All applications should be sent by email to 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 their awareness of the application. We always request a reference and school reports from the applicant’s current school.

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. If we have not already met you to advise you about applying, please include with your application YouTube links to video recordings of at least two pieces on the principal study instrument and at least one piece on any other instrument/s if applicable *, 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.

*NB. a second study instrument is NOT a requirement for entry, particularly for pianists. When the principal instrumental study is not piano, and no second study instrument is offered on application, we would normally include piano lessons as a second study when we offer a place, as keyboard skills are essential to building a strong foundation for our students’ musical development.

5. Payment. There is an application fee of £90 which can be paid by bank transfer. Payment details will be sent to you when we acknowledge receipt of the application.  Please tell us if the fee is a barrier to your being able to complete your application, and we will do our best to help.

Pre-application advice auditions

We aim to make the audition process a friendly and positive experience for everyone. An informal pre-application advisory session can often be the best first step for your child/ren, and enables us to give you feedback and guidance about whether Chetham’s could be the right school for them.

Request an advice audition.

Chetham's Big Band performing

Video Recordings

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. For example, as well as your posture when playing or singing, it is helpful to see a pianist’s hands on the keyboard, a string player’s left and right hands when playing, a wind or brass player’s arm positions and embouchure.

Please do not send us large files as we will not be able to open these. Ideally, we like to receive your videos via a youtube link, so that you retain control of them at all times. For audition purposes, when you upload your video to youtube you can choose an ‘unlisted’ visibility setting, which means that it can be viewed via the link that you send us but not by the public.

Chetham's Big Band performing