Aims and Philosophy

  • To create and foster the enjoyment of a variety of styles of music through student participation
  • To provide pupils with  the skills and opportunities to confidently perform on musical instruments and/or voice
  • To develop pupils’ skills so that they can apply their knowledge and understanding of music through performing, composing, listening and commenting.
  • To provide opportunities for pupils to learn a musical instrument or voice through peripatetic lessons.
  • To encourage pupils to develop musical skills through use of ICT within the department.
  • To provide pupils with the opportunity to achieve qualifications relevant to today’s work place.


Success Headlines

  • The three main music rooms are equipped with projectors, keyboards, drum-kits and piano. In one of the classrooms there are ten Mac computers. There are 4 practice rooms equipped with pianos; in one of these there is orchestral percussion including timpani and two drum kits. The department has a number of guitars, including electric guitars, tuned and un-tuned percussion and brass and samba instruments
  • Lessons from visiting instrumental teachers are available to pupils in upper and lower strings, woodwind, brass, drum-kit, percussion, voice, keyboard/piano and guitar. Lesson availability is subject to demand
  • Instrumental and theory students are regularly entered for Associated Board music examinations, achieving a very high pass rate and many merits/distinctions
  • Many students achieve excellent results in SQA Music exams with a  large number gaining top awards
  • Four students have been studying at the Junior Academy of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.
  • Each year several students are accepted by university or conservatoire/music colleges throughout the UK to study for a music degree.
  • Termly school concerts and many other performance opportunities including a school show
  • As well as participating in school-based ensembles, many students participate in the City of Edinburgh Music Ensembles including: Guitar Ensemble, Rock Ensemble, Wind Band, ESSO, Jazz Band, Edinburgh Secondary Schools Choir. Students are also members of NYCOS national and area choirs, Edinburgh Youth Choir and the Edinburgh Youth Orchestra and music theatre groups.
  • Each year several rock bands take part in the “Battle of the Bands” city-wide competition in March
  • Students compete each year in the Portobello Rotary Club Young Musician of the Year Competition; several regularly do well enough to win a place in the Final against students from all over Scotland. Students also take part in the Edinburgh Competition festival.
  • Music groups regularly perform outwith the school at various venues including the City Chambers, Queen’s Hall Standard Life events, St. Mark’s Church Portobello, Dunbar Rotary Club, Portobello Village Show, St. Andrew’s night ceilidhs and the “Scotland has Talent” festival at the Ross Bandstand.
  • In 2013 one of our students undertook a work placement with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra 


Curriculum Leader

Mrs J Sumerling