Frequently Asked Questions about the Music Aptitude Test & Music Scholarships

With over a decade of experience preparing students for music scholarships, Lorraine Liyanage can tell you everything you need to know about state school music scholarships.
With over a decade of experience preparing students for music scholarships, Lorraine Liyanage can tell you everything you need to know about state school music scholarships. Keep an eye out for a new article in the Scholarships 2020 supplement published by Rhinegold on 1st September 2019.

I receive a high volume of emails daily about Music Scholarships and Music Aptitude Tests for Secondary School Admissions. Whilst I would like to be able to respond personally, I teach full-time at the SE22 Piano School and am a performing musician. Answering emails requesting free advice is a challenge on my already limited time for computer-based admin and I regret I am unable to offer this service.

However I would like to try and provide an online resource to assist you and have included some frequently asked questions below. I do hope this will offer some assistance and I aim to keep this page updated as time permits. Please do also consult your own music teacher with your enquiries as most teachers can answer these questions for you.

If you require further assistance, please book a 1-to-1 Consultation Lesson where you can find out all about the Scholarship process, receive feedback on your performance and, time permitting, receive a plan of preparation for the scholarship date.


What is the date of the MAT Test for {Name of School}?

Check the school web site and prospectus for this information. All schools have this readily available online.

What is the pass mark for the MAT Test?

Some schools publish a pass mark and we list this information online if we have it. However, many schools do not publish any pass mark and use a criteria such as the top 10% will continue to Round 2. As always, check with the school directly for this information as the tests can change from year to year so only the information in the latest prospectus should be considered correct.

My child is Grade 3 violin and Grade 2 clarinet. Do you think he has a realistic chance of getting a scholarship?

We are unable to make any assessments by email without having met a musician in person and spoken to them about their musical goals and ambitions. We are able to offer this advice at a Consultation Lesson but we cannot provide an answer by email as it would not be appropriate to do so having never met a musician or heard them play.

Do you prepare students for Kingsdale Foundation School as they do not use the MAT test?

Yes, we have been preparing students for Kingsdale for over a decade and are fully up to speed with the aural tests, interview questions and audition style that they use.

Can anyone book a consultation lesson with you or is that just for your own students?

Consultation lessons are ad hoc lessons open to musicians that are not currently studying with me. For my own regular piano, cello and harpsichord students at the SE22 Piano School, I include MAT and Scholarship Training as part of their weekly lesson. I start preparing my students when they are in Year 5 for the scholarships.


I’ll be away from the computer over the next few weeks as I’m practising for an upcoming piano recital on 19th October in Dulwich Village.
[Book a free ticket]

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