Calling all Year 5 Parents! Music Scholarships!

If you are a Year 5 parent, your attention may well be turning to the idea of entering for a music scholarship for your child’s secondary school. Let’s get a few things out of the way…

Firstly, your child may not be ready for what can be a competitive audition process. Pushing your child may have a negative impact on their learning and their mental health! Indeed, it’s an irrefutable fact that many great professional musicians and fantastic amateurs weren’t high achieving musical 10 year olds. Here at MusicMaps, we value creativity and passion, so forgive our skeptical look at the curious world of music scholarship auditions.

Secondly, entering for a music scholarship audition can be a rewarding and motivating process, irrespective of selection success. The rigours and demands of preparation to present your best music performance can make for valuable life lessons. Schools will appreciate your efforts, and notice your child, even if they don’t award a scholarship. But these benefits only apply to a child who is in the right frame of mind to make the most of hard work involved.

If you’d like an preliminary and friendly assessment on the feasibility of a scholarship application, please do call us at MusicMaps…and of course speak to your instrumental teacher.

Audition procedures, entry requirements, dates and deadlines in both the state and private sectors vary significantly from school to school. A scholarship award can range from being a title of honour, a supply of free music lessons, or even hefty discounts off private school fees. Unfortunately, this means more research and form-filling for parents, and there is no shortcut to avoid all this.

Most auditions involve common elements:

  1. A requirement to play two contrasting pieces – whether this is on two instruments or one instrument, now is a great time to liaise with your instrumental teachers to plan a piece learning schedule that will enable you to present your best pieces at your audition. It might be a slow, soulful piece, contrasted with a difficult technical piece, a jazz piece contrasted with a classical piece, or a well-known bit of music contrasted with something a bit different.
  2. Aural tests – these tests will be similar to ABRSM aural tests, but frustratingly the small variations can throw a nervous child. For confidence and surety, try to do lots of different kinds of practice for these tests, even when you are told the test format in advance.

There are extra elements you can bring to your audition such as:

  • as a wider appreciation of the music you are playing demonstrated through the knowledge of the style of the music.
  • evidence of your contribution to music-making in ensembles or in concerts
  • evidence of theory or composition work, either through grade exams, or composed pieces
  • special references from experienced music teachers or performers added to your application

Remember, music teachers on audition panels often look for musicianship and passion and don’t necessarily look for straight achievement in grades. MusicMaps can arrange mock auditions and assessments to help you further through this process. If you have any queries, please do just give us a call.