Relaxed but progressive atmosphere. Good quality tuition. Professional teacher. [Introducing Singing for Adults]
I loved the class [Musical Theatre Workshop]. The teacher is brilliant, and I feel much more confident about my singing and acting. Also the class is great fun.
Niamh is a gem. A kind person with a deep understanding of music, who knows how to teach it. [Voice]
The Musical Theatre Workshop is just great! You can improve your vocal and dramatic skills and learn how to sing properly your favourite songs, and at the same time it gives you the confidence to perform them in front of an audience.
I wish I had discovered this years ago. By the end of my first [voice] lesson I had learned techniques that I had spent years trying to master.
I really enjoyed Cathy's humour and patient manner. [Sing Your Heart Out Choir]
[My teacher’s] teaching style is a perfect match for my learning style, with a focus on technique and exercises but still time for singing. I also love her encouragement and energy.
A very nice introduction to the basics of singing. You learn how to sing great songs step-by-step, without having to be able to read music. [Introducing Singing for Adults]
I had a wonderful time during my singing lessons. It really gave me the confidence I needed and I achieved something I never thought I would.
Sinéad Flynn is a fantastic teacher. Her vast knowledge of the musical theatre repertoire helps you choose pieces that suit your voice and helps you to make the most of your potential as a singer.
Can't speak highly enough of my singing tutor. As a novice to singing beyond the privacy of my shower, her personal attention and interest in helping me to discover my singing voice has been invaluable.
I have an excellent [voice] teacher. She is very encouraging and has a lot of insight into the individual student's problems and how to improve them.
Great [voice] teacher. I have developed so much in the past year [and] have learned so much technique. We get through a lot in a 30-minute lesson; it’s very productive.
I’ve gained so much since I’ve taken classes here. My confidence has grown immensely, and I’ve come on as a singer and performer. Sinéad is an amazing teacher who has pushed me out of my comfort zone and believed in me so that I can reach my full potential and be the best performer that I can possibly be. [Musical Theatre Workshop]
An excellent introduction to sight singing for beginners – a lot simpler than I thought it would be! [Sight Singing Made Easy]
Cathy is a fantastic and supportive instructor. I've thoroughly enjoyed it! [Sing Your Heart Out Choir]
Excellent teacher. Excellent school. Thanks for giving me the confidence to get in touch with my real singing voice. Music is one of the greatest gifts we have been blessed with.
This course [Introducing Singing for Adults] is a great introduction and confidence builder. Before you realise it you're singing in front of people and loving it!
I always wanted to sing but thought I didn't have a note in my head. With the help and patience of my teacher I now believe that I can and am loving it.
Very enthusiastic teacher and great breadth of genres taught. Really enjoyable – didn't miss a class! [Introducing Singing for Adults]
I had a fantastic time doing this course [Musical Theatre Workshop]. I wish there were more like it out there! It has encouraged me to pursue my love of musical theatre, and I hope to be back to take on some Musical Theatre performance exams next year and to receive the relevant coaching for them.
The atmosphere of [voice] lessons is incredibly friendly and encouraging, which has allowed my confidence and ability to grow with each lesson.
I really enjoyed the course [Introducing Singing for Adults] and gained confidence in my singing abilities as well as learning new techniques, and I had fun singing songs I would not normally have considered ‘suitable’ for me.
Great fun. Relaxed atmosphere. Learned loads! [Introducing Singing for Adults]
Top class vocal teaching that is specifically tailored to each student.
Sinéad is amazing, and Waltons students are lucky to have her! I learned so much in such a short time, and it's all thanks to her and her passion! [Musical Theatre Workshop]
Loved the way you get to express yourself.... Sinéad gets the best out of you and it is so much fun! [Musical Theatre Workshop]
Marta is an amazing teacher. I studied singing [in Dublin] and Paris when I was younger, and the standard of teaching from Marta is much higher than anything I received in the past. More, she brings the techniques that she learnt about in master classes from world-renowned singers such as Barbara Bonney. Marta is encouraging and positive, vocally and emotionally; I feel uplifted when I finish my lesson. It is such a blessing to have her as my teacher. I strongly recommend her.
