The Musical Aptitude Test

The Musical Aptitude Test (sometimes referred to as the Bentley Test) is a given as a measure of a student's aural capacity before learning an instrument. The test is commonly used as a guide for teachers wanting to award places for instrumental teaching or music scholarships.

There are four tests which concentrate on aspects of pitch, melody, texture and rhythm - see our demos for details. The tests are given to a number of students at a time, and are played from a CD. The students are given set gaps in the recording in which to respond to each question.

Generally, parents are not encouraged to prepare their children for these tests, but are told beforehand that the tests will be given. Hofnote provides materials which can be used to simulate the test conditions for practice before the event.

To use the materials successfully, first use the exercises as a learning tool to understand what is required. For practice testing, a certain number (say 10 to 15) of each test can be given to the student, with a time limit for the response. The time limit can be reduced as the student becomes more proficient.