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How to assess musically gifted/talented

Discussion in 'Music' started by gilly33, May 8, 2012.

  1. Please could I have the benefit of music teachers experience.
    Usually against labelling but have recently looked at awards/scholarship for my child to access specialised music tuition (not as entry to a school) looking at conservatories. It stated that recommendation had to come from a teacher and gifted'talented assessment.
    Would this be the childs class teacher and how is gifted/talented measured and by what criteria. i.e a particular grade or as a particular level of the nc for music.
    The child is only primary y3, not had any great achievements except lower grades, and school performances, also singing solos in county youth choir.
    I write for info not debate on labelling as up until now I was totally against these type of schemes. However, as a low income family we would not be able to access specialist tuition without such a scheme.
  2. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Lead commenter

    I would approach the consevatoires you're interested in and ask them what they want. I don't think they usually take children as young as year 3 but I could be wrong. As I understand it they usually base their decisions entirely on audition. Have a look at EMI Music Sound Foundation. They give bursaries and also have a long list of other grant awarders. I doubt your child's class teacher will have a clue about music talent, unless they happen to be a music specialist. Are you aware that conservatoires themselves are very expensive, and even if you get an assisted place there will be other expenses? I'm not trying to put you off. You're obviously looking in the right places, but there's no way around it. Learning musical instruments is expensive and only some of the costs can be covered by awards and bursaries. But they do help!
  3. Thank you Doitforfree.
    We are really looking for the future when our daughter starts high school, It would only be to support tuition on a saturday in their junior department. I know some go as young as 8 but as you suggested its expensive.
    I was more concerned about the gifted and talented really as I have looked at several awards that have stated this in their criteria for application.
    I don't like the label but if it opens a few more doors I suppose we will have to look at it.
    Do you know who to approach for assessment? Her class teacher has told me she is musically talented but we knew this from the age of two. As she attends a church school they do have many assemblies and she sings in church, where the school are very supportive and encouraging.
  4. Thank you, I never thought of instrumental teachers or indeed her choir master. I presumed the music colleges would require a formal assessment by a qualified teacher/ psychologist report.
    Maybe a simple statement or recommendation will do. I will call them and see what they mean
    Many thanks
  5. There are lots of things like holiday orchestras, courses, music centres
    and so on that are not only beneficial to the child but also look good
    on an application.[​IMG]
  6. cmf


    • Show a passion for Music
    • Instinctively produce creative reponses to music
    • Have an excellent Instrumental technique
    • Are independent learners -
    • Show some or all of the characteristics expected well beyond National Curriculum Attainment Targets
  7. cmf


    Oh and there's:
    Now the question is, prove it!
  8. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Lead commenter

    Isn't this just so typical of modern education?! 'Excellent technique' indeed. You're not more or less talented depending on your technique as it's very much down to your teacher, and some fabulously famous players have what would be considered terrible techinique by a student. 'Instinctively produce creative responses to music' is modern edu-babble and completely meaningless. All of mine would definitely fit the last one but two of them were not especially talented, just well taught from a relatively early age.
    In trying to be objective this set of criteria seems to have completely missed the point. But then so do many teachers. At a school concert, after a terrible cacophony from the year 4 'orchestra' who were doing wider ops on a variety of instruments, some of which they even held approximately the right way up, my son was introduced as 'our talented pupil X'. I think his teachers genuinely thought he had some unusal talent because he could play properly, when in fact what his playing boiled down to was piano lessons and a mother who makes him practise! As it happens, he probably is a bit talented as he learns things easily and picks up ideas and techniques with less difficulty than some other people. But I know this because I see him working at home and hear it from his teacher. You couldn't deduce it from the way he plays without some other knowledge which his school is not privy to.
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