Great teachers, great place for an adult to learn to sing. As a result of time in the New School I was able to join first the Rathmines Folk Group, then the Sandymount Gospel Choir and then the Donnybrook Church Choir. I have also taken three exams with the Royal Irish Academy of Music, with Honours in my last exam. I am at present preparing for a Grade 6 exam. None of this would have happened were it not for Waltons New School of Music.
My singing teacher is very motivational and passionate about music. I found the lessons at Waltons a valuable learning experience and great fun at the same time. Highly recommended.
I think the singing lessons here are brilliant. I only joined a year ago and have seen massive improvements in my vocal range. The lessons are really professional, and I have benefited hugely from them. Thank you!
A great course [Introducing Singing for Adults] for everybody who loves singing! It will help you understand the basics of singing technique, boost your confidence and allow you to meet fantastic people. Highly recommended!
I really enjoyed the course [Musical Theatre Workshop] and gained a lot of confidence from it. For anyone who likes to sing and has an interest in musicals, it's an ideal opportunity to explore your abilities, and it's great fun as well.
A lot of fun and a great stress release. [Sing Your Heart Out Choir]
This course [Musical Theatre Workshop] is excellent for developing both acting and singing skills in fun, relaxed and creative atmosphere. Sinéad is dedicated, enthusiastic and open to letting the class develop their performance. I hope to take the course again next year, as it has given me the confidence to perform and audition for my local musical society.
Sinéad was brilliant. She brought out the best in me, and I am much more confident now about my voice. I love everything about the course [Musical Theatre Workshop]. Fun, laughter, confidence building.
It is a great singing experience. Besides learning the techniques, you gain confidence in yourself. It is also a relaxing time. [Introducing Singing for Adults]
I could do this course [Musical Theatre Workshop] all year long. Sinéad pushes and pulls you to do your best. The feeling of achievement is ‘grandiose’!
It's really exciting to hear the progress your own voice can make in the space of a term with guidance from your teacher, learning to relax and proper breathing. Love it!
A great introduction to singing and the different genres of music. The course [Introducing Singing for Adults] definitely made me want to pursue further vocal training.
I had a great time enjoying my passion for singing in a friendly atmosphere, and discovering new skills step by step with a very patient teacher who brings you as high as possible. An experience I advise for anyone interested in singing. [Jazz Vocal Workshop]
I started the course [Musical Theatre Workshop] wanting to sing but not believing I could. I ended it on a high note – literally. I found my voice through the energy, enthusiasm and love of singing Sinéad shares and gives to you – to find your voice is a powerful gift to yourself.
Everybody in the class [Musical Theatre Workshop] hugely improved. Great fun!
A very enjoyable course [Introducing Singing for Adults]. The teacher was very experienced and all participants improved hugely, even shrinking violets!
If you love to sing but are not sure how to progress, give the singing course [Introducing Singing for Adults] a go. Hugely enjoyable and a great way to progress in a small group. It helps with wobbly nervous voices too! Highly recommended.
Dedicated and excellent choir director/tutor. [Sing Your Heart Out Choir]
Inspiring tutor made every single class [Jazz Vocal Workshop] interesting, challenging but most of all fun and highly rewarding.
The course [Introducing Singing for Adults] was so much more than I expected. I learned so much and gained confidence within myself. The teacher was an inspiration!
For me, as an aspect of personal development, the classes [Introducing Singing for Adults] were hugely enjoyable and rewarding.
Fun, challenging...with lots of good singing. The choir has improved my confidence, and I'm always in a good mood when the class is over. Cathy great! [Sing Your Heart Out Choir]
At first I was hesitant about joining an adult singing class [Introducing Singing for Adults]. Now that the class has finished I have no regrets and my Tuesday nights are noticeably empty! My technique and confidence have improved significantly and I finally know how to warm up my vocal chords. I'm looking forward to continuing my musical journey with Waltons!
Sinéad is everything you could ask for in a teacher – supportive, good humoured and puts a huge effort into helping you improve and develop, overcoming your weak points and mastering your strengths. [Musical Theatre Workshop]
I really enjoy working with my [voice] teacher – she is wonderful. I very much like the atmosphere at Waltons, as do my family. I look forward to next term and to improving my voice and technique.
