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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What should I prepare for audition?

We ask you to prepare two contrasting pieces on your first study and one on any subsequent study – these need not be long perhaps 5 mins. We are not looking for flawless final versions; recordings taken on an iPhone or similar device are absolutely fine as it provides us with an indication of what your current repertoire is and a little bit about you.

If you have any examples of your own composition then please do also send us these, even if composition is not one of your studies.

What are the first steps towards an audition?

Get in touch, our Admissions are happy to arrange for a phone call or Zoom chat to introduce the school and tell you a bit more about us and the audition process.

The process can take up to 3 months from beginning to end so there plenty opportunities to ask questions along the way and meet staff and pupils. 

What funding assistance is available?

Over 90% of our pupils receive some kind of financial support through the Scottish Government's Aided Places Scheme; eligiblity is based on residence in the UK. We are part of the Music and Dance Scheme which is supported by the UK Government and is designed to ensure that any pupil with exceptional talent can receive a specialist education regardless of their financial means.  Fees are calculated based on affordability and parental income and you can find details of the fees and financial support at this link https://www.stmarysmusicschool.co.uk/admissions/study-music/fees-and-funding/

What if I only have one study?

We are happy to consider applications from pupils who have only one study. Once you are at school, and in consultation with the Director of Music and your parents, a second study will be identified. As you go through school it is common for pupils to pick a third study, again this is done in consultation with yourselves and the Director of Music and instrumental teachers.  

What academic exams will I study?

Pupils at SMMS take SQA National Qualifications at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher along with AQA GSCE and A-level in Music. With small classes and a high staff to pupil ratio, pupils can achieve the best of results in both their music and academic studies. Our examination results are consistently high and although most of our pupils go on to Conservatoires they will have a the back-up of examination results which would enable University entrance.

I have studied Rock and Pop - can I still apply? 

Applications from Pop and Rock students are likewise warmly welcomed. In reality, however, only candidates who demonstrate a firm knowledge of traditional music notation (and of music theory in general), and who have brought a second instrument up to a good standard - which may include singing or composition - are likely to have their applications progressed. Drummers are required to play a polyphonic instrument to a good standard.

How many boarders are there?

We have around 25 - 30 boarders who come from all over Scotland as well as abroad. The Boarding House has a lovely family feel with pupils from age 11 - 19. Most pupils will share a room, with each room having en-suite facilities. As part of the audition process you will have the opportunity to meet with the Boarding House Manager, and when restrictions allow, to stay in school overnight.

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.