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Voice (Singing) Tuition

at Waltons New School of Music

‘May you live a hundred years and may the last voice that you hear be mine.’
– Frank Sinatra

‘The only thing better than singing is more singing.’
– Ella Fitzgerald

Tuition Offered

Our Programme

Voice (Singing) TuitionThe 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)
Musical Theatre
Rock • Pop
Traditional • Folk

Tuition Options

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.

See Tuition Options for more information on private, partner and small group lessons, and Enrolment • Fees for tuition fees and enrolment forms.

Jazz Voice

Ella FitzgeraldWhat 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

Introducing Singing for AdultsDo 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

Intermediate Courses

Musical Theatre WorkshopWe 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

Sing Your Heart Out ChoirLove 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

Sing & Swing Jazz ChoirIf 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

Other Courses

Sight Singing Made EasyDesigned 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

Voice Faculty

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 (diploma).

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

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:

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


Intensive Lessons


Gift Certificates


Have you studied – or are you studying – voice (singing) at the New School? We would appreciate it if you could take a few moments to give us your feedback in a brief online questionnaire about your experience here.


Other Information

Martin A. Walton Memorial Scholarships

Scholarships • PrizesTaking 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.

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.

End-of-Year Concert

End-of-Year Student ConcertOur 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:

See Student Benefits for more information.

Outreach Programme

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.

Voice Tuition FAQs

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.

Voice (Singing) Tuition
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