I was hoping to gain some knowledge of jazz music, chords and song structures and improv. singing. I gained exactly that – while hugely enjoying my time here! [Jazz Vocal Workshop]
I am very happy with my voice lessons at Waltons. I have an amazing teacher, very encouraging and patient, who makes the work fun. I will be continuing my lessons here for as long as I can afford it!
Thoroughly enjoyed the course [Musical Theatre Workshop]. Sinéad is a super teacher!
I enjoyed the [Introducing Singing for Adults] course immensely and learned a lot. The teacher was excellent and I liked the whole welcoming set up in Waltons New School of Music.
Enjoyed every [voice] lesson due to the support and encouragement, energy and enthusiasm of my teacher.
Have been to the Jazz Vocal Workshop at Waltons as well as one-on-one singing lessons. Teachers are personable, friendly, knowledgeable and helpful, so too are the admin staff. I would highly recommend the school and will be signing up again soon for more intensive singing lessons!
Excellent [Introducing Singing for Adults] tuition. I really enjoyed getting to know different voices and different styles of singing.
Please do yourself a favour and go to this course. [Jazz Vocal Workshop]
Both my voice and piano teachers are very knowledgeable and have endless patience. Have already recommended them to family and friends.
Keep doing what you do. It works! [Jazz Vocal Workshop]
Professionally organised singing classes that enable you to sing with confidence and have fun doing so! [Jazz Vocal Workshop]
[Introducing Singing for Adults] was so enjoyable that I never noticed the time passing and was always surprised when the time was up!
I have loved working at my own pace without any pressure or set songs I must learn. My [voice] teacher is incredibly understanding and wonderful to work with. It is refreshing to be taught by someone with a real passion for their skill.
Our [Jazz Vocal Workshop] teacher is very knowledgeable, patient and good-humoured, and I enjoyed exploring a new area of singing with someone who is both an expert in her field and able to teach it. This is my third course at Waltons and all three have been great.
I looked forward to the [Musical Theatre Workshop] class every week. It was not only therapeutic, but immensely fun and enjoyable.
Just a great, beneficial course [Jazz Vocal Workshop]. I'm loving it!
[My voice teacher] is caring, kind and hard working, and I feel I have improved so much.
I’ve learnt so much from my teacher that I wasn’t able to learn from singing lessons elsewhere.
A fantastic course [Musical Theatre Workshop], high energy, wonderfully taught, with clear instruction and a great class atmosphere. I'd recommend it to anyone.
Enthusiastic teacher, great song choices, good introduction to the subject of jazz. [Jazz Vocal Workshop]
The best singing teacher I have ever had – have learned so much.
Very good [voice] teacher, with excellent knowledge of good technique. Keep up the good work.
I have found my singing lessons at Waltons very professional and look forward to attending every week! I would recommend Waltons to any musician.
Imagine a singing course where you learn a huge amount in a short time and have fabulous fun doing it – that's the Musical Theatre Workshop.
A great [voice] teacher...really encouraging and patient. She has really helped me to regain the confidence in singing that I thought I had lost.
The course [Musical Theatre Workshop] is fun filled and focused. A joy!
The Musical Theatre Workshop is just an amazing course. Sinéad is a fantastic teacher – encouraging and honest. Having done the course twice now, I find it has really helped me with my confidence in performing and also in my everyday life. Even my seniors in work have noticed the change, so thanks Sinéad!
I would definitely recommend anyone to take singing lessons at Waltons. My singing teacher taught me how to sing and brought up techniques to develop my voice in a way I could understand in just a few weeks of lessons. She was extremely friendly, welcoming, warm and professional all at once. She is an amazing teacher and singer, and you can tell she loves it by the way she teaches…with a lot of passion and interest.
I have been singing 'au natural' for years, but in the [Introducing Singing for Adults] class I learned about the importance of breathing correctly when singing, and also posture and other things that helped me feel that I could improve.
The New School’s voice programme is designed to help new and experienced singers of all ages to get the most out of the instrument they were born with.
Singing instruction for adults and teens emphasises both vocal technique and interpretation. Technical work includes breathing, range development, vocal strength, flexibility, intonation and tonal quality. The material chosen for interpretation work is selected with each student’s unique goals (and voice) in mind, but we also encourage students to explore material and genres they may be less familiar with.
