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Tuition Options

at Waltons New School of Music

‘Music produces a kind of pleasure that human nature cannot do without.’
– Confucius

Tuition at the New School is offered for students of all ages and levels, those learning for pleasure and others preparing for grade examinations (including Associated BoardRoyal Irish Academy of MusicTrinity College LondonLondon College of MusicRockschool); performance and teaching diplomas; Junior Cert. Music and Leaving Cert. Music (both theory and practicals); Gaisce – The President’s Award and recitals and competitions.

Click on the tabs for more information.

Acoustic Guitar
African • Afro-Cuban Drumming
Alto Saxophone
Audio Recording
Bass Guitar (Electric Bass)
Blues Guitar
Bluegrass (5-String) Banjo
Bluegrass Fiddle
Button Accordion
Cello (Violoncello)
Classical Guitar
Classical Singing (Voice)
Concert Flute
Diploma Preparation
Double Bass
Drums • Drum Kit
Ear Training
Electric Bass
Electric Guitar
Fingerstyle Guitar
Flamenco Guitar
Flute (Concert • Traditional)
Flute Ensemble
Folk Music
Guitar (Classical • Acoustic • Electric • Flamenco • Jazz • Traditional)
Jazz Ensembles
Junior Cert. Music
Leaving Cert. Music
Low Whistle
Music Theory
Musical Theatre
Music Technology
Performance Diploma Preparation
Popular Singing (Voice)
Pre-Instrumental (Early Childhood) Music
Saxophone (Alto • Tenor)
Sean-nós Singing
Sight Singing
Singing (Voice)
Teaching Diploma Preparation
Tin Whistle
Tenor Saxophone
Trad Guitar (Irish Guitar)
Traditional Music
Uilleann Pipes
Violoncello (Cello)
Voice (Singing)
Whistle (Tin Whistle • Low Whistle)
World Drumming

Private Lessons

Weekly private (one-to-one) lessons are 30, 45 or 60 minutes in length. Although students enrolling for private lessons may do so, as space and teachers’ timetables permit, at any time during the year, enrolment at or before the start of term is strongly recommended, as teachers’ timetables fill quickly. Students have the choice of enrolling either to the end of the school year or to the end of term. Tuition fees are pro-rated and depend on the number of lessons remaining in the year or term.

Over-65s, unemployed persons and third-level students with valid identification receive a 10% discount on 30-minute private lessons; these discounts also apply to ‘lunchtime lessons’ and to additional lessons taken by a single student or lessons taken by additional students from the same family.

Lunchtime Lessons

Lunchtime Lessons at the New School make it easy to fit music into your day. Available for most instruments, as well as voice, lunchtime lessons (30-minute private lessons scheduled any time between 10 am and 2 pm, Monday-Friday) qualify for a 10% discount off our regular tuition fee. Lunchtime lessons are suitable for:

  • Adult students who want to make the most of their lunch break
  • Third-level students with space in their schedules during the day
  • Night and shift workers unable to attend evening classes
  • Work-at-home parents while children are at school

Partner • Small Group Lessons

Partner and small group music lessons are an affordable, fun and pedagogically effective alternative to private (one-to-one) lessons. They are available for virtually every instrument (as well as voice) taught at the New School.

Partner Lessons

Most people are very busy with their day-to-day lives, and there isn’t a lot of time put aside for each other. A shared Partner Lesson is an enjoyable and satisfying way to explore music together. Effective partner lessons have consisted of two friends, siblings, partners, husband and wife, parent and child, or even grandparent and grandchild. The students benefit from mutual observation and motivate each other to improve – and the enjoyment will go well beyond the lessons as you practise and progress together. Partner Lessons are 30, 45 or 60 minutes long.

Read an article in the Evening Herald on partner lessons at the New School (requires Adobe Reader).

