We celebrate and reward talent with our music scholarship programme. Successful applicants will play a central role in our musical life and will act as ambassadors for the music department at Cranleigh and beyond.

Entry Guidance

A range of Music Scholarships and Exhibitions are awarded each year for entry into Cranleigh Prep School at 11+ and Cranleigh School at 13+ and 16+.  Scholarships carry a 5% fee remission and include free tuition on two instruments plus individual vocal tuition if appropriate. Exhibitions consist of free individual lessons on one or more instruments and/or voice. Award holders may also apply for additional bursary funding.

Prior to applying for an award it is extremely useful to arrange an informal pre-audition with Mrs Williams (Head of Prep School Music) for 11+ candidates or Mr Richard Saxel (Director of Cranleigh Music) for 13+ and 16+ entry. They will be able to give guidance as to suitability to compete for an award. It also gives an opportunity to help potential candidates feel at ease and perform in familiar surroundings, which helps them to play more confidently on the audition day. This pre-audition has no specific requirements; it is usually good for the candidate to bring along pieces they enjoy playing and be prepared to chat informally.

Below is a guide only; the particular aptitude and musical experience of individual candidates is fully considered.

  • At 11+ Grade 4/5 on principal instrument
  • At 13+ Grade 5/6 on principal instrument, plus supporting instrument(s)/voice
  • At 16+ Grade 8 on principal instrument, plus supporting instrument(s)/voice

It is expected that candidates will be eager to make a significant contribution to ensembles, so an enthusiasm for a wide range of musical styles is welcome. Successful applicants may also apply for bursary funding.

Guidance Notes For Music Awards 2024


We encourage potential candidates to get in touch as soon as possible to arrange a conversation with the Director of Music and a pre-audition. This will allow us to advise on whether an application is suitable. It also helps to ensure candidates feel at ease performing to our staff. After a successful pre-audition and guidance from the Director of Music, families should adhere to the following application deadlines:

  • Closing date for 11+ applications is Friday 13th October 2023.
  • Closing date for 13+ applications is Friday 10th October 2023.
  • Closing date for 16+ applications is Friday 20th October 2023.

Audition Requirements

We ask applicants to prepare the following. We are able to arrange an accompanist if required.

  • Two contrasting pieces on the principal instrument, plus scales and arpeggios and sight-reading of appropriate standard.
  • One piece on the second and subsequent instrument(s); voice especially encouraged.
  • Aural/musicianship tests plus a general interview.

Audition Dates:

  • 11+ Awards Wednesday 15th November 2023.
  • 13+ Awards Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd January 2024.
  • 16+ Awards Tuesday 7th November 2023.

Additional Information Regarding Music Scholarships at 13+

The following procedures for Music Scholarships at 13+ are common to all Independent Senior Schools as outlined in the IAPS Music Scholarships Supplement:

Entries: Parents may wish to enter their sons or daughters for Music awards at more than one school. It is strongly recommended that a candidate should not be entered for more than three schools in all. Should there be a clash of examination dates, the candidate’s Head should contact the Directors of Music concerned, who may offer an alternative day within their published week.

Preferences: Should a candidate be entered for Music Scholarship audition at more than one school, parents must state their order of preference which will be verified. This information is essential and without it entries will not be accepted. No entry should be made unless parents are ready to accept an offer during the week of the examination.

Procedure for offering awards: Offers may be made only in the order shown on the entry form. Thus, if Cranleigh is placed first choice, an award may be made within a few days of the examination. If Cranleigh is placed second or third in the order of preference on the entry form we will not make an offer until we have first ascertained that the candidate is not being elected by the school(s) placed above it in order of preference.

Procedure for accepting awards: Parents must accept an award offered to them by their first choice school provided that it is not of lower value than that indicated on the entry form. If the offer is less than the amount stated, parents may accept or decline it, but this must be done immediately; it is not permissible to wait to see how a candidate gets on at another school lower down on the list. Doubts concerning the possibility of covering fees should have been settled by parents before completing the entry form. Awards must be taken up within three terms.

General: Parents are strongly advised to seek the advice of the Head and Director of Music of the candidate’s present school and they should visit any school for which they consider making an entry. The school welcomes enquiries at any time in the eighteen months preceding the scholarship examinations.

Application Forms: The declaration to be signed by parents is common to all Independent Senior Schools offering Music Awards and must be completed in all respects before an entry can be accepted.

For further information about any aspects of the Music Award procedure please contact our admissions team.


Where next?

Individual music tuition



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