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aerial shot of pupils on stairs playing guitars and drums

The Department’s primary goal is to empower your son, in terms of musical literacy, technical ability, and stylistic and historical awareness.

We aim to demonstrate the social relevance of music education, performing a balance of historical and current forms of music. There are three equal integrated areas of delivery: academic, co-curricular and instrumental.

Academic music is at the core of departmental delivery: effective teaching and learning in the classroom facilitates co-curricular and instrumental music. In academic lessons, pupils are introduced to instruments, performance and theory, building up a set of skills that will tie in with both co-curricular and instrumental music-making.

Co-curricular music is concerned with two key facets of music making. Firstly, allowing as many pupils as possible to enjoy musical performance; secondly to nurture quality music-making, and musical excellence for gifted and talented musicians. We do this through small ensembles and ensuring pupils can practise in protected slots.

Instrumental music lessons facilitate co-curricular music, giving pupils a set of skills that can be brought to co-curricular groups. It is also an opportunity for them to be assessed outside the classroom in graded exams and theory lessons.


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A view of Merchiston's belfrey clock tower through a bagpipe

A day full of anticipation at Merchiston with the publication of SQA National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher results. 

Group of Junior boys

Merchiston will be hosting an Open Day on Saturday 8 October. Register your interest now!