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Applying to Chetham’s


Attend an Assessment Audition This is your first proper audition, with members of your musical department. In auditions we’ll hear you play a piece, and ask you to sight read, do a short listening test and chat to us about your interest in music. We’re looking for personality and a genuine love of music, as well as technical ability.

Complete an application form You must complete an application form before an Assessment or Full audition. This gives us the information we need about you and your family, your current school and the music you play. It’s best to apply by the Christmas before you start.

Book an Advice Audition (optional) If you’re still making up your mind, book an Advice Audition - chance to play for one of our staff and get some pointers about your playing. You’ll find out if there are areas you need to work on, or whether you’re ready for an Assessment Audition straight away.

Attend an Open Day We hold Open Days twice a year, in October and January. It’s best to plan ahead - so try to pay us a visit no later than the autumn before you’d like to start.

Visit our website Find out more about the School, our staff and students, and what we’ve been up to recently

These are some of the steps along the way.

Applying to Chetham’s isn’t designed to be daunting. Along the way, there are plenty of chances for us to get to know each other - so we know you’re right for us, and you know we’re right for you.

We’re here to help you, right from the start


Starting at Chetham’s September will soon arrive...and it will be time to start. Every year, one in five students is new to Chetham’s, so you won’t feel alone - and everyone will be keen to help you settle into the Chetham’s family.

New Students’ Day Every June we invite new students and their families to join us on a Saturday. This is when we’ll start getting to know each other properly, and helps us allocate you to a teacher, an accompanist and a dorm.

Funding If you’re likely to be eligible for a grant, your family will be asked to submit their income details to the Bursar. She’ll then let you know if you’ll need to pay fees, and how much.

Acceptance Once you’ve received an offer, yours is the final decision.

Receive an offer After your Main Audition you’ll receive a response within three weeks. If you’re not successful this time, you may be placed on a reserve list or asked to work on certain areas of your playing and come back in a year or two. We’ll offer feedback at any stage of the process to support your musical development - whether you decide we’re right for you or not.

Attend a Main Audition If your Assessment Audition is a success, you’ll be invited back for a Main Audition where you’ll meet the Head and Director of Music.


Key Dates

What we look for at audition

OCTOBER Open Day

Musicianship Your ability to deal fluently with practical music issues. This may include questions on key, rhythm, dynamics and other aspects of interpretation.

AUTUMN TERM Advice and Assessment Auditions DECEMBER We recommend applying by Christmas for entry the following September JANUARY Open Day FEBRUARY Final closing date for applications for the coming September SPRING TERM Main Auditions and offers JUNE New students’ day and Advice Auditions for the following September SEPTEMBER Join us at Chetham’s! Missed a date? Give us a call and we’ll help if we can

Aural Awareness Your ability to understand and identify musical sounds and patterns. This will include an aural test, mainly through singing, and pitching intervals, short melodies, answering phrases, rhythms and simple chord recognition. Creativity/musicality What we look for primarily is natural musical spontaneity and potential. Technique Your instrumental skills, including awareness of quality of sound, intonation and rhythmic precision. You will also be asked to play scales at the appropriate level. Musical literacy Your ability to sight read a short piece and to understand and discuss music. Musical personality & potential We highly value these qualities. We are looking for your strength of character, dedication, enthusiasm and individuality. Response With all of the above we are looking for musical potential and ‘instinct’.

Applying to Chetham's  

How to apply to Chetham's School of Music in Manchester

Applying to Chetham's  

How to apply to Chetham's School of Music in Manchester

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