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Our School

St Mary’s Music School is Scotland’s only independent specialist music school, offering a world class standard of music and academic education to musically gifted children aged 9-19 years in an inspiring, inclusive and supportive environment. It is also the Choir School of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh. It is co-educational, non-denominational and attracts day and boarding pupils from across Scotland and beyond – England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Europe and internationally.

Entry to the school is by audition and assessment, based on musical ability and potential, regardless of personal financial circumstances or background. Scottish Government funding, up to 100 per cent, is available through the Aided Places Scheme to assist with the cost of tuition and boarding fees. The school is funded by fees, private and trust donations and rental income generated by the school.

There are currently 81 pupils at the school of whom 49 are day students and 32 are boarders, together with one part-time student. In addition, the school runs a long-established programme of Saturday Music Classes for children aged 4-14 during term time, enabling some 150 local children to discover the wonders of music.

The Choir School was opened in 1880 to educate the choristers for the newly built St Mary’s Cathedral. Links to the Cathedral remain strong and have evolved over the years so that the choir is open to girls as well as boys.

Since 1972 the school has also educated young instrumentalists, composers and singers. Appropriately for Scotland’s specialist music school, it attracts a number of pupils who perform on traditional instruments such as bagpipes, accordion and clarsach.

In addition to its wide-ranging musical provision, the school has a strong academic focus and has an excellent record in external examinations.