If you’re considering applying to Chetham’s, help and advice is available along the way to ensure that you make a decision that is right for you and your child.
We welcome applications and hold auditions throughout the academic year, but we encourage you to apply early, ideally before Christmas, for a place the following September. This timescale will give you plenty of time to prepare for a change of school, and to work on aspects of your playing between your first and second auditions if required.
We also offer Advice Auditions all year round for musicians who would like professional feedback on their playing and musical ability, but have not yet decided whether they plan to apply for a place at Chetham’s.
Please address any admissions enquiries to Alice Herbert, Auditions Administrator, on 07918 078 609* or email us.
*(Please note this is a temporary number which is in use only during the Covid-19 school site closure.)
Take a look around our site to find out more about the School, our staff and students, and the events and projects coming up soon
Download a Chetham’s prospectus, giving you more information about the School and its departments
Main Open Days are held twice a year, in October and January, with shorter age-specific sessions during the summer term. They’re a great chance to meet current staff and students, observe lessons and rehearsals, and explore the School site. Manchester Cathedral also arranges regular ‘Be A Chorister For A Day’ events for young singers aged 7-11
We are happy to offer pre-application advice and guidance about the suitability of making an application to the school. If you feel this would be helpful please send an email to Alice Herbert, with YouTube links to video recordings of at least 2 pieces on your principal study instrument and at least one piece on any subsidiary instruments, as well as scales/arpeggios on the principal study that reflect the level of repertoire presented. We would also ask you to begin the video/s with a short, spoken introduction of yourself and the pieces you are going to present.
When you send the video links, please also include the following information about the person whose performances we will be assessing:
• Full name and date of birth
• Length of time learning each instrument, details of any exams taken, regularity of lessons
• Information about musical activities he/she participates in – ensembles, choirs, etc.
• Your postal address, or which area you live in.
There is a standard charge of £25 for advice auditions. However, if this cost presents a barrier to your accessing our advice, please let us know as we may be able to help.
All potential students must complete an application form, with input from the Head of your current school and your current music tutor
All applications should be sent by email to Alice Herbert. A complete application should include the following:
1. The application form: this should be signed by the applicant’s current Headteacher. If not signed, we would ask for an email acknowledgment from the Headteacher to be forwarded to us, confirming his/her awareness of the application. It is our usual practice to request a reference and school reports from the applicant’s current school, and it is in everyone’s interests if that request does not come as a surprise!
2. Copies of any relevant exam certificates, festival awards etc..
3. References from instrumental tutors, which should provide background information about the suitability of the application as well as the applicant’s attitude to, and aptitude for, learning and practice.
4. YouTube links to video recordings of at least 2 pieces on the applicant’s principal study instrument and at least one piece on any subsidiary instruments, as well as scales/arpeggios on the principal study that reflect the level of repertoire presented. We would also ask the applicants to begin the video/s with a short, spoken introduction of themselves and the pieces they are going to present.
If you are applying to study composition, your application should include at least two written examples of your work. These may be handwritten or produced with Sibelius or similar programmes, but must be submitted as pdf files.
5. Payment. We are all too aware of the difficulties that many people are facing during the pandemic and so we have reduced the registration fee to £60 (usually £90) for the time being. If the reduced fee is still a barrier to your being able to complete your application, please let us know as soon as possible and we will do our best to help.
Some things to consider when recording your applications are:
• Set up your space – This means making enough room for you and your instrument. Try not to stand directly under or behind your light source behind you, whether this is a window, ceiling light or lamp. We advise recording in the daylight, and you may also want to increase the brightness of your room with lamps and other light sources. Low light can blur the video. Please make sure that we can see you clearly in the video recording as this helps us to understand and assess the technical aspects of your performance.
• Sound and video check – Record a short part of the piece you will perform, then review its quality. Continue this, adjusting any microphones and camera until you get the best possible capture with them. Make sure that what you are recording is at the highest possible quality.
• Make a backup – When you’ve finished recording your piece or film, take the file and make a copy of it in another device or back it up to the cloud.
Completed applications for September 2021 entry received by:
• 31st October 2020 will be informed of the outcome of the application by 20th December 2020.
• 1st January 2021 will be informed of the outcome of the application by 1st March 2021.
• 1st March 2021 will be informed of the outcome of the application by 30th April 2021.
As the application progresses we may contact you to request an additional video recording, to arrange a 1:1 online instrumental session with the candidate or to interview the candidate. We may also wish to arrange to have a conversation with parents/guardians as part of this process.
Please note that places available to offer to new students are always limited. Any applications completed and received after the 1st January deadline may find that, even if successful, they have to be placed on the waiting list until a place becomes available.
The outcome may be any of the following:
1. An offer of a place.
2. A place on the reserve list*
3. Feedback and an invitation to re-audition again in 1-2 years.
4. An email to inform you that the application has been unsuccessful.
*The list of reserve applicants will be reviewed by 30th April. If we still have places available, these applicants may have their application reviewed and may subsequently be offered a place or invited to submit further audition videos or to update their application for re-consideration.
Once you have been offered a place, you’ll receive an acceptance pack where we’ll collect key information from you, making sure we’re ready for you to join us the following year. You’ll also receive term dates, full terms and conditions, and other details to help you plan your first days at the school. With your acceptance, you’ll be asked to pay an acceptance fee of £145.
Your family will also be asked to provide their income details to the Bursar who will then calculate what their annual contribution to the fees will be.
In June each year, students starting at Chetham’s the following September will be invited to a New Students’ Day. This takes place on a Saturday and is a chance for you and your family to meet staff and students, find your way around Chetham’s, and for us to begin getting to know you so we can match you to a teacher, an accompanist, and if you’re boarding, to your roommates.
Around 60 new students join Chetham’s every September – that means that one in every five students will be new, so you certainly won’t feel alone!
There will be a lot of information to take in and new people to meet, but staff and older students will always be around to help you out. After just three weeks you’ll have your first free weekend, giving you chance to go home and tell your family all about your experiences – and once you’ve been part of your first Music Course in October, you’ll feel like you’re fully immersed in the Chetham’s family.