Small Group Lessons

Small Group Lessons (as opposed to our timetabled group courses) can be scheduled for any day/time of week, subject to teacher availability. Group lessons are a great social outlet, and a group environment has the added benefit of positive peer pressure as an incentive to learn. The opportunity to make music together with friends who share common goals and skills adds additional incentives for progress and success. Small Group Lessons are available as 60-minute lessons for three or four students.

Although students enrolling for partner and group lessons may do so, as space and teachers’ timetables permit, at any time during the year, enrolment at or before the start of term is strongly recommended, as teachers’ timetables fill up quickly. Please note that students enrolling for partner and group lessons are responsible for forming their own groups. Booking of partner and group lessons cannot be confirmed until enrolment forms and tuition fees are received from all group members.

Tuition Options

Courses for Adults & Teens

The New School’s group course offerings for adults and teens include:

Courses for Children

The New School’s group course offerings for children include:

Intensive Lessons

Single one- or two-hour Intensive Lessons for individuals or small groups – and for all skill levels – can be arranged for almost any instrument (including voice/singing) and subject taught at Waltons New School of Music.

Intensive lessons are ideal for:

  • Students who would like to schedule their lessons flexibly or who cannot be accommodated on our regular timetable
  • Students preparing for performances, auditions, entrance examinations, competitions or practicals
  • Prospective students wishing to ‘try out’ lessons or instruments

Bookings must be made at least 24 hours in advance. Except for wind instruments and uilleann pipes intensive lessons, instruments may be borrowed for use in the lesson – subject to availability – if required.

‘My intensive [guitar] lesson was really helpful. Made daunting things seem a lot simpler.’
– D. Cadgen

‘A fantastic tutor. Waltons should be proud to have him.’
– B. Coughlan

‘The tuition is clear and focused, but also flexible.’
– M. Crockett

‘Very good for audition preparation. Very flexible and helpful.’
– A. Fitzsimons

‘What I liked best about it were my teacher’s kindness, praise and unfailing good humour. I am a much older (elderly!) pupil, and she gave me great confidence.’
– E. Tuohy

Instruments • Subjects Available

  • Banjo (5-String, 4-String)
  • Bass Guitar (Electric Bass)
  • Bodhrán
  • Cello (Violoncello)
  • Clarinet (Classical, Jazz)
  • Concertina
  • Drums/Drum Kit (all styles)
  • Double Bass (Jazz)
  • Fiddle (Irish, Bluegrass)
  • Flute (Concert/Classical, Irish Traditional)
  • Guitar (Acoustic, Classical, Electric, Flamenco, Jazz, Gypsy Jazz, Traditional)
  • Harmonica (Diatonic, Chromatic)
  • Home Recording
  • Irish Harp
  • Junior Cert. Musicianship
  • Keyboard
  • Leaving Cert. Musicianship
  • Mandolin
  • Music Technology
  • Music Theory
  • Musicianship
  • Piano (Classical, Jazz)
  • Recording Techniques
  • Saxophone (Classical, Jazz)
  • Sean-nós Singing
  • Sight Singing
  • Songwriting
  • Theory
  • Uilleann Pipes
  • Ukulele
  • Viola
  • Violin (Classical, Jazz, Gypsy)
  • Voice (Singing)
  • Whistle (Tin Whistle, Low Whistle)

Junior Cert. Music

The performance portion of the Junior Certificate Music exam offers a wide range of choices for the student. Following are excerpts from the current Syllabus and Guidelines for Teachers, which provide brief descriptions of the options available. Junior Cert. Music students can be prepared for any of these options at Waltons New School of Music.


3.2 Performing Skills
  • 3.2.1 Introduction

Candidates will be required to present performing skills at either Ordinary or Higher Levels.

Ordinary Level candidates will be required to present from ONE of the categories below.

Higher Level candidates will be required to present from ONE of the categories below at the appropriate level.

Alternatively, Higher Level candidates may choose to present any TWO Ordinary Level skills for assessment at the Higher Level.

