How can you tell whether your child is good at music + Junior Guildhall Kindergarten - Selection at Y2

(22 Posts)
Frogusha Wed 30-Aug-17 15:21:43

The question is for Mums of kids who made it to Junior programme in Y2 from Guildhall Kindergarten. How many kids do they select on average from a class and do they select based on what teachers see at the lessons during the year or is there a test? The school doesn't volunteer any information and I'm doubting the value of the lessons - I'm not terribly impressed by what happens at the open lessons. If there is one child chosen out of 2 classes then probably it's too slim of a chance, if it's more like 5-10, we'd stick around. Another question, does it get better (more interesting) in Y1 by comparison to Reception or another year of the same? The parents of the kids who made it, what do you think made your child stand out - good musical hearing, self-discipline, anything else? Did you feel like your child have special musical aptitude or were you surprised? The last question is because it's so hard to gauge how good your own child is really is and to what extent (if at all) you should pursue their interest (especially if they are interested in everything).

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spaghettithrower Thu 31-Aug-17 10:30:37

Do they learn an instrument at the Kindergarten?
Sorry, I can't offer any help but I am a music teacher in another country and I had never heard of the Kindergarten although I knew about the young strings programme and junior Guildhall.

spaghettithrower Thu 31-Aug-17 10:47:34

It might be worth heading over to the ABRSM forum and asking there as there are many UK based music teachers there as well as parents who may have experience of this.

Frogusha Thu 31-Aug-17 12:59:51

Thank you spaghettithrower, I'll do that. No instrument, it's just Kodaly and Rhythmics. Basically they sing old nursery rhymes quietly, loudly; if you get up, your voice should go up, sit down, voice goes down. Music is loud, you make a star shape, quiet - sit down on the floor. It sounds like it'd be fun but it's exactly the same every class, in the 3 terms last year nothing has changed. And it seems it'll be 3 more terms of the same...

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spaghettithrower Thu 31-Aug-17 13:47:53

Just be careful how you phrase it if you do ask on there because there may be Guildhall staff members on that forum.
Is your child learning an instrument at home? If they aren't and are interested then that should probably be your next step. Then if they don't get onto the Junior Programme they can still learn. They could then audition for a place later if they made good progress and wanted to.

Springbreeze Thu 31-Aug-17 15:52:46

My DD has been through Guildhall from Kindergarten onwards. In answer to your questions, I'd say around half or possibly more came from the Kindergarten. There is a selection around Easter in yr1, all very gentle based on observation of the children: obvious enjoyment and keenness to participate matter at least as much as musicality. It has to come from the child not the parents.

We found the course excellent, but it's very much that you get out what you put in. Those who followed the practice advice reached grade 8 by end of Yr6; others practised less but were probably still grade 5ish.

However, if you really don't like the Kodaly and rhythmics it may not be the place for you. DD enjoyed Kindergarten and gained a lot from them, so when they do start an instrument, progress was quick.

Frogusha Thu 31-Aug-17 17:20:47

Oh great, thank you Springbreeze, that's very, very helpful! Congratulations on your DD's achievement, and it sounds like amazing progress! It's not that I don't like Kodaly and Rhythmics, it's just I hoped that there would be more than just that. It's good for what it is, but I come from another country where music education is much more readily accessible to everyone and I started singing in a choir at this age, solfeggio, as well playing an instrument - not a child genius, everyone else did, I hardly know anyone who doesn't play an instrument. However, from what you're saying it does bear fruit. Maybe I should just trust the system. My DD does enjoy the lessons (but she seems to enjoy all activities she does, so it's hard to tell). Do you know if many children are also taking private lessons in their instruments, on top of what the school offers?

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Frogusha Thu 31-Aug-17 17:23:41

spaghettithrower, the school advises not to learn an instrument while on Kindergarten programme.

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Springbreeze Thu 31-Aug-17 17:59:56

Some take private lessons during the holidays, or maybe have a mid-week lesson with a student but they wouldn't have an entirely separate teacher.

The STP is quite a commitment and only worth it if your DD practices consistently every day and if they enjoy it. Towards the end, DD found the practising a bit much but she is so proud of having gone there and what she achieved. She also got really lovely friends as the kids get to know each other really well.

Frogusha Fri 01-Sep-17 07:28:14

Thank you springbreeze, that sounds fine. Will now cross my fingers until Easter smile

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newmummycwharf1 Sat 08-Feb-20 22:47:31

@frogusha How did you get on at Guildhall? We have just been offered a space and a little concerned about the culling that happens in year 1. Did many who wanted to stay on got told to move on?

