Music Scholarships: How to apply for a Musical Aptitude place 2020

Due to the ongoing global pandemic, admissions and appeals arrangements may change at short notice. Arrangements are subject to government guidance and advice from Public Health England. Please re-visit this website regularly to check for new information.


Music applications are now closed. This criterion only applies to secondary transfer round for a place in Year 7. The deadline for music applications was 4:00pm on 21 September 2020.

Please read the information on this page for more information about applying for a Music Scholarship place and details about the music assessment to be taken by music applicants.

Arrangements for entry into Year 7 in September 2021 by aptitude are subject to government guidance due to the pandemic. The date the music aural assessment was taken was Saturday 26 September 2020

The deadline for music applications to be submitted was by 4:00pm on Monday 21 September 2020. You may no longer submit an application for this criterion.

  • Music online form 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.

If you would like your child to be considered under the Music criterion, please complete our online form. The form was available on this website in September. If you are unable to complete an online application, forms may be available on request by post from the school by calling our Reception team. Applications must reach the school by the published deadline. There are no exceptions to the deadline for any reason to ensure that the process is fair to all. 

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

Applicants who achieve the score required at the First Stage of the music assessment will be offered to take part in the Second Stage performance assessment which usually takes place in October.

If you apply under the music aptitude criterion to both Prendergast School and Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College, in 2020 your child will sit the music assessment at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College. You must still apply separately to Prendergast School by the closing date for music applications. The assessment is the same and the result achieved will be passed on to Prendergast School by the College. 

If your child is successful at the first stage for both establishments, they will be expected to follow the second stage at both establishments.

It is usually our aim 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 as to whether they want to apply for a place at Prendergast School.

*Due to the pandemic, arrangements for music assessment are subject to government guidance and advice from Public Health England. The process may change at short notice. Guidance at this link was first published on 21 August 2020: What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges in the autumn term []. Please return to this webpage regularly to check for updates.

**In line with government guidance, if your child is self-isolating and for this reason is unable to attend the music test or audition at the given date, please inform the school immediately.

First Stage: Musical Aural Assessment

The musical aural assessment is usually a multiple choice paper played on a CD. 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 in this section.

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. This section has 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

Approximately 60 of the highest scoring applicants will be invited to perform either on their chosen instrument or vocally. There is a totally free choice of piece.

The candidate's aptitude is gauged from their performance.

The performance will be heard by the Head of Music and another professional.

Arrangements for the second stage may at short notice and are subject to government guidance and PHE advice.

General information

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

Before the Second Stage you will receive an email advising whether your child has been assessed to move to the Second Stage of the musical performance assessment.

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

Note: Prendergast School will not provide any further information about the results.

We asked for music applications to be submitted online via the link at the top of this page.

However, if you are unable to complete an online application because you do not have access to a computer, printed forms were available in person by calling our Reception. Please do not visit the premises at this time.

Important note about In-Year admissions:

Music Scholarship applications 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 transfers.