Passing or Failing The Music Aptitude Tests

Whilst most secondary schools in the UK offering the Music Scholarship program will say that no prior musical knowledge is required, many students will find it difficult to pass the Music Aptitude Test Round One without prior preparation.

Getting into the preferred secondary school is hugely important for many families and securing the right choice of school does require a degree of preparation. Just as students will be tutored to pass the 11+ grammar school exams or private school entrance tests, many parents choose to prepare their children for the Music Aptitude Tests & Scholarship entrance exams. It is completely possible to prepare for the tests with a wide range of resources available to you.

What if I don’t pass the Music Aptitude Test? The important thing to note is that this does not mean that you are not musical and it shouldn’t be a deterrent to pursuing a musical career. The Music Aptitude Test is very different to the standard aural tests that graded exam candidates hear and the Audition Round can be hotly contested by students performing on instruments that are in high demand by the school such as lesser played brass instruments, steel pans, drums or singers.

How Do I Pass the Music Aptitude Test? Try and practice as early as possible once you know the audition dates. Tests start in the Autumn term once the academic year resumes. Do not leave it till a day before the test to prepare as this causes panic. Ask help from your teacher and listen to lots of pieces of music to think about the patterns you hear in music; the differences in louds and softs; is the first note higher or lower than the second; does the music start softly or loudly; what instruments can you hear? As we ask these questions when we listen to music, we increase our musical awareness. Even if a parent is not musical, you can listen to music together and guide each other by asking these questions and deepening your understanding of what we hear and listen to on a daily basis on the radio, TV and internet.

The format of our 1-to-1 Lessons

What Can I Offer the School as a Music Scholar? This is an important thing to think about as you will be able to offer this information up in your Round 2 interview. Each school has a different variety of ensembles available so look at how your child can fit into the musical life of the school department. If you have a Grade 1 pianist – where will they fit into if they do not have other skills such as djembe drumming or singing? Mentioning a desire to learn a new instrument at the Round 2 audition is the best way to elevate yourself to a position where the school will see you as a good fit for the music department. Do your research at the Open Days and have some answers ready for the interview round.

Click on the links below to read our articles to help you succeed with the Music Aptitude Test & Scholarship:
Should I Prepare for the Music Aptitude Test?
How To Succeed at the Music Aptitude Test
Download Training Test Materials

Buy Music Aptitude Tests for SW Herts Consortium Dame Alice Owens Schools

[Click to Download]

Which schools use the Music Aptitude Test? This list is not exhaustive and the requirements change each year so please check the current prospectus for up to date information:

Ashmole Academy
Bishop’s Stortford High School
Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School
Bristol Cathedral Choir School
Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School
Chancellor’s School
Chelsea Academy
Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester
Claremont High School
Claremont High School Academy
Cooper’s Company and Coburn School
Crayford Academy
Croxley Danes
Dame Alice Owen’s
Elmhurst School for Dance and Performing Arts, Birmingham
Enfield Grammar
Fortismere in Muswell Hil
Gilberd School
Haberdashers’ Aske’s
Hammond School in Chester
Hertfordshire & Essex High School
Highgate School
King David and St. Edwards College
Langley Grammar School
Leventhorpe School
Lorraine Liyanage
Mill Hill County High School
Moulsham High School
Northampton school
Old Swinford Hospital
Ongar Academy
Ousedale School
Parmiter’s School
Prendergast Hilly Fields
Prendergast School
Queen’s School Bushey
Rickmansworth School
South West Herts School consortium
St Anne’s Catholic School, Southampton
St Clement Danes
St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh
St Mary’s & St John’s CE School
St Marylebone Church of England School
St Paul’s Way Trust School (3-part test, different to the standard MAT test that we offer)
St. Clement Danes
Shenfield High School
The Bishop’s Stortford High School
The Hertfordshire & Essex High School
Twyford C of E
Uxbridge High School
Watford Grammar School
Watford Grammar School for Boys
Wells Cathedral School
William Ellis School
Woodlands School Essex
Wymondham College

Nb. The following Herts schools offer different scholarships (but not the MAT test)

Bushey Meads – Technology Aptitude Test
Goffs School – Languages Aptitude Test
John Warner- Technology Aptitude Test

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