Being a scholarship holder at Bradfield is an exceptional opportunity that offers you the very best music education. The individual is at the heart of all our decisions and musical talent is nurtured in a holistic way to provide a challenging and positive learning experience.

As a recipient of an award, you will demonstrate not only a high level of musical ability and potential, but also a genuine love and appreciation of music. We are looking for a good technical grounding and the ability to put across the music – to be a storyteller through sound.

Music-making here aims to be liberating. We ask pupils to commit to a process of musical development, to learn about themselves and to enjoy being the best they can be at any one moment.

Matt Lowe, Director of Music

You will be keen to participate in and contribute to the musical life of the College and you will be committed to developing your musicianship across all areas. In return, top-class visiting musicians and our dedicated music department team will nurture and support your musical talent, passions and potential.

The facilities in our purpose-built Music School Building allow Scholars to freely explore their musical interests: they include a newly installed iMac Suite with GarageBand and Logic Software, a concert hall with a Steinway D-Type Piano, two fully equipped classrooms, numerous teaching and practice rooms, a percussion room, a choral library, and the magnificent Greek amphitheatre.

The musical activities of the College offer a wide range of opportunities for Scholars to perform, both as soloists or in an ensemble. There are four choirs, eight ensembles and many smaller pupil-led groups, all of whom rehearse together weekly across the academic year. In addition, there are a number of performance opportunities every term, including: a weekly Performance Platform, regular teacher-led performance classes, a fortnightly lunchtime recital series, House Music Competitions (in voice, instrumental, ensemble, harmony and composition), a large-scale showcase concert in each of the Michaelmas, Spring and Summer Terms and a dedicated Scholars’ Concert.

For top Scholars, there is the chance to perform a solo recital in an external concert venue; most recently, Katie Mazur performed at the Jacqueline du Pre Concert Hall in Oxford. Katie is now studying the violin at the Royal College of Music. Furthermore, there is a biennial Arts Festival at Bradfield, where pupils perform alongside distinguished alumni and visiting professional musicians.

Our academic classes are taught to a maximum of 12 pupils, so we are able to offer personalised learning to each child. This is reflected in our exam results, with 100% of pupils taking Music GCSE achieving a grade of A/A* in 2017.

Expectations of Award holders

Holding this award is both a privilege and a responsibility. The personal support you will receive, and the opportunities offered to you, are balanced by the role you will take as an ambassador for the Music Department, its activities and events, both within and outside of the College. In addition, you will be expected to make the most of the opportunity afforded to you by:

  • Maintaining consistently high musical standards through full attendance to music lessons and regular, high-quality, practise
  • Actively contributing to the musical life of the College through committed participation in ensembles, events and activities relevant to your specialist instrument(s)
  • Demonstrating musical leadership to fellow pupils, within the Music Department, in your House and across the wider College community.

Benefits

As a recipient of a Music Award, you will be offered a range of opportunities, which will enable you to continue developing your talent, passion and musical potential:

Performance

  • Free weekly music lessons for up to three instruments.
  • Chamber music/ensemble coaching from our Visiting Music Teachers.
  • Regular access to a professional accompanist.
  • Expert coaching for competitive music festivals, auditions for Junior Conservatoires, NYO and similar.
  • Masterclasses from visiting world-class professional musicians.
  • Support in establishing your own peer-led musical activities – solo performance, chamber groups, composition.
  • A range of performance opportunities as soloists and/or part of an ensemble.
  • For top scholars, a solo recital in an external concert venue (recently the Jacqueline du Pre Concert Hall in Oxford).
  • Opportunities to enjoy, appreciate and learn from high-quality performances given by distinguished musicians and ensembles, both at Bradfield College and through organised trips to professional concerts further afield.

Professional guidance

  • Assistance in setting up a professional website.
  • An opportunity to record in professional recording studios
  • A set of promotional photographs.
  • Opportunity to learn skills and gain experience in facilitating musical outreach activities through our Leadership Workshop Courses with experienced practitioners.

Wellbeing

  • Regular Alexander Technique coaching.
  • Biannual review with the Director of Music to discuss your progress, map out your plans for the period ahead and offer help to nurture the talent which won your Award in the first place.

Application Process

13+ Entry

Assessments for 13+ Music Scholarships are taken during the Lent term, usually the last week of January, prior to the academic year of entry. During this assessment, you will be required to:

  • Offer two contrasting pieces of at least ABRSM Grade VI standard (or equivalent) in your principal study.
  • Preferably, offer a second instrument.
  • Play at sight.
  • Aural tests of Grade V-VI standard (including sight singing).
  • Attend interviews with the Director of Music and a senior member of staff.

16+ Entry

Assessments for 16+ Music Scholarship Examination happen in the November prior to the academic year of entry. During your assessment, you will be required to:

  • Offer two contrasting pieces of at least ABRSM Grade VII standard (or equivalent) in your first instrument.
  • Preferably, offer a second instrument.
  • Play at sight.
  • Aural tests at Grade VI–VII standard (including sight singing).
  • Attend interviews with the Director of Music and a senior member of staff.

If you are considering applying for a Music Award, you are advised to contact the Director of Music as early as possible to arrange an informal pre-audition. Overseas students are encouraged to send a DVD of their playing to music@bradfieldcollege.org.uk.

All fee reductions are determined by means testing, in keeping with the ethos of the school, although priority is given to those who have won an award. Note that Music Awards do not guarantee a reduction of fees. For more information, see our Bursaries page.