Now that the Easter break is over, many of my students at the SE22 Piano School in London will start preparing for the Music Aptitude Tests that take place this Autumn for 2019 state school entry. The tests vary from school to school, but the basic sections that are included in all tests are covered in our training tests that can be purchased online.
Higher or Lower?
This part of the test asks you to listen to two sounds. You have to decide if the second note is higher or lower than the first or the same. Ask yourself if the second note is rising (higher) or falling (lower) or staying the same.
If a student is able to sing back a short melody or play it back on their instrument, this will stand them in good stead for the Melody questions. You can help your child at home by playing their favourite songs and asking them to sing back different sections of the songs to you, just using one syllable such as “la” instead of the words.
The Melody questions will play you one extract of 5 notes in length. The second version may or may not be different and you will be tested on whether you can hear the difference in a melody line by selecting the number of the note that is different.
The Aptitude Tests play a chord and ask you to identify how many notes you can hear. A chord is two or more notes. In the tests, they will ask you to differentiate between 2, 3 or 4 notes being played at once. The more notes are in the chord, the more dense the sound appears. Here is one of our students trying out Section 3 of the Music Aptitude Test which is available from our MAT Training Web site.
Sense of rhythm can be developed by plenty of clapping exercises. You can help your child at home with this by playing their favourite songs to them, then asking them to clap back short sections of the song to you. Once they have mastered familiar songs, then present unknown songs to them to see how they cope with unfamiliar rhythms.
Purchase the tests online: