Music Scholars Share Their Gifts

Music scholars

St Andrew’s Cathedral School’s exceptional music programme has a proud history – in 1885 the School was primarily created to educate choristers. Since then, the School has thrived, and now attracts more than 1400 boys and girls from Kindergarten through to Year 12. With a focus on excellence in the context of a close community, our highly qualified teachers and tutors – many of whom are professional performers – offer students more than 30 ensembles to choose from, with 45 tutors running 600 music lessons a week.

Dr Christian Watson, the school’s Director of Performing Arts, said their music scholarships, offered to promising musicians from Year 4 through to Year 11, are highly sought after. Scholarships are open to all instruments, as well as vocalists, songwriters and composers, and typically cover between 50 to 100 per cent of a student’s school tuition fees.

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The standard of applicants is exceptionally high. “You’re talking about 10,000 hours expertise acquisition level by Year 7, which means that for 10 years they’ve done around three hours practice a day,” said Dr Watson. “By the time they enter high school, they’ve already basically completed the AMEB (Australian Music Examinations Board) exams and are often around the diploma level.”

As an International Baccalaureate World School, St Andrew’s Cathedral School puts an emphasis on learning by ‘doing’ and ‘experiencing’, offering a global curriculum that makes real-world connections.  While the School also places great importance on the development of character – practice makes perfect, and self-control and persistence are essential – the School’s commitment to developing music talent is wholistic.

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Dr Watson stressed that he is keen to attract well-rounded musicians who have other interests. “We’re looking for a student who fundamentally loves music deeply and understands that it’s a really valuable gift that they can use to raise others up and to connect with something beyond themselves.”

Music is appreciated as a gift, something that points to the existence of something beyond ourselves: a profound beauty and transcendence beyond the here and now.


The School’s city location opens up a world of performance opportunities, from Christmas carols in the Queen Victoria Building, recitals in Chapter House or St Andrew’s Cathedral, as well as the annual Showcase Concert at Sydney Town Hall.

Guest musicians from the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra run masterclasses with select students throughout the year and a biannual international music tour also provides a life-changing opportunity for students to perform in some of the world’s most iconic venues, such as Notre-Dame Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.

Music Scholarship applications are open for students in Years 4-11 in 2024

To find out more about our scholarships visit our website or contact our Enrolments team: or call 02 9286 9500.

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