Hi, I have a number of questions about music selection, particularly at Parmiters, St Clement Danes, Rickmansworth and Queens schools. I am trying to work out what chance my child has to be admitted at any of these schools under Music, assuming they pass the musical aptitude test, which I know can be hit or miss.
I heard from the head at Parmiters the other day that they had 50/60 children auditioning. They accept 10%, so 18 places. Do all the schools who select on music also have that number auditioning? I presume that the school you are sent to for an audition is done randomly, as they do not know how you have ranked them. If they all hold auditions, that would make around 300 children auditioning. But is there a much higher proportion trying to get in to Parmiters (or Grammars)? What are the chances to get in on music at Ricky, Clement Danes and Queens?
Does the choice of instrument make a difference, if a school might be short of a particular instrument in their orchestra? I assume the child should play the instrument they play best, not the instrument they think the school might welcome? (And anyway, I presume the adjudicators can't know how the child has ranked their schools.)
You take a single set of tests run jointly by the schools. The aural test is taken at one of the schools you listed on your CAF. As you say, they don't know the ranking. (My son took it at his third-placed school.) There are details of the test in the Parmiter's admissions notes. They listen to a recording and write down answers on a sheet. If you do well enough at that, you're given an appointment for an audition. My son's was at Watford School of Music, but there might be additional venues. He was asked what grade he'd achieved (naughty of them, as an adjudicator has told them not to use grades), and what other instruments he played. I presume that orchestra instruments would be welcome, but the criteria for the auditions are not spelled out. They claim that you won't be disadvantaged if you audition on a sitar or a didgeridoo, but I don't know if that's true. My son just went for his best instrument (piano). He got into WB, but he did the academic tests as well, and they don't tell you which criterion you are admitted under. I think there are fewer than 18 year 7 boys in the school orchestras, though.
The number of music places for each school is listed in the Moving On directory
. They're all 10% except Queen's (5%, but of a larger intake).