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





The Vocal Department at St Mary’s Music School is the only one of its kind in Scotland and the North of England. Singing is an intrinsic part of Scotland’s rich cultural heritage and therefore makes the perfect home for young singers aged 13 plus from the UK and abroad to help ensure that they can grow and flourish. 

First Study Programmes

There are two vocal programmes at the School which focus on age-appropriate vocal development: The Changing Voices Programme and the Senior Vocal Programme. All first-study singers are encouraged to perform regularly and can do so at lunchtime concerts in School as well as in performance opportunities at the many major concert events held by St Mary’s Music School throughout the year. Pupils have access to masterclasses with industry leaders and are supported to attend external opportunities such as the National Youth Choir of Scotland, Scottish Opera and RSNO Youth Chorus.

In addition to two weekly singing lessons and vocal coaching, All singers on both the Changing Voices Programme and the Senior Vocal Programme receive a weekly language coaching. This is an opportunity for pupils to work on their pronunciation and interpretation of text, arguably the most important element of vocal performance. These classes are sung and are led by one of the School’s voice teachers ensuring that pupils are able to communicate text in a way which is not interfering with their technical work. Languages change termly with a focus on Italian in the first term, French in the second and German in the third. 

As with all instrumental pupils at St Mary’s Music School, all singers on the Changing Voices Programme and Senior Vocal Programme receive a weekly performance class. The purpose of the class is to develop presentation and performance skills essential for all concert work and, of course, auditions. It also gives pupils the opportunity to test-run repertoire ahead of performances in a safe and supportive environment. When pupils are not performing, they are encouraged to give constructive feedback and reflect on how this might impact their own performances going forward.

Ensemble music-making is a key element of every child’s musical development. All pupils on the Changing Voices Programme are involved in the Changing Voices Choir. This small choir focusses on building on choristers’ choral experience whilst supporting their voices as they change. Pupils are able to switch voice parts as required to ensure that they are working within a comfortable part of their voice and will be most likely singing one to part. This allows them to think like soloists working together rather than as one of many within a traditional choir building important teamwork, independent learning and musicianship skills.

Singers on the Senior Vocal Programme receive weekly acting, movement and stage craft lessons. During these lessons, pupils learn how to use their body to help them communicate both text and music through basic acting technique, stagecraft and schools of movement. They also explore the beginnings of building a character and how their body and movements can inform this. To cement the work they do in this class and to bring together acting and voice study, singers annually perform a set of staged Vocal Scenes with short extracts from operas, operettas and musical theatre. These scenes are curated by the Head of Voice and chosen to best suit the singers in the programme.

 Second and Third Study Options

As with all instrumental study at St Mary's Music School, pupils have the option to study Voice as a second or third study. Pupils receive weekly singing lessons, have access to specialist coaching and accompaniment, are involved heavily in our outstanding Chamber Music programme as well as being involved in the School Choir and Chamber Choir. 

 We welcome first and second study singers as Instrumental pupils from aged 13 and above. If you would like further information on our Chorister programme, click here

Peter Maxwell Davies conducting School Choir





Vocal Staff

Chorister Tutors:
Head of Voice:

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.