In certain circumstances, and at Ordinary Level only, candidates may, with prior permission from the Department of Education, present their performing skills for assessment using an audio or audio-visual medium.

  • 3.2.2 Category I: SONG SINGING

Candidates will be required to sing TWO songs at Ordinary Level.

Higher Level candidates will be required to sing FOUR songs.

These may be chosen from the list provided under Appendix A. The programme, in each case, must show variety in style and technique and, where appropriate, an accompaniment must be included. A sight-reading or aural theory test will also be given.


For Ordinary Level or as 50% of the Higher Level requirement.

Performance in any of the recognised choirs, orchestras or military bands as outlined under Appendix B may be presented. A sight test or aural memory test will also be given. To obtain a Higher Level grade, candidates will be required to present a further performing skill at Ordinary Level.


For Ordinary Level or as 50% of the Higher Level requirement.

Presentations in this category may include traditional and popular groups as well as classical. Candidates must demonstrate the ability to maintain a simple part as a regular member of a musical group and show familiarity with the notational practices appropriate to each of the musical genres presented. Twp different pieces, and a level of achievement equal to that required under 3.2.3 above, will be expected. A sight test or aural memory test will also be included.

Traditional Irish, folk, recorder, madrigal and other non designated vocal and/or instrumental ensembles as well as performances of extracts from stage musicals, operettas etc. are all possibilities allowed for under this category.

To obtain a Higher Level grade, candidates will be required to present a further performing skill at Ordinary Level.


Ordinary Level candidates will be required to perform TWO instrumental pieces, one of which must be chosen from the appropriate programme given under Appendix C.

Higher Level candidates will be required to perform FOUR instrumental pieces i.e. one from each of the three lists under the appropriate programme given under Appendix C and a further piece of their own choice.

The instruments approved under this category are as follows: descant recorder, treble and descant (or tenor) recorders , flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone (alto and/or tenor), bassoon, French horn, tenor horn (E flat), trumpet, cornet, flugelhora, tenor trombone, baritone, euphonium, tuba, percussion, piano, concert harp, Irish harp, organ, guitar, accordion, violin, viola, violoncello and double bass.

Performance on modern instruments, e.g. computerised music systems, synthesisers etc. is also possible under this category. However, specific lists of works, as in Appendix C for the established instruments, cannot similarly be drawn up due to the diversity of their technique and potential. Candidates offering this option do so at their own discretion and full details, including the titles of pieces and the identification of composers, must be forwarded to the Department of Education, at the time of entering for the examination.

In each case, a sight-reading test will be given and where appropriate an accompaniment must be provided.


Ordinary and Higher Level requirements are outlined under Appendix D.

The approved Irish traditional instruments include tin whistle, fiddle, harp, concert flute, button accordion, piano accordion, banjo, mandolin, concertina and uilleann pipes.

Facility to realise an unprepared extract from written or aural transmission will also be required.


Ordinary Level candidates will be assessed under ONE of the headings listed under Appendix E.

Higher Level candidates must demonstrate proficiency under THREE of the headings listed under Appendix E.

A sight-reading or aural memory test will also be given.


Ordinary or Higher Level candidates may present under this category.

Any other non-specified performing skill which can be examined, in conjunction with an aural memory or sight-reading test, may be presented under this heading. Candidates offering this option do so at their own discretion and full details, including titles and origins of the pieces to be presented, must be forwarded to the Department of Education for approval at the time of entering for the examination.


2.2 The Seven Performing Categories

The range of activities allowed under the performing skills has been substantially broadened. This is essential in order to cater for the increased involvement in active music-making. Group musical activities, performing in the popular idiom and the most accessible of all performing media, the human voice, are all permitted in the new Junior Certificate programme. A brief outline of what is intended in each of the seven listed performing categories, together with the pertinent approaches and level(s), is given below.


This category is intended to cater for all students including traditional singers, folk singers, singers in the popular idiom, those who attend individual voice lessons and those who sing regularly as members of a Junior Certificate Music class.