As it is not generally advisable to begin technical work before the age of 15, singing lessons for younger students concentrate on healthy, natural singing, as well as musicianship and interpretation skills.
Vocal tuition at the New School can also include preparation for grade examinations from preliminary to performance or teaching diploma level, as well as Junior Cert. Music and Leaving Cert. Music practicals, and counts as the ‘personal skill’ challenge area for Gaisce – The President’s Award.
Genres/styles taught at the New School include:
Art Music • Classical (Opera, Lied, etc.)
Jazz (see Jazz Voice tab)
Rock • Pop
Traditional • Folk
Our options for voice tuition include:
- Weekly private (one-to-one) lessons, 30, 45 or 60 minutes in length.
- Small group lessons, designed for students at the same level of proficiency who enrol together, and available as 30- 45- or 60-minute ‘partner’ lessons, as well as 60-minute lessons for 3 or 4 students.
- Single 1- or 2-hour Intensive Lessons.
- Introducing Singing for Adults, a group course for beginners.
- A Jazz Vocal Workshop and Musical Theatre Workshop for intermediate students.
What does it mean to sing in the ‘jazz style’? What goes into making an exceptional jazz performance? The New School’s jazz voice tuition helps singers of all experience levels to develop the range of skills and techniques required.
Jazz is as much an approach to as a style of music, and lessons focus equally on understanding and interpreting jazz from the inside they do on the techniques of singing it. Depending on student level, lessons may include some or all of the following elements:
- Physical and vocal warm-ups
- Voice technique
- Listening exercises and harmonies
- Defining your vocal range
- Rhythm work
- Jazz-style phrasing and expression
- Singing in various styles, including swing, Latin, bebop, ballads and the blues
- Improvisation and scat singing in various styles, from blues to bebop to modal music
- Choosing repertoire and exploring jazz standards, including the songs of Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Rogers & Hart, etc.
- Using a microphone
- Identifying and communicating tempos and grooves
- Creating intros and endings
- Understanding charts
- Setting songs keys and transposing
- Developing your own unique style
Jazz voice is taught at the New School by:
We also offer an acclaimed Jazz Vocal Workshop (see Intermediate Courses tab).
Group Course for Beginners
Do you love to sing? Have you ever been told that you had a good voice and ‘must get it trained’? Would you like to know what actually goes on in singing lessons? Featured on RTÉ Radio One’s ‘Morning Ireland’ programme and one of the New School’s most popular courses, Introducing Singing for Adults is designed to take some of the mystery out of singing, improve your confidence in singing before an audience and introduce you to the fundamentals of voice training.
We also offer a summer version of this course.
‘A great course for everybody who loves singing! It will help you understand the basics of singing technique, boost your confidence and allow you to meet fantastic people. Highly recommended!’
– J. Kaletka
‘The course was so much more than I expected. I learned so much and gained confidence within myself. The teacher was an inspiration!’
– C. McGowan
We offer two vocal workshops for voice students with some experience:
- Our Jazz Vocal Workshop provides an intensive introduction to the range of skills and techniques required to sing jazz.
- Our Musical Theatre Workshop is designed for anyone interested in performing in musicals and is an excellent opportunity to develop your vocal abilities, song/audition repertoire and dramatic skills.
‘I was hoping to gain some knowledge of jazz music, chords and song structures and improv. singing. I gained exactly that – while hugely enjoying my time here!’ [Jazz Vocal Workshop]
– J. McMahon
‘This course is excellent for developing both acting and singing skills in fun, relaxed and creative atmosphere. Sinéad is dedicated, enthusiastic and open to letting the class develop their performance. I hope to take the course again next year, as it has given me the confidence to perform and audition for my local musical society.’ [Musical Theatre Workshop]
– B. Kiernan
Sing Your Heart Out Choir
Love singing but need encouragement? Join our Sing Your Heart Out Choir and your nerves will disappear! The Choir is led by a renowned choral director and focuses on music from the contemporary, gospel and world traditions. Join it and you’ll have the opportunity to sing some great songs with others, to find and improve your voice, to spend an hour and a half every week ‘singing your heart out’ and making new friends in the process, and to perform in public for fun and entertainment.