MsMooi Sun 09-Feb-20 20:36:03

@newmummycwharf1 hello! Would you mind telling me how old your DC is? We have made our application on the Guildhall Kindergarten Programme last month and now we are still waiting for their response. DD will be 4 yo in May 2020. Probably we applied a little too early?

Thank you in advance!

newmummycwharf1 Sun 09-Feb-20 20:44:36

@MsMooi he will be 5 in February. Based on age - your daughter should start in September 2020. My son was due to start Sep 2019 but we didn't get a place and one has just come up

MsMooi Sun 09-Feb-20 21:05:04

@newmummycwharf1 thank you so much for your message, and congratulations on the place offered! Since we have not heard anything from them, presumably we didn't get a place for Sep 2020.. Hope we will have our chance next year as you do when she will be 5 yo : )

Did you have to re-apply in 2019? Or they offered the place based on the application you made in 2018?

newmummycwharf1 Sun 09-Feb-20 21:14:54

I actually applied super early - before they changed the rules to a ballot system. So I put in the application in 2016 - as it used to be first come first serve. The same application is what was used. I believe they simply pick names out of a hat as spaces come up

MsMooi Sun 09-Feb-20 21:58:31

@newmummycwharf1 thank you! I will ring them to double check!

Frogusha Sun 09-Feb-20 22:03:15

newmummycwharf1, my DD didn’t make it further than Kindergarten. From my experience 50% or thereabouts were culled. At the time I remember being quite upset as my DD is very musical, gene pool wise has both parents with music degrees and musical grandparents. However, she was pretty bored by those lessons by the end of second year, so I guess they picked up on her lack of enthusiasm (it is the same nursery rhymes sang for 2 years, like Bobby Bingo). It depends on the child though and their existing exposure to music. Her friend who didn’t have the same level of music at home and school enjoyed the classes much more than my DD. And I think this is the reason why they ask you not to learn an instrument during Kindergarten. I found, however, a great music school nearer home, Youth Music Centre - YMC is way cheaper also, and the quality of teaching a dare say is on par (comparing Guildhall concerts of children under 11 and kids in YMC). DD is playing 3 instruments, her first study at grade 4. She does her instrument 1-2-1, theory, aural/voice, choir and orchestra at YMC at about a 1/3 of the price of Guildhall string programme.

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newmummycwharf1 Sun 09-Feb-20 23:38:47

Thank you @frogusha. It is tough dealing with the culling isnt it! We are thinking we will go for it anyway. His school does have a really good music programme to fall back on if he gets culled. Thanks for the YMC tip - very good to know as we are not far from that way too

sanam2019 Mon 10-Feb-20 14:27:44

@newmummycwharf1 my DD was chosen for the string program a few years ago. I am not sure there was that much culling, it was more of a natural process where some children's attendance was patchy and they dropped out over time (lack of enthusiasm from the child or the parent). They also introduced a brass program at the time (not sure if this still exists) so that those who were keen and committed and weren't picked for the strings program were able to apply for the brass program. They also opened a satellite location in Lambeth which was non-selective where those who weren't chosen could go (same program, similar teachers). So there was a nice talk and support for parents in terms of onward options once it got to Year 2.

My impression was that those children who had very high attendance, were punctual and engaged during lessons made it.

Frogusha Mon 10-Feb-20 20:52:15

Perhaps it was a different year group sanam2019. My DD and 3 of her friends on the programme in the same year didn’t make it. She didn’t have any other friends in the class and it was 7-8 ppl in class so I took it to be 50% though maybe it was different in other classes. I think it’s 4 classes in a year group. We also missed maybe 1 class each year, warning the teachers in advance and were late once for like 3 mins. Re: Lambeth, we expired but liked YMC more. Re: brass programme, we applied to both.

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Frogusha Mon 10-Feb-20 20:53:26

* explored not expired wink

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newmummycwharf1 Mon 10-Feb-20 21:28:34

Thanks @sanam2019. We will certainly attend the kindergarten course and hope for the best. Hopefully he enjoys it and engages - but if he doesnt - fair enough that another kid who is more musical continues on. Thanks @Frogusha for your input as well. He is our first kid so all quite experimental. His experience will obviously potentially determine what we put his sister up for. Mumsnet rocks!

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