LEVELS: Ordinary and Higher


Recognised choirs, orchestras or military bands refer to those groups described on page 29 of the syllabus.

LEVEL: Ordinary only


This category covers all other different types of group music-making in the various different musical genres and idioms. An individual or all the members of a group may be entered for the examination. It is important that the group be heard at the time of the examination. Musical activities suitable under this category include traditional and folk groups, pop groups, groups presenting a selection from a stage musical or an operetta, classical groups, recorder groups, madrigal groups, ceili bands, church choirs etc. Where a singer is being accompanied by another student, the singer will present under either category I (at Ordinary or Higher Levels) or category 3 (at Ordinary Level only) and the accompanist under category 3 or 7 depending on whether an Ordinary or Higher Level skill is being presented. Where an instrumentalist is being accompanied by another student, one or both can present under category 3 (Ordinary Level only) or under category 7 (Higher Level).

LEVEL: Ordinary only


These students are required to adhere to the programme given on pages 7 and 30ff. (APPENDIX C), of the syllabus. There is no substitution allowed for the listed pieces. A sight reading test will also be given. No aural memory test will be available in this categorv. Classical instrumentalists who wish to perform a programme of music of their own choice, either at Ordinary or Higher Level, may present under category 7.

LEVELS: Ordinary And Higher


The precise requirements of this category are given on pages 59ff.(APPENDIX D) of the syllabus. The lists given under APPENDIX D are not mandatory. Students may choose other suitable material if they wish. The listed pieces are readily available and indicate an appropriate level of difficulty for the age group.

LEVELS: Ordinary and Higher


By definition, this category should be the least formalised of all the performing skills. It presumes no particular musical style or idiom and defies prescription or set pieces. Only very general guidelines can be given, e.g. the different classes of improvisation (melodic, rhythmic, harmonic or any combination of those three) are listed. (See page 69 of the syllabus.) Students will perform their prepared improvisations. They will then be given some time to realise an unprepared improvisation. The unprepared improvisation will be similar in style and degree of difficulty to one of the ones they have already presented.

LEVELS: Ordinary and Higher

The following ways may be helpful in illustrating suitable kinds of improvising activities.

MELODIC: Performing well-known melodies by ear, improvising regular melodic phrases to follow given openings, ornamenting existing tunes;

RHYTHMIC: Replacing long note-values with repeated notes of shorter duration, improvising a rhythmic ostinato to a well-known tune;

HARMONIC: Improvising “backing” chords to well known tunes, improvising cadences, improvising a single accompanying line of music or a descant to well-known tunes, improvising a major/minor variant of a well-known tune;

COMBINATIONS: Improvising harmonic riffs/ostinatos to known tunes, Improvising a melodic phrase over a chord sequence, adding harmony to a melodic improvisation, intensifying the rhythm of an harmonic riff.


Category 7 caters for students where none of the other categories suitably describes what a candidate intends to present or the level to be presented. Examples include classical performances other than those presented under category 4, ethnic music other than Irish, ensemble music at Higher Level etc.

LEVELS: Ordinary and Higher

2.3 Additional Information on the Presentation of Performing Skills

In many instances, the preferred method by which music is learnt is by way of aural transmission. This is especially true in the case of folk songs, traditional performances and a good deal of amateur choir work and popular music. In recognition of this fact, students presenting under all performing categories, with the one exception of category 4, may choose to undertake an aural memory rather than a sight reading test.

It was decided to exclude scales and arpeggios from all performing categories for two reasons. Firstly, in most cases, and especially where singing, traditional music and the performance of popular genres are concerned, such skills are not usually required. Secondly, where they have been required in the past, their usefulness was as a measure of the student’s technical control of the performing medium. Since this skill will also be assessed in the context of the student’s ability to perform pieces of a particular degree of difficulty, it would be a duplication of purpose to undertake separate confirmation of this fact through an independent assessment of scales and technical exercises.

