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St Mary`s Music School
Coates Hall, 25 Grosvenor Crescent, EH12 5EL, UK Edinburgh
+44 (0)131 538 7766

St Mary's Music School is Scotland's specialist music school and the Choir School of St Mary's Cathedral. It is one of the UK's leading specialist music schools. The school provides a unique education for children with a special talent in music. It is co-educational, non-denominational, day and boarding, and caters for boys and girls aged 9 - 19. It draws pupils from many different backgrounds and from all parts of Scotland as well as elsewhere in the UK and abroad. Entry to the school is by audition and assessment, based on musical ability and potential, regardless of personal circumstances. Government funding, up to 100%, is available through the Aided Places scheme to assist with the cost of tuition and boarding fees.

The choir school was opened in 1880 to educate choristers for the newly built St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral. Nowadays the school has a much wider remit: not only have the ranks of the Cathedral Choir been opened to girls as well as boys, but since 1972 the school has also educated young instrumentalists, composers and singers.

St Mary's Music School is at the forefront of music education, offering the highest quality training as part of a broad and balanced education. The school enjoys a first-rate academic record and offers a rich variety of experience in a friendly and supportive environment, encouraging all pupils to build on their individual talents and develop the personal discipline and confidence required to fulfill their potential as thinking musicians and rounded members of society.

Our gifted pupils share a common love and enjoyment of music. St Mary's Music School aims to ensure that they are given every opportunity to flourish and emerge as excellent musicians capable of using the power of music to inspire and enrich their own lives and the lives of others.

Hall Quartet

Viola pupils with James Sleigh

Coates Hall

St Mary's Music School enjoys an enviable location at Coates Hall, surrounded by gardens in the heart of Scotland's historic and vibrant capital city.

Edinburgh benefits from excellent transport communications.

School Campus


Boarding at St Mary's Music School

In Coates Hall there are two floors of boarding accommodation for pupils. The aim of the Boarding House is to provide a supportive and caring environment for those pupils who are away from home. Boarders are supervised and cared for by resident staff with experience and understanding of young people.


The bedrooms, mainly twin rooms with a few triple rooms, are spacious and well furnished with ample room for storage and study. There is a Boarders' Lounge (with a small kitchen) and boarding pupils have access to practice rooms and the school library outwith school hours.

Boarding House Staff

Senior Houseparent:
Anca Sitov

Boarding House Assisants:
Iwona Przyblyska
Gill Shilland
Kathy Simpson

Boarders' bedroom

Boarders' sitting room

Reading the paper from home


Autumn Term 2007  
Start 3 September
Open Day 6 October, 2.30pm - 5pm
Half-term 15 - 22 October inclusive
End 18 December
Spring Term 2008  
Start 7 January
Half-term 8 - 13 February inclusive
End 27 March
Summer Term 2008  
Start 14 April
Half-term 19 - 21 May inclusive
End 24 June


First steps to obtaining a place

Recruitment auditions are held each term and can be arranged during holiday periods. Advisory auditions can be arranged at any time of year.

Who can apply?

Our pupils come from all over Britain and, increasingly, from abroad.

Entry depends on musical ability. Our audition panel seeks to identify musical potential, whether in a young chorister or in instrumentalists, composers and singers, who can enter at any stage, even for just a year or two years before music college or university. Pupils are supported by the Aided Places Scheme or by Cathedral bursaries.

School Prospectus

This contains all the information you might want if you are thinking of applying for a place at St Mary's Music School. You can request a copy of our prospectus on our feedback page.

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