martyn bennett copyright kirsten bennettFunky piper, electric violinist, whistler and composer auditioned for The Music School way back in the 1980s. Stunning the panel with his bagpipe playing even though he could not read or write a note of music, Martyn was warmly welcomed and his unique creative talent developed quickly along with his interest and love of Scottish music. After his time at The Music School, he studied at The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow.

Martyn's music, as described in The Scotsman, has 'Gaelic roots but also draws inspiration from the music of many cultures and the resulting sound can take in everything from ceilidh music and Afro-Islamic grooves to dub, jungle, jazz and trip-hop music.' His interest in world music was constantly stimulated by extensive travel and playing in major folk festivals around the globe.

Martyn often took time out of his busy schedule to give workshops at the Music School and was commissioned to write 'Mackay's Memoirs' for the Music School Chamber Orchestra to play at the opening of the New Scottish Parliament in Princes Street Gardens. After several other performances (including the opening of the 2004 National Mod) the piece was recorded and the CD is available from the School and local record shops.

Martyn died on 30th January 2005, following a long struggle with cancer.

An obituary can be found at: http://news.scotsman.com/obituaries.cfm?id=118752005

lisa kerrManaging Director of her own radio station after an exciting career with Forth FM and Classic FM. Brought up in Pencaitland, Lisa joined The Music School in first year to study cello, piano, composition and sing jazz. Choosing to follow a wide-ranging education in The Music School and a demanding academic regime at Broughton enabled Lisa to 'juggle many projects simultaneously which is an absolute essential in management and the media.' Lisa was also involved in many extra-curricular activities such as regional choirs, orchestras and ensembles, and a work placement in fifth year at Forth FM inspired her future career in radio.

At the University of York, Lisa studied a wide range of subjects including authentic performance techniques, improvisation, film music and continued with her interests in jazz singing. She also kept in touch with Forth FM. Immediately after graduating Lisa won a Gold Sony Award for presenting and producing the ground-breaking Festival programme Hot in the City.

In 1993 Lisa moved to London to spend two years as a producer at Classic FM and 'absorb huge amounts of information on the world of commercial radio.' She had particular responsibility for the Evening Concert and weekend programmes. 'One of the great things about Classic FM was the travelling. I produced programmes in Holland, California, Cannes and all over the UK.'

In 1995 Lisa was appointed Manager of Radio Services for a new company set up to run Channel Travel Radio. In 1996 Lisa became Managing Director, making her the youngest MD in British commercial radio. Since then, under Lisa's direction, the company has expanded considerably with stakes in Thames FM, The Sound and CTFM. Lisa is currently Public Affairs Manager for the Commercial Radio Companies Association, which involves managing the industry's interests through the legislative process.

Lisa has been appointed the first female principal at Gordonstoun School. (Prince Charles and William Boyd are former pupils of the £30k per year private school).


tommy smithAn international jazz saxophonist originally from Wester Hailes, Edinburgh. After studying with us here at The Music School, Tommy received a scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College in Boston, USA. With his unique style of solo playing, he soon attracted the attention of such jazz greats as Chick Corea and Gary Burton and later embarked on several world tours. Television, radio and many magazine articles followed and then the first record deal arrived with the famous Blue Note label. The albums Step by Step, Peeping Tom, Standards and Paris were released to great acclaim and he is currently signed to Linn Records.

Tommy is also a composer of distinction. In 1990 he was commissioned by The Scottish Ensemble to write his first saxophone concerto and later a suite for sax and strings. Classical music continues to influence much of his music. Recently Tommy took a new direction, however, for a project-based album with Linn Records entitled Beasts of Scotland. Commissioned by the Glasgow international Jazz Festival this idea was inspired by Edwin Morgan's poems and a series of paintings by Scottish artist Neil Bryce.

Tommy has returned to The City of Edinburgh Music School to share his expertise with current music students with a keen interest in jazz and several of our students play in his Youth Jazz Orchestra.

Guide for Parents


In accepting a student into The Music School, The City of Edinburgh Council is making a major commitment to resources, and if the School is to be of maximum benefit to its students this commitment must be matched by that of students and parents. This guide is intended to help parents play their part in the process.

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The Selection Procedure


A preliminary audition can be arranged through the Director of The Music School at any time during the academic year. On the basis of this informal meeting advice will be given on whether or not to proceed further. Those short-listed for a final audition will be called in for assessment by a panel of highly-renowned musicians from both within and outwith the School.

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