Eltham College offers a number of music scholarships every year to outstanding young musicians who demonstrate a desire not only to contribute to the musical life of the school but also actively to take advantage of the opportunities that we can offer.
The Music Scholarship programme at Eltham offers our Scholars a tailored programme that encourages them to be self-analytical and reflective in order to sustain continued improvement and high-level performance. All of our concerts are professionally recorded, allowing our Scholars to analyse their performances in detail with their teachers and target specific areas on which to focus. Scholars have regular 1-1 conversations with an assigned member of music staff; these encourage pupils to consider the progress that they have made, and how the department can support them in developing further as a performer. Our Scholarship programme also involves regular trips into London to attend masterclasses, concerts, and to visit Music Conservatoires; recent Scholars’ Trips include Steinway Halls and the Royal College of Music.
The Music Department at Eltham College has an extensive concert programme, with roughly 50 music events per year. From fortnightly informal lunchtime concerts to our high-profile Scholars’ Concerts, our musicians are able to gain regular performance experience to ensure that they are ready for any auditions or competitions inside and outside of school. Alongside this, we have an extensive chamber music programme, and our large-scale ensembles such as the Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonia give our scholars the opportunity to gain valuable orchestral experience at prestigious concert venues in London and further afield.
Successful candidates must study Music at GCSE and will aspire to study Music at A level. Music Scholars will be required to participate in a significant number of music ensembles, and it is likely that they will be in the College Choir.
The Music Department may also offer a small number of Music Exhibitions every year. These are awarded to candidates who do not quite meet the Scholarship threshold but who demonstrate clear potential for high-level performance at audition. Music Exhibitions do not come with a financial benefit, but Exhibitioners receive equal access to the Music Scholarship programme and the mentoring that it brings with it, and this may lead to an audition for a 16+ Scholarship when the time comes.
The Assessment Process
Awards are made on the basis of an audition, interview and references. Applicants usually offer at least two instruments (including singing), but applicants who demonstrate exceptional proficiency on one instrument will still be considered. At Eltham, we assess our applicants on a range of factors. Whilst grade levels are a useful guide, we look beyond these, considering musical experiences, passion for performance, an ability to pinpoint areas for future development, and what individual pupils can offer the Music Department. As a guide, however, we would normally expect an applicant for 11+ entry to be performing at a level of Grade 6 standard on the first study and Grade 4 on the second; at 16+, we would expect Grade 8+ on both instruments (as well as a desire to study Music at A level).
As well as assessing an applicant’s current performance standard, the audition is designed to discover an applicant’s musical potential, experiences and interests. If selected for audition, candidates will be required to:
- Perform two contrasting pieces on their principal instrument or voice. (An accompanist will be provided by the school, but candidates are welcome to bring their own accompanist if preferred);
- Perform one piece on a second/third instrument or voice, if applicable;
- Answer a range of short aural tests (this may include sight-reading and questions about music theory;
- Talk with the panel about their musical aspirations and their musical experiences so far, as well as what they hope to gain from the Scholarship Programme at Eltham College.
The Director of Music, Mr Sebastian Johns, is always happy to have an informal conversation with potential applicants. He can be contacted on [email protected].