Music Scholarships - How to apply for a musical aptitude place in 2023 for 2024


Music applications have CLOSED. The deadline for Music applications was 4.00pm on Monday 18 September 2023. This criterion only applies to the secondary transfer round for a place in Year 7.

If you would like to find out more about our Music Scholarships for secondary transfer entry into Year 7 each year, please watch our video here.

Please read this page for information about applying for a Music Scholarship place and details about the music assessment to be taken by music applicants. Our Key Admission Process Dates are published on our main Admissions Arrangements page.

The music aural assessment (test) was taken on Saturday 23 September 2023. The school allocates the date and time of the test. 

The deadline for music applications to be submitted was by 4.00pm on Monday 18 September 2023. Please complete our Supplementary Information Form for music applications here:

  • Online music application form [MUSIC CLOSED]

Prendergast School makes available up to 10% of the places to applicants who show an aptitude in music for a place in Year 7 each September.

In order to ensure equal opportunity for all, the school is unable to take into consideration certificates achieved or references.

The music assessment takes place in two stages. Applicants will be invited to sit a First Stage musical aural assessment (test). This is usually held over the weekend towards the end of September. Your child must be available to attend the assessment on the date given by the school.

Applicants who achieve the score required at the First Stage of the assessment will be offered to take part in the Second Stage musical performance assessment (audition). This usually takes place in October on the date determined by the school.

If you apply under the music aptitude criterion to both Prendergast School and Haberdashers’ Hatcham College, your child will sit the music aural assessment once (this year, the joint test will be taken at Prendergast School). To be considered for a place at Prendergast School, you must apply separately to this school by the closing date for music applications. The assessment (test) is the same for both schools. The result achieved will be passed on to the other school. 

If your child is successful at the First Stage for both establishments, they will be expected to follow the Second Stage separately at both establishments.

It is our intention to advise parents/carers of the outcome of their child’s music assessment before the secondary transfer closing date of 31 October of the year of application. This will enable parents/carers to make an informed decision.

Please inform the school immediately if your child is sick and for this reason is unable to attend the music test or audition at the given date.

First Stage: Musical Aural Assessment (test)

The musical aural assessment is a multiple choice paper to determine aptitude. The questions are played to the applicants. It consists of 60 questions divided into six sections covering the following areas:

Pitch: For these questions, candidates listen to TWO sounds and have to indicate whether the second sound is the same as the first, or whether it is higher or lower. There are 10 of these questions. 

Melody: For these questions, candidates will hear a MELODY made up of a series of notes. They will then hear a second melody and need to decide if this melody is the same as the first melody or if it has changed. If the candidate thinks it has changed, they will be expected to identify which note has been altered by giving the note number. There are 10 questions.

Instruments: For these questions, candidates hear a short melody played, they then hear a second melody played. They will have to mark if the second melody is played on the same instrument as the first melody, or if it is a different instrument. There are 10 questions.

Texture: Candidates will hear a group of notes played together at the same time. They will need to identify how many different notes are being played – 2,3 or 4 different notes. There are 10 questions.

Tempo: For these questions, candidates will hear a short melody. They will need to decide whether the second playing of the melody is at the same tempo as the first, or whether it is played faster or slower. There are 10 questions.

Rhythm: Candidates will hear a short RHYTHM played. After a pause, they will hear a second rhythm played and will have to decide if the second rhythm played is the same as the first, or if it is a different rhythm. There are 10 questions.

No previous knowledge of music or music theory is required by the applicant as this assessment is based entirely on aural response.

Second Stage: Musical Performance Assessment (audition)

Approximately 60 of the highest scoring applicants are invited to perform at audition on their chosen instrument or vocally. They may play or sing an unaccompanied piece or two short contrasting pieces. There is a totally free choice of piece(s). No accompaniment is permitted.

The candidate should be prepared to talk about the music they have played or sung, and discuss their musical interests and aspirations. 

The candidate's aptitude is assessed on the basis of their performance and audition.

The performance and audition will be heard by a panel, including the Head of Music and another professional.

General information

Before the First Stage you will receive an email inviting your child to the musical aural assessment (test).

Before the Second Stage you will receive an email advising whether your child has been assessed to be called to audition and will move on to the Second Stage of the musical performance.

After the Second Stage you will receive official school correspondence advising you of the outcome of your child's music assessment.

Important notes

This is to make you aware of the following important points about music scholarships:

Feedback: Prendergast School is unable to provide additional feedback following the music assessment or audition.

References and achievements: In order to ensure equal opportunity for all, the school will not take into consideration certificates achieved or references.

In-Year admissions: Music Scholarships are only available during the secondary transfer planned admissions round for Year 7 intake in September each year. Music places are not available for any in-year admissions.