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violin audition for Junior/Primary Department (music conservatoires)

(14 Posts)
bunnymum9 Mon 11-Feb-19 12:04:39

My DD (9 years old) is now interested in JD (RAM, RCM, or Guildhall), but I am aware that the application deadline is coming up and I wonder if it is worth considering. She is a violinist with ABRSM Grade 4 (distinction). She has been working on the Grade 5 pieces since last summer. She is just a normal girl (definitely not a prodigy), but once won the highest prize for the whole strings department at one of the county music festivals.

I wonder if it is worth trying although it is a very last minute idea, and if so, would it be appropriate for her to play grade 5 pieces at auditions? Or are there any typical pieces candidates play?

I would appreciate any advice, as this is something we have never done before. Thanks!

folkmamma Mon 11-Feb-19 12:50:26

Hi bunnymum! I think she'd certainly be in with a shot at Guildhall - I don't know enough about standards at the other two to pass comment. My DD got in playing G6 pieces at age 10, but she also plays viola as second study which they are very keen on. It's not just about grades though, they look for potential, commitment level and personality too. We are very, very happy at GH - it has quite a relaxed vibe and although they do have some amazing little prodigies, most of the kids are talented but normal, which sounds like your DD! G5 pieces should be fine at age 9 to play in audition - the most important thing is to choose pieces she enjoys and that are well within her grasp, so she can really show them what she can do.

bunnymum9 Mon 11-Feb-19 14:09:09

Thank you, folkmamma! It is really nice to hear your DD's experience and your advice. Your DD obviously loves studying at Guildhall. Do you feel that her musical ability (and musicianship etc) has been improved a lot since she started there? It would be a massive commitment for us if my DD got accepted as it would involve 3-4 hour return travel every Sat.

My DD plays piano as second study, but only started this academic year, and she hardly plays any proper pieces yet. (the main reason why she does the piano is for the Grade 5 theory exam) Having no good second study would be a negative point?

One more thing - how does JD compare to NCO in terms of difficulty in getting in? We think she may want to try NCO instead of JD. All new to us and we are quite confused!

folkmamma Mon 11-Feb-19 14:58:43

DD was an associate member of NCO for the last 2 years - we didn't apply this year as auditions fell at the wrong time for her. I would say the standard is roughly comparable (lots of DD's peers at GH are also in NCO).

In terms of her progress, she has accelerated exponentially since starting GH in September. It's been really quite unbelievable! But we did go there for a particular teacher that we knew would be a great fit for her. The standard of teaching is generally very high though.

We do a 5 hr round trip every Saturday. It's unquestionably worth it!!! Go for a taster day - they let people in most Saturdays. 😊

folkmamma Mon 11-Feb-19 14:59:15

Ps second study is not essential.

bunnymum9 Mon 11-Feb-19 21:27:04

Thank you very much again, folkmamma. Very useful information! I have no knowledge what so every re JD, so I really appreciate your advice.

You do a 5 hour round trip every Sat! I cannot complain about mine then. shock I am really glad to hear that your DD has made an enormous progress since starting GH! It is definitely worth the effort (for parents!). I have really started to think mine also should try...

Thanks for letting me know about NCO. It is amazing that many do the both! I wonder how they can manage. BTW, folkmamma, what is an associate member? Is it different from a standard member?

We now think we should contact GH for a taster day. Not much time is left before the audition, but it is still good to visit there beforehand I suppose.

BTW, would it be possible for her to try again next year if my DD failed this year? Or they would not be happy to see the same face again and again?

I would also appreciate any info re RCM and RAM if there is anyone who could share their experience.

Thanks a lot! smile

folkmamma Mon 11-Feb-19 21:45:19

I'm sure you can try again if it doesn't work out this time. In many ways it's easier to get them in while they are younger, the competition gets more fierce as they get older! Stick and application in - if nothing else, the audition experience itself is worthwhile. They are very lovely!!

Associate membership of NCO is sometimes offered to children who are good enough to be in NCO but for whom they don't have a space. It's very competitive! Associates are members of one of the Regional orchestras only, rather than the age banded orchestras. They don't do the residential courses (unless someone drops out and a space comes up). My DD is a busy girl, so Associate membership has suited her well.

folkmamma Mon 11-Feb-19 21:55:13

You could try posting in the Jan/Feb music thread. There are a few JD parents over there that may be able to give firsthand advice on RAM/RCM.

folkmamma Mon 11-Feb-19 21:58:23

It's here.. (sorry, can't post a link from my phone app!)

bunnymum9 Mon 11-Feb-19 22:42:30

Hi, folkmamma, and thank you very much for more info. You don't know how much I appreciate your posts, truly!!

Great advice on when to try the audition. You are right, the competition gets more fierce as they get older! Better try now rather than late. You really made me feel that we should apply this year!!

Associate membership (NCO) sounds ideal for busy kids. Thank you for letting me know about that, too.

Also, thanks for letting me know about the Jan/Feb music thread. I will definitely have a look at it, and may post there for more advice esp on RAM/RCM. I am sure I will come up with more questions anyway...grin

Thank you! smile I will let you know when we put application in!

HerdingPigs Tue 19-Feb-19 23:25:55

Bunny, RAM Primary has its open day this Sat. Have you looked into that? I was told that some current students will be performing so will give you an idea of standards. Don't be deterred by some extremely talented soloists though, as my close friends DD got in on a Grade 3 piece (but she made a lyric tune on the instrument apparently!)

Good luck!!

bunnymum9 Wed 20-Feb-19 15:48:09

Hi, HerdingPigs. Thank you for you post!

I didn’t know there would be another open day at RAM Primary this Sat. They don’t advertise anything do they? (Or do they?) We actually went to one last Sat, which we learned only when I made a query about it.

Yes, as you said, there were super talented violinists (and other instrument players). They were really good. So it’s good to know that your friends DD got in on Grade3 pieces... although I believe she was again super good!

Thanks again, and I hope mine will also manage to get in....!

HerdingPigs Wed 20-Feb-19 23:52:59

Bunny - sorry, my bad. The open day was last Sat - the one you went to! There is another concert this Sat for Primary students but my friend said it was private. I got these mixed up! Her DD got in at a younger age and auditioned on two violin pieces (the other one was of higher grade) and one piano piece. (I can't say more otherwise I d be outing the DD as there are only so many of them in RAM! Hope it is OK.). Good luck!!

bunnymum9 Thu 21-Feb-19 13:34:49

Hi, HerdingPigs!
Ok, that’s good, and a good job I didn’t miss the open day! smile

Thanks for more info about your friend’s DD. She must be a very good violinist! Mine also does the piano, but only recently started. So she has no second study. I hope it is not disadvantageous.

See how it goes... thanks a lot! smile

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