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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Instrumental Classes

Group Instrumental Lessons

At SMC, we offer tuition for the following instruments:

  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Cello
  • Double Bass
  • Guitar
  • Clarsach
  • Accordion
  • Recorder
  • Clarinet
  • Saxophone
  • Flute

Group instrumental lessons are offered for beginners for up to three years of tuition.  Pupils should provide their own instruments, and advice can be given on hiring/buying instruments.

We highly recommend that children attend at least one year of Kodály classes before starting to learn an instrument. Children can start some instruments (violin, viola, recorder, and accordion) as young as 5 years old. Other instruments are suitable for older children, such as the clarinet or saxophone- for younger children, the recorder is recommended as a starting point for these instruments. Please refer to the chart below as a guide to suitable starting ages for all of our instruments, although this can vary considerably depending on the size of the child. Our teachers will assess whether your child is ready to start their chosen instrument.

Instrument Suitable from age:
Violin 5
Viola 5
Cello 6
Double Bass 8/9
Guitar 6
Clarsach 6
Accordion 5
Recorder 5
Flute 6
Clarinet 8/9
Saxophone 8/9

Instrument hire and purchase

In most cases, pupils are expected to provide their own instruments. Teachers will provide advice on the correct size, and on hiring/buying instruments if necessary, after an assessment in the first lesson. SMC has a small number of instruments available for hire (violins, violas, cellos, double basses).

Individual Lessons

For pupils who have completed three years of group instrumental lessons at SMC, individual half-hour lessons can be arranged, subject to availability.



Music Theory Classes

Theory forms the basis for reading music and is taught in small classes. ‘Beginners’ introduces Grade 1, ‘Intermediate’ encompasses Grades 2 and 3, and ‘Advanced’ deals with Grades 4 and 5, but classes can be taught multi-level so that each child learns at their own pace.

Pupils should provide their own books (ABRSM publishing, Music Theory in Practice by Eric Taylor, appropriate grade, and Theory is Fun by Maureen Cox, appropriate grade)


Recorder lessons St Mary's Music School


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.