Singers aged 13 plus are welcomed as Instrumental pupils. Indeed Singing has been at the heart of our work since our earliest days: in the 1880s, as Choir School to St Mary’s Cathedral (a role we are proud to play to this day). Opportunities exist to explore solo singing, vocal-based Chamber Music, as well as choral singing; we have strong links with Scottish Opera’s Connect programme and with Edinburgh University’s Opera Studio. Choral Scholarships may be available at the city’s churches and cathedrals. Some pupils also sing with the National Youth Choirs of Scotland. 

Instrumentalists receive up to two hours’ tuition each week on their principal study. This is in addition to their second study. Occasionally pupils learn three instruments. Every Instrumentalist learns to play the piano. 

Pupils receive a repetiteur each week with a member of the piano faculty - indeed it is a special feature that pupils have access to an accompanist throughout their time in school. 

Practice Supervisors  are often on hand to help with all musical matters. A weekly Alexander Technique lesson is also offered. 

A weekly Performance Class allows opportunities to try out repertoire. Chamber Music, Orchestras and Ensembles are key components in each week’s timetable. There is an opportunity to explore any number of Performance Practice aspects in the last hour of each school week. Dalcroze and Kodaly are also explored as part of the Aural Programme.

Pupils are formally assessed on technical matters, performance recitals and presentation throughout their time at St Mary’s Music School, except in their final year when the focus shifts to conservatoire/university auditions and public performance. 

Pupils participate in competitions, local, national and international, and take ABRSM exams to gain experience and as a measure of progress. Our pupils have gained considerable success in high profile contests such as the BBC Young Musician of the Year and the BBC Jazz and Folk Awards along with the Moray Piano Competition, British Flute Society Competition and the Royal National Mòd. Pupils often work towards the Diploma of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

Peter Maxwell Davies conducting School Choir



Vocal Staff

Senior Choir:
Junior Choir:
Chorister Tutors: