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 Post subject: Consortium music test
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:43 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:53 pm
Posts: 59
Hi everyone,

I have started some gentle prep with ds for the musical aptitude test and had a couple of questions.

Ds is pretty secure with his aural in most areas but struggles a bit with the 2, 3 or 4 notes in a chord test, particularly when the notes are very close together. Does anyone have any tips on how to approach this other than repetition? I don't want to drive him mad as he is already doing quite a lot of VR prep plus working for his Grade 4.

Is the test recorded? I assume some bits must be if there are testing notes smaller than a semitone. Does this mean that sitting in a particular part of the room helps?

What format does the answer paper for the test take?

Thanks in advance!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:32 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:06 pm
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Hiya

The test is recorded and is known as the Bentley test. The chord test is done with std intervals but the test for pitch lower and higher is comprised of notes much less than a semitone. Some are pretty hard to determine.

I tested both my DC's initially with no practice and then after some practice a couple of months later. There was very little difference and my view is that you can either do it or you can't. To do something I would practice playing chords with 2,3 and 4 notes and get DS to answer, just do half a dozen a day, should only take a couple of minutes.

The answer paper is in 4 sections,
20 questions on pitch you just indicate the second note is above, below or the same the first note
10 on tune recognition where you indicate the note that was different in the second playing of the tune
20 on chords where you identify how many are notes in the chord
10 on rhythm, you identify if the two rhythm patterns are the same or if different, which beat is different.

The test is well explained at the outset and i have not heard anyone being confused by the test. Both my DC's got into their schools based on music entry.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:59 am 
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Cutting42, I am undecided whether or not to enter my son for this. Part of me thinks we have nothing to lose and then another part thinks is there any point given the circumstances. He has been playing the piano for less than a year and only has a 30 minute lesson once a fortnight. He is just starting to prepare for grade 1, so would only be playing a grade 1 piece if he made it to the audition. I do not have the skills to help him prepare. His piano teacher can do a little with him in his lessons although she is not familiar with the exams. He will also do the maths and verbal reasoning exam which he stands a better chance with and I can help him with. What do you think I should do or anyone else who has been through the process. Thanks. Oh feedbcak from his piano teacher - he is not the most musical child she has taught, but he did ok when she went through some chords etc with him.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:06 pm
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Hi,I think in my experience you have nothing to lose by entering the music test.My ds briefly played the guitar and sings in the school choir,thats it musically.We did no practice whatsoever for the music test,he was called back for audition,played a basic piece on guitar and gained a music place at his first choice school.Good luck!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:51 pm 
Hello

We will enter our DS for the music test in September. We have done no prep for it and I'm not sure that we really can/whether it would be helpful or confusing. He plays an instrument and will be taking his grade 4 this summer so he does have some musical knowledge and definitely has a natural musical aptitude. But from reading other people's posts on here, it sounds like a bit of a lottery.

Best of luck to everyone with their preparations.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:51 pm
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I don't think it's a lottery, but it's certainly true that you don't have to be Grade 5+ to get in on music so it's worth having a go - and the examiners are very friendly and encouraging. Having said that, if your DC isn't even at Grade 1 yet, then getting a place is IMHO unlikely. It's worth practising the tests to get a feel for them but not at all sure that continued practise will be a massive help.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:06 pm
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bel wrote:
Cutting42, I am undecided whether or not to enter my son for this. Part of me thinks we have nothing to lose and then another part thinks is there any point given the circumstances. He has been playing the piano for less than a year and only has a 30 minute lesson once a fortnight. He is just starting to prepare for grade 1, so would only be playing a grade 1 piece if he made it to the audition. I do not have the skills to help him prepare. His piano teacher can do a little with him in his lessons although she is not familiar with the exams. He will also do the maths and verbal reasoning exam which he stands a better chance with and I can help him with. What do you think I should do or anyone else who has been through the process. Thanks. Oh feedbcak from his piano teacher - he is not the most musical child she has taught, but he did ok when she went through some chords etc with him.


Hi bel

You do not have much to lose except possible disappointment if he does not pass the Bentley test and therefore not get invited to audition.

The test and audition are setup for musical ability not how high up the grades they have got. My son played his grade 2 piece on the piano for his audition and he got a score of 42. I have heard plenty of people who have failed to get to audition or get into the school with grade 5 and above students.

In my opinion the Associated board exams can be passed and passed well up to grade 5 or 6 with just hard work and practice. True talent will only really tell at grades 7 and 8. A friend of mine's DD is currently 3rd on the waiting list for music entry to WGGS and she sang for the audition despite having no musical training in singing. She does sing nicely and has done grade 2 piano but I would not call her or my son, exceptional talents, just average kids with an ear for a tune.

Like everything else, it needs practice. I am tough on my kids when it comes to music practice especially when we come up to an exam. A little and often is the key even if it is only 10 mins per day, encourage singing along to pop songs and join the school choir. I am proud that DD now buys sheet music for pop artists like Taylor Swift, Olly Murs and a few others and learns and plays for her own love of music which is what I have always wanted for her. My DS is not into pop music (yet) but likes just messing about on the piano making stuff up and generally enjoying being able to play.

Good luck and well done for giving your DS the chance to learn music, whether you enter him into the music entry or not he is already on a fabulous journey.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:10 pm
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I would also like to add that I have known a number of children who do not play any instruments get called back for music auditions which they have sung. I have also known children as high as grade 5 not get called back so its always worth a go.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:50 pm
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Hairydog, apologies if I somewhat hijacked your post :oops:

Thank you to everyone else for your comments. My DS is keen to give it a go. As long as he can do it without being distracted from the academic test, which I imagine he would have a stronger chance of success with, I can't see what we have got to lose. Especially given that the academic and music tests are completely separate and they can't turn round and say we won't have that boy under any criterion as his musical ability is shocking :lol: Or could they :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:53 pm
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No worries about the hijak! And thanks for replies. We are going to try both music and academic tests. Ds is pretty musical but I have also heard it can be a lottery. He usually scores well on his aural but the Bentley test is quite different. I will try 5 mins a day prep as part of general practice. Just don't want to overwhelm him as he's quite chilled at the moment and enjoying the VE practice! Would be nice to keep it that way!


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