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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Being a Boarder at St Mary's Music School

Around 35 instrumental pupils board at St Mary’s Music School, which at present equates to just over a third of our numbers. Our boarding house is a warm and friendly environment with comfortable, mostly shared bedrooms (normally two per room) over two floors.  There are four permanent members of staff: the Boarding House Manager, Deputy Manager, and two full-time Houseparents as well as five part-time Houseparents. The boarders are very well looked after and enjoy all the excitement of learning and living in the heart of Edinburgh.

Our boarding and pastoral care staff are friendly, approachable and professional. Boarding staff offer help and advice to the pupils and support them with their academic work. This means that each pupil receives the attention that they deserve. After the school day, boarders have access to all the practice rooms and can also visit a local leisure centre with access to a gym and a pool. Other boarding activities can include baking, movie evenings, arts and crafts, games and themed evenings. There is a visit into town for an orchestral or chamber music concert and to the opera or ballet, every week of the school year.

Boarding Accommodation

The Boarding House has a mix of single and twin-bedded rooms over the upper two floors of Coates House.  Accommodation is divided into boys' and girls' corridors.  Rooms have built-in beds, desks and storage as well as noticeboards. Wifi internet access is available throughout the Boarding House, and boarders also have access to the School's computer suite and library.

There is a common room for watching films, TV and playing games and there is also a small boarders’ kitchen. Pupils also have access to the Senior Common Room, also with a television. Most importantly there is a sense of home from home with a high pastoral staff to pupil ratio.

Evenings and Weekends in the Boarding House

At 6pm the boarders receive their evening meal and then participate in supervised prep. These sessions provide support to pupils with their homework. At 8pm a supper snack is served and then there is free time until bed. On the weekends, the pupils enjoy longer lie-ins and more free time to practise, socialise with friends or return home for some or all of the weekend if they wish.


It may be possible for pupils to flexi-board, meaning they can go home at weekends.

Nightly Boarding for Day Pupils

Occasional boarding for day pupils is sometimes possible, for example following a late-finishing concert performance.

Meals in the Boarding House

Our School Chef produces interesting and new menus with healthy and locally sourced ingredients. There is also ample choice and variety at mealtimes. In addition, there are frequently themed dinners for the boarders. On these occasions, the Dining Hall is transformed into the appropriate cultural environment. The boarders also have the chance to learn how to cook and help with meals in the kitchen.









Mrs Mears, Boarding House Manager 



Mrs Di Placido, Chef


Useful Links

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.