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. Currently pupils study a full range of orchestral instruments along with voice, organ, clarsach, accordion, recorder, bagpipes and composition, but we are happy to accept applications for any instrument. Pupils are selected after an audition process.

We accept pupils from Primary 5 (age 9 to 10) through to the Sixth Form (up to age 19).  New pupils can enter the school in all years.

Advisory auditions are held on a monthly basis throughout the school year and instrumental auditions are held each term in October/November, January/February and April.  Auditions can also be arranged during holiday periods. 

If you wish to apply you should propose two instruments, or specialisms, for your first and second study; any instrument will be considered.  For instance, a first and second study might be trombone and composition or piano and flute. If you wish to audition on more than one instrument then one of the studies should be a harmony instrument (eg piano or ensemble instrument).

Boarding and Day Places 

We offer boarding and day places. Boarding places are usually open to ages 12 and above. Weekly boarding is available.

Who can apply?

We welcome applications from instrumentalists, composers and singers from Scotland, the rest of the UK and abroad. Entry points are either at primary age; secondary school entry level; 6th year level or between school and higher education.


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. Arrange to attend an Advisory Audition (currently online)

Advisory Auditions are an informal way to assess your level and potential. Advisory auditions are free and are arranged throughout the year.  You will perform prepared pieces to small number of our music faculty and submit a composition folio if relevant. At the end of the Advisory Audition the panel will provide you with constructive feedback on your playing and will normally propose one of these three outcomes: 

  • recommend you advance to the next stage of a Formal Audition
  • advise that you study and practise further and return for a second Advisory Audition at a later date
  • recommend you consider alternative options to pursue your music.

There is no fee for an Advisory Audition. 

Before you can attend an Advisory Audition we will ask you to complete our Application Form which asks for more detailed information and helps us be prepared for your audition.

3. Attend a Formal Audition 

For your formal audition you will be asked to prepare a selection of pieces and will play in front of a small panel of our music faculty. The panel will assess your musical ability and potential as well as explore the passion you have to study music. 

At the end of the Advisory Audition the panel will normally propose one of these three outcomes:

  • recommend you advance to the next stage of a Two Day Stay
  • advise that you study and practise your music further and return for an Advisory Audition at a later date
  • recommend you consider alternative options. 

4. Attend a Two Day Stay 

Choosing to attend a specialist music school is a big decision and we want to make sure that it is the right one for you and for the school. A two-day stay is an ideal way to do this. During your stay you will attend lessons, meet our pupils and teachers – both academic and music - and do everything our current pupils do. 

At the end of your two-day stay there will normally 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

Becky Verdon, Admissions Officer

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.