Music Scholarships at St Edward’s are available for entry at 13+ and 16+

The closing date for 13+ applications is Monday 6th January 2020, the 16+ entrance and scholarship deadline is Monday 14th October 2019.


he school awards a good number of scholarships and exhibitions each year, to promising musicians at 13+ and 16+ entry. The trials take place in the November of a pupil’s Year 11 course, or the February of their Year 8. We hope to reward potential above everything else’ there are suggested musical standards for entrants, but it will always be most important that candidates are enthused, passionate and driven in their involvement in music — whatever style, genre or instrument.

With the opening of the £7m Ogston Music School, it is an exciting time for ambitious young musicians at St Edward’s. The new facilities, designed by Tim Ronalds Architects, include 20 practice rooms, 7 ensemble rooms, the large Weston Recital Room, a rock room and the Fenton Recording Studio, and the Ferguson Sixth Form Music Library.

Opening of The Ogston Music School

The Director of Music, Alex Tester, is delighted to see any prospective music scholars and their parents in the run-up to the scholarship trials. It is not unusual to have been seen for a pre-audition in Year 7 and Year 8, to check up on progress and to touch base about the awards for that particular cohort. Do feel free to make contact, either through the Registry or directly through the Music Department.

Tips from the Director for 13+ applicants

As the Director of Music at St Edward’s, I am often asked just what it is we are looking for from our younger scholarship applicants. Here’s what I can tell you:

‘There is no ‘norm’ for the people we offer awards to. Some may have one instrument, others may have two or three, and they may include anything from singing to music tech, composition or the organ. Yes, many applicants will have two or three instruments and many will include within that an orchestral instrument and/or the piano, but this isn’t necessarily an expectation. You can put whatever you prefer down as your first instrument as well, including singing. Should a boy’s voice go from a treble to a mid-bass between the assessment and the start of their time with us, don’t worry, we can work with that too!

‘We don’t have a cast iron music grade barrier for applicants to have passed either. We would usually expect a first instrument to be of Grade 5 standard, but it is better to have a strong foundation we can build upon than to rush through the grades in an effort to impress. Yes, many applicants will have higher grades, but we recognise potential too. If you have a buzz, drive and enthusiasm about you, with a diligence to practice and to performance then that can be just as important in our consideration.’


For 13+ entry

We expect candidates to play one or two pieces on their main instrument, and one on any other instrument (including singing), as well as taking sight-reading, scales and arpeggios (the list of which can be pre-agreed) and aural tests. A guide for a scholarship candidate would be around Grade 5 on their first instrument by the time of the trial.

For 16+ entry

We expect candidates to offer two contrasting pieces on their main instrument, and one on any other instrument (including singing), as well as taking sight-reading, scales and arpeggios, and aural tests. The discussion might then centre on a pupil’s ambitions and what they hope to get out of sixth form life at St Edward’s.

Awards Available

Awards on offer vary from tuition awards (where instrumental lessons are given free of charge), to exhibitions (up to 5% of the fees) to scholarships (up to 10% of the fees). If any exhibition or scholarship award is given, parents can then apply for a means-tested bursary, which can offer up to 100% fee reduction. It is also worth bearing in mind that music awards can be combined with other scholarships: in particular, All-Rounder scholarships are given to those with an aptitude in two or more extra-curricular activities, of which music can be one.


Our expectation is that music award holders will take a full lead in the musical activities at St Edward’s, and to set a good example to others in the progress shown in their instrumental studies. In return, they can expect the support and teaching to fulfil their musical ambitions, as well as being part of our very varied and exciting musical calendar.

For more information about Music at St Edward’s, please click here. You can view a gallery of the official opening of The Ogston Music School here.

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