Primary Students

The general pattern in Flora Stevenson Primary School is that a music school student will spend the majority of the school week in a mixed-ability class.  Class work will include any music for which the whole class is timetabled.  In addition to this, around two half-hour periods per day will be allocated for specialist music.  This will include individual instrumental lessons and practice plus small group sessions for theory, aural and general musicianship.  Choral, orchestral and other kinds of ensemble rehearsal take place both within and outwith the school day.  Therefore, a student's working day can be quite long but it would be unusual for any musical activities to extend beyond 4.30pm.  After participating in the specialist music programme provided at Flora Stevenson Primary School, our students are expected to continue their education at Broughton, where they will retain their instrumental teachers.

Secondary 1 & 2

In consultation with students and parents, time for specialist music is created by extraction from selected subjects either wholly or partially for the year. We may, for example, decide to extract completely from one subject for one year or attend only one out of two  lessons for another subject in the week. All of this is negotiable and no two Music School timetables will be the same. The aim is to set aside approximately a quarter of the school week for music, including all individual and small group tuition. As in Flora Stevenson Primary School, other ensemble rehearsals happen outwith the normal school day.

Secondary 3 & 4  

All students study English, mathematics, a modern language and a science. Music School students choose a further four out of a possible total of eight other subjects, one of which will be music. Great care and planning is given to the choice of courses in S3 and S4 to ensure a balanced curriculum whilst giving enough time to specialist music. The total timetable allocation for music including Standard Grade music is approximately a quarter of the school week. 

Music School students usually sit National 5 music in S3, progressing immediately to Higher in S4. This is to enable the students more choices appropriate to their needs in S5 and S6. For example, a Music School student may wish to study for Advanced Higher music in S5, leaving S6 to concentrate on auditions for colleges and college Diplomas. These may be academic diplomas in musicology, teaching or composition - or practical, instrumental ones.

Secondary 5 & 6

There is a good deal of variation in the time allocation for music at this stage, according to the career intentions of the individual student. A normal pattern for a student in S5 or S6 would be to sit Advanced Higher music plus two other subjects. By S6, a well-qualified student, intent upon a music course beyond school, could be spending 50 per cent or more of the school week studying music. 

All music students tend to get involved in music making out of school as well as in school. They are expected to take part in the network of ensembles within The City of Edinburgh and beyond.


Music students are in every way full members of their respective schools. The welfare of Music School students is the concern of the Headteacher and staff and they are subject to the same pastoral care, through class teachers and guidance staff, as any other student. They are also subject to the normal rules and administrative procedures of the school.

Guide for Parents

Jo Maisie Mika Amelia

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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