Open Evening for Parents, Pupils and Teachers - Instrumentalists only

Tuesday October 1st, 6pm to 7.30pm 

Open Day - for Parents, Pupils and Teachers - Instrumentalists and Choristers 

Saturday 26th October, 2pm to 4.20pm 

Booking essential




School Life 

Being a small school of only 80 pupils St Mary's Music School has a lively, warm and family-led atmosphere where pupils, teachers and staff come together in a hubbbub of activity.  The heart of the School is Coates Hall, a Victorian villa which is surrounded by beautiful gardens and a tennis/games court and is peaceful and quiet, despite being located in the centre of Edingurgh.  Around 35 pupils are boarders, living in either single or twin ensuite rooms in the main building, many with an outlook over the garden and grounds. From time to time day pupils also stay overnight, but with a busy schedule of perforamnces and outings everyone comes together on a regular basis. 


Performance plays a big part in the life of every pupil. Major concerts involving the whole school take place in external venues at least three times a year but there are also a whole host of additional performance opporunities - from the annual Jazz concert to recital prizes and competitions, to smaller concerts for invited guests. In addition our senior pupils are also frequently invited to perform at external gatherings and venues. In the last year this has included frequent visits to the home of Scottish Parliament, Holyrood; the French Consulate, St Cecilia's Hall, as well as numerous other venues. In addition there are regular weekly concerts in-house, the Chancel Concert series which takes place twice a year in St Mary's Cathedral and the opportunity for pupils to stage their own recitals for their peers and staff or visiting guests. 

Unmissable Concerts 

Edinburgh is known as the world's Festival City and is a major cultural capital.  With so much culture on our doorstep there is a visit into town, for an orchestral or chamber music concert, to the opera or ballet, every week of the school year. Thanks to the generosity of the many friends and supporters of the school, these concerts are often free, or there is a small charge.

There are regular visits to orchestras and ensembles who are based in Edinburgh:

In addition, concert visits include the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, who play in Edinburgh every week, the Hebrides Ensemble and Georgian Concerts Society.

These concerts, enabling pupils to see world-class musicians on a regular basis, sometimes with the chance to go backstage, is a unique part of every pupil's learning and education her at St Mary's Music School.  

Academic Outings

Edinburgh is a Unesco World Heritage site and is the home to many wolrd-class universities, incredible architecture and beautiful green spaces. Where appropriate our teaching staff make the most of the city by taking pupils on outings linked to their study choices. This could be to make use of university science laboratories, to access the expertise of the team at the Botanic Gardens, to visit an art gallery or museum. 


All pupils have a choice of healthy meal options in the main dining room. Our School Chef produces interesting and new menus with healthy and locally sourced ingredients and there is ample choice and variety at mealtimes. In addition, there are frequently themed dinners for the boarders. On these occasions, the Dining Hall is transformed into the appropriate cultural environment. The boarders also have the chance to learn how to cook and help with meals in the kitchen.

Boarding Accommodation 

Around 35 instrumental pupils board at St Mary’s Music School, which at present equates to just over a third of our numbers. Our boarding house is a warm and friendly environment for our residential pupils, with comfortable, mostly shared bedrooms (normally two per room) over two floors. There is a common room for watching films, TV and playing games and there is also a boarders’ kitchen. Most importantly there is a sense of home from home with a high pastoral staff to pupil ratio. There are four permanent members of staff: the Boarding House Manager, Deputy Manager, and two full-time Houseparents as well as five part-time Houseparents. The boarders are very well looked after and enjoy all the excitement of learning and living in the heart of Edinburgh.

Our boarding and pastoral care staff are friendly, approachable and professional. Boarding staff offer help and advice to the pupils and support them with their academic work. This means that each pupil receives the attention that they deserve. After the school day, boarders have access to all the practice rooms and can also visit a local leisure centre with access to a gym and a pool. Other boarding activities can include baking, movie evenings, arts and crafts, games and themed evenings. There is a visit into town for an orchestral or chamber music concert and to the opera or ballet, every week of the school year.

Evenings and Weekends in the Boarding House

At 6pm the boarders receive their evening meal and then participate in supervised prep. These sessions provide support to pupils with their homework. At 8pm a supper snack is served and then there is free time until bed. On the weekends, the pupils enjoy longer lie-ins and more free time to practise, socialise with friends or return home for some or all of the weekend if they wish.


It may be possible for pupils to flexi-board, meaning they can go home at weekends.

Nightly Boarding for Day Pupils

Occasional boarding for day pupils is sometimes possible, for example following a late-finishing concert performance, and this should be discussed with the Boarding House Manager in advance.





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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.