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Fees and Scholarships

Students pay their own fees, but costs are kept to a minimum thanks to the fundraising efforts of volunteers and the generosity of trusts, foundations, companies and private individuals. Scholarships for pupils in full-time education (applied for annually) are awarded on merit, and a fund is also available to help pay lesson fees for students in financial hardship, whether in full-time education or not.


Our Fees

1-1 Lessons

All 1-1 Instrumental, Singing and Stagecraft lessons are currently available for a fee of:

£46 per hour*

Lessons can be extended or shortened by agreement with the pupil at the discretion of the tutor, fees being pro-rata to the hourly rate.

*£48 per hour from 1st August 2024

Small Group Teaching

Any Duet/Trio/Quartet lessons are currently £48 per hour* split equally between participants. 

*£50 per hour from 1st August 2024


Other open days, master-classes, workshops etc are organised from time to time. Fees may vary dependant on event.

Ask the office for further details

Beginner Recorder

Woodwind tutor Rosalind Coleman takes groups of up to four beginners (aged 6+) for recorder lessons and skill building musicianship activities. 

Students sign up for a block of 10 weekly lessons at a time.

20 minute sessions are £16 per week.

Room Hire

All of our studios are available for hire for  any private teaching, practice or rehearsal. Room hire is to be pre-arranged via the office to ensure there is a suitable room available for you.

£8.50 per hour*

For auditions or examinations, a corporate fee of £12.00 per hour applies

Click to read about our Lesson Fee Increase from 1st August

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NESMS Scholarships

Our scholarships are made possible through generous donations from sponsors. These may be instrument specific, for Local Authority School students only or kept as general scholarship funding.

Auditions are now usually held in May/June with results sent to students before the end of term and the summer holidays . Scholarships are then valid over an academic year, starting at the end of August with new term. A full scholarship pays for 9 lessons (based on monthly tutor visits) though part scholarships of 6 or 3 lessons may also be awarded by the audition panel.

Scholarships are designed to be of assistance to a students progress, and are intended to be supplementary to the more regular lessons they should be receiving. It is intended that these Scholarship lessons be used on the basis of three/two/one each term depending on the number of lessons awarded therefore helping to guarantee a lesson with the tutor each term; ie. an award of 9 lessons being 3 lessons per term, award of 6 lessons being 2 lessons per term, award of 3 lessons being one per term.


Scholarship Audition eligibility

  • Students must be in full time education during an academic year

  • It is expected that students applying for a scholarship should be working at a standard of approximately ABRSM or Trinity grade 4 or above. Chosen audition pieces should be pitched at this level of difficulty or above, although it is not necessary for audition pieces to be taken from an exam board syllabus, or for candidates to have taken an examination at that level.

  • If you already attend lessons with a teacher outside of NESMS, it is your responsibility to inform them that you are auditioning for lessons with a current NESMS tutor before applying. 

  • Please note that all lessons are expected to be taken in-person in the NESMS building at 21 Huntly Street, Aberdeen. Transference to online lessons will be allowable in any Government restricted or lockdown circumstance. In such case it would be expected that a minimum of 2 of the lessons awarded will take place in-person at NESMS once restrictions allow. Last minute travel cancellations particularly weather related, may also qualify where suitable.

Scholarship Awards 2024/2025

The following students were named by the Scholarship Audition panel to receive a full NESMS scholarship of 9 lessons, to be taken throughout the Academic year 2024/2025. Scholarships will become valid at the start of the next term in August/September dependent on tutors return dates.

Sandy MacDonald Award
Isla Rippiner (Flute)
Tom and Cath Johnston Award
Zhaohong Chu (Piano)

Dorothy Hately Award
Hannah Magill (Oboe)
Aberdeen Bach Choir Award
Eve Begg (Voice)

Gina Dallas Harper Award

Olwenn Stewart (Piano)

Additional Full Scholarships:

Phoebe Rose (Saxophone)

 Gladys Sangster Awards
Mishelle Tse  (Violin)

Yuet-yau Mau (Violin)

Tyler Martin (Violin)

Lindedn Stewart (Clarinet)

Joel Walker (Saxophone)

Alice Coutts (Bassoon)

Marilyn Bob-Manuel (Viola)

Parmida Damanpak (Piano)

Beth Cartledge (Piano)

Andrew Watson (Piano)

Now in their fifth year, the Gladys Sangster Awards are intended to benefit students of musical promise at Local Authority schools, and consist of a mixture of lessons, travel and instrumental hire.   The LIVE Scholarship Auditions took place at 21 Huntly Street during the first weekend of June 2024.   The panel were impressed with the high standard of musical performances offered to them but with reduce funding it made the competition particularly fierce.  The panel was delighted to be able to award a significant number of part scholarships in addition to those full scholarships listed above.

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