An accompanist should always be provided where an accompaniment is normal or required for the proper realisation of the music being performed e.g. musical arrangements of folk music should be presented with accompaniment, solo traditional performances of folk music should be presented without  accompaniment. Popular musical genres presented by individuals should be performed with sufficient accompaniment to sustain the harmony and rhythm i.e. with keyboard or guitar. In many cases, it is possible for both soloist and accompanist to present simultaneously for the examination.

In all cases, contrasting music should be presented. Contrast may be achieved either by choosing pieces/songs with different speeds and moods, or by performing music in different styles e.g. an arrangement of a folk song contrasts well with a song in the classical or popular styles, classical pieces composed during different historical periods also provide good contrast.

Leaving Certificate Music

The performance portion of the Leaving Certificate Music exam offers a wide range of choices for the student. Following is an excerpt from the current syllabus, which provides a brief description of the options available. Leaving Cert. Music students can be prepared for any of these options at the New School, and we also offer Leaving Cert. Music Mock Practical Exams.


2.1.1 Performing

All students offering at Ordinary level must present performing as outlined in (a) and (b) below:

(a)   Singing and/or playing individually; or
Singing or playing as a member of a musical group; or
Rehearsing and conducting a musical group;
(b)   Singing or playing a sight reading test; or
Singing or playing an aural memory test; or
Singing or playing an unprepared improvisation.

2.1.2 Performing requirements

(a)  Ordinary level students must perform

(i)  two prepared songs or pieces
(ii) one unprepared test (i.e. either a sight reading test or an aural memory test or an improvisation).

(b)  Higher level students must perform

(i)  three songs or pieces
(ii) one unprepared test (i.e. either a sight reading test or an aural memory test or an improvisation).

(c)  Higher level students may, as an alternative, present

(i)  two Ordinary level performing activities
(ii) the appropriate Higher level sight reading test or aural memory test or improvisation.

(d)  All students should show appropriate musical and technical fluency.
(e)  In individual performing, other than performing on traditional Irish instruments, accompaniments should be included as appropriate.
(f)  In performing traditional Irish music, some use of ornamentation will be required at Ordinary level, where this is appropriate; at Higher level,proficiency in the use of appropriate ornamentation will be required.
(g)  In group performing, students must show an ability to hold their own musical line and contribute musically to its interpretation.
(h)  In certain circumstances, students may, with prior permission from the Department of Education, present performing for assessment using an audio or audiovisual medium.
(i)  No specific programmes are given. The criteria for choosing music for performing at Ordinary level and Higher level are set out in appendix E.

2.1.3 Higher level elective in performing

Students taking this elective are required to perform a programme of approximately 12 minutes’ duration that reflects a further expansion of the Higher level essential performing activity.

Appendix A

Singing or playing individually

(a)  Ordinary level and Higher level students may present performing under this heading.
(b)  Students should note the performing requirements outlined in 2.1.2.
(c)  The criteria for choosing music are given in appendix E.
(d)  Presentations under this heading may include individual singing and/or playing of traditional and popular musical genres as well as classical art works.
(e)  Five different options are possible under this heading.
Option 1: singing individually
Option 2: performing individually
Option 3: demonstratinq an ability to understand and to use microtechnoloqy music-makinq systems.
Students will be expected to demonstrate an ability to
* input via electronic instruments (and/or conventional instruments with electronic controllers providing
a MIDI interface) a musical score of at least two real parts
* save, retrieve and edit that score (e.g. change rhythms, pitch, dynamics, timbres, etc.)
* produce a taped and/or printed final version
In addition, Higher level students must demonstrate an ability to compile and perform to their own
prepared tape or to play at least two pieces from the standard repertory for electronic instruments.

Performance · Teaching Diploma Preparation

Music diplomas are widely recognised professional qualifications that provide a framework for honing and maturing performance and teaching skills. While a music diploma is a logical step for the competent musician who has achieved Grade 8 (the highest grade of music exams), achieving a diploma is significantly more involved, requiring a high degree of attainment combined with a professional attitude to preparation, communication, musicality, presentation and stagecraft. The diploma itself is a professional qualification, recognised by other musicians and music professionals around the world.

