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 Post subject: Music scholarship
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:39 pm 
Hi does anyone know what is the best musical instrument to get a music scholarship? I've heard that some schools don't offer them for woodwind. Do you need 2 instruments? My daughter plays the oboe and piano. Maybe taking up the trumpet or something like that would help?


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 Post subject: Re: Music scholarship
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:59 pm 
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Oboe and piano are strong scholarship instruments but it also depends on the child's level and other musical pursuits.


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 Post subject: Re: Music scholarship
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:09 pm 
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It entirely depends on the school, but in general music scholarships will be more competetive for the "standard" instruments, Piano, violin, flute etc. Most schools will require at least 2 instruments and as a general rule will be above grade 4 on 1st instrument and 3 on second. In some schools the music scholars will have reached a much much higher ability. They will not, however be looking for a certain standard to have been reached, but general innate ability. They will be more interested in a child with lower grade achievement who is genuinely musically gifted than a child who simply started lessons early and has gone through the grades and practised. It is highly competetive and you need to have someone help you with an assessment of whether your child is capable. It is not about learning instruments, but overall musical ability. I have seen many disappointed parents who think their child is brilliant because they have reached grade 5 at age 11. Most bright children can do up to grade 5/6 with good tuition and practise. Music scholars will be the ones who the school can see will exceed what the average bright child can do and go on to make a genuine musical contribution.


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 Post subject: Re: Music scholarship
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:16 pm 
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Have just gone down this route with DS. High ranking Indies expect a minimum of grade 5 in 2 instruments ( or one plus voice) but realistically get so many applications they end up auditioning the musical prodigies or a talented child that plays a less popular instrument that they need in their orchestra. One Head of Music was honest enough to say well in advance what they were looking for and held informal interviews to weed out the unrealistic applicants. It's worth double checking exactly what a music scholarship offers - most are just token awards but will cover the cost of music lessons in both instruments.


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 Post subject: Re: Music scholarship
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:46 am 
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My DS had his scholarship audition shortly after taking his grade three exams in sax, piano and singing. He got a 25% music scholarship with free tuition on two instruments, free singing lessons and once he got to the school they started him on free French Horn lessons as they have a shortage of that instrument. The director of music emphasised that they were looking for potential rather than the finished musician, and that he wasn't just looking for boys with high grades.


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 Post subject: Re: Music scholarship
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:02 am 
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Congratulations TTA! Your DS seems to be a very talented child.


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 Post subject: Re: Music scholarship
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:16 pm 
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Thankyou....I was trying to get the message across that a child can get a scholarship without having achieved a high grade or playing a rarer instrument.


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 Post subject: Re: Music scholarship
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:48 pm 
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It will help if DC can demonstrate an interest beyond just taking lessons. Scholarship panels expect to see membership of an orchestra and workshops/courses undertaken.

In my experience scholarships tend to go to strings players or piano players.


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 Post subject: Re: Music scholarship
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:55 pm 
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Third time round wrote:
Thankyou....I was trying to get the message across that a child can get a scholarship without having achieved a high grade or playing a rarer instrument.


It is not impossible but another thing to remember is that these auditions are not objective. Directors of Music can be biased towards certain instruments and the number of instruments a child plays. One DOM said to me three years ago that they felt my son didn't have that "je ne sais quoi" to be a good musician - Purcell and the Royal College of Music felt differently. :roll: It can even create a problem for a DOM to have only one bassoonist, for example, in the school as they have to transpose music for the one instrument, make extra provision for them or have the added expense of hiring in a bassoon teacher.

But I have to say that the odds of getting a scholarship with three grade 3 instruments is highly unlikely and is area dependent. No exams are necessary for a scholarship but they are useful to have if a child has a bad day at the audition as there is some tangible evidence. Most schools do expect a minimum of grade 5 in two instruments and many applicants are already nearing grade 8.

The oboe is an excellent choice though so do not be put off by all of the above. Outside of London, or the top schools, many 11+ requirements are as little as grade 3. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Music scholarship
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:08 pm 
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Waiting_For_Godot wrote:
... No exams are necessary for a scholarship but they are useful to have if a child has a bad day at the audition as there is some tangible evidence...


We only applied to two schools and both made it clear that DCs had to meet the minimum academic standard, i.e. past the entrance exams, before they could be considered for a music scholarship. I suspect that this is the norm for the more selective indies. I mean, they aren't going to let a DC drag down their league table rankings, no matter how good a musician they are.


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