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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International Woodwind Summer School

1st to 6th August

New for 2021 is our International Woodwind Summer School.

Led by faculty members Lis Dooner and Fraser Kelman, this innovative course is designed to help you improve your confidence and playing technique in an environment that is fun and supportive.You can expect a comprehensive range of group and individual classes, and as we only have 16 places you can be sure to receive dedicated and focused attention. The course takes place at at our home in the heart of Scotland’s beautiful capital city, Edinburgh. 

Who is the Woodwind Summer School for? 

This summer school is for flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon players aged 13 to 17, Grade 7 and above (ABRSM or Trinity or equivalent) who would like to improve their technique and playing ability. 

The Course is residential and includes: 

  • Individual lessons (with the opportunity for other students to observe)
  • Coaching with piano staff
  • Chamber music
  • Performances classes
  • Yoga / Mindfulness / Wellbeing
  • Instrument specific classes (e.g. Reedmaking for oboists, baroque style for flautists etc.)
  • Alexander Technique
  • Dalcroze sessions
  • Workshop sessions
  • Use of the School’s library and practice facilities
  • A final performance open to friends and family of participants
  • Walking tour of Edinburgh 
  • Evening activities including a concert 
  • Food and accommodation in single or twin ensuite rooms
  • Certificate of attendance


  • Advisory audition 
  • Applying to Conservatoire – the majority of graduates from our full time programmes go on to successfully apply to Conservatoire or Music College. In this informal online session, hear what advice they would give as you think about preparing your own application and take this unique opportunity to ask the questions you would never normally ask.  

Cost & How to Apply

Cost: £795 inclusive. 

Financial Support

A limited amount of bursary funding is available. Please contact bursar@st-marys-music-school.co.uk for more information.  

We have compiled a list of trusts and funding bodies who may be able to help if you require financial support. You can access this here. SMMS_Funding_Directory.pdf

The deadline for applications is Sunday 6th June.  

To Apply: Applicants will be asked to submit a video recording. For more details and to apply: 

If you have any questions please contact Mary Walls, mwalls@st-marys-music-school.co.uk  

Information for Parents 

Edinburgh is Unesco World-Heritage site and one of the world’s most beautiful cities. As well as stunning architecture to admire, there are excellent shops, restaurants and visitor attractions.   The city also makes an excellent base to explore other areas of Scotland including the Highlands and Islands, so while your child focuses on developing their instrumental techniques you can happily spend a few days sightseeing. We hope you will join us for a concert on the last day of the course.  


Whilst we fully intend to deliver this course in person at our premises in Edinburgh, if restrictions preclude this, we will provide a digital online course as an alternative. 



Lis Dooner, Flute 

Course Director - Lis Dooner

After studying flute in Glasgow with David Nicholson and London with William Bennett, Lis had a busy freelance career working with many orchestras including the Philharmonia, London Mozart Players, City of London Sinfonia, London Classical Players and Academy of Ancient Music. She returned to Scotland in 1988 to join the Scottish Chamber Orchestra with whom she has performed alongside international soloists and conductors. Lis has been involved in many chamber music concerts and concertos with the SCO as well as starting “SCO LAB”, an innovative group set up to explore new ways of devising music and to work with musicians from different cultures and disciplines. 

Lis teaches baroque and concert flute at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and has a busy private teaching practice. She is much in demand as a visiting tutor on flute courses where she has worked alongside Sarah Newbold, Wissam Boustany, Ruth Morley and Ian Clark. Elisabeth recently visited Bangkok, Thailand, with Sarah Newbold where they delivered a series of highly successful flute workshops. Lis' interest in baroque music and style, combined with experience in the Dalcroze method of teaching music, makes her classes particularly interesting and challenging.

Fraser Kelman

Course Leader - Fraser Kelman

Born in Aberdeen, Fraser Kelman was a pupil at St Mary's Music School in Edinburgh before moving to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music. Since graduating in 2009 he has pursued a busy freelance career primarily as an orchestral oboist and has performed with many of the UK's leading ensembles including the English Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Royal Northern Sinfonia.

Fraser combines teaching with a busy performing career, regularly playing with Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the orchestra of Scottish Ballet.

Fraser also cultivates an interest in chamber music. Recent highlights have included collaborating with the Benyounes Quartet, cellist Kim Vaughan and pianist Sarah Beth Briggs. He also has wide experience as a soloist, previous concerto performances including works by Albinoni, Bach, Haydn, Marcello, Mozart, Strauss, Telemann and Vivaldi. In January 2020 he premiered Tom David Wilson’s Concertante Oboe.

Jean Johnson  

Clarinet and Yoga  - Jean Johnson 

Jean is a professional clarinettist who began her career with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and today works with a number of orchestras and chamber ensembles. Her guest Principal work has included Bergen Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Southern Sinfonia, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Camerata Ireland. She has performed chamber music in the world's finest venues, notably the Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall, and the Palais des Beaux-Arts Brussels.  

Alongside her own practice as a musician, Jean is also a qualified yoga instructor and has worked with musicians for many years to introduce them to techniques and practice that assist greatly in unlocking tension and helping to develop performance under pressure. By beginning each day with a yoga class, Jean will provide you with tools and techniques you can carry with you in your future careers.  

Jane Waters - Bassoon  

Bassoon - Jane Waters 

Jane was born in Edinburgh and studied at the Guildhall with Roger Birnstingl and William Waterhouse. She won a Caird Scholarship and Scottish Arts Council award to continue her studies at the Geneva Conservatoire with Roger Birnstingl. She performed frequently with Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of Scottish Ballet, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Paragon Ensemble as well as being a member of Alba Trio with Elizabeth Fyfe and Malcolm Martineau.  




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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