The debate about Music Aptitude Tests

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Music Aptitude TestMany state schools in the UK use an admissions system where 10% of students may be selected on a music aptitude place. The use of this system is open to much debate as to whether it is a fair selection method to use. Views in favour largely focused on the benefits to the school and students arising from musical excellence; those against focused on the disadvantages of elitism and a reduced catchment area amongst the local community.

There have been many articles recently about Fortismere school in Muswell Hill that has been using the Music Aptitude Test since 2009. The oversubscribed school which is said to have driven house prices up the closer you get to the gates has been debating whether to keep a clause in its admission policies which reserves a percentage of places for children with ‘musical aptitude’. Here are the results from the school’s website.

The Music Aptitude Test (MAT) does not require you to play an instrument in the first round of selection. A listening test is used which consists of 60 questions. The top scorers are invited back to audition at round two. This is usually students that gain 46/60 or above. To really succeed at the second round, a demonstrable level of musical proficiency must be demonstrated, often around a minimum of Grade 5 on one instrument. You will also have the chance to discuss your musical aspirations and achievements here, so it’s always helpful to be able to rattle off any exam or festival marks of which you are particularly proud.

Many schools throughout the UK use the Music Aptitude Test for entry. Whilst this list is constantly under review, we have compiled a list that we have made every endeavour to keep updated. See here for UK schools using the MAT for selective entry.

Read more about the debate on selective entry by music aptitude:

Richard Osley
HamHigh
Francis Gilbert

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