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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:10 pm 
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My child has just finished at a prep school, she was on a music scholarship + bursary. She has been offered 2 scholarships to independent senior schools and I really don't know what to do for the best.
The first is an amazing scholarship + bursary to an very good school with a fantastic music department and excellent academic results. The catch is she would have to leave home at 7am and wouldn't return until 6.30pm ( can't raise the extra money for boarding )
The second school is a lot closer (20mins away) but I don't think it will challenge her enough, especially with her music and does not offer the same opportunity's for her music, but the day would be much shorter leaving home at 7.30 and be home by 5.30.
Although we have in principal accepted the offer of a place from the first school, the second school knows of our problem raising the money for boarding and has kept her scholarship place open and have said they will also offer financial help (they also seem to be very keen on having her)
September is fast approaching and although my daughter was used to a long day at her old school could I expect her to continue the long days for the next 5 years. I know we are in a very fortunate position but I'm really worried about making the wrong decision. Her old music teacher says the first school is the best one for her agh....... help
P.S its very late and I'm very tired so my grammar is dreadful


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:36 am 
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Oh a very difficult one for you!

Personally, I'd be thinking along the lines of she was already used to a long day at primary and, as all children experience longer days when they move to secondary anyway, this will be the same for her iyswim? (ie: you're only extending her day that she already knows, just like everyone else is extending the day they already know).

WRT finances, I think you need to speak to the first school again and see just what 'extra' financial they are able to offer you, without concrete figures I think it would be difficult for you to judge - maybe they can meet the boarding fees Monday to Friday and she can come home at weekends - the best of both worlds then!

This is all only worthwhile if your daughter is seriously wanting to 'do' music as a career. If she has no intentions of going down that path, I don't see that it's worth putting all that effort into it and perhaps the closer school would then meet her needs.

Good luck with it all, a difficult decision to make, but I'm sure you'll all come to the right conclusion eventually.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:03 am 
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She's 13 and is used to a long day, she finds not being busy hard to deal with.
As for does she want to be a professional musician, I don't know. Music is her passion and during the holidays will spend between 2-4 hrs a day on the piano. Sings constantly and taps away on the table if there's no piano available. Her main gift is her voice and she loves to sing classical music especially baroque and choral which is really strange as we listen to modern music.
I have approached the school to see if they can help with the boarding costs and am waiting to hear back (the heads on holiday) not looking likely though.The best we can offer is flexi boarding when she has concerts etc, but that quite expensive. Part of me wants to say if you can't help I'll have to send her somewhere else, but they might say go on then!There's so many children wanting scholarships and bursary's


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:58 am 
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Firstly, congratulations on your daughters achievements, she sounds like a very gifted and focused musician. :)

If music is her passion then it would be better for her musicianship if she took part in ensembles and lessons outwith school, and if she does want to pursue a career in music then this is especially important. I have a musical son and he is in a very musical school but his timetable and length of days mean it is actually very difficult for him to put in the instrumental practice required. He boarded for a term and only managed one practice session a week and scraped a grade 3 pass. Two terms on he was a flexi-boarder and he practiced four times a week and gained a grade 5 distinction - I never expected this to happen at a very musical school.

So now I look for schools with shorter days and no Saturday school and am trying to enrich his music through external sources; I think this is especially important when it comes to voice. Does your daughter attend a Junior Conservatoire?

So, I would send her to the school that is closer and gives her more flexibility with her time to join choirs and ensembles outwith school.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:01 am 
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Ah, there speaks the voice of experience! Well done Tipsy, a much better viewpoint than I could ever hope to express.

Still very difficult for allmuddledup to sort the wheat from the chaff though :(

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:03 pm 
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You are getting married SD! :shock: How did I miss that one!!! Congratualtions! :D

Back OT,

The decision has to be made as to what is most important - the school or music and if the best school really head and shoulders above the second choice.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:14 pm 
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See my thead on Rehab, here: http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/forum/11plus/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=20751

Oh I agree, it should be the Best school for the child which is chosen, not just the nearest or most musical etc.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:41 pm 
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Well I'm not going to disagree with WFG, but if it were me I'd go for the better, further school. It might be that lots of involvement in music etc outside school can make up for or even better in-school activities, but it means a lot of work on the part of the parents. If the school can take the strain, I'd let it. And maybe consider moving house.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:38 pm 
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Thank you for all the reply's. We live in the country and sadly do not have any junior conservatoires anywhere near us. There are also no musical opportunity' unless you like musical theater. Which is why she flexi boarded at a music specialist prep school which was about 30 miles away. The music at her old school was fantastic and best of all they loved quirky children! but I agree with WFG fitting in practice with the long days was very hard, but she did get a distinction in her last exam and an amazing scholarship so it was all worth it in the end.
The school I have accepted in principal have a very passionate musical directer who loves baroque music, choral singing and is a little quirky so she would fit in very well. They also have plenty of orchestras and choirs. The music scholars have their own mentor whom they meet with termly to set targets etc. They do expect them to put in a lot of practice on their instruments, which would be a struggle with the long days. Thankfully they don't have Saturday school so unless shes in a sports team that isn't a problem.
The second school is just the easy option, cheaper, less commitment and shorter days, but I would have to travel miles to find good music teachers etc.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:54 am 
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Will she have done some homework or instrumental practice by the time she gets home from the further school?

The music sounds good at the further school but it sounds like a lovely extra-curricular extra if you see what I mean, it's not going to make the difference to her being a professional musician or not. Whether or not she becomes a professional musician probably has very little to do with the school, more to do with her own talent and wishes, and also how good her piano teacher is.

It is very hard to find instrumental teachers if they are not on offer at school and you live out in the sticks. But having said that, children who went to my own school who wanted a super-duper teacher still travelled a long way to the teacher - and my school was "good" for music. Have to say what you describe is what I would have hoped for from an independent school - a good music director, some choirs and orchestras, and some instrumental teachers (at extra cost of course) who are capable of getting their pupils to achieve a fair few distinctions etc.

Is your daughter wanting to learn an orchestral instrument? There's not much point in choosing a school with several orchestras if she only plays the piano. Hope the music director's repertoire extends beyond baroque!


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