Performance Diplomas

These diplomas focus entirely on instrumental or vocal performance. At Associate level they also include technical work and other supporting tests: sight reading and a choice of ear tests or aural awareness. At Licentiate level the focus is exclusively on performance.

Teaching Diplomas

These focus on three different areas:

  1. Principles of Teaching. Students are prepared for a written paper covering assessing subject-specific knowledge, theory and practice of teaching and the wider educational context.
  2. Teaching Experience. These are case studies, based on the teacher’s own work, which cover teaching strategies, planning and assessment.
  3. Demonstration Lesson and Viva Voce. Teachers have the opportunity to give a demonstration lesson, or to submit a video recording, following which they will have a discussion with the examiner.

Examining Boards

Advanced music students can be prepared at the New School for performance and/or teaching diplomas with several examining boards, including:

Associate diplomas (or simply diplomas) are roughly equivalent in standard to the first year of an undergraduate degree, and Licentiate diplomas to the final year of an undergraduate degree.

Instruments • Subjects

Diploma preparation at the New School is tailored to the individual student’s requirements and may include separate instrument/vocal and theory/musicianship lessons. Students of the following instruments/subjects can be prepared for diplomas:

  • Bass Guitar: Rockschool
  • Cello: ABRSM, RIAM, TCL, LCM
  • Clarinet: ABRSM, RIAM, TCL, LCM
  • Classical Guitar: ABRSM, RIAM, TCL, LCM
  • Classical Singing: ABRSM, RIAM, TCL, LCM
  • Concert Flute: ABRSM, RIAM, TCL, LCM
  • Drum Kit: TCL, Rockschool
  • Irish Harp: RIAM
  • Jazz Clarinet: LCM
  • Jazz Piano: LCM
  • Jazz Saxophone: LCM
  • Musical Theatre: LCM
  • Piano: ABRSM, RIAM, TCL, LCM, Rockschool
  • Popular Singing: LCM, Rockschool
  • Rock Guitar: Rockschool
  • Saxophone: ABRSM, RIAM, TCL, LCM
  • Viola: ABRSM, RIAM, TCL, LCM
  • Violin: ABRSM, RIAM, TCL, LCM

Gaisce – The President’s Award

Are you aged 15 to 25? Do you know that instrumental or vocal study at Waltons New School of Music qualifies as the ‘personal skill’ requirement of Gaisce – The President’s Award?

What is Gaisce?

Gaisce – The President’s Award is Ireland’s National Challenge Award, the country’s most prestigious and respected individual award programme for young people aged 15 to 25.

What’s it all about?

Gaisce – the President’s Award works on the basis of a personal challenge set by you. You will set the challenge and agree it with a President’s Award leader. You won’t be competing with other participants, as each challenge is completely individual – so the only person you’ll compete with is yourself.

How does it work?

There are three types of award – BronzeSilver and Gold – and four different challenge areas. To earn an award, you will need to participate in each of the four challenge areas. You can build on an activity (such as music study) that you’re already involved in, but each participant must take up at least one new activity to earn an award.

The challenge areas are:

  1. Community Involvement
  2. Personal Skill
  3. Physical Recreation
  4. Adventure Journey

An additional Residential Project is required for the Gold Award.

The minimum requirement in each of the first three challenge areas is 13 weeks x 1 hour/week for a Bronze Award, 26 weeks x 1 hour/week for a Silver Award and 52 weeks x 1 hour/week for a Gold Award. According to the Gaisce organisers, the 1 hour/week requirement can be fulfilled by a 30-minute lesson and at least 30 minutes of practice at home. However, ideally we would recommend more practice than this for the student to make real progress.

For more information, go to Gaisce – The President’s Award website.

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