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Page 2 | 11+ Music scholarship...

(55 Posts)
SheHulk Thu 08-Dec-11 19:12:12

How hard are they to get? How good do you have to be?... Your experiences?

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SheHulk Tue 13-Dec-11 14:49:19

Gotcha colleger, two pieces, one comfortable and another one slightly stretched...interesting idea. WOW smile congrats to your DS for his courage.

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Whippet Tue 13-Dec-11 16:18:36

DS applied for one at 11+ he was Grade 4 in one instrument and nearly grade 4 in another. Also a soloist in school choir.

I had a conversation with the school beforehand, and they encouraged him to apply, saying he was the right level.

He didn't get one. They only awarded 3 that year (usually 5 or 6). Two went to kids already in the school, and one went to a girl whose mother was an opera singer, and very pushy talented.

PushyDad Wed 14-Dec-11 00:22:25

Why do people use the 'P' word to rationalise why their DC don't do as well as some other child?
In Year 6 my daughter's friend, who was Grade 5 Pass, told DD that her mum thought DD only got Distinction because we were pushy parents. Well, if getting DD to practice 20min 4 days a week is 'pushy' then no wonder her DD got Pass for all her previous grades.

Colleger Wed 14-Dec-11 09:15:27

One person's pushy is another's laid back, especially when it comes to music. The norm form us was 40 mins four times a week but Purcell require 2 hours 40mins. That will come as an unpleasant shock for us and I'd rather it was not the case. But I know of plenty children who do this already. I'm seen as pushy but my son is just talented in this area and could be a lot better if he put more work in!

SheHulk Wed 14-Dec-11 18:01:03

I've heard so many adults say "I wish my parents had pushed me more...", "I wish my parents had not allowed me to quit...", "I wish my parents had forced me to practice...". And so on. And so on. So within a limit - his/her happiness comes first - pushy is something they will probably be grateful about in years to come.

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gelatinous Wed 14-Dec-11 23:02:17

SheHulk, many adults tend to blame their parents for their own inadequacies. Almost certainly their parents did try and get them to practice etc, but they were too resistant/pig headed/stubborn for the battle to be worth it. My view of most adults making such comments is that they are really saying "I wish I could play the piano/violin/nose flute brilliantly but without putting in all the necessary hours of practice."

meditrina Wed 14-Dec-11 23:11:07

I started a little thread recently about whether to push children into continuing. On the basis of what was posted on it, I'm keeping my DCs playing and having lessons. We're not musical enough to be in scholarship territory, and their level of interest frankly isn't enough. But I do think it's worth building on what they can do to the point they can play well enough to always be able to return to it and play competently.

Whippet Thu 15-Dec-11 10:25:39

PushyDad - my use of the word 'pushy' was rather tongue in cheek, and I actually tend to agree with you!

I've always found it an interesting debate as to the difference between encouragement and so-called 'pushiness'. I think there are very few young people who achieve great things who don't have the support and on-going encouragement of a parent or other strong mentor (e.g. a coach or teacher).

To be honest, when my son didn't get a music scholarship I partly blamed myself for not preparing him better sad.

Colleger Thu 15-Dec-11 11:49:55

Don't blame yourself Whippet. I have made so many errors when it comes to music with my son and if you're not a musician then it's difficult to go down the right path. Grade 4 is very good for 11+ but it's only now that I realise that there are music groups, conservatoire junior departments, holiday courses and a small group of children who have been coached to near death since the age of three and are now grade 7 at 11+!

Whippet Thu 15-Dec-11 12:03:00

Colleger - ah, but the problem is that I AM musical, and I was aware of all the music courses and outside groups etc, but due to a variety of other things happening (work, ill elderly relatives, struggling younger DS2 etc) I didn't really get my act together to enrol/ encourage DS1 onto these.

Although I play a couple of instruments to Grade 8 level, and sing in a choir, I'm not a professional musician however, and the children I see who are the Grade 8s at 11+ seem to be the children of professional musicians and music teachers.

I suppose I was a bit hmm about DSs music scholarship application, as I actually didn't think he was quite good/polished/prepared enough to go for it, but the senior school said that he should, and really encouraged him to try. I'm not sure he was ever really in with a chance, when I see the 3 children who were awarded them. He was fine about it though, and he got an academic scholarship anyway. smile

gelatinous Thu 15-Dec-11 12:21:58

How old is he now whippet? I felt a fleeting similar vibe that ds might have got one if he'd started learning a bit younger or taken it more seriously (ie practised more often than the day before his lesson), but rationalised that at least he didn't have that pressure to continue for financial reasons when he decided he'd had enough (& I was sure he would give up). Naturally, he then chose to continue both instruments right through school and join every ensemble going so would have been fine with a scholarship, but I did notice that this wasn't the case for some of the scholars who rather grudgingly did orchestra etc. because they had to and I now wonder if having a completely free choice about it meant he enjoyed it more.

milkshake3 Thu 15-Dec-11 12:35:57

My DH was a music scholar and resented it. Despite being very talented he hated the pressure put on him to support the music department when he wanted to spend more time playing sport, having fun with his friends and doing his work. We have just taken DS for an audition and the school really emphasised the commitment required to the music department and that this was sometimes at the expense of opportunities to participate in other school activities. Food for thought!

