What used to be S4–6 ‘Further Support’, but now for all years. Not set in tablets of stone, so feedback welcome on what’s useful, what’s not and what might be…

‘Official’ (SQA/LTS/Education Scotland) Course Materials

Education Scotland NQ Music site
The former Education Scotland site for Nat 3, 4 and 5 Music (and more recently also New Higher) has now sadly been replaced by a more limited version accessible only through Glow login. While the previous site containing listening examples, tests, composing ideas, links and more is listed as available at Archive-It till mid-March 2017, the new Glow version currently appears to have retained just the concept definitions and related audio examples from that.

Learning and Teaching Scotland ‘Music of Scotland’ at Archive-It
Archived but still very useful Learning and Teaching Scotland resource with information, MIDI files, MP3s and PDFs to illustrate Scottish Music concepts at Standard Grade, Access 3 and Intermediate 1/2 levels.
The essential ‘home’ page for the new SQA Music qualifications, placed last (rather than first) here simply because much of its content’s aimed more at teachers and some of the links above may be of more immediate relevance to pupils looking for interactive/audio-visual help.

Instrumental Tuition

Highlife Highland Music Tuition pages
Where to find out about and apply for our string and brass lessons.


Fun ‘kids’ sites with things to offer S1 to (seriously!) S6…
SFS (San Francisco Symphony) KIDS
(Just click the ‘Instruments of the Orchestra’ link top left if it complains about outdated Flash!)
New York Philharmonic KIDZONE
DSO (Dallas Symphony Orchestra) KIDS

And some really good videos for those wanting/needing to explore the instruments in more depth…
Philharmonia Orchestra: Instrument Guides
Which are also available with additional static content at:

Public Domain Sheet Music

With both musical works and typography remaining copyright for 50 or 70 years (depending on country) beyond the death of their last surviving author, you won’t find the following sites full of recent rock music. But they’re very useful for the historical musical periods we study (eg Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and the earlier Twentieth Century) and, the higher the level of your music course, the more useful you’re likely to find them:
The IMSLP / Petrucci Music Library has been online since February 2006 and already contains more then 35,000 scores.
While the Choral Public Domain Library has been going longer (since December 1998), it’s not quite so big. But it’s still the obvious place to go for those Madrigals, Masses and Motets!

Performing Materials and Reference
A really nicely thought-out and useful site for the guitarists.

N and K Drum Sheets
Useful SQA-approved, graded material for drummers arranged by Neil Sommerville, whose Edinburgh Schools Rock Ensemble (ESRE) have been regular and popular summer term visitors to KHS.

TED Videos

How playing an instrument benefits your brain
How to practice effectively… for just about anything
These are both great!


We like Sibelius (and have used it in school for many years) for scoring, printing, composing and playing back music. But Sibelius is expensive, and we still find Sibelius 6 (which you can’t even buy anymore) more user-friendly than Sibelius 7. So try MuseScore (which received a major update with the release of MuseScore 2.0 in March 2015) if you’re looking for a similar computer program that’s both free and good!

A useful score writing/playing app that works straight from your browser (nothing to install) on devices including PCs and Chromebooks. It saves to cloud and has an intuitive interface with some procedures shared with Sibelius. But it’s not as powerful (still good enough to be useful), requires a Noteflight account (for which you can sign up with your school Google login), and the free version only permits creation of 10 different scores.

Our DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) of choice for Music Technology courses, chosen for its combination of intuitive operation, portability (you can even run it from a USB drive!), power and value for money. Wholeheartedly recommended!


The Circle of Thirds and Fifths
An interesting and useful take on the conventional ‘cycle of fifths’ and key relationships by Findhorn whistle maker Hans Bracker.