From excellent to outstanding…

A Music Scholar holds an esteemed position at Ampleforth. If music is the life-blood of the College, then our Music Scholars and other school musicians are its beating heart. An inspirational colleague once said to me, “where there is a great school, there’ll be superb music”, and that is certainly the case here. Ampleforth offers its musicians a host of opportunities which enable them to be nurtured, allows them to experiment and discover, and enables them to go from being excellent to outstanding.

The Music Scholarship

Music Scholars receive free instrumental tuition for the duration of the scholarship period. Our instrumental teachers come from all over the UK to teach at Ampleforth and all lead busy lives as professional musicians, many working in leading orchestras and choirs throughout the country. Music Scholars are given additional support in between their instrumental lessons. They meet weekly with our graduate musicians who act as performance tutors; accompanying them, advising on wider listening and practice techniques, and coaching them in aural tests. Music Scholars also take part in Masterclasses given by notable professional musicians. Amongst their number is a committee for the Ampleforth Music Society; a student led group offering further opportunities for performance, discussion and lectures.

Of course, Music Scholars are expected to commit to the College’s musical output by performing in at least two college choirs or ensembles commensurate with their first and second study instruments. It is through this active participation that all students are exposed to the joy of sharing music and striving together for high standards. We look to the music scholars to lead by example in these groups. In so doing they develop leadership qualities and responsibilities that will benefit them for years to come. Before they leave Ampleforth, many Music Scholars will have taken on prominent solos roles in public performances including orchestral cycles and concertos, several leave with advanced performance diplomas.


We have three Scholarship periods: 11+, 13+, and 16+

11+ - Candidates should play one instrument at approximately grade 4 standard. Pupils holding an 11+ music scholarship will be required to take on a second study instrument if they haven’t already

13+ - Candidates should be playing two instruments with he first study (main instrument) being at approximately grade 6 standard.

16+ - Candidates should be playing two instruments with the first study at approximately a grade 8 standard.

The Benefits

Musical Scholars will receive a first-class musical education at Ampleforth, one which will offer broad opportunity and ability to focus when desired. Tours and recordings are frequent occurrences and our home series of concerts and recitals allow us to play in the most beautiful venues. It is hard work but the Music Scholars are rewarded for their time and effort with various socials, concert tickets and dinners. We meet regularly with them to assess how much they have going on and are careful to ensure Music Scholars are able to balance this role with all other aspects of their Ampleforth life. 

What lies beyond

Many Music Scholars go on to pursue further study and careers in music. Most recently our students have been awarded organ scholarships at King’s College and Jesus College Cambridge, and choral scholarships at several other Oxbridge and Durham colleges. Another pursuing a career in composition has recently had their work broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Many choose to pursue different career paths and university courses, but they all leave with the common qualities of dedication, hard work and very high standards and expectations.

Edward Seymour
Director of Music