Applications & Audition Guidelines
We look forward to welcoming your child into our audition process and we have endeavoured to create a system which allows us to hear your child at their best and most comfortable. In doing so, we are looking to see your child’s musical aptitude and love of music.
Applications are invited for year 3 to the Minster Junior School. Applications are co-ordinated by Nottinghamshire County Council and must be made to your home local authority. In addition you will be asked to complete the Minster Junior School supplementary application form.
All applicants are required to pass a test of musical aptitude. Those who pass part one will be invited to take part in part two of the test. The highest scoring candidates will then be offered places. If there are more successful applicants than places available the over-subscription criteria will be applied. Full details can be found on the school website and the Local Authority website www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk.
Conditions of entry:
Age range: Applications for intake to year 3 in line with the primary co-ordinated scheme. Further auditions may be offered to years 4, 5 and 6 in order to fill any remaining places available.
Tests: These are aimed at discovering musical aptitude and will be conducted in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. For potential cathedral choristers, a representative of the Cathedral Choir will be in attendance for part 2 of the aptitude test. Both parts of the audition will last approximately 20 minutes.
Admission to the 40 place Junior School is wholly selective solely on the basis of musical aptitude. Applications can be made for boys and girls for entrance into year 3 in line with the Local Authority co-ordinated scheme. If places remain unfilled further auditions will be offered to applications for years 4, 5 and 6.
What Is Involved?
Part 1: Listening tests
These are short aural perception tests in which your child will be played short passages of music to respond to, e.g. singing back a melody and clapping back a rhythm. These are designed to be very accessible to all children, so they are not based on prior learning or ability. Please see further details in the appropriate section below.
These listening tests will be held in person with the panel.
Part 2: Filmed performance
In order for us to hear your child’s musical potential, we ask for a filmed performance of a 3-5 minute musical programme. This can be vocal or instrumental performance of their own choice; which can include multiple instruments and pieces. Applicants are encouraged to consider the musical expression and communication of the chosen pieces.
Part 1 - Listening Tests
There are three parts to the listening test
i) Singing back short melodies
Your child will be asked to sing back two sets of four short melodic phrases, each played once. The key chord, key note, and tempo will be indicated before the melody begins.
ii) Clapping short rhythms
Your child will be asked to clap back three short rhythms, each played once.
Your child will be asked to sing back single notes, and both notes of a two-note chord. Single notes will be played once, chords will be played twice. There will be three single notes, and three two-note chords
Practice tests are available further down this page.
Part 2: Filmed Performance
Preparing for the filmed performance
What to play?
It helps us to see and hear your child perform as much music as possible. This may include multiple instruments/voice and numerous pieces or exercises, depending on what they have been working on. We are aware that in the current situation children are unlikely to have been receiving regular vocal or instrumental tuition over the past weeks and we understand that this may affect the choice of music chosen. Parents and children should not be concerned by this and should focus on performing what the child knows or has been working on, even if they are parts of pieces.
It would be helpful for your child to give a short introduction to themselves and to introduce what they are playing. This might be something similar to…
‘My name is ….and I am in Year …. I am going to play….
If it helps your child feel more comfortable, they might want to tell us a little about why they enjoy playing their instrument/singing; how long they have been playing/singing. This is optional.
How long should the performance be?
As mentioned previously, it is helpful for us to hear as much music as possible. We suggest performances of 3-5 minutes to allow us to observe your child’s musical potential.
Should your child need an accompaniment for their performance you may like to source a recording of accompaniment yourself, for e.g. from a teacher or a suitable backing track from the Internet. Alternatively, please contact email@example.com with a copy of the piano accompaniment music and we will endeavour to arrange a recording for you.
Filming the performance
Our priority is to see and hear your child’s performance at their most comfortable. In order for us to get the most out of the filmed performance there are some guidelines below
· You may use a camera, camera phone, laptop, tablet or similar to make the recording.
· Please make sure we have a clear view of your child performing. The shot should include their whole body and, where possible, be at an angle where they their hands can be seen if playing an instrument. Please try to avoid your child’s face being covered by a music stand or similar.
· Please do your best to minimise any background noise. We know this is not always easy, but it does help for any extra noise within the house to be kept to a minimum.
What if something goes wrong?
If your child makes a mistake, that is ok! You are welcome to record the audition again, but please remember we are looking for musical potential and we are not necessarily expecting a polished or perfect performance. Mistakes often feel worse in the moment so please encourage your child to continue playing until the end of the piece. We want them to enjoy performing and not feel worried or stressed by their filmed performance.
Sending the audition footage
There are many options for sending us your child’s filmed performance. Please do make sure it is clearly labelled with their full name and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Suggestions for sending larger files are found below
· Google Drive
We will acknowledge receipt of your filmed performance so you know it has arrived safely.
Auditioning to be a chorister
The audition process is the same for all children. If your child is applying for a place as a chorister It is helpful for them to sing something which comfortably demonstrates their full vocal range.
The safety of our students, staff and applicants is our priority. As such, any audition footage will be viewed only by the panel and appropriate Minster School administration staff. It will be stored on our secure staff drive and will only be viewed in relation to your child’s application. Please ensure the background for any filming is appropriate and there are no other members of the family in the audition footage, unless acting as an accompanist.
Specimen Aural Questions
Please use the player below or click on the following link to listen to the specimen aural questions.