How to prepare for the upcoming Music Aptitude Tests for 2014 school entry

The first Music Aptitude Tests for secondary school scholarships take place on Monday 2nd September. Our sister website has been inundated with hits from parents and students looking for advice on preparing for music scholarships to state secondary schools in September 2014.

The dates for your test may have already been issued or will be announced very soon. It’s not too late to prepare using the sample tests that are available through our website. The Music Aptitude Tests are unlike the aural section of a graded music exam so we have designed these tests in accordance with the current guidelines for entry tests. They are available for download as zipped MP3 files and we also provide a blank multiple choice test sheet and, of course, the answer sheet!

Students should aim for a minimum score of 46/60.

See here for more info:

Can you hear the difference between a Stradivarius and a £39.99 violin from Tesco?!

Maybe proof that the musician maketh the music, not the instrument…

As the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford opens its Stradivarius exhibition, the Telegraph arranged for a young musician to play the fabled Serdet – an original Stradivarius from 1666, her own 18th century instrument and a £39.99 violin available from Tesco and Argos.

But are you able to choose which is the more illustrious, based purely on the sound each instrument produces?

With the help of Oxford University music graduate Cecilia Stinton, The Telegraph put this idea to the test, and to complicate the challenge further we’ve included the cheapest brand of new violin currently available in the UK, costing under £40 and available from high street retailers like Tesco and Argos.

Take the test here:
Do you have the ear to pick out the world’s most famous make of violins?

I’m glad to say I got it right!

Do you have the ear to pick out the world's most famous make of violins?
Do you have the ear to pick out the world’s most famous make of violins?

Find out more about the exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum

This summer, the Ashmolean will open a special exhibition celebrating the life and work of Antonio Stradivari. For the first time ever in the UK, the Ashmolean will bring together 21 of Stradivari’s most important, well-preserved instruments to showcase the brilliance of his craft, including 11 works from his Golden Period.