Sing & Swing Jazz Choir
If you love to sing and swing in group harmony, join the New School’s Sing & Swing Jazz Choir! Led by a renowned jazz singer, conductor and teacher with many years’ experience teaching jazz and conducting jazz choirs, the Choir will work on songs and arrangements hand-tailored to the abilities and interests of those who join the group. As well as exploring songs from the Great American Songbook and repertoire ranging from blues to bebop to ballads and beyond, the Choir will also help you with important performance skills such as stage presence, song interpretation, lyric memorisation, rhythm skills and improvisation.
‘Fun, challenging…with lots of good singing. The choir has improved my confidence, and I’m always in a good mood when the class is over. Cathy great!’
– S. Macken
‘I have really enjoyed my time with the choir and would recommend it to anyone interested in choral singing.’
– J. Sullivan
Designed especially for voice students and choristers, Sight Singing Made Easy simultaneously develops their music reading skills and practical sight singing – incorporating such elements as pitch, tuning, rhythm and solfege (do-re-mi, etc.). It is highly recommended for all voice students.
Our Jazz Blues Ensemble Workshop is an excellent introduction to blues and jazz ensemble playing/singing and improvisation for those new to the forms.
Introducing Music Technology is a practical, hands-on course designed to teach absolute beginners how a PC and inexpensive home studio technology can be used to record and produce virtually anything at home.
Our Songwriting Workshop will help you to develop your creative ideas – in any musical style – and turn them into finished songs.
We offer both an intensive summer version and a term version of The Art & Craft of Songwriting, a workshop that takes participants through different approaches to the songwriting process, integrating the craft’s many skills into a seamless artistic whole.
‘Sight singing is a skill that I thought was beyond me, but when it was broken down and explained well by an excellent teacher, and then practised of course, it’s amazing how quickly it became second nature!’ [Sight Singing Made Easy]
– R. Fitzpatrick
‘Great introduction to playing in an ensemble!’ [Jazz Blues Ensemble Workshop]
– B. Byrne
‘Very enjoyable course, with all details well explained by a knowledgeable and friendly teacher.’ [Introducing Music Technology]
– B. Clancy
‘This course gave me great confidence in songwriting, and to have the guidance of a professional songwriter was so helpful. The course helped me both lyrically and musically to realise my songwriting potential, and I am now constantly writing new material.’ [Songwriting Workshop]
– A. Bradley
‘Recently, I had the pleasure of attending Melanie O’Reilly’s Art & Craft of Songwriting Workshop. I thoroughly enjoyed the course, and it completely exceeded any expectations that I had. Melanie’s experience and encouragement meant that we each left more confident in ourselves and in our abilities to create music.’
– Y. Mullany
- Marta Burns • also Introducing Singing for Adults
- Janyce Condon
- Sinéad Flynn • also Musical Theatre Workshop
- Fiadh Rua Gregg • also Introducing Singing for Adults
- Jenna Harris • also Introducing Singing for Adults, Jazz Vocal Workshop
- Lynn Hilary • also Introducing Singing for Adults
- Niamh McCormack • also Introducing Singing for Adults
- Cathy McEvoy • Sing Your Heart Out Choir
- Dav McNamara
- Melanie O’Reilly • also Sing & Swing Jazz Choir
- Joan O’Malley • also Introducing Singing for Adults
- Carmel Whelan • sean-nós singing
New School Stage System
Voice tuition at the New School is designed to work within our Stage System, a comprehensive methodology for assessing student progress, from absolute beginner to a professional qualification (Performing or Teaching Diploma level).
New School Stages, ten in all, are roughly equivalent to the ‘grades’ of graded music exams offered by widely recognised exam boards (ABRSM, RIAM, Trinity Guildhall, Rockschool, etc.) and progress from beginner to performing or teaching diploma level. Stages and their grade equivalents are:
- Stage 1 (1 term of lessons or an Introducing group course for beginners, equivalent to Preliminary Grade)
- Stage 2 (1 year of lessons, equivalent to Grade 1)
- Stage 3 (equivalent to Grade 2 or an intermediate group course)
- Stage 4 (equivalent to Grade 3)
- Stage 5 (equivalent to Grade 4)
- Stage 6 (equivalent to Grade 5)
- Stage 7 (equivalent to Grade 6)
- Stage 8 (equivalent to Grade 7)
- Stage 9 (equivalent to Grade 8)
- Stage 10 (equivalent to a Performing or Teaching Diploma)
Students who successfully complete a stage can be issued with a certificate of completion. Please let the school office know if you would like this certificate.
