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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Application Process for Instrumentalists, Composers and Singers - age 9 to 19

Entry to St Mary’s Music School is the same for all years and age-groups and is based on musical ability and potential. We will consider instrumentalists, singers and composers.

We accept pupils from Primary 5 (age 9 to 10) through to the Sixth Form (up to age 18).  New pupils can enter the school in all years.

If you wish to apply you should propose two instruments or specialisms for your first and second study. We accept applications from those who only have one instrument, however if this is the case then once you are at school here, a second study will be indentified in consultation with you, the Director of Music and your parents/guardians. 

For those interested in singing, there are two possible routes into the school, either as a 9 year old day pupil (chorister pathway) or as an instrumentalist (day or boarding) aged typically 13 and above.

Boarding and Day Places 

We offer boarding and day places. Boarding places are usually open to applicants in S1 (age 11/12) and above.


Steps to Apply

1. Complete the Enquiry Form 

The Enquiry Form is the first stage of the application process. It asks for limited information about your age, instrument and contact details so that we can make sure you receive the right information at the right time. 


2. Apply for an Advisory Audition (digital*, no charge)

Advisory Auditions are an informal way to assess your music ability and potential. They are done digitally and there is no charge for the advisory. 

For an Advisory audition, we would ask you to provide us with video recordings to a private youtube channel (or alternative format) playing up to two short contrasting pieces on your first study instrument, and if you have a second instrument, then a piece on this as well. You are welcome to provide any further recordings/information that demonstrates your musical ability too, whether it be a third instrument or a composition folio if relevant. 

These recordings are seen by our Headteacher and Director of Music who will be able to provide advice as to whether the next stage of the audition process would be appropriate.

To apply for an Advisory Audition simply send an email to Admissions with Advisory Audition as the subject line. Inlcude your name, and age and a link to your recordings admissions@st-marys-music-school.co.uk

*We understand that some applicants may prefer to have an in-person advisory audition. If this is something that you would like to discuss further, please contact our admissions department


3. Consultation Lesson (online)

Following your advisory audition, we might invite you for an online 45 minute Consultation Lesson on your first study instrument with one of our instrumental teachers. This will help give us further insight into your musical ability.

  • Consultation lessons are a good way to gain valuable advice and feedback on your playing.
  • The lesson is assessed, following which you will be advised on whether or not a formal audition would be appropriate at this time.
  • There will be a fee of £50* for the Consultation Lesson.

*Allowances will be considered for those in financial hardship and this can be discussed further with our Bursar. Please contact Admissions in the first instance.


4. Attend a Formal Audition (in-person)

If you are invited for a formal audition, this will normally take place at our premises at Coates Hall in Edinburgh. Auditions are usually held three times a year (November, February and April).

  • You will be asked to prepare two contrasting pieces on your first study instrument and one piece on your second instrument if you have one. (These can be the same pieces as you prepared for your advisory audition.) Singing can also be presented.
  • A panel will assess your musical ability and potential as well as explore the passion you have to study music. The audition will last around 45 minutes.
  • Parents/guardians are welcome to accompany their child to an audition but will not be able to be present at the audition itself. There is an opportunity to take a tour of the School by prior arrangement.

If you would like to accept the invitation to attend the formal audition, we will ask you for some music references before the audition takes place. There will be an audition fee of £75*.

*Allowances will be considered for those in financial hardship and this can be discussed further with our Bursar. Please contact Admissions.


5. Attend a Two Day Stay (in-person)

If you are successful at audition, we will invite you to the final stage of the audition process, a Two Day Stay. The Two Day Stay will take place in school. If you are applying as a boarder you will stay overnight.

During the Two Day Stay you will:

  • Get a real sense of life at the School and decide whether it is for you.
  • Attend lessons (both academic and music), and meet our pupils and teachers; in fact, you will do everything our current pupils do during the school day.
  • For parents/guardians there will be an opportunity to meet the Headteacher and take a tour of the School.

 At the end of your Two Day Stay, there will be three possible outcomes:

  • We offer you a place.
  • We advise that you study and practise your music further and apply again at a later date.
  • We recommend you consider alternative options.


Part-Time Pathway Applicants (Age 16 plus)

Our Part-Time Pathways to Music Specialism scheme offers specialist music opportunities on a part-time basis to a small number of post-Higher (age 16 plus) instrumentalists, singers and composers from other schools who intend to apply for a music course at university or music college and want to gain further qualifications or training.

Alongside our full-time pupils, Pathways students receive tuition of the highest quality from our specialist music staff. Some Pathways students attend while still at other schools; others come to us during a gap year between school and higher education.

Admission is by audition in May/June preceding possible September entry and applications should be received preferably by 31 May of the year of possible September entry. Late applications will be considered.

Complete an Application Form online for a Part-Time Pathway to Music Specialism place.

Further Information

If you would like to know more about the audition process, or would like to discuss a particular application, please get in touch


Online Applications 

If you would like to complete your application online please do so here.
If you would like to make an admissions enquiry please do so here.


Download Application Forms

Application forms may be downloaded below or requested from our Admissions Officer, Becky Verdon. These can be printed off, filled in and returned as hard copies, or completed and returned by email.

Forms should be returned to:

St Mary's Music School
Coates Hall
25 Grosvenor Crescent
Edinburgh EH12 5EL


Application Form (pdf)

Application Form (word)

Admissions Privacy Policy


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.