We are accepting applications for boarding and day places for Autumn 2020 entry. 

If you would like to find out more, including information about the Aided Places Scheme, please email admissions@st-marys-music-school.co.uk




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Our Plans 

In 2016 the Royal High School Preservation Trust received planning consent to convert the former Royal High School into a new home for St Mary’s Music School.  This move would reinforce our status as Scotland’s national school of music and provide us with state-of-the-art facilities to expand our unique and exceptional specialist education and to extend our outreach programmes, masterclasses and workshops to reach children from communities all over the country. The plans include a small concert hall (capacity 280), recital rooms and teaching facilities which will enable the school to offer concerts and music education to a much wider audience.

These transformational plans are on hold until an appeal is heard which will consider a property developer’s plans, twice rejected by City of Edinburgh Council, to build a large hotel on this site.  The appeal process was due to start in September 2018. 

UPDATE: On Tuesday 27th October 2020 the Scottish Government announced that the planning and listed building consent appeals to build a hotel on the site of the former Royal High School have been formally dismissed, and Ministers have refused planning permission and listed building consent for the proposed development/works.

Dr Kenneth Taylor, Headteacher at St Mary's Music School said "Everyone at St Mary’s Music School is heartened at the very welcome news that we are a significant step closer to securing the Old Royal High School as our new home. Thanks to the wholehearted support and generosity of Dunard Fund, the funding is in place and a future on the world stage for a cultural hub for music education and outreach in Scotland is now much closer.”

Supported by one of the largest philanthropic arts gifts to the nation, the proposed conservation and restoration of the iconic Thomas Hamilton building as the new home of St Mary’s Music School, with a state-of-the-art public concert hall and public garden, is backed by Dunard Fund.  Managed through the Royal High School Preservation Trust, Dunard’s exceptional gift to the nation would help protect Edinburgh’s UNESCO World Heritage Site status and conserve the integrity of the neo-classical building that gave the capital the moniker, the Athens of the North.

The project will enable St Mary’s Music School to position itself as a centre of youth music in the capital and significantly broaden and enhance access to music and musical education for young people throughout Scotland.   It will allow the school to increase its number of pupils from 77 to 120 promising young musicians, whilst extending its existing outreach programme which includes masterclasses, choirs and a wide range of group and individual music lessons. 

The new concert hall will ease the undersupply of performance space in Edinburgh and will be capable of staging over 100 public performances a year, attracting audiences of over 20,000 annually.

Photograph: The former Royal High School on Calton Hill, Edinburgh


Instrumental Learning

Choir School

Saturday Music Classes


St Mary’s Music School is one of the nine specialist Music and Dance Schools the UK (and the only one in Scotland)  funded by the UK Government and providing the finest training in Britain. It is a co-educational, non-denominational specialist music school, offering a world class standard of music and academic education to musically gifted children aged 9-19 years. It is also the Choir School of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh. It attracts day and boarding pupils from across Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Europe and internationally. 

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St Mary's Music School Trust Ltd, Registered No: 54504
St Mary's Music School Trust Limited is a charity No. SC014611
Registered Office: Coates Hall, 25 Grosvenor Crescent, Edinburgh EH12 5EL.