See About Our Stage System for more information.
Tuition fees for private, partner and small group lessons are listed in the Enrolment • Fees section of our website and depend on the length of lessons as well as the duration (number of terms) of enrolment:
- First Term (September-December) • First-Second Term • First-Third Term Fees
- First Term Late Enrolment Fees
- Second Term (January-March/April) • Second-Third Term Fees
- Second Term Late Enrolment Fees
- Third Term (March/April-June) Fees
- Third Term Late Enrolment Fees
- Summer Term (July-August) Fees
- Intensive Lesson Fees
Group course fees are listed on individual group course pages.
Enrolment • Booking
Enrolment for voice tuition at Waltons New School of Music requires a completed enrolment form and, except for those students using payment plans, full payment of tuition fees.
Intensive Lesson booking requires a completed booking form and deposit.
Private, Partner and Small Group Lessons • Choir
Group Courses • Workshops
Martin A. Walton Memorial Scholarships
Taking place in late May / early June each year, the New School’s annual Martin A. Walton Memorial Scholarship Competition awards full-year tuition scholarships in three categories:
- Young Student of the Year (students aged 18 and under)
- Mature Student of the Year (students aged 19 and over)
- Most Promising Beginner (students who came to the school as beginners on their instruments)
New School Songwriting • Composition Prize
This prize is awarded for the most creative original composition or song for solo instrument, voice or ensemble, performed by the composer or songwriter alone or with ensemble for our scholarship competition.
See Scholarships • Prizes for more information.
Grade Exam Syllabi
Links to downloadable voice/singing syllabi (pdf format) with different exam boards:
Friday Casual Concerts
Our Friday Casual Concerts are a great opportunity for students of all instruments (and all musical styles) to play in public, in a relaxed and supportive setting, before friends, family and other students. These brief concerts, which take place once a month on Friday evenings at 7 pm in the school, allow individual students and ensembles to perform in public, show off their skills and learn how to cope with nerves. They are also highly recommended for students preparing for grade exams.
Our End-of-Year Student Concert takes place in the National Concert Hall’s John Field Room in late June and showcases some of our best students and ensembles, of all ages and in all musical styles, as well as scholarship and prize winners in our Scholarship Competition. Performers are selected by their teachers and the school administration.
See School Concerts for more information.
Currently-enrolled students (and parents of students) at the New School are entitled to several useful benefits, including:
- Discounts on Waltons World Masters Series events
- Discounts from Waltons Music
- Discounts on ensembles, sessions and music theory courses
- Discounts on practice facilities
- Discounts on city-centre parking
See Student Benefits for more information.
Our Outreach Programme offers a range of curricular and extra-curricular music courses that take place in primary schools, post-primary schools and youth centres. We offer Singing and Choir courses for absolute beginners as part of the programme. See Outreach Music Courses for more information.
Music at Work Programme
Music at Work is a unique programme that provides convenient and affordable music courses in Dublin-area workplaces. We offer a Singing course for beginners, as well as Company Choir, as part of the programme. See Music at Work Programme for more information.
What is the difference between singing and voice tuition?
There isn’t really any difference. People who look to begin singing generally enquire about ‘singing lessons’, but people who teach singing generally call themselves ‘voice teachers’ because they teach you how to improve your instrument, which is the voice. Just as in piano lessons you learn to master the instrument, a piano.
Do you teach complete beginners?
Yes! Complete beginners, including adult beginners, are most welcome. Learning to sing is enjoyable and rewarding, no matter what your age. Adult beginners at the New School can start with our Introducing Singing for Adults group course, and private (one-to-one) lessons are available for students at all levels, from absolute beginners to advanced singers.
Will my voice need to be assessed before I begin?
