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Music Aptitude Tests Bristol Cathedral Choir School

(12 Posts)
Toysaurus Thu 16-Mar-17 16:45:15

Hi, I am looking at secondary schools to apply in September 2017.

We live in central Bristol and are really struggling because although we have several good schools, they all have admissions criteria such as church attendance or random allocation meaning we won't get a place or our chances are extremely low.

We can't afford to move so I'm looking at entry criteria for Bristol Cathedral Choir School, our local school, which is random allocation for 126 places and usually gets about 900 applications.

There are a small percentage of places for children who show musical aptitude. My son is musical. I know he is and would excel but he's only just started violin whereas at his age I was already on Grade 5/6 piano.

You don't need to be able to play an instrument but complete a test to a CD and tick answers.

I honestly can't see how someone who doesn't play well at the moment can compete with someone who's been playing a few years now and has a trained ear.

Can anyone offer any insight into these tests at this school? I don't want to enter him for the test for him to feel like he's failed or embarrassed himself.

He has Aspergers and has suddenly started obsessing with his
Violin, but the lessons are very cheap and I feel like I am personally enhancing his learning even though I don't play myself.

Any advice welcome

2014newme Thu 16-Mar-17 17:18:31

I know a child who got in that plays no instruments. You've said yourself it's not a requirement.
How do you know he is musical?

Toysaurus Thu 16-Mar-17 17:42:53

That's interesting to know.

I was a very good pianist so I recognise the ability, plus he's very passionate. Just don't have the money for much more than 'fun' music club lessons and we can't have a piano in the flat we live in to teach him properly myself.

2014newme Thu 16-Mar-17 17:44:54

How many places are there for musical aptitude?
Can you teach him any music yourself?

catslife Fri 17-Mar-17 13:23:59

It's 10% music places and looking at previous allocations it seems to be 12 to 15 admitted using this category each year.
I do know several children who have been offered places under this criteria, including one who didn't play any instruments and is now studying music at university.
As your ds has Aspergers, it could be worth finding out how to apply under the "medical and social" category for BCCS. Very few schools in the Bristol area have this criteria and it could be worth it.
If your ds has a statement or EHCP then this may mean you can apply to schools that you may have ruled out (but am assuming that you would have said if this applied).

TeenAndTween Fri 17-Mar-17 14:28:12

How many schools can you apply for in Bristol?

Just because 125/900 sounds poor odds, but if you have to put down 6 schools then in a way it is really 125/150, as in quoted figures they will count all applications, not just those who put them first.

catslife Fri 17-Mar-17 14:35:57

You can only list 3 schools in the Bristol area.
But they accept applications from Bristol postcodes that are outside the Bristol LEA and from neighbouring LEAs e.g. South Glos, North Somerset.
The number of places that were allocated from random allocation for Sept 2017 entry was 57 (this information was from Bristol city council website).

mouldycheesefan Fri 17-Mar-17 14:45:24

Cathedral is one of the most over subscribed schools in Bristol.

user1486838048 Fri 17-Mar-17 15:34:31

BCS was the most over subscribed school this year I believe. I feel for you, I really do. We are currently going through appeals and wait lists for a year 7 place for our DD. Re the exam, you do take it and get the results before you have to submit your preference so you could always put him in for it and then decide when the results come through if you want to use up an preference on the school. I would say that I have only heard of children getting the music places who don't have huge amounts of prior music experience. He stands as much chance as anyone else

Toysaurus Mon 20-Mar-17 19:14:34

Thanks everyone for the replies. We don't have an EHCP. Bristol are a nightmare for refusing them. BCCS also removed the medical and social need for September 2017 applications, which I'm gutted about as I was totally going for it.

catslife Tue 21-Mar-17 09:42:42

OP I checked on the school website for September 2018 starters and the medical and social category was listed so would recommend you double check this. (I don't know anyone who has been successful under this category though).

hertsandessex Wed 22-Mar-17 08:29:32

My children's school has what sounds like a similar musical aptitude test and while being at at good level in an instrument can help it can also hinder. Plenty of people do well who have studied very little. For example, you can be grade 6 violin and have quite poor sense of rhythm while not having studied at all and be great.

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