“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” Plato
The Island Free School has a music specialism and we will allocate up to 10% of our places for musical aptitude (up to 12 places every year). Our scholars will be chosen following an assessment process. We anticipate that many of the students will not play an instrument when they come for the assessment.
Students on our assisted music scheme will receive free weekly individual musical tuition. They will be expected to participate in a full programme of musical extra-curricular activities.
This exciting initiative will nurture talent and tap into the potential of children all over the Island. The rationale is to create a group of musical students who can be young leaders in music, opening opportunities and providing encouragement to the younger pupils. Our scholars will act as mentors and role models to our other students and achieve great things in their instrumental or vocal studies.
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If you apply on time for a Year 7 place, and ask for your child to be considered for the music programme, then we will write to you giving you a date and time for the musical aptitude testing. The aptitude tests are conducted in groups, in a friendly and supportive environment. All aptitude assessments take place following the closing date for the normal application round. All potential scholars are included in random grouping and provided with assessments run by the same staff members, to ensure all receive the same experience.
We are keen to find aptitude and musical talent amongst children who may not have had the financial advantage of having instrumental lessons before. Our tests have been specifically designed to test for natural rhythm, melodic awareness, response to music, a genuine interest and passion for music, and leadership qualities.
You will find out whether your child has been awarded a place under this criterion on national offer day.
If your child does not gain a place under the assisted music programme then your application will automatically be considered as a general admission. It is therefore in your interest to apply: you have nothing to lose and your chances of gaining a place at the school are potentially increased. Please remember that your child does not need to play an instrument to be considered for the scheme.
If a vacancy on the scheme becomes available during the school year (for example, if a child moves off the Island) then pupils who are already at the school will be given priority.
All pupils will study a musical instrument in their first two years at the Free School. Most of these lessons will be undertaken in class and in groups where pupils will be led to instruments that suit them and that they enjoy. Their learning will be backed up by extra-curricular groups tailored towards their burgeoning talent and delivered by specialists in that instrumental field whether it be instrumental or vocal.
As The Island Free School develops, we will increase the opportunities for pupils through the creation of a GIGAJAM studio where they can take up a rock based instrument and be led through a series of on-line lessons. The beauty of GIGAJAM is that pupils will study pieces that, when mastered, will enable them to come out of their self-study and play with others, setting up their own bands and ensembles.
Indra Riches, Music lead for The Island Free School says: “We will embrace music in the curriculum. Music benefits students in so many different ways, from the self-discipline of practice to the engagement of ensemble activities. It can build self-esteem and confidence, and bring about a measured improvement in mathematical and logical skills. Music is also invaluable for self-expression and the communication of ideas, emotions and purpose.”