Looking back on the chorister experience

Louise Landman (former Chorister parent)

To have a child that is selected to be a chorister at Kings College Cambridge would be for most parents beyond their wildest dreams. Take heart: it is possible!

If your son displays an interest and enjoyment of music and singing in particular he will lose nothing from having a go. From our experience of the auditions, no particular practice is required, but having a favourite hymn or song to sing is a good start! If he plays an instrument as well, he can select a piece to play too, though this isn’t essential.

Have a go, have no expectations, be relaxed and put no pressure on the child.

The auditions last for a couple of hours during which time the choir-master and the singing teacher have chance to listen to the boy singing his piece and taking part in a few simple tests. There are also a few short reading, writing and maths tests.

The auditions are conducted in a fun and friendly manner; the boys have a thoroughly enjoyable morning, though it can be nail-biting for the parents! In the meantime, the parents are given a tour of the school and there’s a chance to meet some of the current chorister parents over a coffee.

Being a chorister is certainly hard work, both for the boys and their families, but you quickly realize that it is all a well-trodden path and that your boys are in the hands of experts. Kings College School and its staff are fantastic: the boys’ time is managed superbly so that they have enough time to do their work, play sport and have down-time as well. The boys even become organised themselves! Parents and siblings feel welcome and are included in every step of the way. I cannot recommend the life highly enough.

Louise’s four sons were all choristers at King’s between 2001 and 2011.