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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An Interview with Eleanor Parker

Connecting with children and families through a love of music— 40 years of Saturday Music Classes for children

Eleanor is the Manager of Saturday Music Classes and is instrumental in ensuring that the young people and families who begin their weekend at St Mary’s Music School have a joyful experience from the moment they arrive through our gates. 

 “There’s such a super vibe on a Saturday. Yes, it’s about learning but it’s not like school. That’s the subtle difference that makes children laugh and smile for the whole morning. And families too!”


Q | Are Saturday Music Classes open to everyone?

A | Absolutely. There are no auditions for places and once a year we simply ask families to register and apply for the classes that their children are interested in taking. Then it’s our job to work out a timetable that suits everyone. There are no financial barriers either – we have bursaries available to help families who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to access music classes and we’d like to spread the word about that more, particularly given recent council cuts to music education. Just like any other school environment, we work alongside young people with learning disabilities and behavioural issues too – our approach is entirely centred around inclusion and accessibility. Around 150 young people attend one or more of our classes every Saturday and their families gather in the café downstairs – there’s such a buzz and a real feeling of a community connected through music.

Q | What values do you aim to share through Saturday Music Classes?

A | I firmly believe that music is key to nurturing a healthy, happy child. The values that we foster are inclusion, diversity, enjoyment, learning and growth. Children come to us with an interest in music and it’s our job to nurture and grow that interest through the highest quality tuition in an environment that’s committed, caring and supportive. It’s also about having fun. For me, Saturdays don’t feel like work at all – it’s the best job in the world and I’m so lucky to be in the position of providing such an incredible access to music education to so many young people.

Q | Are pupils taught individually or in groups?

A | We have two big classes – Kodály and singing – and lots of smaller instrumental groups for everything from violin and recorder to the clarsach. Children are grouped with other children of a similar standard – it’s not always about age – and this both increases their confidence and allows them to learn from and through each other. Group tuition introduces young people to important life skills too – they have to learn to listen and to wait for their turn. More space would allow us to do that.

Q | Children as young as four attend Saturday Music Classes – what do they gain from this?

A | Our youngest children can take part in Kodály classes. Through Kodály, children learn how to use hand signs to represent pitch before starting to invent their own music. Kodály classes are offered to children in their final pre-school year while instrumental group tuition is offered from around eight years old.

Q | What would you say to parents who are uncertain whether this is right for their child?

A |In the first instance get in touch, we are always happy to answer any questions and provide advice. You can also opt for a trial lesson which is completely free or come in and observe a class in progress with advance notice. There is something about music that works for everyone so we are confident your child will find something they love. 

Q | What would you say to parents who are uncertain whether this is right for their child?

A | In the first instance get in touch, we are always happy to answer any questions or provide advice. You can also opt for a trial lesson which is completely free or come in and observe a class in progress with advance notice.  There is something about music that works for everyone so we are confident your child will find something they love. 

 

 

 

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.