Piano Summer School 2019

Sunday 4 August to Friday 9 August

Programme : Key Staff : Location and Facilities : Cost : How to apply

About the Piano Summer School 

This course takes place in the heart of Edinburgh during the world-famous Edinburgh International Festival and is open to enthusiastic pianists age 13-19 who are at Grade 6 and above. Led by an experienced team of St Mary’s Music School staff, this intensive course includes one-to-one teaching, workshops, performance classes, duo work, yoga and individual sessions in Alexander Technique, participation in a final public performance and evening trips to Edinburgh International Festival concerts. Day and residential places are available. 

What can you expect? 


The programme

The Piano Summer School offers a comprehensive and broad-ranging residential programme aimed at talented pianists who wish to expand their horizons and playing capability. This intensive course is designed to give a holistic introduction to the musical, mental and physical skills needed to grow as a pianist. It is suitable for those who aspire to study at conservatoire, university and professional level as well as those who simply wish to hone their skills in an atmosphere which is fun, supportive and encouraging. Places are limited to just ten students, ensuring individual focus and dedicated support.

The course programme includes:

  • One-to-one lessons
  • Collaborative work
  • Daily group workshops
  • Practice supervision
  • Unlimited practice facilities
  • Participation in final public performance
  • Individual tuition in Alexander Technique
  • Relaxation/mindfulness/yoga
  • Evening trips to Edinburgh International Festival Concert performances

 Key staff

Helena Buckmayer

Principal piano teacher
Helena Buckmayer

John Cameron

Workshop leader
John Cameron

Location and facilities:

St Mary’s Music School is Scotland’s national music school and is located right in the heart of the stunning city of Edinburgh, capital of Scotland and home to the world-famous Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh International Fringe Festival. Both festivals will be taking place during the time of the Piano Programme and provide a stimulating backdrop for the learning and cultural experience of every student on the course.

Access to the school is easy with a quick journey by tram, bus or taxi from Edinburgh International Airport which is just 20 minutes away and has direct access to airports throughout the UK and abroad. Haymarket train station is just five minutes’ walk away and links to major all major routes.

As well as making full use of our fleet of 35 pianos including a new Model B Steinway, students will enjoy all the facilities of this historic school including twin ensuite bedrooms (sharing with one other student), beautiful gardens, sports court and table tennis and pool tables.

Coates Hall


Residential places on the Piano Summer School cost £750 per student. This is fully inclusive of food, accommodation and access to all facilities of the School. There are no hidden extras.

Day places on the PIano Summer School cost £550 per student. This includes lunch and access to all facilities of the School. 

Financial assistance may be available to support attendance. To find out more about financial assistance please contact the Bursar, Dr JoAnna Collings in the first instance on 0131 538 7766 or email

Apply for the Piano Summer School    

How to apply  

We welcome students from all over the world. To apply please complete the application form or contact Mary Walls,, telephone 0131 538 7766 for a copy.

Application form (word)

Application form (pdf)

Applicants will be asked to upload a recording of 2 contrasting pieces of repertoire to Youtube and provide the relevant link or alternatively send a recording by email in MP4 format.

Deadline for applications is May 20th, 2019

View of the City of Edinburgh

The City of Edinburgh

 “Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful and stimulating cities in the world and a capital of music and culture. What better way to spend a week developing your technique, making new friends and having fun than in the beautiful surroundings of St Mary’s Music School? “ John Cameron, Workshop Leader


"Edinburgh - The most beautiful of all the capitals of Europe” Sir John Betjeman

A perfect place for family and friends

Did you know? Edinburgh's Festivals peak during August with more than 25,000 artists and entertainers with over 1,000 shows per day. And St Mary’s Music School is right in the heart of it all. So while you’re hard at your study why not bring along parents and friends and let them discover what’s on offer?


The Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Edinburgh International Festival

Christmas in Edinburgh