:10

I've met lots of quite serious, 'old fashioned' children, there's a real mix. You have a 3 day trial to see if you like it once they have decided they like you!

NewLife4Me Sun 28-Feb-16 21:14:07

My dd is at Chets too, she loves it.
Hi, Rapidly good parents evening today grin

It's a hard decision I think, certainly needs to come from the child.
For my dd it's pretty full on, the emphasis is certainly music with a bit of academics thrown in, which suits dd. Obviously they do the bare min. I think when i counted dd does 22.5 hours per week and this includes KS3 Music.

There aren't a huge amount of choices for GCSE and A level, but on par with a normal comp ime. The normal extra curricular activities I think you usually get in a private school aren't really available, there isn't any time nor the number of children of a particular age for things like sports teams.
They have to be very dedicated, want to practice a lot, eat sleep and drink music.
I'd say go and visit on one of the open days, you get a real good feel for the place.
It's a wonderful place if it suits and a nightmare for those it doesn't.

TheBalefulGroke Sun 28-Feb-16 21:29:12

PaulWeller- Our eldest is similar to your DD, but we have decided that academics are more important. We were advised (by music teachers, and also a friend that is a Chets alumnus too) that if they're good enough to be a musician, then they'll be good enough wherever they study 4-18. We think she won't end up a professional musician, and she's is also very academically able, so we've decided to focus elsewhere. She will get an excellent education (the two local schools she'll choose from are top 10 and top 20 in England), and she has all the extra-curricular already- choirs, nco, weekend conservatoire etc. I suppose the distance is difficult in your case. For us, there's no travelling involved.

NewLife4Me Sun 28-Feb-16 21:36:58

I agree that if you are a musician you will be one wherever you study.
My dh is a leader in his genre of music and an internationally acclaimed artist.
A portfolio of teaching at all levels including post grad (in his field) not generally music. He took a grade 6 and grade 5 theory to gain entry to music college at 18.

Dd visited the school, auditioned and told us if we tried to stop her she'd never forgive us.
I'm happy for you to pm me anytime OP, and will talk on here but some specifics are individual to the child and they can be easily identified as they really do have individual timetables and subject matter.

I'll chat merrily generally though. I have another 2 people pm'ming atm grin

Noteventhebestdrummer Mon 29-Feb-16 06:59:00

Why not keep options open and go for a non specialised school with a strong music department? It seems a shame to close any doors for academic learning if you have the chance to keep them open.
DS has a new passion for politics which he only began in Y11. Around the same time he looked 6th form in a specialist music school but preferred the academic rigour and wide opportunities of his current school.

derektheladyhamster Mon 29-Feb-16 07:10:51

If your happy to move and have her as a day pupil, you could consider somewhere like Christ's hospital. Music is a large part of the school - you just have to look at the daily marching band! Its probably one of the most traditional schools in the country, but academics are very strong, pastoral care is great and there are plenty of extra curricular activities in case she goes off music!

cingolimama Mon 29-Feb-16 08:24:18

OP, you don't have to decide anything yet. A lot can change in two years. There's nothing to stop you having a "two-pronged" approach and applying for both. If you get offers from both, then you make a decision.

If you might consider boarding, then perhaps look at Wells. Great music school and excellent academics as well.

Good luck

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