Huntingdonshire Music School Association


Sunday, January 18, 2004

Music Exams - Not For Everyone!

If you wish to, you can be entered to take a formal music examination such as those run by the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music (ABRSM). These, for example, start at Grade 1 and finish at Grade 8 and include practical (playing) as well as a listening (aural) part. Your teacher will tell you if you are ready to take one. The exams take place at the end of each term and registration closes at the beginning of the term. If you have entered for an exam you have the option to practice with accompaniment (if relevant) and practice the aural as part of your theory lesson. Depending on the instrument other examination boards are used.

It is also possible to take exams at Grades 1 to 5 for music theory. In fact, to move beyond Grade 5 at the practical (playing) side you have to have passed a Grade 5 theory exam.

Pupils only take exams if they want to. Whilst a formal qualification is nationally recognised, if you simply want to turn up and play - you can!

See also

Music ExamsCounting Music Exams Towards UCAS Admission


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Learning Music

There are many reasons for learning a musical instrument (and this includes singing), including:-

  • it’s a skill for life (many of us return to it later on in life)
  • it’s fun
  • it feels good to ‘make music’ with others in a group situation
  • it’s different to school or work and a relaxing diversion
  • it’s therapy
  • it helps develop parts of the brain that benefit other subject areas e.g. maths
  • someone else you know plays and you’d like to join in with them(a precious chance to bond with the kids, perhaps)
  • you like learning new things
  • you already take someone to music lessons and are fed up with merely being seen as a source of ready cash and transport
  • you didn’t get the chance at school or earlier in life, for whatever reason

What you may not realise is that the Huntingdonshire Music School is one of the largest music schools in the UK and, apart from sitting humbly on the doorstep for some 38 years, offers many benefits that are very difficult to get elsewhere:-

[[a href=”[[../college/enrol.htm#prospectus”>]]A prospectus is available from this site.

See also

‘It’s Time We Made a Noise About Our Music’Choosing an Instrument


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Group Work

Everyone at the music school gets the opportunity to play in one or more groups whether they be an ensemble, band, or orchestra. These cover musical style ranging from classical, swing to rock. Depending on the enthusiasm of potential musicians, new ones are being added - for example the rock band(s) are new and permanent fixtures and this year saw the first performance of the flute choir.

Unlike most other musical institutes, there is no mandated minimum grade or level to attain before you are allowed to join in. This does not mean that the standard of playing is lowered - far from it (bands such as the Swing Band play in paying fixtures and are in great demand). Your music teacher will normally suggest when it is sensible for you to join in. When starting out you are not expected to be able to play every note - so long as you play the ones you do know at the right time and keep quiet at other times then others will be none the wiser;-)

Group work is an integral part of the day in addition to the music lessons and theory. In fact one of the real benefit of this college is that you do play in groups (almost impossible to get this sort of experience otherwise as an adult) as part of the package.

You can play in as many groups as you’ve the time and energy for, for the same small amount.

You don’t have to take lessons in order to join a group. We also have Associate Members who either take lessons elsewhere (or not at all!) and who simply join us for group playing. See the current set of ensemb;es, bands and orchestras...

See also

Play (Music ;-) )with Others
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