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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:22 pm 
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Hi everyone, congratulations to all who was invited back for the second round. I've heard the rumor that child should be as good as at level 5 in music to pass this test. Is it true? I'm trying to understand why school don't tell the truth before the exam. I'm not disappointed. I just think if I'd have honest information from school about required level in music maybe I wouldn't spent my time on this exam. I just don't understand how it is possible that the child with grade 4 in music couldn't make it to the second round. I'm not saying that she is bright and she deserves. We didn't really think that she could get a music place at school. I just assumed that if there is no special requirements, so at least she can make it to thje second round. If the level is high why just don't say so. I'm just saying that the information on the WGGS is not honest. They need children with a good background in music.
I hope my opinion can help other parents to make a decision.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:43 pm 
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Hello dreams. I am very sorry to hear your DD didn't get through. My DS is grade 4 so I don't know how he will fare against grade 5+ kids. His audition is next wed and we have not even decided which piece he's going to play. He wants to do a grade 3 piece but I think he should do a grade 4 piece as others will be at a higher standard. I guess he will decide with input from his teacher.
I wish your DS lots of luck with the academic test route.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:48 pm 
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Hi Dreams

My first post here but I feel for you, sorry for your news. I would consider appealing if you think your child's ability has not been represented correctly

My DD got into WGGS in 2009 on music but was only grade 2 piano. I think the bit that is tripping up musical pupils is the bizarre test they do for the first round. It is supposed to test for innate musical ability but seems a bit random. I have a good friend who's DD failed the first round despite being an exceptional musician. They were able to appeal the result and get an audition and she subsequently got int Ricky on this basis.

As your child is Grade 4 I would certainly give it a go.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:02 am 
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The test measures your child's ability to determine whether a note is higher or lower. If a note or beat is missed or
if a chord is comprised of 2 or 3 or 4 notes.

What is unfair about that.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:12 am 
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maxhead wrote:
The test measures your child's ability to determine whether a note is higher or lower. If a note or beat is missed or
if a chord is comprised of 2 or 3 or 4 notes.

What is unfair about that.


On the face of it the test is not unfair and I did not claim it was. Just that it has - in my experience - generated some results amongst friends kids that did not represent their musical ability. The above example was extreme in that they were able to appeal successfully and get to the auditions where she was able to represent herself better.

I am questioning the validity of a test that can throw the baby out with the bathwater.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:42 am 
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Maybe they are looking for aptitude rather than experience and grades? One kid at DDs primary started playing violin in year 5 and by Xmas of year 6 was given music scholarship - progress had been rapid! Still didn't have the grades bur far more potential than those who had played for years.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:17 am 
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hermanmunster wrote:
Maybe they are looking for aptitude rather than experience and grades? One kid at DDs primary started playing violin in year 5 and by Xmas of year 6 was given music scholarship - progress had been rapid! Still didn't have the grades bur far more potential than those who had played for years.


Yes of course, the Bentley test is designed exactly to do this and it is an admirable intention to try and equalize the results between inexperienced musicians and grade 4/5 achievers.

However I still find it hard to understand how someone can get to grade 4/5 with no or limited aptitude which is what failing the Bentley test would seem to indicate.

Maybe a better measure would be to audition all applicants and use a combination of the results although that would increase the workload on the testers.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:53 am 
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Quote:
On the face of it the test is not unfair and I did not claim it was. Just that it has - in my experience - generated some results amongst friends kids that did not represent their musical ability.


We have some friends whose experience mirrored this precisely. Their DD is now Y9 and grade 7 in 3 different instruments, plays with national youth orchestra, gives solo performances and travels widely with various different groups of performers.

I hasten to add I have no musical ability whatsoever so not in a position to pass judgment, just pointing out that cutting’s friend’s experience is not unique.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:29 pm 
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Location: Herts
DAO and Herts consortium use the same test. Both my dd's took it. DAO used to specify Grade Five in an orchestral instrument as St Albans girls and Habs and City all do, but due to complaints about unfairness they moved to the aural test which is really a numbers game to reduce the amount of candidates they need to audition.

Every year I hear of high grade candidates who fail to get through the aural. Sometimes they are the children of music teachers. In my opinion the aural suits those with inate musicial talent and works against those who have practised and worked hard to get to a level of technical proficiency. We know of someone who had only ever played recorder in assembly who got through the aural and won a place and also a Grade Seven pianist who did not get through.

The content of the music aural is listed in detail and can be prepared for just like VR, NVR, English, Maths and a music audition. DAO has a very high pass mark, 46 out of 60. The Herts consortium has a pass mark that changes every year because they do it by numbers not by a specified pass mark. DAO have raised their pass mark twice in recent years because too many people were getting through and it was putting a lot of pressure on the department to allocate time during the working day of the school to fit in all those auditions. Depending on how many get through this year they may have to raise it again.

The test is quite fair. Either your dc can distinguish between chords of 2, 3 or 4 notes or they can't. It is quite clear that they will be asked to do so. There are four sections but it is the chords that always seems to trip candidates up. A very good indicator of a candidates ability to get through the aural would be what sort of marks do they get on the aural part of the Grade exams. A child regularly winning high marks there would be unlikely to fail the aural. Too many people seem to approach the aural as a formality which it is not. We did not even select an audition piece until the results came through as we did not want to tempt fate. We had heard way too many disaster stories over the years from folk who were so confident of wining a music place that they did not even bother to apply via the academic route. If DAO and Herts Consortium thought they were missing out on great candidates I am sure they would review their procedures but they have more than enough get through to contemplate any change that would bring them even more. I do not think candidates are misled. It does not say there are not special requirements, it lists the requirements and the candidates who score the highest are invited back for audition. It works the same way as the academic test. They have a limited amount of places and they are taken by those who win the most marks. DG


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 1:38 am 
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Once again. All I'm trying to say. In school admissions shouldn't be written this phrase "..the test does not required previous knowledge of music or music theory". I'm not going to tell you that my "brightest child" has achieved blah-blah-blah .. This post is not about my child. She is playing music just for fun and we didn't really think that she will be able to get music place. This is for parents who will be considering this route next year. If your child got distinction mark in ABRSM exam (which includes aural test also) this doesn't mean anything. School is definitely looking for talented children but somehow do not give clear and honest information to parents about what kind of children they are looking for. I'm not an expert in music but....child playing piano at quite a level is able to hear 2,3,4 notes. So in my opinion if school is looking for pure talented children or young Mozarts it should be clearly pointed.


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