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




Kathryn Jourdan

Having studied Music at Clare College, Cambridge (1985-88) Kathryn completed postgraduate studies in viola and chamber music at the Royal Northern College of Music with Simon Rowland Jones and Chris Rowland, where she was awarded the Bach and Leonard Hirsch prizes for solo and quartet performance. After five formative years in the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, under Simon Rattle's leadership, she played for three years in a London-based string quartet, training and then practising in the meantime as a secondary music teacher back in Cambridge, inspired by the outreach and education work in inner city Birmingham in which she had taken part as a member of CBSO.

Since moving to Edinburgh, Kathryn has freelanced as a viola player with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and other chamber ensembles,and for the past decade has also been teaching academic music, viola and chamber music in the specialist setting of St Mary’s Music School.

In 2015 she completed a PhD in the field of the Philosophy of Music Education, ‘Through the lens of Levinas: An ethnographically-informed case study of pupils’ ‘practices of facing’ in music-making’, supervised by John Finney in the Faculty of Education in Cambridge. This established an ethical basis for music education and offers a philosophical underpinning of a transformative vision for the music profession more widely. Kathryn is a member of the editorial boards of both the British and International Journals of Music Education, continues to present and publish academic research and has given lectures at Edinburgh University, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the University of Illinois. She was a board member of Sistema Scotland for nine years where she chaired the music committee, is currently on the board of the Edinburgh Youth Orchestra and has been an honorary member of the International Musicological Society.

Over the past few years Kathryn has developed an unusual role, working alongside a small number of conductors and soloists in the UK and Europe to help them 'think through' repertoire or wider issues of practice, offering academic research and professional support as a ‘critical friend’, utilising all aspects of her musical experience over more than thirty years in the profession.  This role has focused upon programme development, providing resources to excite and inspire towards fresh interpretative pathways, and encouraging ethical relating in rehearsal, performance, and towards the wider profession. 

Kathryn Jourdan


BA Hons, PG Dip, PGCE, MEd, PhD


Academic Music


Academic Music



Additional Responsibilities

Chamber Music


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 Limited is a charity No. SC014611
Registered Office: Coates Hall, 25 Grosvenor Crescent, Edinburgh EH12 5EL.