Music schools in Scotland
Music schools in Scotland are available at several levels. Formal music education begins at 4½ years and can progress as high as postgraduate studies. Education in Scotland is a responsibility of the Scottish Government. Music is regarded as being an integral part of the culture of Scotland.
Music services are working in almost all state schools and provide much of their instruction during the regular school day. Most of them offer instrumental tuition for pupils in their schools. On average one instrumental / vocal lesson lasts from 30 minutes and is usually given once a week.
A primary school is usually limited in the numbers of pupils they provide lessons to and lessons usually comprise a small group of 2 to 4 children.
Most independent (fee-paying) schools work on a similar basis to the above. Some independent schools such as Loretto School also give music scholarships.
Centres of excellence
Scotland has six centres of excellence – schools which allow gifted children to maximise their potential (four for music and one each for dance and sport). These schools select a small number of pupils who show a special ability in music. Admission is by audition. The schools are located within comprehensive schools from which they receive normal academic classes. Students are attracted from within the local region and even nationally.
The music schools comprise;
- Douglas Academy Music School at Douglas Academy, Milngavie, near Glasgow
- Aberdeen City Music School at Dyce Academy Aberdeen
- Sgoil Chiùil na Gàidhealtachd (National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music) at Plockton High School Highland
- City of Edinburgh Music School at Broughton High School, Edinburgh and Flora Stevenson Primary, Edinburgh
The number of music students is relatively small in comparison with the host school. Secondary students at the City of Edinburgh Music school are 30-40 compared to 1,000 within the host High School. Typically, music students receive individual instrument lessons, theory and practice time within the music school. The City of Edinburgh Music School is the only 'centre of excellence' which directly operates within a primary school. The schools are funded by the Local Education Authority within which they are located.
Specialist music school
St Mary's Music School is a specialist music school in Edinburgh, Scotland, for children aged 9–18. The school offers education to musically talented children and is the only specialist full-time music school in Scotland. In addition to their main studies, students receive intensive instruction on a solo instrument and a program of music according to their age. This includes ear training, chamber music, chorus, composition, jazz and music technology.
Entry is solely by audition. Successful applicants receive financial support through the Scottish Government’s Aided Places Scheme. Students combine both academic and music studies within the school. The school is also the choir school of St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral and all its 70 students are either instrumentalists or choristers. It attracts its pupils nationally, from the rest of the UK and abroad.
St Mary's is a member of the UK Music and Dance Excellence (MADE) Schools  and is within the tradition of other specialist music schools throughout Europe such as the Dresden Music Gymnasium; Sächsisches Landesgymnasium für Musik "Carl Maria von Weber" or the Yehudi Menuhin School, England
Amateur or Private Schools of Music offers music education outside the general education system for students aged 4 to 20 + years. In general, students attend these schools, weekend or evening. The schools are, for example those provided by individuals, charitable or commercial organizations. Examples include the North East of Scotland Music School, Portobello Music School and Yamaha Music School.
In addition qualified teachers provide musical training outside of an establishment or the mainstream education system for pupils aged 4 to 20+ years. The objective of education varies from amateur to training (pre-) professional music training, according to the personal ambitions of students.
Universities and colleges
A number of universities have music departments and offer degrees in music — Bachelor, Master and Doctorate. They may be performance related and/or music theory which can be combined with other subjects, or they may be hybrid courses incorporating performance along with business and entrepreneurial skills. Scottish universities offering degrees include:
- University of Glasgow, Glasgow estb. 1451
- University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen estb. 1495
- University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh estb. 1583
- University of Strathclyde, Glasgow incorporated as university 1964, estb. 1796
- Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh incorporated as university 1992, estb. 1964
- University of the West of Scotland, Ayr
- University of the Highlands and Islands, Inverness
There are a number of colleges offering popular and contemporary music courses in Scotland at NQ, National Certificate, Higher National Certificate and Higher National Diploma level. Many of these courses may specialise within a particular area of music, such as the Electronic Music and Recording course at Clydebank College. Scottish colleges offering these courses include:
- Ayrshire College
- Dundee and Angus College
- Edinburgh College
- Forth Valley College
- Glasgow Clyde College
- Glasgow Kelvin College
- Lews Castle College
- New College Lanarkshire
- North East Scotland College
- North Highland College
- Perth College UHI
- West College Scotland
The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS), formerly known as the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, is Scotland’s Conservatoire of music, theatre and dance. Although there is some overlap with the music departments of Universities, the Conservatoire seeks to be practical and focuses on career development. In 1993, as the RSAMD, it was first in the United Kingdom which was granted to give their own degrees. Research degrees are validated by the University of St Andrews.
The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland operates a Junior Conservatoire, with classes on Saturdays during term-time. Approximately 250 students attend and the academy is intended for those children with above average musical ability and potential. The school day may include choir, theory and musicianship classes and principal study lesson. The day may also include orchestral and chamber music rehearsals.
The Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming is a training centre of the British Army. Instructions in the military music of Scottish piper bagpipes and pipe bands is available.
- Music school
- Education in Scotland
- List of pre-college music schools
- List of university and college schools of music
- Music of Scotland
- National Youth Orchestra of Scotland
- About Centres for Excellence, retrieved 2012-09-02
- Overview of the musical pre-college phase in the United Kingdom, retrieved 2009-10-20
- History of the Music and Dance Scheme, retrieved 2009-10-20
- Music and Dance Excellence Schools, retrieved 2009-10-20