High Performance Programme: Music


A unique opportunity for talented young musicians.

An offer of a place on the High Performance Programme in Music is subject to the pupil passing the Entrance Exam or being offered a place in Sixth Form and showing exceptional promise or achieving a high level of performance on one or more instruments/voice. Typically applicants would be working towards Grade 4 (Distinction) at Year 6 or Grade 7 (Distinction) at Year 11.

Pupils who are not currently at this level but are passionate about Music should still apply as they​ may be offered the opportunity to learn an “endangered” instrument such as oboe, bassoon, double bass, and trombone. Pupils would still be expected to do an audition on the instrument they are currently having lessons on in this situation.

Successful applicants would be expected to maintain, in the opinion of the Director of Music, a satisfactory rate of progress and to take a full and willing part in the co-curricular groups that the School offers. The School reserves the right to withdraw a place on the High Performance Programme, should the pupil fail to maintain reasonable progress or be unwilling to participate in co-curricular groups.

About the Programme

As part of the programme the School pays private tuition fees for up to two instruments/voice. Lessons would normally be delivered in school by our own Visiting Music Teachers, but in exceptional circumstances, pupils who show a genuine need to have lessons from an external teacher, will be considered. Payments to external teachers cannot exceed the rate paid to our Visiting Music Teachers.

In addition to the funding of lessons pupils will receive an allowance for the purchase of music, regular opportunities for trips to professional concerts, visits to Royal Northern College of Music, String, Wind, Percussion workshops, regular talks and workshops on aspects of performance including topics such as managing performance anxiety, careers in music, warm up, maintenance of instruments and stagecraft. Warm Up. There will also be the opportunity to go on an annual European Music Trip.

How to Apply

Please complete the Application Form by 5pm on Friday 9th December 2022.

An audition will involve performing a programme of music (own choice – accompanied or unaccompanied) lasting not more than five minutes for Year 7 and eight minutes for applicants in Lower Sixth. The programme may comprise one longer item or two – three shorter pieces. Applicants may bring their own accompanist or we can provide one. Those requiring a school accompanist must submit copies of the piano parts with the application. The music chosen should provide sufficient contrast to display both technical control and musical maturity.

Applicants will also be expected to take some basic aural tests on pitching, melodic memory and harmonic awareness. Preparation is not needed for these tests as they will be adapted to the experience of the applicant.

Finally there will be a short viva focused on the pieces played, including questions on basic theory and any other significant features. Applicants will have the opportunity to discuss their music making in general.

For further information please contact Mr Andrew Pettitt, Director of Music on music@chschool.co.uk