We believe that any student can benefit from voice lessons, and it is not necessary to be assessed before you begin. Hearing you sing the exercises during the first few lessons will provide your teacher with sufficient information about your initial abilities to know where the most focus will need to be placed in order to maximise what you have naturally. Your teacher will also ask you about your singing goals and can tailor the lessons to your individual needs. A student who wishes to sing casually, for example, will have a very different attitude and approach to his/her lessons than someone who wishes to sing professionally. Also, the lesson plan for a student who struggles to hear pitch and ‘sing on tune’ will necessarily be different than the plan for someone who comes to us already able to begin working on more advanced skills.
Will learning to sing improve my overall confidence?
Yes. As your vocal ability improves, and as you become more comfortable singing before your teacher and others, you will also become more comfortable expressing yourself in public. In almost every workplace, there will be times when you must stand up in front of people and speak. The work you do to improve your voice and its expressiveness will make this much easier.
I'm a good singer, but I get nervous in front of others. Can I get over this?
This is quite a common complaint among many singers, from beginners to professionals. There are a number of useful techniques available to overcome performance anxiety and even panic attacks relating to getting onstage and singing in public, and our regular Friday Casual Concerts (see School Concerts for more information) provide opportunities to put these into practice, should you choose to do so.
What type of music will I learn?
Regardless of the genre/style of music you are interested in singing, you will focus in voice lessons on techniques for healthy and safe voice production that can be applied to any style of music. But in addition to this training, you will receive coaching in the style of singing that you want to master.
We also encourage students to explore different music genres/styles in their lessons/classes, including classical, jazz, musical theatre, pop/rock, sean-nós, traditional/folk and others. And we offer two vocal workshops for intermediate singers that specialise in particular areas: a Jazz Vocal Workshop and a Musical Theatre Workshop.
How can vocal technique work for every genre/style?
A guitar, piano or violin doesn’t change depending on the genre/style of music you play. And good vocal technique works because you are learning how to sing, not just what to sing. In other words, build a good instrument, and then play (sing) anything you like!
Can you prepare me / my child for grade or practical examinations?
Voice tuition can certainly include preparation for grade examinations with different exam boards. (This page includes links to grade exam syllabi of four different boards.) Our teachers can also prepare students for Junior Cert. Music and Leaving Cert. Music practical exams.
Can you help me to prepare for a performance or audition?
Yes. Many singers have used our Intensive Lessons to provide them with extra preparation for performances, auditions or examinations.
Is it better to take private (one-to-one) lessons or a group course?
That really depends on the student. Private lessons allow nervous singers to develop confidence with a supportive teacher, and enable vocal students to focus on problems and solutions that are specific to their own voices and styles. Group courses allow singers not only to hear and observe the training of other individuals but also to develop confidence and performing skills by singing in front of others on a weekly basis.
Can children take singing lessons?
Yes, as long as they are ready and willing to apply themselves to it. Children are often already doing naturally what adult students have to train to develop (or re-learn). Singing lessons can help them to maintain the natural balance that often gets lost as they start to imitate adult singers. However, it is very important not to strain children’s voices, so vocal technique and range development is not generally introduced before the age of 15.
How much should I practice?
To begin with, ideally 20 to 30 minutes a day – divided between warm-ups/vocal exercises and songs – should be your goal. To develop good vocal habits and technique takes the constant reinforcement that comes from a daily practice routine. It is also very important not to overdo it; the muscles get tired and need rest after a vocal workout. Even 5 or 10 minutes every day is far better than an hour once a week. For suggestions regarding practice, see Practice Tips.
I'm concerned about the health of my voice. Can voice lessons help?
If you are concerned about the health of your voice, you should first consult with your GP. There are many of reasons why you may be having issues with your voice, including stress, fatigue, infections, allergies, neck injuries, polyps, nodules, etc. A good voice teacher can certainly help you address a number of issues, but it is very important that you first rule out any serious health problems with the help of a medical professional.
I think I'm tone deaf. Could I ever become a singer?
If you think you are tone deaf, you are more than likely not. A tone deaf singer is someone who unfortunately can’t sing in tune but truly believes he/she can. The fact you think you are out of tune means that you are more musical than you thought, and through ear training and specific exercises your voice and intonation will definitely improve. Some people have a very difficult time getting their voices to reproduce the sounds they hear in their head. This comes from a lack of co-ordination between the ear and larynx (voice box), and it is a problem that can be fixed with time and practice.