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





Video Auditions 

Since movement restrictions were introduced in March 2020, we have moved all our learning online and continue to provide academic and music classes to all our pupils. So, although things are a little different, life at St Mary's Music School continues to be busy and exciting for all our pupils and teaching staff. 

We have also adapted our audition process and are welcoming applications and submissions online. If you are passionate about music, we encourage you to apply. 

How to Apply Online

The first step is to complete the application form, and then send us a video(s) or link to a private youtube channel with the following: 

1. An introduction to who you are, what you play and what you are going to perform for your audition. In addition tell us a bit more about yourself as a musician, what types and styles of music do you like, we like to hear a little about your weekly practice schedule, what are you listening to at the moment, and perhaps tell us what you like about performing music to others.

2. Two contrasting works or pieces on your first study instrument

3. One short piece on your second instrument and any subsequent studies (including singing) 

If you are a composer then you can send your work directly to Mary Walls, Admissions Secretary. 

Don't worry about making this a professional recording, smartphone footage will work perfectly well. 

What Happens Next? 

Your video(s) will be reviewed by our audition panel comprising our Director of Music, Assistant Director of Music, Artistic Director and Headteacher. 

If the panel feel it is appropriate we will then invite you to an interview by Zoom. 

The final stage will be a 'virtual two day stay', where you will be able to meet some of our pupils and staff online and take part in lessons via Teams and Zoom. 

What is the Deadline for Applications? 

The deadline for applications is Thursday May 28th. We will accept applications after this time but the review process will be longer and may extend into the autumn term to ensure that you can complete the two day stay. For that reason we strongly encourage you to submit your applications by Thursday May 28th. 

Any Questions? 

If you have any questions at all or any concerns, we are here to help. Simply contact Mrs Walls, our Admissions Secretary by email in the first instance. email: mwalls@st-marys-music-school.co.uk 

Our normal admissions information is below for your reference. 



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 or potential ability. 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; piano and flute. If you wish to audition on more than one instrument; one of the studies should be a harmony instrument. 

Boarding and Day Places 

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


Up to 100% financial support is available to UK and eligible EU pupils via means-tested bursaries and the Scottish Aided Places scheme. Find out more.  

Who can apply?

We welcome applications from instrumentalists, composers and singers fro 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.

Visit Us 

We encourage anyone wishing to apply to visit the school and meet current pupils and staff. You can do this in a number of ways:

Attend an Informal Open Evening

Come and find out more about the school through a short presentation and meet current pupils and staff. There will be the opportunity to ask any questions over tea and coffee. 

Come to an Open Day

Join us for an afternoon. Take a tour of the school, see classes in action and meet pupils, parents and staff. 

Arrange an Independent Visit

If you can’t make an Open Evening or Open Day, or prefer an individual visit, thenit is possible to arrange an appointment on a Monday afternoon. Meet our Admissions team, take a tour of the school and have any of your questions answered. 

Attend a Concert

Come and see our pupils in a public performance. 

Next steps

  • Register to receive our enews to find out what’s on or visit the What’s On pages of the website.  
  • Complete our Enquiry Form and reserve your place at our next Open Days and Open Evenings 
  • Complete our Enquiry Form and arrange an individual visit. 

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. 

  • Complete our Enquiry Form 

2. Arrange to attend an Advisory Audition (recommended)

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 practice 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 

We recommend that all candidates complete an Advisory Audition before applying for 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 practice 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 practice your music further and apply again at a later date 
  • we recommend you consider alternative options.

International Applicants 

We welcome applicants from around the world. 

If you are an international applicant or are currently living abroad, the process for applying is generally the same as that outlined above with two significant differences. 

1. If you cannot attend an Advisory Audition in person we will accept a good quality video recording instead or link to a recording on Youtube or similar. 

2. If your Advisory Audition is successful we will invite you for a combined Formal Audition and Two Day Stay. 

We therefore strongly recommend that you make sure your Advisory Audition is as good as it can be when applying. 

Find out more about Applying to Study Music as an International Pupil

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 equiry please do so here.


Download Application Forms

Application forms may be downloaded below or requested from the School. These can be printed off, filled in and returned as hard copies, or completed and returned by email.

Forms should be returned to:

Miss Mary Walls
Admissions Secretary
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.