St Mary’s Music School launches Scotland’s first programmes for young classical singers – sign up for taster

An exciting new opportunity is opening for young classical singers as St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh launches Scotland’s first full time vocal programmes for singers aged 13 -19. Register for the taster day on Sunday May 5.

St Mary’s Music School has a strong reputation for producing world-class instrumentalists through its specialist music education for talented young musicians.

The Edinburgh-based specialist music school is now to open its first voice programmes, designed to educate Scotland’s most promising young classical singers.

Its newly established Vocal Department is the only one of its kind in Scotland and the north of England – and the perfect home for young singers to grow and flourish.

Funding available for programme with masterclasses

Places at St Mary’s Music School are funded the Scottish Government Aided Places Scheme, ensuring all families of talented young musicians pay a means tested, affordable contribution towards fees. 

The new Changing Voices Programme and Senior Vocal Programme will focus on age- appropriate vocal development. Pupils will have access to masterclasses with industry leaders, be encouraged to perform regularly and have the opportunity to attend additional training with groups including the National Youth Choir of Scotland, Scottish Opera and Royal Scottish National Orchestra Youth Chorus.

Head of Voice Kate Aitken explained: “St Mary’s School of Music is renowned for providing a world-class musical and academic education and we want to be able to offer the same opportunities to singers as we do to instrumentalists.”

She added: “The new vocal programmes will level the playing field for young classical singers and enhance the musical landscape in Scotland. I just wish they had been available when I was a young singer!”

Changing Voices Programme

This programme for 13 to 15-year-olds has vocal health and confidence -building at its heart. With a focus on classical vocal techniques, singers are nurtured and supported with specialist classes and teaching on how to use their changing voice.

Young Singers will be encouraged to work as a soloist by exploring text, emotional expression and all areas of vocal performance.

All pupils will receive one-to-one lessons each week with a teacher who specialises in this stage of vocal development. There will be language and performance classes as well as ensemble music-making activities including School Choir, Changing Voices Choir and Chamber Music.

Senior Vocal Programme

For 15 to 18-year-olds, this programme will provide the skills young singers need to succeed at conservatoire and beyond.

Pupils will learn how to use their body as a means of communicating text and music, strengthen their confidence and vocal ability and learn team-working skills which will be essential throughout their professional lives.

Sign up for taster day

If you are aged 13 to 18 years and have been receiving singing lessons for at least 12 months, this could be the perfect opportunity for you.

The immersive Vocal Taster Day will enable young vocalists to commence the next stage of their singing journey.

To sign up for the Vocal Taster Day on Sunday 5th May click here.

The day will run from 10am - 3pm and include expert guidance from specialist singing teachers, one-to-one sessions with Director of Music John Cameron, who will provide constructive feedback tailored to your unique voice, ensemble activities and end with a concert.

This is your chance to share the progress you have made throughout the day with friends, family and peers.  

If you are interested in joining the new vocal programmes which start this September, a small, friendly panel at the Vocal Taster Day will provide an advisory clinic for you to perform a song in an informal setting. The panel will indicate whether they believe you may be suited to audition for a place on one of our new Vocal Programmes.

Vocal Taster Day places will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, so sign up early on the website to avoid disappointment.