Scholarshp advice(20 Posts)
My DD is applying for a Music Scholarship at a few Secondary schools for 2016. What should her current Prep School be doing to help her prepare? Apart from confirming that she is scholarship material not much else has happened.
Are we supposed to do all the applications and preparation ourselves? Is there anything we need to do to help (apart from getting DD to practise her instruments)? I am not private school educated so am unsure how to proceed/what to do.
Thanks for any advice.
Do they offer music theory lessons, ensembles and performance opportunities ? Usually it is left to instrumental teachers to prepare students for audition pieces and sight reading. Is she 11+ or 13+? Schools are looking for a certain level of competence but also musicality and enthusiasm.
Solo performance opportunities are available but you have to request them (prepared by outside instrumental teachers). No theory or ensembles for DD's instruments. She does sing in a choir though.
So you are aiming for grade 5 minimum and 2 instruments? It would be worth looking into external ensembles if appropriate and theory lessons. As a comparison those of dc's contemporaries gaining music scholarships to selective schools were at least this level and several in National Youth Choir or Orchestra.
Theory isn't instrument-specific.
If you're going down the ABRSM route, then getting at least grade 5 as soon as possible, because you can only take the higher performance grades once you have the theory at that level.
For 13+ I think attainment/enthusiasm outstrips 'potential'. And I would expect a high level of performance (grades or other solid evidence) on two instruments, or one plus voice.
This may not be that helpful as it is 11+ and London specific, but ime those gaining music scholarships were Grade 5-6 + on two instruments in Year 5/6. At 13+ I would expect a lot of the London schools have applicants with two instruments at Grade 8+ plus National ensemble/orchestra experience. It's very competitive. The school may only offer one or two - check the % reduction in fees - sometimes it's not much. Often more 'exhibitions' are offered ie; free instrument tuition. A scholarship in music is a big commitment time wise too - the child will be expected to participate in most of the musical events. The competition may not be so high outside of London.
Goldenlillies the application forms are usually done by the parents and the school will add in a reference for participation in school music ensembles.
The most important thing to organise with enough notice are the supporting letters from her instrument and singing (if applicable) teachers.
Senior schools IME want DCs who are sufficiently musical and motivated to relish the benefits of the time commitment needed for school music. As said above that commitment s not trivial, particularly if you factor in the practice time at higher levels. The level of attainement to have a good chance will depend on the school and instruments.
Just to add, I remember another poster saying that the music awards gained by her DCs in a London school were only nominal ie did n't have music tuition fees paid for. The music scholarship application process and commitment in those cases would therefore just be for the supposed glory (the relevance of which might fade quite quickly)
The other thing to be wary of is that schools may insist on changing to their instrument teachers which may not always be in the best interests of a musical DC at a day school.
OP - does your prep school have a Scholarship co-ordinator? If so, then arrange an appointment with them promptly. Ask all your questions there, and also contact the Senior School and ask them what the expected requirements are, when the closing dates are, and who makes the entry.
If you want to state what instruments your DD plays, then maybe people on here could suggest grades expected.
Our DS did the music schol. route, and we found the Senior School very helpful. Good luck.
1805 is right, the heads of music at the senior schools are usually very helpful and often encourage a preaudition several months in advance with helpful pointers. The information about closing dates and entry forms is often on the website but normally music scholarship auditions are in February of Y8 with application forms to be submitted the previous term.
Even the grades required for instruments depends on a particular school's 'need' year from year, however piano as a first instrument is invariably high.
Thanks- DD has 2 instruments at Grade 5 and another 2 not far behind. One is an unusual instrument and the Senior School are interested in that as they are short of those. DD has been asked to go and have a Pre-Audition next term with auditions in January.
1805- school doesn't seem to have a scholarship co-ordinator.
Is her 13+ entry for boarding or day schools? Often, the boarding requirements are not as stringent as the day schools (referring to London, no experience of outside). The standard was high this year - I can only comment on 11+ with DD at G6 and G5 on 2 instruments last Jan, and was not shortlisted for all schools she applied to, even though she had a full ABRSM distinction CV. With so many applicants, they only saw circa 60 subject to passing entrance exams. Work on the aural and sight reading, not just pieces as they want to see children that can pick up very quickly, especially for integrating into orchestra/ensembles etc without finding it too challenging.
We did our prep independently, with some support from her music teacher, though it was not a prep junior.
The unusual instrument is very attractive to schools, that often does not need to be at the G5/6 levels of the more common instruments.
It sounds like you are on the senior schools radar then. Talk through with them what needs to done, when, and who by.
It's a boarding school and outside of London.
What support should we ask from her Prep School (if any)?
Check whether they will write the supporting letter for participation in school music life etc. From memory completed forms with the instrument teachers' supporting letters were handed to the school who then completed their part and sent on to the senior school.
Have a chat with the head of music at the prep and ask if they offer a run through of the audition pieces.
I think apart from the instrument related performing plus the usual grade appropriate aural / sight reading, your DD may benefit from thinking about different types of music and what she likes.
DS is at a very supportive prep, and received interview practise with the Head, and Head of Music. Other than that, they didn't really do much. We found out the info and just asked for a few run throughs being accompanied prior to the audition.
I remember the senior school was most interested in the "prepared sight reading", and how he responded to the coaching on it during the audition.
I think it's probably more important to have her instrumental teachers in the loop regarding pieces and dates than the prep school teachers.
If your DD's instrumental lessons are with school vs private, then agree what the schedule of activity is from now to audition. They will know the format of auditions, but keep control of your DD's progress to ensure all the elements are covered during Autumn term. Ask the Head of Music and music teachers to write the references, to include the wider activities your daughter does, orchestra, choir, ensembles etc.
Be brave to pull the plug on a piece that may not be up to scratch for audition and revert to one that she can play confidently. Choose pieces that show different skills, and be mindful that if its a showy piece, she can master it.
Ensure your daughter knows a little about the pieces chosen, and like summerends has said, being able to talk about her wider music loves and what inspires her is great.
It can be very informative meeting the prospective school's Directors of music so that they can hear your dd play/sing,and give specific guidance as to what they are looking for in the candidates. You also get a feel for the schools too, and which one your child would fit best into. Schools do ask a lot from their music scholars, but for the right child in the right school the opportunities offered can be amazing.
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