Colleger Thu 15-Dec-11 14:56:02

I'm not a fan of being a music scholar unless it's the only route into a school that the child wants to go to. The commitment is vast and in this present climate the rewards may only be free lessons! The scholars can miss out on so much extra curric going on at school and breaks have to be given up. It's one of the reason we went down the music school route because when DS is practicing, all the kids are practicing or when he's in choir pracitce they are all in choir practice. That way he feels he's not missing out and every pupil is putting in the same commitment so it becomes the norm. Some music scholars at a previous school were banned from rugby in case they ended up with black eyes before a performance or broken fingers and many school trips could not be attended because of a rehearsal. Of course at music school, rugby is banned completely for everyone!

Colleger Thu 15-Dec-11 14:58:16

Whippet, most of the students at Purcell under the age of 16 have parents who are professional musicians. They are immersed in music from a young age, start early and the teachers that teach their kids are probably top notch from day one. Don't feel bad...

SheHulk Thu 15-Dec-11 17:14:06

colleger, d'you mind me asking, what grade did your DS play when he was offered a plce at Purcell?

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PushyDad Thu 15-Dec-11 23:38:52

Hi Colleger

My son was Grade 7 when he took the 11+ and he wasn't coached to 'near death'. Yes he does music courses, orchestra and the like but he also did football, rugby and swimming. It is possible to be a well rounded child and still be an accomplished musician.

Colleger Fri 16-Dec-11 08:10:11


Of course there are very talented exceptions but the ones I have come across have been doing around two hours of practice on their first instrument for years and started between 3 and 5 years.


My son played a grade 6 and a grade 7 piece at age 10 but his offer was based on the fact he'd only been playing two years, had minimal practice (in comparison to other applicants) and most children are not physically able to play his instrument until 11 because of it's size. If he'd been auditioning on violin or piano then he wouldn't have got in with that grade level. He doesn't play either so I have no idea if he could be any good on these instruments.

onceinawhile Fri 16-Dec-11 08:45:25

I am not sure how you can get a child to practise 2 hours a day from age 3, but good luck to them if that's what goes on!

I do believe that with music especially, natural talent plays a huge part. One of my children is one of these that just picks everything up so fast and has a real natural talent for the instrument they are playing, and ironically are the ones doing the least practice but advancing very rapidly!!!! (10-15 minutes a day).

However having said all that, I do believe that a musical household with lots of opportunity to hear relevant music being played, going to concerts, having jamming sessions etc does play a huge part in that natural talent being developed, so I agree that children of professional musicians will have an advantage already in that sense!!!

Colleger Fri 16-Dec-11 08:54:38

I didn't say 3-5 year olds practice for two hours a day but it is not unheard of for children as young as 6 doing this and I know many. The requirement for non strings is 2 hours 40mins at music school but for strings, including piano, it can be up to five hours!!!

PushyDad Fri 16-Dec-11 10:57:20

In another thread a poster asked if other parents considered themselves 'pushy'.
If a child is practicing more than an hour a day then I would expect the child to be passing a grade a year with distinction.
If that isn't happening then I would consider the parent 'pushy' for imposing such a regime on a child that is clearly not musical.

Colleger Fri 16-Dec-11 13:30:11

I agree. We do 40 mins 4 times a week but he has chosen Purcell and has been warned what pracitce schedule is imposed by the school. I'll just be there to spoil him as I'll feel sorry for him!

SheHulk Sat 17-Dec-11 11:57:33

DS practices first instrument everyday, sometimes 10 min, sometimes up to 30 min, depending on the practice set by his teacher. Second instrument is 30 min twice a week plus 45 min lesson, but ironically he is now officially more advanced on second instrument with less practice! So maybe we should apply with second as first. Hoping to be playing Grade 5 pieces on both by elevenplus auditions. Problem is neither are orchestral instruments per se. And as I said, he is not crazy about choir. Dunno if it's worth it. I guess we will if DS is keen to try.

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PushyDad Sat 17-Dec-11 23:29:47

You may have mentioned it elswhere but what instruments does your DC play?

SheHulk Sun 18-Dec-11 12:29:27

Piano + drums

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SheHulk Sun 18-Dec-11 12:35:58

Addition: Had a talk with DS and he said it's just the songs they sing in his primary that he is not crazy about. He says he would quite like to sing in a choir if they sing things like Mozart's Requiem. So maybe secondary school repertoire will seems a bit more interesting to him...

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